"DC Archives: Batman: The World's Finest Comics, v.2"
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It turns out I'm not much of a fan of WWII-era 1940s superhero comics -- as several earnest forays into the DC Archives and Marvel Masterworks reprint series have painfully proved just how clunky and dull the comics of that era can be... However, I gotta say that this collection of Batman & Robin stories from the pages of "World's Finest Comics" is a lot of fun. This second volume collects the duo's adventures from issues #17-32 (though it doesn't include any of the Superman stories or other backup features - a straight, issue-by-issue archive of the full "World's Finest" books might be rewarding as well...) Anyway, while I've found many of the 1940s DC comics to be quite boring, these stories are charming and well-paced. The boyish interplay of Batman and Robin was clearly aimed at a younger audience, and the lighter stories prefigure the goofiness of the 1960s "Batman" TV show, as well as the comedic style of the 1950's "World's Finest" adventures where the dynamic duo teamed up with Superman. They're fun stories.
Also of interest is how the tone of the book changes over the years -- because the immense, thick "World's Finest" comic only came out a few times a year, the sixteen issues in this collection span the years 1945-48, and in the later episodes there's a hint of the lurid, hard-on-crime tone of the grittier, noir-influenced crime comics of the postwar years (by Charles Biro, et. al.) I picked this volume up mostly because I found it at the right price, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I also liked the similarly-paced two volumes of Robin solo stories from Star-Spangled Stories, around the same era. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain kids comic reviews)