Just in time for the 25th anniversary of “Back to the Future” its Superman/Batman #79 featuring Superman and Batman from DC One Million! (Just an aside here, have the efforts of today’s superheroes been so unsuccessful in battling evil that we need superheroes thousands of years from now?)
As DC would have it the superheroes of today have inspired the heroes of the 853rd century and if we are going to have heroes from there we are going to have villains.
Our story starts with the villain, his name is “Epoch” and his intention is to conquer the 853rd century with the aid of his “anti-hourglass” (which looks like a cosmic dumbbell). Naturally his plans are almost immediately thwarted by the arrival of the Superman and Batman from that era and it’s off to prison he goes.
Ah, but that is all part of the plan. Epoch microwaves the robot Robin’s brain that was innocently filling him in on prison rules. (Another aside, can you imagine if robot Robin was programmed to be like the Damian Robin of our time? Epoch would have insisted on the deepest darkest solitary confinement.) After making his escape and breaking into the future Batcave, Epoch goes looking for a battle suit. Now we all know our Batman is ten steps ahead of everyone. Not so much in the future! 853rd century Batman appears on the scene and taunts Epoch that the suit is useless without its control core. “You mean this one!” re-taunts Epoch and disappears into a Boom Tube. Guess Batman 853 didn’t see that one coming.
Epoch comments on how clever the current JLA is (Really? Not so much so far) as he breaks into the JLA headquarters. He gets off a good line about heroes and their trophy rooms (which is true these guys keep everything) and just as he is about to grab the cosmic dumbbell Batman appears on the scene. Yay, he’s not that clueless after all! A battle ensues and “not clueless” Batman comes out on the wrong end as he proves to be “Unlucky Batman” and one of those damn souvenirs lands on him.
See! Throw that stuff away!
Epoch booms away and because he has been taking notes as he travels through time he gets into Superman’s fortress of solitude by knowing the password and following Supes in. (Guess he’s not so bright either.)
Another sardonic (but true) quip about trophies and he finally finds what he’s after. But, oh snap, Superman 853 arrives because even though he was supposed to be in the 5th dimension he has 5D hearing! Do your homework Epoch! (Another aside, the 5th Dimension? Does that mean he likes “Up up and away in my beautiful balloon?” That would fit.)
Superman of the 853rd isn’t fast enough (apparently) to prevent Epoch from getting into his Chrono cube and he gets away again! He has a lovely little interlude where he takes time to pat himself on the back as he heads towards the 3rd millennium where the pickings should be easy. Just as he is proclaiming himself “Master of Earth” Robin the Teen Wonder says not so fast as he is joined by Superman and Batman from that era. Let’s hope these guys are a little more on the ball than their future versions.
No doubt Superman and Batman of the 853rd are scratching their heads wondering where Epoch has bounced off to now. I bet we haven’t seen the last of them as this is just part one of “Worlds’ Finest” in this series. I’m actually intrigued by this Chris Roberson story even though the future heroes seem to be a couple fries short of a happy meal. His Epoch character is written in a funny self-aware style that I hope we see more of. The art afforded by Jesus Merino and colored by “Blond” supports the story well as the detail is superior without going overboard. It all has a nice nineties aesthetic to it. I liked the humor and wit and the fact that the future heroes don’t always have their “A” game working.
(Oh and p.s., don’t fret about robot Robin of the 853rd. He’s “rebooting”.)
Reviewed by Dark Knight Dave