World’s Finest 68
Superman “The Menace from the Stars”
A large asteroid is slowly (or maybe it just seems to be slow due to the size and distance) falling toward Metropolis. Superman heads to an observatory to get the down-low before he stops this danger, and is informed that there is something similar to kryptonite upon the falling stone. Naturally Superman still goes to stop the asteroid, but he now knows it may be dangerous to him. He knocks the thing away, saving America, but he falls as soon as this is done, crashing into a tree and splitting it down the middle. He sees others dressing in costume, having been at a ball, and thinks he must have been out with them. He has no memory.
He finds his Clark clothes in his cape and changes, and continues to walk aimlessly around town. He goes by the Planet and thinks he should go inside, as papers typically cover the artist’s ball and someone may have seen him there. Of course, his co-workers know him, to his surprise. He tells them he has no memory, and they are like ‘dude did you hear the news Superman has vanished!’ Great friends there. Of course, Clark doesn’t know who Superman is.
Lois pulls out a picture and Clark realizes he was dressed as Superman the night before, but thinks it was as a gag as Superman was his friend. We hear a news blurb from the radio, warning the people about tidal waves, caused by the asteroid being so close. Not realizing he can do something about those he heads out to see a doctor. On the way he comes across a bank robbery. Thinking only to scare the men he puts on the Superman costume he has, and they shoot him. Realizing who they had shot at the criminals give up, and Clark thinks it is just the costume that protected him. He thinks Superman must have given it to him.
He accidentally breaks a fire hydrant, and comes to the conclusion that Superman had given him the suit- which gave him powers- because he wasn’t sure he’d come back. He thinks he probably got amnesia by over doing his new abilities, and begins to try things out, like flying. When he feels he has a handle on it he heads out to combat the mighty waves. That done he begins to deal with the other effects of the asteroid,such as a cyclone, and other weather disasters.
However the asteroid was still causing damage from it’s new orbit around the planet, and Clark knows he must get rid of it for good, even if he must die like his friend Superman. He heads out and smashes the foul thing, and returns home where he plans to tell the world Superman perished, and left him a magical suit. But as he heads to the office, wrapped in his thoughts he gets hit by a car. Finally the man figures out who he is, and when he turns in the typed up story of events he realizes that his memory is returning.
Tomahawk “Nine Men Against Fort Mohawk”
In the middle of the night, mid summer 1776, Tom and Dan have hurried to a coach in the middle of the night in response to a missive marked ‘very urgent’. The man in the coach had a mission for the two from General Washington. He shows them a map, where a fort holds the entire valley, and it can’t be straight up sieged, as the British have civilian hostages. It is up to Tom to remove the hostages, after which the battle can begin.
Tom requests seven men from a allied tribe join him and his friend on their mission. In order to keep the British from seeing him as an American scout he and Dan stain their skin and dress like their friends before they begin. On the way to the fort they see many people heading the same way, supply wagons and new troops. Once they arrive Tom scouts ahead, and finds out that a different tribe is working with the British, guarding the area.
Tom and his men drive a herd of cattle from the nearby farms into the woods that surround the fort, and hiding amongst them the nine men (well eight and Dan) sneak up to the fort. Then Dan and Tom wipe away their dye, because they don’t want the hostages to be scared of them. (rolls eyes seriously that wasn’t even necessary. they hid from everyone they passed.) Then Tom hurls his tomahawk over the wall, where it buries itself in the wood and the men began to climb over in the shadows.
Once inside the fort they begin to pick off any guards with silence and precision. They lead they hostages away, and light a fuse to a keg, rolling it toward the fort entrance just as an alarm sounds. The keg blows, and Tom drives the supply train full of rescued civilians out of the fort. Quickly he troops follow, leaving a skeleton crew behind. We then find that the wagons hadn’t been filled with our people, it was merely a distraction. Tom and the rest come out of hiding and handily take care of the remaining men. (How is the wagon supposed to keep going? Are they counting on the horses being scared of the troops following them?) Anyway, They rebuild the door, and when the British return, the Fort is American held. A few hours later more American troops arrive, and Tom and Dan head back to the woods.
Green Arrow “The Mystery of Vanishing Villains”
The Arrowcar is chasing another vehicle (which isn’t cool enough to have a name) through town, and despite their close proximity they don’t see what happens to their prey as they literally vanish from the car. Something similar occurs the next night, as bank robbers crossing a rope over a road also vanish. GA and Speedy talk over these occurrences with the police, though they have no new information to offer. Heading home Oliver suggests to speedy that the disappearances are due to illusions of darkness and light. In order to keep a better eye on the criminals GA is going to record the next time they head out on film, in the hope it might see something they missed.
