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Believe me, NO ONE comes out of World's Finest #243 looking particularly good (Except Robin perhaps), but Superman displays a whole new level of Superdickery


Forgive the scans being a little poor, these scans are from my rather tattered second hand copy of a comic from 1977. About six pages from an 18 page story.

We start with an impressive scene... (slightly marred by the narrator referring to such impressive monuments as "giant things")



Bruce Wayne has financed this project to ensure these mysterious giant statues are preserved. College student (remember when he went to college, DC apparently sure don't) Dick Grayson has also been assisting noted archaeologist Professor Bazraki whose project this was, in investigating their unknown origins, and the intriguing hieroglyphs which adorn them, and which have no link to any known language. (Can you guess where they might originate then?)

Dick notes that it cost a fortune to relocate them up the sheer cliffs, and that it would have been much easier had Superman just lifted them, and he's STILL not sure why Superman didn't help. Since he clearly doesn't remember standing right there (in the same safari suit he's wearing in the desert) when Superman told them why, Bruce reminds him. (The story is FULL of odd little moments like the following)

This is the bit which stunned the hell out of me.... Superman said no, and flew with Dick and Bruce to a certain dead-letter office, to explain why....





Yeah, I can imagine why Dick might be a little snippy, I was speechless myself. So preserving unique cultural artefacts is suddenly beneath Superman's interest? He could have flown there, lifted the ruddy things and been back in the time it took to present this Philistine attitude in so detailed a manner. (Oh, and apparently the Philistines weren't nearly as bad as their named being used like that suggests)

Sadly, the casual "blown up" reference thing DID remind me of the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan

That night, whilst the locals hired to help with the project celebrate the successful end of it, Dick and Bruce retire to their tent. Whilst Bruce catches some sleep, Dick keeps trying to break the secret language of the hieroglyphs, when he's disturbed by some weird noises from outside. Waking Bruce, they switch to Batman and Robin and race out to find two mysterious cloaked figures moving through the camp heading towards the heavy machinery of the projects.

Bruce immediately assumes they are Bedouins looking for something to steal. However, they do seem to be a little more than that as one fires an energy beam at Batman which slams him to the ground, and Robin is hit with one of the most kinetic looking punches the 1970's DC titles ever saw!



Recovering they discover that their attackers have not only vanished, but something very odd has happened.



Slightly paranoid there Dick, don't you think?

On the contrary as it turns out, now that there's something INTERESTING going on (Rather than just, y'know, rare cultural artefacts under threat of destruction) Superman is happy to help move them back up.

That night the World's Finest trio stake out the Colossi, and the Dynamic Duo watch astonished as a beam of energy hits the Colossi and they levitate up from where Superman left them to their old location (again).



Superman is tracking the beam back to where two cloaked figures are operating a giant ray gun (next to a spaceship and when he tries to tackle them finds himself outclassed.



Not only are they as strong as he is (pretty much) but they possess the powers of intangibility (making them impossible to hit) and bio feedback, which means they can generate a field of energy which redirects Superman's strength right back to him, meaning he's paralysing himself. They then fire a force-beam which blasts him near into space.

They boast that Superman should feel no shame at having succumbed to the power of "Two of the Twelve Immortals of Cy-Tor" which Superman recognises as the name for a barren asteroid out past Pluto's orbit. They are insulted by this, as it's NOT barren if THEY live there.

Batman and Robin have also followed the beam back to it's source, but Robin, being the impetuous soul he hasn't been in years, decides to storm the saucer himself...




I can see the tactical thinking there Bruce, but it does make you seem like something of a wussie.

Now he's been properly zapped, the aliens collect Robin as ar souvenir of their visit to planet Earth (And I commend their taste) and fly off with him as their captive. Batman immediately angsts along thelines of "Oh woe is me, I should have put up a better fight, what have I done to my little buddy".

Still under the effects of the force beam, Superman heads to Cy-Tor where he finds the hidden base the Immortals live on. They explain that they used to live on Earth, but had to move away millions of years ago, after the atmosphere became toxic to them. They like Cy-Tor because the atmosphere suits them, and the Colossi on Earth are needed to keep Cy-Tor stable. A flaw in it's gravitational field means that if the Colossi are not left EXACTLY where they are (even underwater) then the planetoid will blow up.

They don't want to hurt anyone (sort of), but to ensure no further interference from Superman they have set a plan in motion.



Aw sweet, they not only took Robin as a souvenir, they turned him into an ornament! (All he needs is some glitter in there to be a snowglobe! Hmmm... there might be a commission to be had out of that idea!)

Back on Earth, Bruce is feeling pretty useless, Robin was last seen being carry-on luggage on a hostile spaceship and Superman has vanished. And then...



Bit of a guilt trip there... but a sort of effective distracting technique.

Probably pretty much bored out of his mind, and there not being any sudoku in his utility belt, Robin tries to find something to help pas the time and since he's been spending so long studying the hieroglyphs on the Colossi, why not make use of the Rosetta Stone the Immortals have unwittingly just given him,



Dick is so excited he stands up to get Superman's attention, but in doing so unhooks his helmet's air hose. He's surprised to find that he's not choking on the alien atmosphere he's been told the bubble has been filled with. He realises that if the atmosphere the Immortals need is oxygen / nitrogen, just like Earths is now, then a lot of things can be sorted out



Since, even knowing what he knows, he can't leave Robin to go BOOM on some passing space debris, and since apparently he's not equipped with a radio or JLA signalling device, Superman, who remember is beyond the orbit of PLUTO, uses his heat vision to write a message one of the Colossi explaining things, but a meteor shower heading toward Robin's prison bubble means that Superman can't complete the message and he has to hope Batman is smart enough to work out the rest.

Of course, he's BATMAN, and he does, he attacks the Immortals who came to warn him about messing with their plans but they prove able to deflect his batarangs, and he's no match for them physically, which means he needs to get sneaky.



So ends happily, with the Colossi restored to their promontory ridge ahead of the flooding. Professor Barzacki says that it's like a miracle...



For what it's worth, I don't think the Immortals ever DID appear again. On the plus side, I don't think Superman was seen leaving valuable antiquities to miserable fates again.

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