Batman/Superman: World’s Finest defeated the devil Nezha after a long battle. While that battle finished there was one major sub-plot that was left unresolved. That is where in the DC Universe timeline Dick Grayson’s Robin ended up after an accident caused him to be lost in the timestream. This is not something Batman, Superman, and the other heroes will just let be the new status quo. Do you know what that means? It’s time for an adventure through time. Let’s see how that goes with Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Travis Moore
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
At some point in the year 1892, after leaving a message under a boulder, Robin stops a circus leader named Cesar from killing a lion that everyone is blaming for the death of two members, who are runaway criminals, of the circus troop.
While investigating the two deaths Robin decides to take a break by performing in the circus. While doing his trapeze act he is joined by Batman as his partner.
In the present Batman and Superman find the message Robin left for them when they defeated Nezha.
Back in 1892 Superman and Batman reveal used Supergirl’s method of tracking down a tachyon trail to travel back into the past. Robin then catches Batman and Superman up on the circus he’s been with and the investigation he is working on.
While keeping an eye on the main suspect named Boyce, who was a friend of the two that were killed, a fire consumes the main circus tent. While Superman puts out the fire Batman and Robin chase after the suspect and saves him from being killed by the lion he was trapped with.
Robin and Batman then corner Cesar, having uncovered that Cesar ended up working with Boyce to kill the others to take money robbed from the San Diego Bank. When Cesar tries to run he is knocked out by Robin.
With Cesar and Boyce arrested Batman, Robin, and Superman head back to their present timeline. End of issue.
The ability to tell a whole story in a single issue is an incredible art. While Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 does follow up on a thread from the first story arc of this series it is largely a standalone adventure. That made for a fun departure from the first story arc of this series as this was a much more grounded story.
What made Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 work as well as it did was the fact that Mark Waid and Travis Moore presented the reader with everything they need to know in this single issue. Even the whole reason why Robin was stuck in the past is quickly explained so that if this is your first issue of this series you get what is going on. It’s something that is easier said than done given how complicated we’ve seen other creators make time travel. But here Waid and Moore simplify it so the reader gets all the info they need without questioning the way Batman and Superman used a tachyon trail to find Robin lost in time.
Adding to how this whole story worked was how much respect Waid showed these characters. Rather than freaking out about his situation Robin used the knowledge about Nezha he gained during the previous storyline to figure out where Batman, Superman, and the others would end up. It showed maturity on Robin’s part that just came across as a natural part of his character. Which made the trust Batman had in Robin being able to figure out a way to leave them a message a great, subtle Dynamic Duo moment.
The investigation itself was a good showcase of how good of a detective Dick Grayson was raised to be during his Robin days. While it is a part of his character that isn’t emphasized as much as it is for Bruce Wayne and Tim Drake he has the same training they have. Putting that on display while he was in a setting that was personal for him in the circus showed how he was able to separate his emotions from the case. Bruce also letting Dick continue to lead the investigation was a good sign of trust that further added to how Waid decided to explore the relationship of the Dynamic Duo in this issue.
Though the investigation was relatively straightforward forward Waid kept us from getting bored by that fact with how he wrote the dynamic between Batman, Robin, and Superman. Waid tapped into how Clark Kent is more like the cool uncle to Dick Grayson. Clark even talking about how he always admired circus performers was done in a way that puts him and Dick on the same level as there is a clear understanding between the two. It also helped to show that at his core Clark is very much defined by the person Ma and Pa Kent raised and it is what guides him as Superman.
The only part where Waid faltered in the story for Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 was the role or lack thereof, Supergirl had in this story. While Waid did explain why Supergirl did not join Batman and Superman in finding Robin that came across as a cop-out reason by Waid as the writer of this issue. With how much time Waid spent developing a strong dynamic between Robin and Supergirl during the Nezha arc it was a big missed opportunity to leave Kara out of this time travel story. It would’ve helped bring the entire story to a more satisfying close if it was Supergirl that helped Batman and Superman find Robin and for Kara and Dick to share some screen time together.
As well done as the writing was it is Travis Moore’s artwork that stole the show. There is no doubt that what Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 will be most remembered for is shirtless Superman. Moore went all in on showcasing the beefcake nature of Superman. Along with that, we got just great, clean artwork that maintain a good tone that merged the bright circus setting with the darker nature of Robin’s investigation. It all enhanced the story told in this issue.
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 is a fun standalone story that does a great job showcasing Robin’s detective skills. The way Batman, Robin, and Superman interacted throughout this story is really what made this a special comic book. It’s definitely a must-read for Batman and Superman fans.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10