World’s Finest 30 – Rollo returns, Johnny Everyman ends, and the story that introduces the giant penny from the Batcave

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Why is Superman catching a lift on a fire engine?  That would have been an interesting story, maybe.  But it’s not in World’s Finest 30 (Sept/Oct 47).

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Bill Finger and Curt Swan bring back Rollo, the World’s Fattest Man, in the Boy Commandos story in this issue.

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Back in the US, Rollo sets his sites on the oil fields, just as Tex and the other Boy Commandos arrive in the same place, by pure coincidence.

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Aside from that fluke, the story is fun, and Swan’s art is very good, particularly the accurate detail of the oil drilling operation.

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Johnny Everyman’s series comes to an end with this piece on road safety, by Schiff and Daly.  wf30_005

It’s a pretty straightforward tale, it’s road safety after all, and does not require any historical background or world cultures to be explained.

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Johnny Everyman even has one of his “students” complete the lecture for him.  While this may be an indication that he retired, he seems awfully young for that.  And considering the period, I think it more likely that the secular global-minded Johnny was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee and charged with being a communist.

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Look!  It’s the giant penny!  The much loved knick knack makes its debut in this story, by Finger, Kane and Burnley.  Isn’t it nice to know that Bob Kane created it?

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The story that it appears in is pretty good as well, surprising for a Batman story in this book.  Joe Coyne is a young thief who has a severe mental breakdown after going to prison, and develops an obsession with pennies.  When he gets out, he uses pennies as the theme of his crimes, as well as using them in the robberies themselves.

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Despite its prominence on the slash page, the giant penny has a small role in the tale, which comes pretty early on.  Batman uses it against Coyne’s gang.

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Robin even gets some enjoyable action in the tale, as Batman flies the Batplane, pulling Robin along on waterskis to catch up with the hoods.

This story would be re-told, fairly faithfully, in an issue of Batman Chronicles in the 90s.

 

 

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