skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
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It's cold and lonely here in Minnesota, so I hope you'll enjoy this!

"World's Finest" was kind of an odd title in the Silver Age. Although it starred both Batman and Superman, it was much more in the Superman "camp", using his artists, editors and writers. This meant that many of the stories tended to use characters and themes that had appeared in the Superman titles, and were behind the times when it came to the Batman side of things. In this case, the story riffs on a story in Superman #181, and adds some Batman.

Five of seventeen pages of what's a fairly unusual story for the Silver Age, plus some extras.

Splash page is just Muto and Joker fighting the Batman-Superman team, so on to actual story...

Muto is understandably displeased to find nothing but an old-fashioned playing card in his ship, and takes off after the Joker, descendant of the original. (Apparently the facial appearance of the Joker is a dominant gene, or he had plastic surgery because dang! he sure looks similar. Muto quickly catches up and the two do battle on a small planet.

The two villains team up to steal a hyper-nuclear core which Muto needs to recharge his ship's engines, after which the Joker can sell the remainder on the black market. Naturally, they do this in Metropolis, home of Klar Ken T5477, reporter for the Daily Interplanetary News Service. He quickly changes into Superman.

Superman dries off and heads to his new Fortress of Solitude in the center of the sun. (His old invisible satellite Fortress was too easy to access.) It's mentioned in passing that Kandor has finally been enlarged. He looks in his Hall of Villains and Heroes, which has statues of Muto, Joker and Batman. He remembers what he was taught of past Batmen, and how they teamed up with their respective Batmen.

Suddenly, Batman appears! But isn't he dead? Nope, this is Bron Wayn E7705, son of Batman XIX, who was killed by Joker XIX with a bomb that also killed Bron's mother and all the members of his family who knew the secret. Bron had been a baby at the time so was not at the ceremony. It was only when he reached adulthood and returned to Wayn Manor on Baltorr Asteroid that he discovered the Batcave and the truth about his heritage. He's been training ever since to become Batman XX, in hopes of using Joker XX to track down that villain's father. But now that he's ready, Joker has teamed up with Muto, and Batman needs Superman's help.

The next day, a sinister vessel lands on Ondo, the carnival world. Joker is to loot the main box office to distract the police while Muto steals the planet's Zarianite deposits. Batman is disguised as the cashier (adult tickets are 75 space-tokens, children 25.) Soon, Superman and Batman have forced the villains to flee, but are not able to capture them.

After some pursuit, Superman is able to disable Muto's ship, which crashlands on the planetoid Thorium, a place of constant lightning storms. Joker and Muto split up to hide.

Joker heads for an abandoned weather tower, the constant lightning strikes keeping Batman from just flying to overtake him. Once he does catch up, Batman's superior fighting skills and quickly acting to remove all of Joker's gimmicks give him the advantage. He questions Joker as to the whereabouts of the previous Joker.

Wow. That's a pretty downbeat ending for a Silver Age comic book. As far as I know, this was the only outing of this particular Batman-Superman team. Later trips to the Thirtieth Century were all to the Legion of Superheroes timeline.

The backup feature in this issue was a reprint from Detective Comics of January 1956. Roy Raymond, TV Detective was one of DC's many gimmick detective, his gimmick being that he had his own television show. This story was titled "The Genius with Super Power" and was illustrated by Ruben Moreira. 2 pages of 6.

Roy is holding tryouts for his show "Impossible But True." A man with magnetic shoes fails the "seen it before" test. But the next contestant, Charley Foreman, promises that he's got some better stunts.

To his surprise, Roy can find no hidden machinery or tricks in or the car. Then Charley makes the fourth floor of a skyscraper vanish by blowing at it. After that, he hits a baseball so hard it nearly hits a jet plane. And finally, Charley wins at roulette forty times in a row betting on number four.

The next day at the studio, Roy shows Charley a monitor with live feeds from Los Angeles, the mid-west, and New York, all of which are showing live coverage of parades with the number four prominently displayed. Charley is duly impressed by Mr. Raymond keeping his promise, and does the same by returning to the fourth dimension. But how did he swing all those celebrations? Turns out it's the Fourth of July!

Roy;s son eventually showed up post-Crisis as Owlman of the Outsiders.

A couple more features. First--

Mind you, the ability to fly does not establish that you have precognitive abilities.

And a public service announcment.

Your thoughts and comments?

Happy New Year,
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