Comic Book Investing Guide: Batman Superman World’s Finest #11
One of my favorite quotes is, “If you can’t understand without an explanation, you’ll probably won’t be able to understand with a detailed explanation either.” Sometimes that quote can be projected on casual comic book readers, who have to grapple with decades of comic book storylines to get through a story. But it can also be applied to loyal comic book readers as well. Sometimes, a comic book story, even when expertly written and drawn, can become a chore to read because too many characters in the story, and the story is too convoluted. Unfortunately, that is the case with Batman Superman World’s Finest #11.
- Batman Superman World’s Finest #11 (January 2023)
- Published by DC Comics
- Writer: Mark Waid
- Artist: Dan Mora
- Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
- Lettering: Steve Wands
- Cover Price: $3.99 USD
Writer Mark Waid has an end goal with the main character, a new character called “Boy Thunder,” who is being positioned to potentially become a major threat in future DC Comic stories.
Unfortunately, there are just too many characters and moving pieces in the story to appreciate what Waid is trying to do. It gives me no joy to say such things – Mark Waid is a comic industry icon and comic historian. Waid has forgotten more about comic books than many of the newest writers on the block will ever learn.
Still, this story, “Strange Visitor,” is mediocre and unsatisfying to power through. And that is ironic because Waid was hired to write this story as a prelude to a new large-scale DC Comics storyline called “Lazarus Planet.” So, you need to read this to get prepared for Lazarus Planet.
Let me explain why it may not be worth the trouble and why Boy Thunder is the least exciting new character in a long time.
First Appearance of Boy Thunder
Batman Superman World’s Finest #7 (September 2022) DC Comics
Required Reading (If You Like)
You will have to read Batman Superman World’s Finest #7 through #11 to understand what is going on in this issue. Otherwise, you will be completely lost.
Additionally, you will have to read Batman Superman World’s Finest #1 through #11 to get ready for the Lazarus Planet storyline that is currently being published in DC Comics. DC Comics is undergoing a soft reboot called “Dawn of DC.”
Batman Superman World’s Finest comic is the required reading starting point for Dawn of DC.
Brief Bio and History
Batman Superman World’s Finest is a comic book series that pairs Batman and Superman together to handle threats neither hero can handle alone.
Batman and Superman are both orphans, even though Superman had adopted parents when he crash-landed on Earth. They both want to protect their cities and the world, but Superman is a patient optimist while Batman is a cynical, calculating, and unrepentant pessimist/realist.
As superheroes, they are both sides of the same coin.
(I never understood the appeal of elevating Batman on the level with characters with God-like powers. Batman is vastly more popular than Superman. But Batman is a mentally ill human being masquerading in a bat suit. He has no special powers. Superman could end Batman faster than Batman’s brain could register the event. But it is what it is.)
This comic book is set in the not-too-distant past. Batman and Superman World’s Finest #7 introduced a new character called Boy Thunder. He is a teen named David Sikela who was born in a parallel dimension in a city called “Gotham City,” in a world that is about to be destroyed.
David’s parents put the teen in a rocket ship that sends him into the universe where Batman and Superman exist.
Anyway, David manifests the power of flight and the ability to emit intense heat and light from his body. He is given the codename “Boy Thunder.” Batman and Superman take him under their care and vow to help David learn to control his powers.
However, nothing goes as planned and David proves himself to be emotionally unstable and unable to handle the weight of his new responsibilities.
Batman Superman World’s Finest #11 – The Review
I hate criticizing my heroes. I really do. So, let me start with the positives.
Mark Waid is a master at world-building, setting up storylines, juggling multiple characters and their respective story arcs, and pacing a story. Waid has been doing this for decades and easily relays to the reader how hard it is for Batman and Superman to judge an emotionally damaged child who desperately wants to save a world to make up for the world he lost.
The main villain of the story is The Key, a bad guy who ingests psychotropic medicines to expand and alter his brain chemistry to his benefit. The Key was first created in 1965, but Waid makes him menacing and almost relatable.
Artist Dan Mora is a revelation. The Chilean artist is a popular fan favorite for his clean lines, attention to detail, and ability to make reading comic book panels easy. It is not enough to just draw well to become a comic book artist.
A comic book artist has to know how to draw panels in sequences that tell the story visually without confusing the reader. Some comic book artists draw in a way where you can’t tell where characters are in relation to each other or have messy transitions.
That is never a problem when you read comic books drawn by Mora. His art is a feast for the eyes. Some of the panels look more like photographs than hand-drawn art.
As much as I worship Waid as a comic book geek, Mora’s art is the main draw for reading this comic.
Unfortunately, that is where all of the praise ends.
There are far too many characters in this story with no room to breathe. Batman, Superman, the Teen Titans, The Key, The Jokers, and random monsters all fill out the story. It is too much and not interesting.
There are brief moments where Waid explores the flaws of the characters that I wish could have been fleshed out more. In the story, David is kidnapped by the Joker. And Batman mentions to Robin how the failure to protect David makes Superman angry. And Superman always shields his anger from humanity. (There is a creepy panel with Superman flying while sporting fire-red eyes in anger.)
Also, there is a brief one-page reveal at the end which hints that David could become a threat in the future. I won’t spoil the story, by the end page reveal in #11 convinces me that the previous five issues were written to get to that last page reveal.
And if that is the truth, then the narrative focus was to get to that final page reveal, and not necessarily tell the most compelling story.
It felt to me that Waid was on autopilot, phoning it in, and telling a story as a contractual obligation
Batman Superman World’s Finest #11 Verdict – Buy It or NOPE
I have to say nope countenanced by a hard, “maybe?”
The current Lazarus Planet storyline in DC Comics could make some relevant changes to the status quo. And Boy Thunder could become more relevant in the future.
But right now, I could care less. I found The Key more compelling than Boy Thunder. The other character in the last page reveal of #11 was more compelling to me than Boy Thunder. I forgot Boy Thunder after reading this story.
There is no appreciable demand for this comic book, yet, so I can’t recommend buying it as an investment.
Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.