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I haven’t talked with anyone who is a big fan of Damian Wayne.  The side-kick-wanna-be grates on every nerve and it’s a wonder he’s able to get anything done with his rotten attitude.  There are probably more people who like the Guardian, Metropolis’ Science Police Field Commander. But he too tends to push certain buttons that turns some people off.  Toss them both in an issue of World’s Finest, and watch the fireworks fly.

worldsfinest2COVER.jpgWorld’s Finest #2
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Ramons Bachs and Rodney Ramos
Covers by Phil Noto

Even with Superman absent, and Mon-El doing what Mon-El does when he’s not pretending to be Jonathan Kent, there’s still plenty of crime for the Science Police to deal with.  When Damian Wayne shows up following a the trail of a stolen piece of cryo technology stolen from WayneTech, he finds himself on the wrong end of the Guardian’s idea of law.  The young Damian is able to escape police custody, and uses his detective skills to follow the clues which leads to the secret lair of both the Parasite and Mr. Freeze.

The two villains have teamed to capture Mon-El and freeze him so Parasite can continue to drain his powers, and Mr. Freeze can do something devious – because that’s what Mr. Freeze does.   For the two heroes of the issue, the story pretty much follows every team up we’ve ever read – conflicting goals, lead to fisticuffs before the two agree to work together, bickering all the way.  Sterling Gates has amped Damian’s personality up to eleven, as he comes off as one of the biggest condescending jerks we’ve ever seen. Even though he has the patience of Job, the Guardian’s still able to get in a few well place jabs that put things into perspective.  The best line of the entire issue goes to the Guardian.  The two jab at one another over their names, and as Damian leaves, and shouts, “My name is Robin!” the Guardian retorts with “No, kid, not yet it’s not.”

For the numerous villains running around the DC Universe, something big is building as Toy Boy and Toyman unveil a weapon we haven’t seen since the Public Enemies storyline from the other superhero team-up book.

As mentioned, the story is pretty typical as far as team-ups go.  For many readers, the biggest ding will be the inclusion of Damian Wayne who continues to push the buttons that so many people despise him for. That makes it a difficult read for anyone not comfortable allowing an 11 year old running around telling off his elders.  For those who like the formulaic approach to story telling, this issue does the job with aplomb.  For those wanting to fit the story into the overall Superman series, it appears to be set just before Mon-El’s return, but before Flamebird and Nightwing are exonerated during that whole Reactron story arc.

The art is solid, but has some weird distortion going on where the Guardian and the Science Police look like those kid friendly super-hero figures one finds in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart.  The art continues in that manner throughout the issue, and it made me wonder if Damian wasn’t suffering some sort of large head syndrome. It’s rather distracting and takes one out of the issue quite a bit with the startling panels of Robin lurching through the panel on his way to bust some heads.  The covers by Phil Noto are nice, but I don’t think I’ll be peaking under the covers again any time soon.

Sterling’s pacing and structure are solid, just nothing outstanding.  For a team-up issue, World’s Finest could be a lot worse than it is.  It could also be a lot better in attempting to tell a story a bit differently than what we can currently find in one of the big event titles, or a copy of Brave and the Bold.  For his reason, World’s Finest #2 earns a very middle of the road 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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6 Comments

  1. November 30, 2009 at 11:38 pm — Reply

    I actually enjoy what Damian Wayne brings to the fold. I think his brattiness actually makes things interesting since Tim Drake and Dick Grayson are both such goodie goodys.

    His head certainly was too big in this issue though.

    • lifeisaglitch
      December 1, 2009 at 7:55 am — Reply

      Agreed…Though my hide may be thicker when it comes to bratty kids since I have the brattiest brat of the brats as a younger brother.

    • websnap
      December 1, 2009 at 11:15 am — Reply

      Love Damian’s character. I like him WAY better that the Guardian. We’ve already had two “good” sons in Dick and Tim and one that tried to be good to no avail with Jason. I like the idea that this kid thinks that the only one who could have taught him anything was his dad, who is now gone, and he’s just humouring his new chaperone (Dick) out of respect to their common link, their late “father”.

  2. December 1, 2009 at 12:40 am — Reply

    Giant heads are strange… sometimes, I thought the art got Damian’s age right… other times, it looked like a waterballoon stuffed with gravy.
    I’m sort of neutral on the Damian topic, but – god – do I love his costume!

    I thought that the first World’s Finest outing was better than this one. Nevertheless, it entertained.

  3. Ivdar
    December 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    I don’t hate Damian that much. I think protraying him as arrogant and snotty is the wrong way, he’s actually much more interesting when he’s just being serious. He becomes a much deeper character when it seems he actually has the chops to become Batman, or when it gets scary he’s so talented. In Batman & Son he was a petulant brat ; as Robin, I see him as a boy trying very hard to be a man, to be efficient, perceptive and mature, even though he’s about 12 and he’s going at it the wrong way.

  4. shamon
    December 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    I like these books so far it works well .

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