Overview: In Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #15, it is revealed who is responsible for the death of the fake Simon Stagg, and the threat is bigger as it involves the robot apocalypse.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): As Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #15 begins, Red Tornado is in Eastern Kentucky. He is dealing with massive flooding and has rescued a couple of kids. Suddenly something seems to happen to Tornado. He says protocol omega and starts to spin out of control. This is Chapter Three of Elementary, Ultramorpho.
That is exactly who is attacking Superman and Robin now. He has become pure kryptonite, severely weakening the man of steel. Robin is able to put a barrier between Ultramorpho and Superman, allowing him to drag the weakened Kryptonian out of harm’s way. While Robin gets Superman out of the area, Professor Ivo appears to be gloating over a com signal. Robin is able to get Ivo to admit to the death of the fake Simon Stagg. Ultramorpho, unfortunately, has caught up to the fleeing heroes. Help is on the way, Metamorpho himself has arrived, but he is not alone. Batman augmented with the Metal Men as armor also has arrived. There are, however, more problems.
In Washington DC, Mekanique brainwashed normal citizens to help the robot revolution. All that is standing in her way are the members of the Doom Patrol, including Robotman. Unfortunately, in the mele, Steele’s program is corrupted, leaving Rita and Larry alone against their own teammate.
Batman, with the augmentation of the Metal Men, engages with Ultramorpho. Batman unleashes the Metal Men to attack. Lead does not directly attack, he instead gives Superman the armor he needs to face the kryptonite in Ultramorpho. To counter this, Ultramorpho becomes acid, burning Robin’s leg and overcoming Batman and Superman in the fumes. Metamorpho is also injured in the counter-attack, and Gold calls for a retreat as Ultramorpho flies off with the unconscious Batman and Superman. The Metal Men grab the injured Robin and Metamorpho and fall back. We next get a scene in Colorado where the Challengers of the Unknown are facing off with Ultivac.
We catch up with Robin, Metamorpho, and the Metal Men. Metamorpho has recovered, and Gold tends to Robin’s leg. Mason is shouting about having to retreat, and Robin stands up to him, showing him that he has a monitor for Batman’s vital signs and he is still alive. With Batman alive, there is a good chance that Superman is also alive. Robin wants to formulate a plan, or else they will fail in their attack again, but first, they need some backup. He attempts to contact the Teen Titans; however, Kid Flash reports that they are occupied with a robot uprising off the coast of Maine. Robin orders the Metal Men and Metamorpho to split up and bring back whatever help they can find.
Superman regains consciousness, Batman helps him to his feet. They find themselves in some kind of plant. They find themselves amongst the other captives, including Magnus, Dr. Cyber, Toyman, the Bug-Eyed Bandit, and Ivo. Ivo, however, is also a prisoner. When Superman attempts to talk to him, he collapses unconscious. Before he collapsed, he mentioned his own creation. Superman finds Amazo, but he, too, appears to be a captive as well. Batman finds Magnus and attempts to talk to him. Magnus tries to get Batman to be quiet, saying that their jailer does not like it when they talk, he will hurt them.
Their jailer does cause the three severe pain forcing them all to their knees. The final reveal is that their captor is the child of both Ivo and Magnus. He is Amazo 2.0, known as NewMazo, and he is the end of the human race.
In Gotham, Robin tries to contact Supergirl. She, too, is occupied with Chemo. She will join Robin as soon as she can. Robin, however, has more pressing problems of his own. The Batmobile fails to respond to Robin’s control and is headed straight into a brick wall. Next issue, Rise of the Robot Overlords.
Analysis: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #15 is packed with easter eggs. Not only do we continue to see the Doom Patrol in this story, but we get others as well. We see the Metal Men in action along with Red Tornado and the Challengers of the Unknown.
The story answers the big question, but in the process, another question is revealed. We see what is responsible, but it does not appear to be from a robotics genius but the robot itself that has enslaved its creator and strikes out on its own. NewMazo appears to be operating on its own, but it has the power to overwrite the programming of other robots, including Red Tornado and Robotman, who is actually a human brain in a robot body. With the heroes all preoccupied, who can step in to help Robin rescue his friends?
This begs the question about Robotman. How is he being controlled? He is not a standard robot like Red Tornado and Amazo, he actually has a human brain. The robotics in him is confined to his body, not his mind, so how is Newmazo controlling him?
The art is basically the standard fare for superhero comics. This is not to say that it is bad, it is actually very good, but it is expected for this type of story. What is interesting to note is the costume designs of the characters. Batman has a yellow oval on his chest, and Robin, whose identity is not revealed, appears to be Dick Grayson. His costume includes pixie boots even though he is wearing green pants. Also, the Teen Titans roster includes Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash. This is the roster before the New Teen Titans, the era that includes Dick Grayson as Robin. My guess, based on the art, is that this story does not take place in the main continuity of the DC Universe.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with a copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.