World’s Finest 13 – the Daily Planet turns 100, and the Star-Spangled Kid makes a movie

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There actually is a connection between the cover image and the Superman story in World’s Finest 13 (Spring 1944), although I have no doubt it was coincidental.

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The Daily Planet turns 100 years old in this story by Don Cameron, Ira Yarborough and Goerge Roussos, and Perry White intends to put out a commemorative edition.

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This tale shows more of the Daily Planet staff than we have ever seen before.  Clark Kent and Lois Lane are joined by Jimmy Olsen, whose place at the Planet is unquestionable by now.  We get taken through various levels of production as we meet other staff members, none of whom will ever appear again.

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All these staff members get roles in this story, though, as gangsters kidnap a couple of them, and threaten the rest unless Perry pulls a story Lois is writing about them, and turn over her evidence against them.

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Superman is made an honourary Daily Planet staff member after he saves the day.

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The Star-Spangled Kid heads to Hollywood in this story, by Howard Sherman.

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The Pembertons own, among many other things, Mammoth Studios, but it has been losing money.  His father sends Sylvester out to make a hit, and he clearly enjoys the role of director/producer.  He intends to make a heavy hitting documentary about the poor.

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Thugs interfere in his production, and so he and Stripsey don their outfits to fight back.  The sequence where they get thrown into the studio water tank, used for filming miniatures, ought to be a great sequence, but the art really lets it down.

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The bad guys have been using the studio to send coded messages to German spies in the country, but that isn’t clear until the last page.

In an enjoyable coda, Stripsey cut footage of their fights into Sylvester’s documentary.  The Kid is furious, but the picture becomes a hit comedy.

This clearly gave Sylvester the bug, as many years later he would return to Mammoth Studios, using it as the base for Infinity, Inc.

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