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DCU Spotlight Review Batman/Superman : World’s Finest #6

Overview:

In Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6, Batman and Superman go back in time to help Robin solve a murder at the circus.


Synopsis (spoilers ahead)

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6 starts in 1892 in Corto Maltese, where Dick Grayson’s Robin is back in the circus. He is spending time with the Stratford World-Famous American Circus this time. Cesar, the lion tamer, is about to shoot his lion because someone said the lion killed someone, but Robin stops him. Dick calms down the crowd and gets the other circus workers to give him a few days to figure out what happened. Even though everyone thinks the lion and the bear did it, no one saw either of them hurt anyone.

Dick does some sleuthing and thinks behind closed doors to find out that neither animal hurt the two dead men. He comes to the conclusion that these two men were part of a group of three who came to San Diego and joined the circus on the same day. The most likely killer is the third man, Charlie Boyce.

 DCU Spotlight Review Batman/Superman : World’s Finest #6

In the present, Batman, Superman, Supergirl, and the Doom Patrol look for clues about where Robin is. Under a rock near the tomb of the Devil Nezha, Superman finds a stone with a note carved into it by Robin. Superman and Batman go back in time to find Robin by following a tachyon trail back in time with their X-ray eyes. Two heroes pretend to be new circus acts to get close to Robin. Superman is the strongman of the circus, while Batman does acrobatics and walks a tightrope.

Dick tells the two heroes that he is trying to put together proof that the other performers will believe that Boyce is a murderer. His approach to forensics was too modern for the people of this time.

A fire starts while Batman and Robin do a high-wire act. Robin comes to the conclusion that it’s a cover for another crime. Superman runs into the fire and saves people. When Batman and Robin get into trouble, they find Boyce in a cage with a lion. Boyce is being eaten by a lion, but the Dynamic Duo saves him, and Robin talks to Cesar, the lion tamer.

Cesar is in the hands of Batman and Robin at this point. Robin figures out that the two people killed and Boyce were bank robbers trying to hide. Cesar saw when the second victim and Boyce killed the first victim. Cesar asked to be paid for his silence, and eventually, he talked Boyce into killing the second person. Cesar would keep that money for himself, so he locked Boyce in a cage.

When Robin saw Cesar run away from the fire and leave the animals to burn, he knew Cesar didn’t really care about them. He also figured out what was going on when he saw that Boyce was locked in the lion’s cage and that Cesar was the only one with the keys.

Batman, Robin, and Superman leave the circus after giving Boyce and Cesar to the right people.


Analysis

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Readers get a break from the high-stakes action of the first five issues of this series in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #6. Even though Robin is stuck in the past, writer Mark Waid and artist Travis Moore use this to let Robin use his detective skills on a circus caper.

This issue is a complete throwback to the Silver Age of comics. Robin puts together the clues in the background and only shows his hand at the end of the caper. Even though there aren’t many stakes, the team behind the show uses a storyline about a circus in the 1800s to give Dick Grayson more depth. In this issue, he’s very much like a child again.

He’s back in touch with his love of the circus, his memories of his parents, and his tender, obsessive desire to dispel myths about lions. Waid breaks the myth that lions are dangerous by having Robin solve this circus mystery. Even when Batman runs to save Boyce from the lion, someone says that a lion’s bite isn’t much stronger than a dog’s. It’s weird and seems a little out of place like it was stuck on.

Still, this is a fun topic. Travis Moore does a great job of adding to the style and mood set by Dan Mora in earlier issues of this series. Tamra Bonvillain, who has colored other issues of this series, helps keep this issue’s bright colors and light tone in line with the last story arc. Both the coloring and the artwork have a sense of fun that makes it seem like the people who made it just wanted people to enjoy how silly the story is. When most of the other Batman books on the shelf are about dark things, it can be nice to read one that takes place in the past.


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