World’s Finest 51 – Tom Sparks finds Atlantis, and Zatara ends


Too busy for sports on the cover of World’s Finest 51 (April/May 1951).


For his first invention since joining Global Developments, Inc, Tom Sparks decides to find Atlantis, and creates a scanner to search the ocean floor.  Almost immediately he finds a domed city, and briefly communicates with a girl within.  Dan Bary wastes no time getting down to it.


The Atlantis that we see looks like a sealed off medieval kingdom, and is not the Atlantis of Aquaman (or the later Lori Lemaris).  On the other hand, it bears some similarity to the one from Atomic Knights.


Tom helps save the city from destruction, and the princess believes him to be killed.  He wasn’t.  He makes it back to his lab, but no one believes he went to Atlantis.


Zatara’s series, which began in the New York World’s Fair special that birthed World’s Finest Comics, comes to a close in this issue, with a fairly unremarkable story by Ralph Mayo.


Zatara seems a bit old in this one, partly because he forgets about one of the two criminal gangs he is pursuing.  And the visual of riding the magic carpet also isn’t that dramatic.  Sad, as the magic carpet is the only real Arabian Knights element played through the tale.


Zatara’s long-running series in Action Comics had ended by this time, and Zatara would not return until the 60s, and the introduction of his daughter, Zatanna.  Later continuity would place a New Adventures of Superboy story in the interim, and even later Paul Dini would build Zatara into the life of the Waynes.


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