World’s Finest 177 – Luthor and the Joker team with Leonardo da Vinci

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Shooter and Swan are joined by Mike Esposito for the latest Joker/Luthor team-up, in World’s Finest 177 (Aug. 68).

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It’s a fairly silly tale.  The Joker breaks Luthor out of prison, disguising himself as Batman.  He has stolen the Batmobile, but it turns out Batman and Robin are hiding in the trunk.  Really?  Well, whatever.  Superman joins them but the villains still manage to get away, with the Batmobile, no less.

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Luthor constructs a high tech telephone with which he can summon people from history.  They call up Benedict Arnold and Leonardo da Vinci, and the Joker calls up Baron Muchausen.  Who was not a historical person.  So clearly the machine is really just creating these people to be like whatever personage is dialed.

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Anyway, Da Vinci builds devices for Luthor while the Baron inspires the Joker.  But Benedict Arnold turns the villain against each other.  Remarkably, this is the first time in any of their team-ups that the Joker and Luthor turn on each other.  And it’s a good thing they do, as the heroes are barely competent in this tale.

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