World’s Finest 5 – the Crimson Avenger ends, TNT and Dyna-Mite debut, and Sandman tosses the envelope

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The cover of the first issue of World’s Finest to come out after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, issue 5 (Spring 1942), reflects the US entry into the war, but the stories within do not.

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Lehti and Paris bring the Crimson Avenger’s run in this book to a close with a story that is not on par with the last issue, but still better than most of the Crimson Avenger tales in Detective Comics.  Actors in a play leave the stage to rob the audience in the middle of a production.  The Crimson Avenger and Wing find that play’s author tied up backstage.  He explains that the thieves took the places of the real actors.

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Later, the gang robs a jewelry store, again replacing the real employees.  But what did happen to the real actors?  Lee Travis does not use that as the crux with which he solves the case, but he could have.  The leader of the gang is the playwright, you see.  There never were any real actors to replace.

The Crimson Avenger and Wing continue to appear in Detective Comics.

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TNT and Dyna-Mite debut here ahead of their run in Star Spangled Comics,  by Mort Weisinger and Al Carreno, which pits them against the Crime Clown.

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Tex Thomas and his student Danny Dunbar, come across the site of one of the Crime Clown’s robberies.  He has knocked out a restaurant full of potential victims using balloons filled with gas.  He really couldn’t be more like the Joker if he tried.

Tex and Danny touch hands, which causes their clothes to fly off, revealing their costumes underneath.  It’s kind of creepy, but it does enable them to gain super-powerful punches.

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They defeat the Crime Clown and his gang.  Not much to it, really.

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Dian Belmont makes her last appearance until the 1980s in this Sandman story, by Cliff Young.  In his series in Adventure Comics,Wesley Dodds had already switched to the purple and gold uniform, making this also the last time the classic gasmask costume appeared.

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The story itself is pretty complicated, with a woman enlisting Sandman’s aid to stop her ex-con brother from kidnapping her son, while trying to keep her husband in the dark about it all.  The husband does find out, and the brother gets killed after kidnapping the boy.  So Sandman didn’t really help as much as the woman hoped he would.  He does free the boy by throwing an envelope of sand in the brother’s eyes.

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