|World's Finest Comics|
Cover of World's Best Comics #1 (Spring 1941)
Bimonthly #21-95 and #244-269
monthly #96-243 and #270-323
|Publication date||Spring 1941 – January 1986|
|Number of issues||323|
|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 (Summer 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.
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.
The series was initially a 96 page quarterly anthology, featuring various DC characters - always including Superman and Batman - in separate stories. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "Pairing Superman and Batman made sense financially, since the two were DC's most popular heroes." 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 Comics #71 (July 1954). The series continued to feature Superman and Batman team-ups until issue #197.
The title briefly featured Superman teaming with heroes other than Batman in the early 1970s beginning with issue #198 (November 1970). That issue featured the first part of a two-issue team-up with the Flash. Other characters to appear in the next two years included Robin, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Teen Titans, Doctor Fate, Hawkman, Green Arrow, the Martian Manhunter, the Atom, and the Vigilante. Nick Cardy was the cover artist for World's Finest Comics for issues #212-228. Metamorpho was the backup feature in issues #218-220 and #229 after the character had a brief run as the backup in Action Comics.
The series reverted to Superman and Batman team-ups after issue #214, initially with a unique twist, featuring the children they might one day have, Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. These characters, billed as the Super-Sons, were co-created by writer Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin in issue #215 (January 1973). Super-Sons stories alternated with tales of the original Superman and Batman through issue #263, with issues #215-216, 221-222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, and 263 featuring the sons. Haney frequently disregarded continuity by scripting stories which contradicted DC's canon or by writing major heroes in an out-of-character fashion.
With issue #244 (April–May 1977), World's Finest Comics became one of the first 80 page Dollar Comics. It featured the Superman and Batman team with back-up features. The number of pages was reduced from 80 to 64 starting with issue #252 (August–September 1978) and reduced to 48 pages with issue #266 (December 1980-January 1981) which lasted until issue #282 (August 1982).
|1st Feature||2nd Feature||3rd Feature||4th Feature|
#244-259, 261-270, 272-284
|Wonder Woman of Earth-Two
#256-259, 261-262, 264-270,
|no fourth backup feature|
Issue #250 (April–May 1978) combined Superman and Batman with Green Arrow, the Black Canary, and Wonder Woman into the World's Finest Team in a 56 page story. Writer Roy Thomas wrote a book-length story for issue #271 (September 1981) which pieced together all the "first meetings" of Superman and Batman. This issue did not have any backup features.
As of issue #283 (September 1982), the series reverted to a standard format title again featuring only Superman and Batman team-ups, which continued until the series' cancellation with issue #323 (January 1986).
The series reached issue #300 in February 1984. This double-sized anniversary issue was a "jam" featuring a story by writers David Anthony Kraft, Mike W. Barr, and Marv Wolfman with art by Ross Andru, Mark Texeira, Sal Amendola, and George Pérez.
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/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.
- William Morrow and Company released a World's Finest novel in 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.
- 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.
- A new monthly team-up series titled Batman/Superman was announced by DC Comics in 2013.
- In January 2012, DC announced a new ongoing series with a similar name but a differently-placed apostrophe, Worlds' Finest, beginning in May. It will star Power Girl and the Huntress. In this incarnation, the two are natives of Earth-2, where they used the codenames Supergirl and Robin, respectively.
