"Worlds Apart": Many years ago, a kid lost his parents, the Monks; and he was taken by an elder man that took care of him in his orphanage. The man taught this kid the value of crimes and society's perception of them. All the kids in the orphanage were part of this man's crime ring, acting on hi
Appearing in "Worlds Apart"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Commissioner Gordon
- Jimmy Olsen
- Lois Lane
- Perry White
- Reverend Adam Monks (First appearance)
- Reverend Oliver Fulbright (First appearance)
- Barbara Gordon (Cameo)
- Byron Wylie (On a TV or computer screen)
- Jor-El (Dies in flashback)
- Lara (Dies in flashback)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Martha Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Jonathan Kent (Flashback only)
- Martha Kent (Flashback only)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)(Behind the scenes)
- Zackary Sikes (First appearance)
- Ann Gray (First appearance)
- Gotham City Fire Department
- Gotham City
- Kansas (Flashback only)
- Krypton (Dies in flashback)
- Midway City
- Midway Orphanage
- Kryptonian Rocket (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Worlds Apart"
Many years ago, a kid lost his parents, the Monks; and he was taken by an elder man that took care of him in his orphanage. The man taught this kid the value of crimes and society's perception of them. All the kids in the orphanage were part of this man's crime ring, acting on his behalf and doing all the dirty work. The Monks kid became part of the gang, although reluctantly at first, he eventually started to enjoy the criminal capers. However, once the orphanage's illegal activities were exposed, the man was taken by the authorities and the orphanage was closed. Before leaving, the man left the Monks kid a special ring, as a token of his personal appreciation.
Many years later, the dark and mysterious Gotham City has a protector who is not afraid of chasing down the criminals that endanger the city. Batman is chasing down a couple of these, who have stolen a jewel store and he saves young children from being harmed by one of the thugs. The remaining criminal makes an escape attempt, but finds himself cornered in a dead end alley. As Batman approaches, the man pulls out a deck of cards and takes one to his mouth, tossing the rest to Batman. The man immediately collapses and dies with a rictus grin in his face. Batman takes the card from his mouth and recognizes the Joker's trademark.
Metropolis on the other hand, is a bright and honest city in which businesses thrive and people abide the laws. Their protector, Superman keeps a close eye on the city, giving its citizens hope and keeping the streets safe from dangers. When a traffic accident develops into a street brawl, Superman intervenes and stops the white-collar men from attacking the bus driver. It is then that Superman learns that these men carry Drugs with them and he takes them to the Metropolis Police Department, only to find out that Lex Luthor has already send their legal team to prevent the thugs from going to prison, much to his frustration.
Later in Midway City, a new orphanage has been opened with the combined efforts of Reverends Adam Monks and Oliver Fulbright, thanks to an anonymous benefactor. Many people from the neighboring cities have been invited to the opening ceremony, including Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon from Gotham and Perry White, Clark Kent and Lois Lane from Metropolis. Among the discussions in the place is the fact that Lex Luthor was outbid by the mysterious benefactor for the orphanage. Seeing such notorious personalities from different cities got some of the orphans discussing who is a better hero, Batman or Superman. Part of the ceremony was the screening of the last recording done by the previous owner of the orphanage, Byron Wilie, prior to his death, in which he apologizes for his past crimes and asks for forgiveness. Even though the guests are shocked to see such video, most of them agree that it was a good thing coming from a bad man.
Once the ceremony is over, everyone returns to their resting places, but Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne can't help but have disturbing nightmares about their traumatizing pasts.
In the meantime and unknown to everyone, Lex Luthor has arrived to Gotham in order to buy an old abandoned house and start the slow process to take control of that city. However, Luthor doesn't expect that the house that he intends to buy belongs to the Joker. During the sour first meeting, Joker and Luthor come to an agreement in which Joker gives Luthor the place for five million dollars and the chance to roam the streets of Metropolis for a month without interference. Once the deal is finished, both criminals set their respective plans in motion, to start over in different places.
