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. Michael E. Uslan has speculated that this was because DC received a cease and desist letter from Better Publications, Inc., who had been publishing a comic book entitled Best Comics since November 1939. Virtually every issue featured DC's two leading superheroes, Superman and Batman, with the earliest issues also featuring Batman's sidekick, Robin.
|World's Finest Comics|
Cover of World's Best Comics #1 (Spring 1941)
|Publication date||Spring 1941 – January 1986|
|No. 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|
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 title often depicted Batman gaining superpowers as a way to avoid having him be overshadowed by Superman. Lex Luthor and the Joker first joined forces in issue #88 (June 1957). A new supervillain, the Composite Superman, was introduced in #142 (June 1964). Noted Batman artist Neal Adams first drew the character in an interior story in "The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads" in issue #175 (May 1968).
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. He introduced Batman's older brother, Thomas Wayne Jr., in World's Finest Comics #223 (May–June 1974). This story was used as a basis for a plot detail in the "Court of Owls" story arc in 2012. Issues #223 (May–June 1974) to #228 (March–April 1975) of the series were in the 100 Page Super Spectacular format.
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. The Hawkman story "Drive Me To The Moon!" in #272 (October 1981) featured Hawkgirl changing her title to Hawkwoman. 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. David Mazzucchelli, the artist of the "Batman: Year One" storyarc in 1987, first drew Batman in a backup story in World's Finest Comics #302 (April 1984). Issue #314 (April 1985) was the last pre-Crisis and first Crisis on Infinite Earths appearances of the Monitor and (Lyla) Harbinger. The series ended with issue #323 (January 1986) by writer Joey Cavalieri and artist José Delbo.
A number of World's Finest titles have since appeared:
|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|
|Batman and Superman in World's Finest: The Silver Age Omnibus||1||Superman and Batman teamup stories World's Finest Comics #71-116 and Superman #76||March 2016||978-1401261122|
|Green Arrow Golden Age Omnibus||1||Green Arrow stories from World's Finest Comics #7-28; More Fun Comics #73-107 and Adventure Comics #103-117||January 2018||978-1401277208|
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.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
It became challenging for writers and artists to tell a story without one hero overshadowing the other. A common gimmick was for Batman to swap powers with Superman, something he did for the first time in [issue# 77].CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
|← Adventures of Captain Marvel film serial was released. See Adventures of Captain Marvel for more info and the previous timeline.|| Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)
|The first Doctor Mid-Nite was debuted by Charles Reizenstein and Stanley Josephs Aschmeier. See Doctor Mid-Nite for more info and next timeline. →|
Agent Axis is the name of two fictional comic book supervillains from DC Comics.Baron Blitzkrieg
Baron Blitzkrieg is a fictional supervillain in the DC Comics universe, originally residing on Earth-Two. He first appeared in World's Finest Comics #246 (August–September 1977). His first several appearances marked an antagonistic relationship with Wonder Woman and he later faced both the Amazon and Superman towards the end of World War II.A version of the character named Baron Reiter appears in the fourth season of the television series Arrow played by Jimmy Akingbola.Composite Superman
The Composite Superman is a DC Comics supervillain, an enemy of Superman and Batman.DC Chronicles
The DC Chronicles is a line of trade paperbacks, chronologically reprinting the earliest stories (based on publication dates) starring some of the most well-known DC Comics superheroes.
Stories are reprinted in color with no ads, providing readers access to original Golden and Silver Age comic book stories which had previously been reprinted in the DC Archives format. The volumes were priced significantly lower than the Archives series in order to be more affordable for the reader, with each one typically priced at $14.99 USD.
The final volumes were released in 2013. Since then, DC has been re-publishing these stories in the same chronological format in the bigger DC Omnibus series.DC Omnibus
DC Omnibus is a line of large format, high quality, full color, hardcover editions published by DC Comics since 2007, reprinting comics previously printed in single issue format. Individual volumes tend to focus on collecting either the works of profilic comic creators, like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko; major comic book events like "The Death and Return of Superman" and "Infinite Crisis"; or chronological reprints of the earliest years of stories featuring the company's most well known series and characters like "Batman" and "Justice League of America".Dollar Comics
Dollar Comics was a line of DC Comics comic book publications issued from 1977 to 1983. They included the titles The Superman Family, House of Mystery, G.I. Combat, World's Finest Comics, Batman Family, and Adventure Comics; as well as the series of specials with the umbrella title of DC Special Series. Dollar Comics were notable for costing $1, having 64 pages, and being advertising-free.Helioscope (studio)
Helioscope is a comics and illustration studio based in Portland, Oregon. Members of the studio work both individually and as collaborators on a number of high-profile mainstream and independent comic books. These include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, World's Finest Comics, Swamp Thing, and Fables.
