By 1941, Superman and Batman had reached popularity beyond precedent, each starring in a pair of ongoing comic book titles. Looking to cash in further on their most profitable characters, the company that we now know as DC created a giant-sized quarterly anthology called “World’s Best Comics,” which was immediately retitled “World’s Finest Comics” for its second issue. Each installment of “World’s Finest” featured a Superman story and a Batman story, and the cover always depicted Superman, Batman, and Robin engaging in some sort of activity together, whether that be playing baseball or selling WWII war bonds.
Within the actual pages of “World’s Finest,” however, Superman and the Dynamic Duo wouldn’t actually cross paths for years. To see Batman and Superman together in one story, you’d have to catch them during one of their occasional guest-starring appearances as honorary members of the Justice Society of America, such as in “All-Star Comics” #36 in 1946. It wasn’t until issue #71 in 1954 that “World’s Finest” became an actual team-up book, in which Superman, Batman, and Robin would engage in crime-fighting adventures together on a regular basis.
“World’s Finest” would run for a total of 323 issues, featuring original Batman/Superman team-up stories with only a few interruptions between 1954 and 1986. Even as the tone and format of superhero comics evolved from light, almost sitcom-like tales of misadventure to more grounded, serialized dramas, the alliance between them was rarely shaken.