Another great Neal Adams cover on World’s Finest 246 (Aug/Sept 77).
Bob Haney, Kurt Schaffenberger and Murphy Anderson begin a 2-part story that pits Superman against the Justice League and popular opinion when the secret gets revealed that he has a hidden, hunchbacked brother.
Batman gets the largest of the supporting roles in what really is a Superman story. Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Wonder Woman all get some screen time though.
Superman’s brother was ordered killed at birth by Jor-El, and saved secretly by Lara. While Jor-El shot Kal-El to Earth, Lara sent the other child as well. He is now sealed in a big kryptonite meteor.
Everyone hates on Superman big time about this, none of which is his fault. Nevertheless, he breaks his brother free, even though the exposure to kryptonite could possibly kill him.
Hunchback Superman comes to Earth and immediately becomes a tyrannical dictator. Batman is now part of the underground, contacted at the end with news that Superman has been found, alive.
The story concludes in the next issue.
Black Canary’s story, by Conway, Netzer and Austin, has her following the trail of a villain based on H.G. Welles Dr. Moreau, transforming animals into quasi-humans.
Some good visuals on her canary cry.
Much of this issue has Canary learning what is going on, and reads as if it could be a set-up for Green Arrow to swoop in and save the day.
Dinah does call Oliver at the end, but the set-up is for her story in the next issue, a bit of a surprise.
Green Arrow’s story has him following up on the original attacks, by Rainbow Archer and Slingshot, the latter of whom is in this Conway, Netzer and Austin tale as well.
Green Arrow proves himself a tail to be reckoned with as he follows Slingshot.
As before, this villain shows himself surprisingly adept with his weapon of choice, but gets caught in a flashback to earlier days, and is taken down.
Kunkel and Morrow cut like a knife in this Vigilante tale. Greg is on the rush as the story opens.
But he is too late. The dead body hanging so gruesomely makes this powerful even if the reader has no idea who Stuff is.
Greg Saunders than has a flashback of his life, his father’s death, which spurred him to become a costumed hero.
Then we get a brief retelling of Stuff’s first adventure with the Vigilante, and how they became partners.
The Dummy is also briefly re-introduced, his first appearance since the late 40s, as we see that he was the one who had Stuff murdered.
One of the best retroactively added World War II villains was Baron Blitzkrieg, who makes his debut in this Wonder Woman story, by Conway, Heck and Colletta.
It’s really a shame that Don Heck does the art. The Baron was the commandant at a concentration camp. One of the inmates scarred his face with acid. The proud and sadistic Baron all but lost his mind. Hitler put him through a series of operations which endowed the Baron with super-energy, which he can focus in various ways.
In this first story, all we really see him use is strength, and Wonder Woman takes him down pretty fast, knocking off his mask.
The Baron does make a triumphant return for the cliffhanger, having Winston Churchill in his grip.
Tagged: Aquaman, Baron Blitzkrieg, Batman, Bill Kunkel, Black Canary, Bob Haney, DC Comics, Dinah Lance, Don Heck, Dummy, Earth 2, Flash, Gerry Conway, Gray Morrow, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Greg Saunders, Hawkman, Justice League of America, Kurt Schaffenberger, Mike Netzer, Murphy Anderson, Oliver Queen, Parasite, Slingshot, Stuff, Superman, Terry Austin, Vigilante, Vince Colletta, Winston Churchill, Wonder Woman, World's Finest Comics