Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

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.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

World’s Finest 67

Superman

One of the richest and meanest people in Metropolis  is the first we see here. He is constantly in the papers for things like failing to pay taxes or trying to evict people. He hates every on in the city, ironically it was his own ancestor who founded it! Musing on this hate he is hit by a car, and his doctor tells him his chance of survival is slim. So he decides to get revenge on the city before he dies.

Now we finally get to see Clark. He is asking Lois about the condition of Galloway (the man from above) who is still living a few days later. She heads out to get the information for the paper and Clark heads downstairs to the printing room, because he heard a shot. He has to stop a hold up there, though two crooks escaped before he arrived. Oddly what they stole were newspapers from the day before, basically valueless. That’s just the beginning too, from here on every where he turns there are crooks stealing random worthless things. They’re coming from all over as well, and Superman has to build a new jail to hold them all!

But it isn’t just Superman and the police after these petty crimesters, a gang shoots down a few who stole some glass beads from the museum, for reasons yet unknown. Superman gets his first clue when bank robbers steal a box of pennies from the vault. Each coin had a nick on it, and by stacking them by order of date he was able to see, well something. It hasn’t told me yet. But we shoot over to the crooks, who had shot the other gang. They too have figured out a code from the beads, but they said it was useless without all the clues.

But they learn that Superman has learned of the real reason behind the robberies and so decide just to go after who put the clues out there in the first place- Galloway. So they kidnap the man, who cleverly/stupidly drops a pill every once in  awhile to leave a trail. (Stupid because what if he needs one immediately? I mean I don’t know what kind of pills they are, but it sounds dangerous to toss them) Due to a hunch Superman was at Galloway’s very soon after and finds out about the kidnapping. he then goes to the police and explains about what we have learned. Galloway invited all criminals to find the clues which lead to a five million dollar treasure hidden in Metropolis.

Using a information line Superman was able to follow tales of those who saw the car, the line of pills, and a light in an abandoned building. Superman found the treasure and picked it up on the way to save the man. The crooks gave up at once. He then explained how he wanted to  rial the town up, cause gangwars, and make life hard for the citizens. But after hearing about the phone line that saved him, and the numerous cards wishing for him to recover soon, he changes his world view. He donates the money to charity and devotes the rest of his life to doing good.

Tomahawk

Tom and Dan and sneaking through town, on a mission for the rebels. They have to sneak as they have been ordered to be arrested on sight, and they have a list of minutemen on them hey dare not let the British see. They are seen however, and while ducking into a place to hide they over hear that there is a traitor. Taking a few instruments off the wall they march into the room, playing Yankee Doodle. The leader of the group in there thinks i is a great joke for a Tomahawk imitator to be playing the insulting song, until he is told it’s the real Tom. But it was too late at that point, as they were behind the man, and slammed the drum down on his head.

They also saw the traitor’s face, and so when they managed to leave their pursuers behind, they went to their meeting and told them what the man looked like. It was the owner of where they were meeting right then! and he lead the redcoats straight to them. By dropping the curtain on them Tom and some other rebels escape, and the traitor is left to make a comic parade for the prisoners, and more the British were going to pick up that night. Tom and Dan come back though and capture the man, and then take him to one of their men where he is bound.

Knowing that the parade will incite anger Tom plans to turn that anger to free their men, and changing a few words in Yankee Doodle would be their cue. After spending the night making signs and the like Tom and Dan start the parade. Their signs do the trick and the watching crowd is filled with anger at the procession. The prisoners begin to sing, and as it is a song written to mock them they aren’t stopped, but the words are new and call men to action.

The town fights and sings, and the prisoners are freed, and run to safety. They new words still booming through the air, Tom and Dan return to the woods until the next time they are called upon.

Green Arrow

A prison break, lead by a crafty man by the name of Micheals brings Oliver and Roy from their beds in the middle of the night. Because eight people escaped with him on the eigth of August Micheals decides eight is their lucky number. He dresses as an octopus, gets an octopus, and lets his new pet choose what crime they are going to pull. They go to an ice show and as the star makes a big figure 8 her skates melt an opening for the gangsters, and they begin to snatch gems. Oliver and Roy were in the stands though and manage to run off the crooks and make them drop the loot.

Next they aim to rob a boat race, and by pretending to be one of the racers and saying they sprung a leak they are brought aboard a large ship. Though they ship gets a message off, the police (and the heroes) don’t get there on time, but Oliver begins to piece together the pattern of 8. He sees the eight escapees on the tv at some sort of show, and so he and Speedy head over. They manage to capture the entire gang, except for Micheals, who then swears to kill GA.

He posts his threat in the newspaper, and says the number 8 will be they undoing of the archer. When there is a robbery on route 8 GA heads out, even though it was almost the time set that the Octopus said he would perish. Turns out they had found the bomb that was left in the Arrowcar- which has 8 letters- and road out there cause they knew he’d want to watch them die. They chase him to the hideout, have a brief tussle with the pet octopus, but get him in the end.

Batman

A man gets access to his full inheritance, and at once he goes out on dangerous expenditures, like big game hunting, and climbing Mount Everest. Being that he is a wealthy man in Gotham, naturally he knows Bruce. Though he hates to leave a case unfinished, Bruce goes to one of this man’s parties to keep his cover. Naturally criminals try to rob the wealthy guests and the host, but with Batman on hand I have no fear they’ll lose their stuff.

And I was right, Batman takes them down, and the thrill the young man gets fills him with a burning desire to fight crime, ya know for the fun of it. I do get a kick over how Robin thinks it’s impossible to have a millionaire detective. Have you forgotten who you live with? Mostly this causes Bruce alarm because the man is sure to get hurt, and possibly get in Bruce’s way as he has announced he is going after the same man Batman is hunting.

