World’s Finest 150 – Superman gambles with Batman’s life

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Hamilton, Swan and Moldoff take Superman and Batman to Ventura, the gambler’s planet, in World’s Finest 150 (June 1965).

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The story opens as Batman investigates a gambling island just off the coast of the US.  The games are entertainingly oversized, but all play fair, so far as Batman can tell.

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The whole island, and getting Batman there, are really just a lure for Superman.  Rokk and Sorban, two alien gamblers that Superman met the previous year in his own book, have set up a trap that forces Superman to come to Ventura to play games in order to keep Batman alive.

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As Superman is escorted around Ventura, the story delves into the laws and schooling of a planet where gambling is the central way of life.  It’s an enjoyable extrapolation.  On the other hand, one of the “games” is recognizable from the Legion of Super-Heroes story in which Proty sacrifices himself to revive Lightning Lad.  We are told that the person whose rod gets hit by the lightning “wins,” but not that the victory is death.

Superman manages to outwit Rokk and Sorban, winning Batman’s life.  He also exposes their cheating, which is highly illegal on this planet, and the pair get carted off to prison.

But they do return a couple of years down the road, so their sentences were not too severe.

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