World’s Finest 176 – Superman and Batgirl vs Batman and Supergirl

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The second and final issue of World’s Finest with art by Neal Adams, issue 176 (June 1968), also sees Cary Bates bring back Supergirl and Batgirl for a story.  Dick Giordano rounds out the creative team.

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Adams really excels on the art for this tale, which sees a famous actor reveal that he has been replaced by an alien, hunting for another alien, who killed their leader.  He enlists Superman in his hunt.

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Much the same thing happens with Batman, who is confronted by the alien that Superman is now after.  He tells the same story, but with the other alien as the bad guy.  This, of course, winds up pitting Superman and Batman against each other.  They wind up looking for back-up, skipping over Robin and Jimmy Olsen in preference for Supergirl and Batgirl, though the heroes pick the women from the opposite “team.”

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There is some entertaining battle action as Superman and Batgirl face off against Batman and Supergirl, while Robin and Olsen find out that something else entirely is really going on.

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In fact, there were no aliens at all in this story (aside from the Kryptonian cousins).  This was all a “game” by the dying actor, the greatest performance of his life.  Superman and Batman actually figured this out early on, but got the women involved, keeping them in the dark about the truth, so the actor would have a genuine audience to convince.

Unusual, but entertaining.

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