Mark Waid’s various “World’s Finest” series have been a fun treat, a look at a more innocent time in comics that still uses more modern ideas and concepts, and yeah, this is another series I got backed up on thanks to Knight Terrors.
Hey, remember when I reviewed Marvel stuff from the 80s once in a while in this space?
Issue: World’s Finest: Teen Titans #3, September 2023
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
The Plot: The Titans meet their fans at a convention.
Commentary: The Teen Titans, in this series, are apparently popular enough that there’s a fan convention for them, complete with costumed attendees, merch, and panels. And given this is the sort of thing that Kid Flash, Speedy, and Wonder Girl would really like for very different reasons–Wally is just stoked to meet fans, Roy likes to show off, and Donna is depicted as an extreme extrovert–it’s not that surprising that the team opts to go.
Well, most of them do. Batman essentially forbade Robin from going, and the scene of the two discussing whether or not that’s a good idea is a good one. Dick essentially agrees with Bruce’s basic reasoning, that the more public he is, the harder it would be to maintain a secret identity. Dick, the former circus star who doesn’t regret becoming Robin, just thinks that there’s an advantage to being more public than Batman generally likes, that it creates a better sense of trust for the people whose lives they might have to save from time to time. It’s more of a minor disagreement, something that may come out to something bigger later, but it does suggest the sort of ideological differences that would lead Dick to ditch the Robin costume and become Nightwing at some point down the road.
As for the rest, before the obligatory supervillain attack, there are some other nice moments. Bumblebee really doesn’t want to be unmasked in public for some reason, and the other Titans find the adoring fans can be a bit much after a while. Essentially, the suggestion here is the Titans find that maybe, just maybe, they would have been better off following Dick’s example and not going. But then there wouldn’t be Dick’s desire to maybe not be Robin forever to say nothing of the fact that they did have to capture that Toyboy guy, but he disappeared somehow.
Yeah, this is a fun one.