Helioscope was founded in 2002 by Matthew Clark, Terry Dodson, Paul Guinan, David Hahn, Drew Johnson, Karl Kesel, Steve Lieber, Ron Randall, Matthew Clark, Pete Woods, and Rebecca Woods as "Mercury Studio". The studio significantly expanded its membership and adopted a new name, "Periscope Studio", in June 2007. In April 2016, it was announced that the studio would change its name to "Helioscope".Hyathis
Hyathis (also known as Hyanthis) is a fictional extraterrestrial monarch published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Justice League of America vol. 1 #3 (February 1961), and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. In all her World's Finest Comics appearances she is referred to as Hyanthis.King Arthur (DC Comics)
For the Marvel Comics version, see King Arthur (Marvel Comics).King Arthur (Arthur Pendragon) is a fictional character, a comic book King published by DC Comics. Arthur debuted in New Comics #3, (February 1936), and was created by Rafael Astarita. The character is based on the mythical ruler King Arthur whose earliest recorded appearances were in the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the Y Gododdin. The character of King Arthur was made popular by Geoffrey of Monmouth's second major work, the Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain),List of Batman comics
Batman has been featured in many ongoing series, limited series and graphic novels published by DC Comics. These titles have been handled or coordinated through a single editorial section at DC Comics. This section also generally handles titles that have spun off of the core Batman titles to feature related characters. This list presents these titles separated by general type of publication.List of Green Arrow enemies
This is a list of fictional characters from DC Comics who are enemies of Green Arrow.Madame Zodiac
Madame Zodiac is a fictional character, a comic book witch published by DC Comics. She debuted in Batman Family #17 (April 1978), and was created by Bob Rozakis and Don Heck.Moondancers
The Moondancers are a fictional DC Comics team of radical pacifist terrorists. They first appeared in World's Finest Comics #295 (September 1983), and were created by David A Kraft, L.B. Kellog and Jerome K. Moore.Oggar
Oggar, the World's Mightiest Immortal, is a fictional character from the publisher Fawcett Comics, whose publication rights were acquired by DC Comics in the 1970s. Oggar was a villain of Captain Marvel chronology in Pre-Crisis; he made no Post-Crisis appearances. He first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures # 61 (May 1946, Fawcett Comics). His first appearance in DC Comics was in World's Finest Comics # 264 (August 1980).
He was a major recurring enemy of the Marvels in the DC Comics stories published before the continuity-resetting Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries in 1985.Penny Plunderer
The Penny Plunderer (Joe Coyne) is a fictional criminal in the DC Universe, and an adversary of Batman. He first appeared in World's Finest Comics #30 (September–October 1947). The story was written by uncredited Bill Finger; the art was credited to Bob Kane.Professor Night
Professor Night is a fictional character created by Alan Moore in the Supreme comic book, wherein most heroes and villains are thinly disguised counterparts of DC icons. Although his name is derivative of Doctor Mid-Nite, the character is otherwise clearly intended be a counterpart of Batman. Professor Night works with Supreme both in a semi-regular partnership (a la World's Finest Comics) and as fellow founding members of the Allied Supermen of America, and its successor, the Allies (counterparts to the Justice Society of America and Justice League). He first appeared in Supreme vol. 3 #43.Robin Hood (DC Comics)
Robin Hood is a fictional character, a comic book Outlaw published by DC Comics. Robin Hood debuted in New Adventure Comics vol. 1 #23 (January 1938), and was created by Sven Elven. The character is based on the legendary archer Robin Hood whose earliest recorded literary appearance was in William Langland's 14th century narrative poem, Piers Plowman. The character of Robin Hood was made popular by Howard Pyle's 19th century novel The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.Tomahawk (comics)
Tomahawk is an American comic book character whose adventures were published by DC Comics during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s as a backup feature in Star Spangled Comics and World's Finest Comics and in his own eponymous series. He was created by writer Joe Samachson and artist Edmund Good, and first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #69 (June 1947). Tomahawk's uniqueness stems in part from the time frame of his fictional adventures: the American Revolutionary War.World's Finest Team
The World's Finest Team was a fictional DC Comics superhero team who first appeared in the DC Comics Dollar Comics format series in World's Finest Comics #244 (May 1977), created by Gerry Conway, with art by Jim Aparo and George Tuska. The team consisted of the Silver Age versions of Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary, along with the new, original Wonder Woman of Earth-Two.Prior to the events of Infinite Crisis, Matt Wagner re-invented the origin of the first meeting between Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in the DC Comics limited series Trinity in 2003. Combined, these three heroes are the "trinity" of the World's Finest Team (also referred to as the World's Finest Trinity). The story takes place before the formation of the Justice League.
Publications are listed alphabetically by published titles. Storylines are listed in publication order. Compiled without respect for canon or "current" continuity.