That night, the Bat-Signal summons Batman to a building that has been set on fire by a faulty machine owned by Luthor's company. Batman makes haste towards the place and once he gets there, he learns that the building will collapse entirely if the machine is not stopped. Since none of the employees are authorized to stop the machine, the towering device that stands next to the burning building will eventually explode and blow the entire block away. Batman decides to take action and climbs to the top of the machine with his Batrope. Once there, Batman attaches plastic explosives to the machine and sets the timer to explode in 30 seconds, to give him time to descend. Unfortunately, the machine starts collapsing into the sewers, but only a few inches. This sudden shift caused Batman to lose his grip and he was barely able to grab a hold of the ledge of the machine. Right then, Luthor suddenly arrives at the place and using a master control, he deactivates the machine, ending the threat. However, Batman's explosive is still active and the Dark Knight is forced to jump down as the machine explodes. Luthor watches as Batman falls to the streets and tells Gordon that once he is in control of Gotham, he will have vigilantes like Batman shot on sight.
The next day, things are not any better in Metropolis, as the news start broadcasting the theft of a playing card company. Superman goes out to investigate, only to find that a couple of fat men, dressed as clowns are wreaking havoc in the streets by crushing several vehicles with a monster truck while leaving laughing gas and slime on they way. Superman deals first with the laughing gas and removes the source before opening a hydrant to get rid of the gas with water. He then goes to stop the fat men, but they toss a bomb to the crowd, forcing Superman to take the bomb and fly to the heavens, where it explodes safely. This distraction allows the fat men to escape through the sewers and when Superman takes the manhole cover to chase them, he gets a pie in the face with a spring mechanism. The people on the streets laugh at the hero, but the hardest laugh among them is the Joker, who pretends to be a tourist, who just happened to be at the place to watch the scene.
The next night, Batman talks to Gordon on the roof of the GCPD Headquarters and he tells him how awful he feels knowing that he was manipulated by Luthor. Gordon tries to cheer him up by telling him about Superman's encounter with the Joker in Metropolis. Meanwhile, Superman is talking to Perry on the rooftop of the Daily Planet, sharing the same thoughts as Batman, and Perry does exactly what Gordon did, only he tells Superman about Batman's encounter with Luthor. It is then that both heroes realize that they are both fighting the same battle and that an alliance seems like the best approach.
In the meantime, Joker gets himself more comfortable with his new surroundings in Metropolis as he starts planning several other crimes, while Luthor does the same in Gotham. Learning that his presence in Gotham is being well received by the public eye so far, Luthor continues his plans of expanding his criminal empire to Gotham, but not before he gives himself to his most basic needs with his hired help.
Later on, it is Open Day at the Midway Orphanage and many of the guests that were first invited have returned in order to stay updated with the progress of the place. All the kids at the orphanage have prepared their most valuable items to put on display, but one among them caught the attention of both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. It is a scrapbook where two of the kids have drawn Batman and Superman, explaining why they are their favorite heroes. After this touching moment, Bruce asks Clark to meet him outside of the building. When they find themselves alone, they realize they need to work together to stop Joker and Luthor, but Bruce is reluctant to actually "team-up". Instead, they decide that each of them will suddenly have important business affairs in each other's cities in their civilian identities and this will help them understand what are their enemies plotting.
Once the Open Day is over, the guests retire from the orphanage, unaware that Reverend Monks has a dark secret with a mysterious man inside the place.
- This book was first published on June 28, 1990.
- This issue is the first comic book featuring Batman and Superman under the World's Finest logo since the cancellation of World's Finest (Volume 1) in 1986. This marks a return to the team-up format of old, with modern characterizations.
- The Reverends of Midway Orphanage are drawn in resemblance to the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
- Clark Kent keeps a calendar of Pee-wee Herman in his office at the Daily Planet.
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