Category Archives: Elseworlds

Elseworlds Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl

Elseworlds Finest - Cover

Today’s installment of Elseworlds we’ll be discussing 1998’s Elseworlds Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl.  If you would like to read along at home you might be able to find a copy at your local comic book shop but the easiest option would just be to get it from Comixology here for 1.99.

Elseworlds Finest - Image 6

While this is definitely an Elseworlds story the main two characters, Supergirl and Batgirl, have their normal identities of Kara Zor-El and Barbara Gordon.  In this world there is no Superman and Kara Zor-El is the true last daughter of Krypton.  Bruce Wayne exists in this world but rather than his parents getting killed, Barbara’s parents were killed and she was raised by the Waynes.

Elseworlds Finest - Image 2

This is an interesting twist.  Barbara and Bruce are roughly the same age in this universe and have a Brother/Sister relationship.  Bruce acts in a support role similar to Alfred, while Barbara is Batgirl.  Barbara is still a computer genius and uses her “Oracle” computer program to protect and isolate the entire city of Gotham.  No one is above Batgirl’s reach and neither the Justice League or anyone with powers is allowed to enter Gotham.  Barbara keeps Gotham in a police state and while it may be safer it is clear there is mixed feelings from the citizens.

Elseworlds Finest - Image 7

In this world Lex Luthor is not a villain but instead a benefactor of the Justice League.  The story kicks off with Luthor receiving an award from Barbara Gordon (and the city of Gotham) for his work in renewable energy.  A super buff Joker who has been taking Bane’s venom uses the opportunity to kidnap Luthor.  This super buff Joker of this world is obsessed with Batgirl and uses the kidnapping as an excuse to gain her attention.

Lex Luthor was the one who found Supergirl when she landed on Earth and represents a father figure to her.  She becomes distressed learning he has been kidnapped and, despite knowing Gotham is off limits, enters the city anyway to rescue him.  Batgirl is immediately alerted and confronts Supergirl.  Once seeing how distressed Supergirl is, and possibly realizing that she is overpowered, Batgirl invites Supergirl to assist her in finding Luthor.

Meanwhile Luthor cuts a deal with Joker and gets Joker to work with him in exchange for an unlimited supply of venom.

Batgirl takes Supergirl to a secret underground lab of Lexcorp where we learn the true nature of Lex Luthor.  Superman had in fact come to Earth but Lex got to him first and used the Kryptonite from the crash to kill Kal-El while he was still a baby.  Lex has since been using Kryptonian technology and Kal-El’s own corpse to further Lexcorp.

Elseworlds Finest - Image 4

Supergirl naturally goes into a blind rage and is set on killing Luthor for the horrible acts he has committed.  Batgirl manages to stop Supergirl from killing Luthor and we then learn Batgirls backstory.  An aging Joe Chill winded up getting a commuted sentence for killing her father in exchange for naming names.  One of the people he named was Luthor as the man responsible for contracting the murder that killed her father.  Jim Gordon was never the target that night, Joe was suppose to kill the Waynes but when Jim Gordon intervened he was killed instead.

The award was a set up from the start.  Batgirl planned it to get Luthor out of Metropolis long enough for her to gather evidence against Luthor.  Luthor plays it off that it doesn’t matter anyway because he is beloved and no one will believe their story against him.  However Batgirl had been live streaming the entire encounter which Luthor had confessed all.

Elseworlds Finest - Image 5

The comic ends with Supergirl burying Kal-El’s body and that start of a friendship between Supergirl and Batgirl.  Barbara however hides away a kryptonite ring stolen from Luthor “just in case”.

Overall I really enjoyed the comic.  I think it was a fresh take on both of the characters.  Rather than just being side characters or part of a bigger bat or super family this had Batgirl and Supergirl front and center as the leaders of their world.  I did think it was odd that they didn’t go by Superwoman and Batwoman seeing as they were the main forces in this world.  This isn’t a huge deal but would have helped to separate this world from the typical DC Universe.

I liked the different take on Batman’s origin in which it is the Gordon’s that died instead of the Waynes.  I liked that Bruce Wayne takes on the role of Alfred and helps assist Batgirl while she’s out in the field.  They appear to have a romantic relationship in the public eye but seem to be truly platonic while in private.

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My only real complaint is that I would have liked to see more of the rest of the world this comic takes place in.  We got to see some bits and pieces on how things are different such as Abin Sur as this worlds Green Lantern but it never really goes into any depth.  This is just a one shot comic so they are limited on what they can tell in this story but it would have been nice to see more.  Part of what I really love about these elseworlds comics is the details and smaller changes.

