Some really poorly done facial expressions on the cover of World’s Finest 35 (July/Aug 48).
Fred Ray does the art on Tomahawk’s last story in his brief first run in World’s Finest.
Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin both appear in this tale, set shortly before the Boston Tea Party. It deals with suppression of dissent among the colonists.
As they are deprived of being able to print the news, Tomahawk helps deliver messages criticizing the British commanders – although the only message we see in this tale is one about a British lord secretly being bald.
Tomhawk, Dan Hunter and his men disguise themselves as natives to get the messages past the British, an idea that Franklin decides to adopt for the Tea Party.
Although Tomahawk loses his series here, he gets his own book shortly, so it’s not really a loss. Tomahawk’s series will return to these pages as well, a few years down the road.
Kashdan and Papp bring back Bull-S-Eye for another round against Green Arrow and Speedy. Once again, he plots to destroy the archer’s morale.
Working with a secret partner, who runs an archery range, Bull’s-Eye goads the hero into going to practice there, but the range has been rigged, so Green Arrow and Speedy both have their shots go wildly off the mark.
It seems that Bull’s-Eye’s plan was to have them curl up and die after their experience at the range. Certainly he is furious when they continue to fight crime, and find that their skills have “returned.” The last couple of pages are fun, and Papp clearly enjoyed illustrating the street of neon signs that Bull’s-Eye leaps across, until Green Arrow and Speedy corner him.
Hah, did I fool you into thinking the Mad Hatter was the villain in this story? He isn’t. The Batman villain of that name had not yet even been introduced when Edmond Hamilton, Kane and Burnley crafted this Penguin tale.
After completing writing a book on birds while in prison, the Penguin breaks out, and begins a crime spree. Batman and Robin notice that the sequences of crimes matches the order of the chapters in the book, each one relating to information given about a particular bird. Awfully nice of the Penguin to provide advance notice this way.
Not a bad story at all, it is by Hamilton, after all. The tale climaxes at a performance of Alice in Wonderland. Expecting the Penguin to rob it, Batman and Robin get into costume. Batman’s choice of the Mad Hatter is pure fluke, really. The Penguin is in the Cheshire Cat suit, but gets taken down, and not even his smile remains.
Tagged: Batman, Benjamin Franklin, Bob Kane, Bull's-Eye, Dan Hunter, DC Comics, Edmond Hamilton, Fred Ray, George Kashdan, George Papp, Green Arrow, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Ray Burnley, Robin, Speedy, Thomas Paine, Tomahawk, World's Finest Comics