World’s Finest reimagines Batman & Superman’s first meeting
Superman and Batman first met each other on a cruise. Or was it during a fistfight? World’s Finest says it was actually while solving a case involving a mystery language and The Riddler.
For newer fans of DC Comics, it may be hard to fathom the idea that Batman and Superman weren’t immediately friends. The two stayed in their own books for some time, in an era where popular heroes didn’t really meet up.
The two finally met in 1952’s Superman #76, but it’s rarely been the canon meeting. The first time Batman and Superman meet has been told and retold time and time again over the years, under different circumstances and with different twists.
Now that intro has been retold again. A reimagining isn’t anything new, but the latest version gets straight to the point, pitting the two against a common threat before they start fighting each other.
Batman and Superman’s first meeting is retconned
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest is a beautiful throwback book that tells stories of Superman and Batman set during their early years. While the two are friends and partners, it’s still a rocky relationship as the two get to know each other.
World’s Finest #18 presents the latest take on the first meeting between the two heroes. Rather than be on a boat, Superman arrives in Gotham City to help Batman solve a crime that, to him, is impossible.
The Riddler winds up being the impetus for this version of their partnership. He’s sharing riddles in indecipherable language. In Metropolis, Clark Kent realizes they’re in Kryptonese and sets out to help.
The case is more than just riddles, though, as people are vanishing into thin air. The two are off to a rough start, with both needling the other about their secret identities. Batman relents first, though, when Alfred goes missing. The two set aside their differences and start the case in earnest, searching for Riddler in an effort to save the day.
It’s perhaps the most down-to-Earth take on the meeting and one with the least friction. The original meeting, later retold in 2006’s Superman/Batman Annual #1, has Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent as impromptu roommates on a cruise ship. The two are revealed to each other in the wake of a plot to foil a diamond heist.
Perhaps the most famous take on the meeting is 1986’s The Man of Steel #3. Here, Superman is blackmailed into tracking down Magpie when Batman threatens to detonate a bomb that would kill an innocent in Gotham (the bomb, it turns out, is in Batman’s utility belt, and the innocent person is Batman himself). Other takes over the years involved tropes like Batman trying to help when Lex Luthor equips a gang with Kryptonite weapons or the two meeting in a fistfight during New 52’s Justice League #1.
World’s Finest has played fast and loose with previous events, but it is canon, given its role in last year’s Lazarus Planet event. So, for the time being, it looks like Batman and Superman’s new meeting has been permanently rewritten.