It's a mini-series with a giant Batman/Superman robot AND Robin body shaming Batgirl!
What more could one ask for?
The original "World's Finest" was an out of continuity team-up book. This mini is also a team up book but it's definitely NOT out of continuity. It was written at a time when DC was doing a lot of shaking up of their character status quo and as a reader, you are pretty much expected to be familiar with all the changes going on. The most important thing to know going in was that (almost) everyone thought Batman was dead, Superman had left Earth, and Kryptonians in general were considered enemies of humankind.
So. . .
This first issue teams up Red Robin (Tim Drake, who is searching the world for clues as to where Batman REALLY is) and Nightwing (No, not that one. A Kryptonian that Superman had adopted as a son). The issue does a pretty good job at explaining who is who. . .and thank God for that. I didn't have to hit the internet for a refresher on 8 year old continuity beats. Unfortunately, the story seems pretty weak so far. The villain is a B-lister (Toyman) and the teamup seems forced. The art is. . .okay. Not good, not bad. Just. . .okay.
All in all, the weak setup, extremely average art, and total immersion in (then current) continuity make this opening issue no more than average at best.
2 issues in and we're already making the swerve off the rails with a final page reveal of. . .a giant robot that's half Superman and half Batman in appearance.
This issue teams up the Damian Wayne version of Robin with The Guardian. I don't know much about The Guardian, but if I had to judge from this issue alone, I don't want to learn more. He is easily one of the lamest superheroes I've seen in a while.
Once again, the book does a pretty good job of explaining who is who, so there's that. . .
Unfortunately, even though they switched up the artist on this issue, the art is just as painfully average as in the first issue.
All in all, we have a forced team up via a cliche "Heroes fight until they finally figure out they're on the same side" vehicle, a weak overarching story, an extremely lame superhero, average art, and the good old giant robot.
It's really starting to smell like crap in here.
Really, all I can say that I really like about this issue is the fantastic cover. Other than that, we have a team up between Supergirl and the Stephanie Brown version of Batgirl, with Oracle, Catwoman, Dick Grayson Batman (And Damian Wayne Robin), and the "Just another Kryptonian Soldier" version of Superman making cameos.
Most of the issue is ridiculous fighting against Toyman's tiny little robots before he decides it's time to power up the giant Kryptonite-powered Batman/Superman robot.
Yeah. . .it's gone off the rails.
It's bad. So bad. Why does it have to be so bad? I don't even want to read the final issue. But I will. . .God help me. I will.
was surprised to find that I liked this last issue after the serious swerve off the rails the previous two took.
Yeah. . .there's a giant Kryptonite-powered Superman/Batman robot on the loose that has to be punched, but in between the robot punching there are some really nice character moments between Dick Grayson Batman and "Just another Kryptonian Soldier" Superman that address the new status quo and DC's "Legacy Heroes" tradition.
The stellar art by Noto in this issue helped improve things as well, with a VERY nice opening page. He actually makes giant robot punching look pretty good in the rest of the issue as well.
The ending was weakened by a cliffhanger that I'm sure ties into (then current) continuity, but didn't do any favors to this mini as a standalone story.
All in all, this was probably the best issue of the series, despite a lot of giant robot punching. And when I say it was the best issue, I mean it elevated itself above bad to the exalted ranks of "Pretty Good".
And there you have it. . .DC's World's Finest (Vol. 4) 4 issue mini.
All in all, this was two bad issues bookended by two pretty good issues. The story was weak, the villains were second rate, the art (except for issue 4) was painfully average, the team ups were forced using a dusty assortment of comic book cliches, and the whole thing revolved around the reader's knowledge of (then) current continuity instead of standing on its own.
And then there was the giant Kryptonite-powered Batman/Superman robot.
I wouldn't really suggest this mini to anyone except those who have an interest in pre-New 52 characters and continuity, or those who want to see Batgirl get body shamed by Robin.
Up next. . .
Lobo is back! Everyone is all excited (I think). So let's head back to 1990 where it all began.
DC's original 4 issue Lobo mini-series. Be there or be square!
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Issue # 68