Anyway if you like Elseworlds and are a fan of Supergirl and Batgirl this is definitely a book you should check out.

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Elseworlds Comics 1 – Detective Comics Annual 7 1994

Batman as a pirate? Why the fuck not.  This is the first part of my multi-part series where I’ll be going through a bunch of Elseworlds Annuals that I picked up at Comicpalooza.

Detective Comics 7

This is the story of Leatherwing who is a pirate in service of the King of England (King James II). While it appears that Leatherwing gives all of the treasure he collects on the high seas back to England he actually keeps a portion for himself in order to buy back his lands and family fortune which was taken from him. Leatherwing is captain of the Flying Fox (a Zorro reference) who he sails with his first mate Alfredo.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 Picture 1

The story starts with Leatherwing (Batman) saving a Panama (Panamanian?) Princess Quext’chala from Spanish pirates. After rescuing the Princess he returns her to her father and the Princess gives Leatherwing a bracelet as a gift of gratitude. Unbeknownst to Leatherwing this is actually an engagement ritual and the Princess now believes herself to be married to him. Leatherwing takes the Princess back to his secret port to deal with this marriage misunderstanding at a later time. Leatherwing has no intention of marrying the Princess but does not wish to offend the King of Panama.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (4)

While Leatherwing is stopped in Kingston the street urchin Robin Redblade sneaks on to the Flying Fox. While hiding out on the ship Robin learns that some of the men are planning to mutiny. Robin tells Leatherwing of this plot which Leatherwing shows his gratitude by allowing Robin to be a Buccaneer on the ship.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (3)

Next we cut to Capitana Felina (Catwoman) whose crew is in the midst of mutiny. She finds an unlikely ally in the Laughing Man (The Joker) who intervenes and kills off the mutinous crew mates. To pay him back for his help Felina agrees to seduce Leatherwing and tell the Laughing Man the location of his secret port.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (5)

The Laughing Man has Felina walk the plank of his ship knowing that Leatherwing is near by and would intervene. Leatherwing does just that and saves Felina just as she is about to be eaten by a shark.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (2)

Now a guest on Leatherwing’s ship Felina has a change of heart and begins to develop real feelings for Leatherwing. Before returning to Leatherwing’s secret port Felina decides to betray the Laughing Man and stay with Leatherwing. However, once the Flying Fox returns to port Princess Quext’chala throws her arms around Leatherwing and kisses him. Felina sees this and is shocked. She asks a crew member who this woman is and they answer that this is Leatherwing’s wife. Felina, feeling betrayed, leaves the secret port to give its location to the Laughing Man after all.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (6)

Robin follows her and is captured by the Laughing Man’s crew. Once captured Robin berates Felina for betraying the man who loves her. Felina explains that he betrayed her by romancing her while he was already married. Robin explains the situation with the Princess and tells Felina how she means nothing to Leatherwing. Felina understanding what she just did rebels against the Laughing Man and frees Robin. Felina fires off a Cannon near Leatherwing’s secret port in order to give them warning of the impending attack.

Detective Comics Annual 7 1994 (8)

With Felina’s warning shot Leatherwing is able to get to the Flying Fox and attack the Laughing Man’s ship.  After some fighting Leatherwing eventually straight stabs the Laughing Man in the chest and kills him.  Felina explains what happens and apologizes and Leatherwing and Felina sail off to the sunset together.

jerry final thought

Overall the story is ok, but I never really got into it.  What I like about these Elseworlds stories the most is when they really flush out a universe.  This story had a lot of Batman elements in pirate form but I never felt that any of it really had legs of its own.  It was just “here’s pirate Robin, here’s pirate Alfred, here’s pirate Catwoman”.

There story felt like it was just a once over coat of paint.  It looked ok on first glance but if you really picked it apart there’s not much there.  For instance why was Batman so loyal to the English crown?  He was giving away the large majority of his pirating to the crown while only keeping a small portion to himself to rebuild his family fortune.  In the comic he says that he is pirating specifically because his parents were killed and all his titles / fortune were  stripped by the crown.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Again the overall story is feels fine, I just wish they had worked on the details more.  While this issue isn’t available digitally if you are interested in Leatherwing there is another adventure in Batman Chronicles Issue 11.


Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League Gods and Monsters Deluxe

The next DC Comics Original Animated Movie is coming out on July 28th and will be a little different than the usual fanfare.  Instead of being a movie based on classic story arc from the comic books, this film will be a completely original property from Bruce Timm (the man who created the look of Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s).  This will be an Elseworlds story that will be taking a radically different approach to the Justice League we know and love.

Justice League Gods and Monsters

In this world Batman is not Bruce Wayne but actually Kirk Langstorm (Man-Bat) and is a Vampire.  Superman is still the last son of Krypton but no longer the son of Jor-El.  In this world Superman is instead the son of General Zod.  Wonder Woman isn’t an Amazon in this world but one of Jack Kirby’s New Gods named Bekka.

Not only will there be a new movie but there will be a slew of other material as well.  First, there is a 3 part web series by Machinama, which you can watch below.  DC has already announced will be a second season in early 2016 featuring 10 additional episodes.

There will also be a line of action figures.

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And lastly, a daily digital-first comic book.  The series will debut digitally on July 1st and release 18 issues daily ending on July 18th.  This series will be a prequel that will dig into the origins of the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman of this new universe (source).  You can the first part featuring Batman here on comiXology.

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I am planning on going all in and buying the movie along with getting all the issues of the digital-first comic series.  It is no secret that I love a good Elseworlds story so this whole thing is right up my ally.


DC Comics 1994 Elseworlds Annuals

Elseworld's Finest Vol 1 2

Since I put this site together my first instinct was to review/talk about the new comics I get each week.  However, these posts take me a while to put together and really the quickest I could get something out would be 2-3 days after the comic was released, which is approximately 7 years in internet terms.  So by the time I got my review out there would already be hundreds of professional and amateur sites that do just that. Frankly I don’t know if my opinion on new comics is that unique that I need to throw in my two cents.

That being said this is my website so I will write about whatever I want to, which may include reviews of new comics from time to time (YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!).  But for the most part I focus my reviews on older more obscure stuff I like from the 90’s.

I’m a child of the 90’s and while I didn’t really read comic books much back then, the big boom comics of the early 90’s were the color pallet of my childhood.  Things like Batman the Animated Series, the X-Men cartoon, pogs, and Crystal Pepsi were my jam.  This actually works out great for me at this age in life because the comics I am most interested in collecting (stuff from the early 90’s) is literally some of the least valuable comics available and super easy to find.

So one of the things I love in Comic Books (besides early 90’s X-Men) is Elseworlds stories (What if… stories if you’re nasty).  I really enjoy getting new takes on well known characters that put them in situations I would have never dreamed of (Superman Red Son is easily one of my favorite series of all time).

What makes Elseworld stories so great you ask?  Well a couple of things.  First, Elseworlds stories are self-contained and a lot of times appear only as one issue comics.  You get a short, but complete story, which is given to you in a self-contained universe.  Second, because these are non-canon stories anything can happen.  Major villains and heroes can die so the stakes are a lot higher.

This is the list of 1994 Annuals that I was able to buy

  • The Adventures of Superman 6 “The Super Seven Part I: The Longest Night”
  • Batman 18 “Black Masterpiece”
  • Batman: Shadow of the Bat 2 “The Tyrant”
  • Catwoman 1 “The Last Man”
  • Detective Comics 7 “Leatherwing”
  • Green Lantern 3 “Ring of Evil”
  • Justice League International 5 “No Rules to Follow”
  • Justice League of America 8 “The Once and Future League”
  • Legends of the Dark Knight 4 “Citizen Wayne”
  • Lobo 2 “Western”
  • Robin 3 “The Narrow Path”
  • Steel 1 “Crucible of Freedom”
  • Superboy 1 “The Super Seven Part II: The Men of Steel”
  • Superman 6 “The Feral Man of Steel”
  • Team Titans 2 “Into the Light”

I only have 15 of the 23 so I am missing 8 but honestly the rest of the list is pretty obscure (L.E.G.I.O.N., Legionnaires, Legion of Super-heroes etc.) so even with my OCD completionist mindset I’m fine not having all of them (though if I see it I’ll pick up Action Comics Annual 6).  I’m still a little amazed I was able to find the 15 that I did find at once.  I was able to get all of these at Houston Comic-Con (Comicpalooza) over Memorial Day weekend.  At first I had only found three (Batman, Detective Comics, and Superman) and was checking out when the stall owner said he had a bundled a few together which contained 12 more.

So my plan is to treat this like I do my Mystery Comics and periodically review these from time to time as I read them.  So be on the look out! This is just the start of more to come!


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