This is a review of World’s Finest Silver Age Volume One, featuring the adventures of Superman, Batman, and Robin. Special shout-out to Lois Lane, who appears in most of these issues. These comics were produced in the fifties. They’re not good but if you’re a Batman/Superman fan I’m sure you’ll like them.
Or maybe you won’t. The plots are relentlessly weird – in one issue Batman, Superman, and Robin travel back in time and become the Three Musketeers, complete with tricorn hats and ruffled shirts! In another Batman and Robin gain Superman’s powers, while The Man of Steel must contend with being a mere mortal! In yet another story, Batman and Superman switch secret identities in order to fool Lois Lane, who has gone from hating Clark Kent to thinking he’s Superman!
Reading these comics is like having a midlife crisis – stay with me, here. Say you decide to take your vacation at a nudist camp. Your kids are horrified, the neighbors are bemused, but you need to show everyone you still got it. Except when you go, it sucks. Everyone is flabby, middle-aged, and out-of-shape (just like you!), mosquitos are everywhere, you burn yourself sunbathing on the beach, get poison ivy playing nude volleyball, and end up with food poisoning.
When you go back home, you’d just as soon forget the whole thing, but there’s that one person who took photos and videos of everything and posted them on Instagram & Facebook and now he keeps on cc:ing you and won’t go away. That’s what reading these issues is like.
Batman & Robin and Superman were created in the late 30’s. By the 1950’s, they’d reached middle-age and their creators were regularly jumping the shark, pick your reason. Which is to say: these comics aren’t good, which isn’t the same thing as saying I didn’t like them. Because I did like them, even though they were bad and when I finish this graphic novel I won’t remember any of them.