World’s Finest – An Alternative to ‘Batman v Superman’

In light of recent disapprovals of ‘Batman v Superman’ from both critics and fans, there is an earlier version of DC’s two biggest titans meeting for the first time.

During the heyday of Bruce Timm’s tenure over the Batman and Superman animated series, the two heroes finally had their proper introductions during Superman’s second season in a three-episode arc titled “World’s Finest.” Many of the points touched on in BvS are here: the initial distrust of the other, physical and verbal crossing of swords, the eventual working together, and a scheme by one Lex Luthor.

world's finest
Credit: DC Comics

However, what the episodes lack in state of the art CGI fight scenes, a Hans Zimmer score and three years of super social media driven hype, it makes up for in a solid story, excellent acting, and a sense of humor desperately missing in Snyder’s work.

The story revolved around a plan by the Joker and Lex Luthor to get rid of Superman. Joker’s involvement is to pocket a clean billion dollars after his operations are all busted by Gotham’s Dark Knight, and Lex simply wants Superman gone. Plain, simple and to the point.

world's finest
Credit: DC Comics

Because of the Joker’s involvement in the plot the Batman decides it’s time to pay Metropolis a visit and see what the Mad Clown Prince of Crime is up to. What I like about this over the BvS is there is no effort to impress or wow the audience with flashy fight scenes or flashy computer graphics.

The focus is on World’s Finest’s story, and it works perfectly. The themes of overcoming differences and prejudices for a common goal fit the story and serve to help both Superman and Batman grow as characters. Added with the subplot of the love triangle between Bruce, Lois Lane, and Clark, it helps add to the initial tension and eventual cooperation between the two superheroes.

And the best part, the entire story of World’s Finest is half the time of BvS, and feels like the length of a motion picture. If you haven’t seen any of the DC series from the 90’s this is a good place to get started, and possibly get rid of the recent Hollywood taste out of their mouths. Though I’d like to imagine what Hans Zimmer might’ve done if he was working on the music.

Seth Frederiksen
Seth Frederiksen
A post-grad history buff who is addicted to comics and books, and lover of anything with the words "ice" and "cream" in it. I've been a huge Batman fan since I can remember, and have come to appreciate sequential art as literature and entertainment. Also I have a soft spot for dogs. Just saying.

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