World's Finest Comics

World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics 1.jpg
Cover of World's Best Comics #1 (Spring 1941)
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Initially quarterly, later bimonthly, later monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date Spring 1941 – January 1986
Number of issues 323
Main character(s) Superman
Batman
Robin
Creative team
Penciller(s) Curt Swan
Dick Dillin
Neal Adams
Rick Buckler
Inker(s) Murphy Anderson
Collected editions
World's Finest Archives Volume 1 ISBN 1-56389-488-2
World's Finest Archives Volume 2 ISBN 1-56389-743-1
World's Finest Archives Volume 3 ISBN 1-4012-0411-2

World's Finest Comics was an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1941 to 1986. The series was initially titled World's Best Comics for its first issue; issue #2 (1941) switched to the more familiar name. Most likely the reason for the title change was that DC received a cease and desist letter from Better Publications, Inc., who had been publishing a comic book entitled Best Comics since November 1939.[1]

Virtually every issue featured DC's two leading superheroes, Superman and Batman,[2][3] with the earliest issues also featuring Batman's sidekick, Robin.

Contents

Overview

The series was initially a 96 page quarterly anthology, featuring various DC characters - always including Superman and Batman - in separate stories. When superheroes fell out of vogue in the early 1950s, DC shortened the size of the publication to that of the rest of its output, leaving only enough space for one story; this led to Superman and Batman appearing in the same story together starting with World's Finest #71 (1954). In 1977, World's Finest Comics was "upgraded" to one of the first 80 page Dollar Comics which featured The World's Finest Team with back-up features such as Green Arrow, Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Vigilante, Creeper, Shazam!, Black Lightning, Hawkman, Red Tornado, Zatanna and Plastic Man. With #283, the series reverted to a standard format title featuring Superman and Batman team-ups. Except for a brief run of Superman teamups in the early 1970s (#198-214) not featuring Batman, the series continued in this vein until its cancellation in 1986 at #323.

The idea for World's Best #1 originated from the identically formatted 1940 New York World's Fair Comics featuring Superman, Batman, and Robin with 96 pages and a cardboard cover. The year before there was a similar 1939 New York World's Fair Comics featuring Superman but without Batman and Robin because Bill Finger and Bob Kane had not yet created them.

Titles

A number of World's Finest titles have since appeared:

  • A three-issue 1990 mini-series by Dave Gibbons, Steve Rude and Karl Kesel. In the series, Superman and Batman battle their arch-enemies Lex Luthor and The Joker, and for that, they temporary exchange their places in their homecities, thus, Superman goes to Gotham City, and Batman goes to Metropolis.
  • A three-issue Legends of the World's Finest mini-series in 1994 by Walt Simonson and Dan Brereton
  • A two-issue Superboy (Kon-El)/Robin: World's Finest Three in 1996
  • Elseworld's Finest - a two-issue mini-series that reimagines Superman and Batman in a 1920s style pulp adventure.
  • World's Finest: Parts I-III (also known as The Batman/Superman Movie) and Batman/Superman Adventures: World's Finest, a 1997 three-part episode of Superman: The Animated Series and its comics adaptation, respectively.
  • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl one-shot in 1998.
  • Superman and Batman: World's Funnest, featuring Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite
  • A ten-issue mini-series in 1999 written by Karl Kesel and illustrated by Dave Taylor. This series explored the Post-Crisis history of the two with each of the ten issues taking place one year after the other.
  • HarperCollins Publishers released a World's Finest novel on Summer 2009, titled Enemies and Allies by novelist Kevin J. Anderson. The story is about the first meeting between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel during The Cold War.[4]
  • A four-issue World's Finest limited series written by Sterling Gates was published in late 2009 and early 2010. In the series, Superman has relocated to New Krypton and Batman (Bruce Wayne) is presumed dead. Thus, it falls to various members of the Superman and Batman families to battle a threat posed by the Toyboy, Mr. Freeze, the Penguin and the Kryptonite Man. Protagonists include Superman Family members Nightwing (Chris Kent), the Guardian and Supergirl, along with Batman Family members Red Robin (Tim Drake), Robin (Damian Wayne), Oracle and Batgirl (Stephanie Brown). Superman and Batman (Dick Grayson) appear in the final issue.

While not released under the name "World's Finest", the series Superman/Batman fulfilled much the same function as its predecessor. It was published from 2003 to 2011.

Collected editions

Various stories have been collected into individual volumes:

  • World's Finest Archives Volume 1 (collects stories from issues #71–85, as well as Superman #76, ISBN 1-56389-488-2)
  • World's Finest Archives Volume 2 (collects stories from issues #86–101, ISBN 1-56389-743-1)
  • World's Finest Archives Volume 3 (collects stories from issues #102–116, ISBN 1-4012-0411-2)
  • Batman in World's Finest Archives Volume 1: Stories from issues #2–16 (as well as World's Fair Comics and World's Best Comics #1)
  • Batman in World's Finest Archives Volume 2: Stories from issues #17–32
  • Superman in World's Finest Archives Volume 1: Stories from issues #2–16 (as well as World's Fair Comics and World's Best Comics #1)
  • Superman in World's Finest Archives Volume 2: Stories from issues #17-32 (to be released September 30, 2009)
  • Showcase Presents: World's Finest Volume 1: Stories from issues #71–111 (as well as Superman #76)
  • Showcase Presents: World's Finest Volume 2: Stories from issues #112–145
  • Showcase Presents: World's Finest Volume 3: Stories from issues #146–173
  • Superman Vs. The Flash: Stories from issues #198–199
  • Batman/Superman: Saga of the Super Sons: Stories from #215–216, 221–222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, 263 (as well as Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1)
  • The Creeper by Steve Ditko: Stories from #249-255

Notes

  1. ^ Superman: The World's Finest Comics Archives, Vol 1. Forward by Michael Uslan, p 7
  2. ^ Issues #198-214 (November 1970 through October–November 1972) featured tales teaming Superman with various heroes from the DC Universe. Almost none of these issues featured Batman.
  3. ^ Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. were the Super-Sons, the college-aged sons of Superman and Batman in an alternate version of the DC Universe. They were featured in issues #215-216, 221-222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, and 263.
  4. ^ Last pages of The Last Days of Krypton paperback

See also

References


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