|Title||Volume||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|World's Finest Archives||1||World's Finest Comics #71–85 and Superman #76||March 1999||978-1563894886|
|2||World's Finest Comics #86–101||January 2002||978-1563897436|
|3||World's Finest Comics #102–116||September 2005||978-1401204112|
|Batman: The World's Finest Comics Archives||1||Batman stories from World's Finest Comics #1–16 and New York World's Fair Comics #2||October 2002||978-1563898198|
|2||Batman stories from World's Finest Comics #17–32||January 2005||978-1401201630|
|Superman: The World's Finest Comics Archives||1||Superman stories from World's Finest Comics #1–16 and New York World's Fair Comics #1-2||September 2004||978-1401201517|
|2||Superman stories from World's Finest Comics #17-32||November 2009||978-1401224707|
|Showcase Presents: World's Finest||1||World's Finest Comics #71–111 and Superman #76||October 2007||978-1401216979|
|2||World's Finest Comics #112–145||October 2008||978-1401219819|
|3||World's Finest Comics #146-60, #162-69, #171–73||March 2010||978-1401225858|
|4||World's Finest Comics #174-178, #180-187, #189-196, #198-202||November 2012||978-1401237363|
|Showcase Presents: Green Arrow||1||Green Arrow stories from World's Finest Comics #95-140||January 2006||978-1401207854|
|Showcase Presents: Aquaman||2||Aquaman stories from World's Finest Comics #130-133, 135, 137, and 139||January 2008||978-1401217129|
|Superman vs. The Flash||1||Superman #199, The Flash #175, World's Finest Comics #198–199, and DC Comics Presents #1-2,||May 2005||978-1401204563|
|Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons||1||Super Sons stories from World's Finest Comics #215–216, 221–222, 224, 228, 230-231, 233, 238, 242, 263 and Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1||December 2007||978-1401215026|
|The Creeper by Steve Ditko||1||Creeper stories from World's Finest Comics #249-255||April 2010||978-1401225919|
In other media
- In 2002 The Batman Superman Movie was released on DVD. This was actually the three episodes from "The World's Finest" story arc of Season 2 of Superman: The Animated Series (1997) combined into feature length.
- In 2004 a fan trailer for a World's Finest movie was released.
- In the 2009 Direct-to-video animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (an adaptation of "The World's Finest", the opening story arc of Superman/Batman), the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight team up to prevent a meteoroid from striking Earth and to take down Lex Luthor, who has been elected President of the United States and has framed Superman for murder. DCAU cast members Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Clancy Brown and CCH Pounder reprised their respective roles as Batman, Superman, Luthor and Amanda Waller. Additionally, Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan from the Television series Smallville) voiced the role of Power Girl.
- In 2010, a sequel was released titled Superman/Batman: Apocalypse which is an adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner's second story arc, "The Supergirl from Krypton". DCAU cast members Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, and Edward Asner reprised their respective roles as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Granny Goodness. Additionally, Summer Glau (from the television series Firefly) voiced the role of Supergirl and Andre Braugher (from the television series Homicide: Life on the Street) portrayed Darkseid.
- At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con Zack Snyder,director of Man of Steel, confirmed an upcoming sequel for Man of Steel currently known as Batman/Superman, though the official title is yet to be announced; the movie was originally slated for release on July 17, 2015, but has since been pushed back to May 6, 2016. The film will star Henry Cavill reprising his role as Clark Kent/Superman and many of the first film's cast are set to return. Ben Affleck will also join the cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
- Uslan, Michael (2004). "Forward". Superman: The World's Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1. DC Comics. p. 7. ISBN 1-4012-0151-2.
- Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "With ninety-six packed pages and DC's three biggest stars sharing the cover, World's Best Comics promised a galaxy of stories for the low price of 15 cents...The new ongoing title, renamed World's Finest Comics with issue #2, featured heavy-hitters Superman and Batman."
- Daniels, Les (1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch. p. 57. ISBN 0821220764.
- Irvine, Alex "1950s" in Dolan, p. 73: "Although the covers of World's Finest Comics had teased co-appearances of Batman and Superman for years, the first joint adventure of the two in the comic occurred in issue #71...written by Alvin Schwartz, pencilled by Curt Swan, and inked by Stan Kaye."
- Kingman, Jim (August 2013). "Men of Steel: Superman and Julius Schwartz in World's Finest Comics and DC Comics Presents". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (66): 51–53.
