World’s Finest 68 – Clark Kent gets Superman’s powers, and Batman vs the Crimesmith

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A simple skunk is all it takes to defeat Superman, Batman and Robin, according to the cover of World’s Finest 68 (Jan/Feb 54).

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The Superman tale in this issue, by Boring and Kaye, was adapted for an episode of the Superman tv series from the era.

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Superman prevents a comet from hitting the Earth, but contact with it removes his memory.  He does recall his Clark Kent self, and through a series of (somewhat humourous) events, he comes to believe that Superman left his costume for Clark, which gives him a level of powers.

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So Clark Kent goes into action as Superman, with the powers, but not the confidence, of the hero.  It is not until he deals with the final comet that his memory is restored.

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The Batman story in this issue, by Moldoff and Kaye, would frankly not be worthy of inclusion, except that the villain goes by the name of the Crimesmith. There would be another Batman villain to use this name in the late 80s, though the characters have nothing in common.

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In this story, the Crimesmith is an ex-con with a knack for invention, who builds machines and sells them to other criminals for their robberies.  Batman and Robin find the Crimesmith’s weapons difficult to defeat, and work towards finding the evil inventor.

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Not awful, just kind of flat.  The later Crimesmith is a much more intimidating opponent.

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