Friday, August 28, 2009

World's Finest Friday- a tip of the tiny, purple derby to World's Funnest

If there is anyone in the world who understands the magic of Silver Age DC comics, it has to be Evan Dorkin. In addition to his numerous other accomplishments, Mr. Dorkin authored a DC one-shot called "Superman-Batman: World's Funnest". Superman and Batman are only tangential characters in this awesome romp through the DC "Universe" as the action centers on those annoying 5th dimensional pests, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite. Look, making fun of something is easy, crafting a perfect parody is genius.

Mr. Dorkin starts us off with a brilliant homage to World's Finest, in which the "World's Finest Team" (Batman and Robin and Superman) have just foiled a team up by Lex Luthor and the Joker. But before the baddies can be sent off to jail (from which they will doubtless escape or be paroled), Bat-Mite shows up and decides to make things more exciting, and Mxyzptlk shows up to irritate Superman.

The two imps begin fighting and things soon get out of hand, escalating to the demise of the entire JLA and all the supporting casts of Batman and Superman (seeing Green Lantern taken out by a bunch of bananas is a riot). The beginning and ending sequences are beautifully illustrated by Dave Gibbons (of "Watchmen" fame). Once the Silver age is out of the way, Mxy and Bat-Mite take off, hopping from reality to reality, destroying everything in the DCU, including stop-overs at the Super-Friends, "The Dark Knight Returns", and "Kingdom Come". There's even a wonderful sequence in which Bat-mite expresses his dismay at how dark and violent and un-heroic all the modern DC heroes are (kudos, Mr. Dorkin!!). If you've never read this, track one down at Amazon, you won't be disappointed.

And, if you like this, please be sure to track down the anthology book "Bizarro Comics" by Evan Dorkin, et al. It's full of clever little goodies featuring your favorite DC heroes, re-interpreted by the indie-comics set.

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