A rare book is being brought into the city and both Batman and the new detective think that it is a likely target of robbery for the Zero (the man they’re hunting). So while Batman and Robin take up guarding from afar, the new detective buys the entire store the book is being delivered to, and sits down to wait for the thief. Zero had himself delivered in a crate, and Batman could have gone after the man as he left with the loot, but he had to save the life of the millionaire instead.

The next day Bruce goes to see the man (as Bruce) and pretends to be interested in becoming a detective himself. He hears the man is offering thousands for information on the Zero. He is told that he himself will be robbed, and so he and the tipster (who I think is Zero) head to his estate. The place is empty as he called the servants and told them to leave. The tipster collapses, and while bending over him the new detective is hit. (I still think it’s him. The panel isn’t quite clear enough to prove it’s not.)

Batman and Robin, who are arrive in time to run off Zero without the gems he was after, but another point to my thinking it’s that guy, as the Zero’s mask is found in the house, and he claimed his head hurt, even though he was clutching his stomach when he fell. I mean he might have hit his head when he landed, but…

To keep a better watch on him Bruce joins the detective agency that the man had set up. As his next step the detective had issued a challenge in the paper sating that he would have a million dollars in the office that night if Zero wanted to try for it. His men had orders to keep Batman out, but haha, jokes on them he’s right next to you! Fucking Called It! Sorry a bit ahead of myself. Batman goes out of the room to change, he had figured out that the tipster was Zero, and so had no qualms diving in the window despite the fact the tipster was supposedly a hostage to Zero. (It was dark, like a fuse was cut or something) Batman explained how he had figured it out (dust, prison records) and in showing the skills needed to be a detective Batman finally put the man’s dreams of being a detective to rest.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Oct

World’s Finest 66

Superman

Clark gets the goods on a major criminal, King Sapphire. When he reaches the apartment of the man however, he has vanished. But there was a card on the floor, calling Sapphire to a meeting with a man called ‘the Mask’. In order to catch more crooks Superman decides to take Sapphire’s place for this meeting. He and a couple of other crooks are there and they are each given a task. Superman is asked to build his strength, while the others work on a radio and with blasting powder. Because the Mask keeps mentioning further plans Clark goes along with the bank robbery that was planned. But he is stopped by the cops and his suit torn, revealing the blue costume underneath.

He tries to explain to the judge, and as he is Superman he is let off, but he cannot find the real Sapphire to prove his innocence. Soon a vast a majority of the population was doubting Superman, thinking that maybe he really was a criminal, and his previous captures were just to bolster Sapphire. Finally Clark ‘admits’ he is Sapphire and gathers a gang of his own, as he wants to catch them. The only one who doesn’t come is the Mask… Quickly he pieces together that the Mask is Sapphire and brings him in, saving his reputation in the process.

Green Arrow

This one cheats a bit about the archers never using guns. I’m not actually sure that they didn’t break it. I’ll let you decide. See Roy and Ollie were at sea, and their ship got attacked by pirates. We didn’t see much of the fight as Oliver was knocked out in the first minute, so I don’t know if they got away with anything. The thing is he was knocked out from behind, before he even drew his bow. Whatever, later they land and he and Roy are talking about all the things they’re gonna see and do. But they come across a group of men who were being attacked by raiders, who were also the pirates from earlier. They run in to help and chase the bandits off.

The men they fought with were members of the foreign legion, sent to take down the bandits, but they had been separated from their regiment by a sandstorm. Then they had been sabotaged, and had no ammunition, so their job looked hopeless. GA and Roy quickly make them bows and arrows at the oasis, and taught the men how to use them. Then they charged they hideout of the pirates. They fought valiantly, taking out cannons with their arrows, but a small accident left them with their bows incapacitated. So GA took one of the guns and used it to shoot his flaming arrow into the powder room. It probably killed several of the pirates… And it’s never found out who sabotaged the group, or hit Ollie before the battle started.

Tomahawk

The British capture a coastal town and force the men to work at making them new ships. It is no coincidence that the American’s best sea fighter came from that town, and that he was heading that way. Tom and Dan stepped in to free the town, but after they take down the leader back up comes, and he adds the frontiers men to his group of workers. It seemed hopeless to fight back. Even the man who fought back the hardest ended up offering to make them fine figureheads. Of course Tom and Dan were given the dangerous task of hitching the figureheads up. Once the ships left for battle though they were soon given away, as the figureheads called out warnings to the approaching Americans. Then using the surprise our heroes leap from their hiding places and team up to take down the enemy ships.

Batman

In this last story of the month a dangerous criminal was diagnosed with a rare heart disorder. Only four others in Gotham have it. Well obviously the crook cannot tell the doctor what he does, and so gets a list of restrictions that don’t really apply to him. A story in the newspaper gives him the idea that he should use the other men with the condition to see what he can and can’t do. Luckily for those men, Bruce’s name had been put in the folder by mistake, and so Batman knew about the kidnappings at once.

But Bruce couldn’t just sneak out the prisoners, as there was another hostage at a different location. He secretly contacted Robin, and put him on finding the woman. Meanwhile Batman had to keep the other men safe. He did this by slightly sabotaging each test, first turning off the power so the elevator wouldn’t work, and they didn’t want to walk 50 flights of stairs. Then he secretly took the place of the man sent underwater and cut the rope on barnacles. Finally he turned on the sprinkler system so there was no way the man could climb a slippery surface.

Seeing how everything went wrong the man figured someone was behind it, and so tried to flee. But he put too much faith in his human guinea pigs, and thinking he could swim because Bruce had done so, he tried to swim to his boat and perished.