Naturally they once again find criminals, who vanish before the heroes can capture them, and they head home to watch the film. I shows us nothing new. This leads to them having another brainstorming session, when Ollie reminds us that all the vanishings have all occurred at night. Oliver figures that maybe it’s necessary for the trick that it be dark, and if he makes it bright they may not be able to vanish. So when they head out this time they pack flash bulb arrows, but even with it as bright as day, they see nothing. One moment they are there, and then, gone.
Searching for clues Oliver notes the gearshift of the car is in neutral. Maybe they had never been in the car? Simply pushed it down a sloped road. Roy points out they had seen the people, but Ollie seems to have figured it out. He pointed out that the crooks crossing the rope, hadn’t effected the rope with their weight, as they would have had if real people had been on it. On the night they recorded the escape they see that their foes didn’t leave footprints in the sand. The next day they are called to another robbery, they shoot thread arrows at the figures and it is revealed they are balloons. The balloons lift them in the air, and they release the air and drift down to the real crooks. Quickly they whip them and then they explain to the police, but it is still unclear as to how they can make the balloons vanish. It they drift off, that would be seen. If they were rigged to pop, there would be rubber left behind.
Batman and Robin “The Secret Weapons of the Crimesmith”
Batman and Robin swing down from their batlines and capture a robber, who we see being sentenced in the next panel. He of course swear revenge on the duo. While in prison the man, Garrow, is shown to be a genius with machines and is eventually paroled. Soon afterward whispers being about the crimesmith, a man who can furnish any weapon, and we see a man named Whitey Willerson being taken to the ‘crimecave’. Once there Garrow tells Whitey he’ll help him pull a job in the platinum store house, for half the loot. Whitey readily agrees, astonished by the wonder of the man’s hideout. Garrow also mentions he’s gonna make a machine to rob all of Gotham.
We cut to the platinum robbery which is pulled off by using a machine to drill into the warehouse from below. Before they make their escape Batman and Robin arrive. They chase they machine as it returns to the earth. Unfortunately the tunnel begins to collapse, and Robin is struck on the head, and Bruce has to carry him from the tunnel. Then they go over the records of people who could possibly be the crimesmith- as they guessed he must be behind the drilling machine. They find Garrow’s records, and see that it fits.
Meanwhile the crimesmith is planning another job. The plan was simple, a helicopter was flow above which had a magnet attached to it which lifted the armored car delivering the funds from one bank, to the newly opened one. When they land and open the truck two figures, one dark and one brightly attired, launch themselves at the fiends. The fight is quick, and they question their captives about the crimesmith, but they can’t tell us much, just that people are brought to the crimecave blindfolded, by a circuitous path, and with earplugs. Also about the weapon he’s planning for Gotham. They also mention some of the things they saw in the cave, such as a giant sun lamp.
Batman asks the cops to keep an eye out for the lamp, and they soon get a call. They head out to a movie set, where they are using real gems for the treasure. The light from the lamp bursts out and blinds the cast and the criminal heads to reap what he has sown. This is when Batman arrives to find the set lighting on fire from the heat, and knows he must protect the people. The light also helps protect the criminals as they flee, blinding and pursuers. Batman puts out the fires, but the crooks have gotten away with the jewels and some old film. Thinking that last bit odd, Batman asks to know what was on the film. Apparently they were scenes from sci-fi films, scenes of destruction. Knowing the caves around the area very well, so as to be sure none connected to the batcave, Batman knew there was no cave nearby a car could enter (barring their own).
Bruce and Dick step inside the manor to relax briefly, but once seeing the television, Bruce has an idea and runs back to the cave. He explains to Dick as they change, but not to us. They begin to search for… something. Soon on screens across the city scenes of robots destroying the city appear, and it is set to seem as though they are real. Like that radio show about the martian invasion, it sparks terror into the heart of Gotham. Robin uses the batplane to write in the sky and reassure the people, while Batman is looking for the crimecave. Batman finds the place, in an old warehouse which is disguised on the inside. Garrow turns the sunlamp on Batman and he pulls out a mirror and blinds the criminal. He then turns the cameras to himself, and tells the people everything is okay.