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Race to Save the Universe!" World's Finest Comics 198 (November 1970)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Race to Save Time" World's Finest Comics 199 (December 1970)
- Friedrich, Mike (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Prisoners of the Immortal World!" World's Finest Comics 200 (February 1971)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "A Prize of Peril!" World's Finest Comics 201 (March 1971)
- Skeates, Steve (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Who's Minding the Earth?" World's Finest Comics 203 (June 1971)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Journey to the End of Hope!" World's Finest Comics 204 (August 1971)
- Skeates, Steve (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "The Computer that Captured a Town!" World's Finest Comics 205 (September 1971)
- Wein, Len (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Peril of the Planet-Smashers!" World's Finest Comics 208 (December 1971)
- Friedrich, Mike (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Meet the Tempter.... and Die!" World's Finest Comics 209 (February 1972)
- Maggin, Elliot S! (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "World of Faceless Slaves!" World's Finest Comics 210 (March 1972)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "...And So My World Begins!" World's Finest Comics 212 (June 1972)
- Maggin, Elliot S! (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Peril in a Very Small Place!" World's Finest Comics 213 (August–September 1972)
- Skeates, Steve and O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "A Beast Stalks the Badlands" World's Finest Comics 214 (October–November 1972)
- Coates, John (1999). "Art Index". The Art of Nick Cardy. Coates Publishing. pp. 172–173. ISBN 1-887591-22-2.
- Stroud, Bryan (May 2013). "Metamorpho in Action Comics". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (64): 22–27.
- McAvennie, Michael "1970s" in Dolan, p. 157: "Scribe Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin introduced the DC Universe to an alternate timeline starring the World's Finest offspring in January's World's Finest Comics #215."
- Super-Sons at the Grand Comics Database
- Eury, Michael (August 2013). "The Batman of Earth-B: The Caped Crusader's Bravest and Boldest Writer, Bob Haney". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (66): 2–5.
- Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (57): 39–41.
- Kingman, Jim (May 2013). "The Ballad of Ollie and Dinah". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (64): 10–21.
- Conway, Gerry (w), Tuska, George (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The Reality War!/Collision With Destiny/The Ravager of Time" World's Finest Comics 250 (April–May 1978)
- Thomas, Roy (w), Buckler, Rich (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "The Secret Origins of the Superman and Batman Team!" World's Finest Comics 271 (September 1981)
- McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 129: "1968 was the year when Neal Adams and Batman's fates became forever intertwined...Adams tackled his first interior with Batman on Leo Dorfman's script for 'The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads' story in World's Finest Comics #175."
- Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 206: "In the tradition of DC's anniversary editions, World's Finest Comics #300 was an extra-length issue contributed to by a variety of comic book talent. Written by David Anthony Kraft, Mike W. Barr, and Marv Wolfman, and illustrated by Ross Andru, Mark Texeira, Sal Amendola, and George Pérez."
- Wiggins, Randall C. (December 2013). "World's Finest Comics #300: An Epic in the Making". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (69): 64–67.
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 246: "Writer Dave Gibbons and artist Steve Rude presented a three-issue miniseries...that proved the World's Finest team of Superman and Batman was still relevant."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 289: ""Batman and Superman reunited in April  in the ten-issue limited series World's Finest...The series was written by Karl Kesel."
- Anderson, Kevin J. (2009). Enemies & Allies: A Novel. William Morrow and Company. pp. 336. ISBN 0061662550.
- "Batman/Superman showcases meeting of DC Comics icons". USA Today. February 21, 2013. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/02/21/batman-superman-comic-book-series/1935817/. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- Kushins, Josh (January 12, 2012). "DC Comics in 2012-–-Introducing the "Second Wave" of DC Comics The New 52". The Source. DC Comics. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/64hEz5q0J. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- Rogers, Vaneta (January 13, 2012). "Paul Levitz Explains More About Worlds' Finest, Earth 2". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/653oQcFwB. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- Levitz, Paul (w), Pérez, George; Maguire, Kevin (p), Koblish, Scott (i). "Rebirth" Worlds' Finest 1 (July 2012)
- Harvey, James (June 29, 2009). "Press Release for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Direct-to-Video Animated Feature". World Finest. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=483. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- "Cover Art for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse". Superhero Hype!. June 26, 2010. http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/103028-cover-art-for-supermanbatman-apocalypse. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- World's Finest Online official website
- World's Finest Comics at the Grand Comics Database
- Batman and Superman: World's Finest at the Grand Comics Database
- World's Finest Comics at the Comic Book DB
- Batman And Superman: World's Finest at the Comic Book DB
- World's Finest Comics at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Batman and Superman:World's Finest at Mike's Amazing World of Comics