Batman Artist Hides Dragon Ball Z Reference In New World’s Finest

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest artist Dan Mora revealed a subtle reference to Goku in the art of the series’ new issue, available now from DC Comics.

Warning: spoilers for Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2 are ahead.

fans of Dragon Ball Z and Batman from DC Comics never expect to see their favorite characters cross over into each other’s stories, but that doesn’t stop comics artists from making references in their work. While manga and Western superhero comics are usually viewed as two separate entities that have little to do with each other, many Western comics artists have been influenced by manga such as Dragon Ball Z and Naruto. This most recently came to a head in the newest issue of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2, drawn by artist Dan Mora.


Dan Mora has made a name for himself in DC Comics with interior art on Batman-related books, drawing several issues of Detective Comics and the Future State: Dark Detective series. Mora’s work also extends into indie comics such as Once & Future, a series from Boom! Studios with writer Kieron Gillen and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. his current series of him, Batman/Superman: World’s Finest resurrects a classic DC title featuring a team-up between Batman and Superman, emphasizing the friendship between the two heroes. The title also features adjacent characters such as Robin and Supergirl. and-while World’s Finest is a DC book through and through, Mora’s hidden Dragon Ball Z reference adds a piece of unexpected flair that appeals to fans of both Superman, Batman, and Dragon Ball Z.

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On Instagram, Dan Mora posted a panel from Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2, where a warrior from ancient China strikes a similar pose to Goku from Dragon Ball Z. The scene arrives just as Robin (Dick Grayson) and Supergirl are transported back in time to ancient China in order to learn how a recently-surfaced foe, the Devil Nezha, was first defeated by a group called the House of Ji. Understandably, the sudden appearance of Supergirl flying while holding Robin sparked confusion from the House of Ji, thinking that they were “soldiers of Nezha.” Given the level of power associated with Nezha, the House of Ji’s warriors readied themselves for battle, with one of them posing exactly like Goku. Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2 is written by Mark Waid, with art by Dan Mora, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Aditya Bidikar.

Mora’s Goku reference comes at a time when more and more Western comics artists are speaking about the influence of manga on their work. Recently, Batman artist Jorge JimĂ©nez shared his own tribute to Naruto, which he credits as the source of his inspiration for becoming a comics artist. Considering that DC currently has its own manga-inspired ongoing series, Future State: Gothamand the current Robin, Damian Wayne, is a manga reader himself, it’s never been more evident the impact that manga has had on their Batman titles.

Dan Mora is without a doubt one of the most recognizable talents in comics today, and his reference to Dragon Ball Z‘s Goku in World’s Finest evidences his deep love for graphic storytelling. While manga and Western comics are usually seen as completely separate from each other, artists like Dan Mora prove that both forms can coalesce through contemporary creators’ work. By adding in a subtle Dragon Ball Z reference, Dan Mora honors the impact that manga has had on his Batman-related work at DC Comics.

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Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #two is available now from DC Comics.

Source: Dan Mora

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