Julie Madison makes her final appearance as Haney, Schaffenberger and Chiaramonte put Batman into the Prisoner of Zenda storyline in World’s Finest 253 (Oct/Nov 78).
Julie is engaged to marry a neighbouring prince, who goes missing just days before the ceremony. As is usual in these stories, if the prince does not show, that opens the road for a lesser official to take control of the country. It’s plausible that the prince should resemble Bruce Wayne – Julie must have a type.
Clark Kent is there, broadcasting the big event. His x-ray vision reveals Batman’s disguise, but Bruce thinks that he has succeeded in fooling Julie. He hasn’t. She just goes along with it. The page is done very well, flashing back to her last appearance, and the kiss that knocked Bruce out.
Aside from that, it’s a fairly standard version of the old saw. Bruce passes a variety of tests, and escapes being kidnapped himself.
Doc Willard makes another cameo, almost managing to get Bruce’s brain. He sure does have a lot of connections, in order to be involved in this story in another country, with no professional criminals involved, just scheming officials.
Black Canary and Green Arrow each get half of this joint story, which introduces them to an extra-dimensional race of faceless creatures, the Glorn, by Conway, Von Eeden and Colletta.
The Glorn emerge at an airport, scaring the heck out of everyone. Canary’s cry seems particularly useful against them, as they flee, and vanish, after she uses it.
Dinah tries to have a discussion with Oliver about her detached feelings, and her continuing desire to head back to Earth-2. Oliver is an absolute jerk in this scene, dismissing her feelings and admitting that he was just “going along” with her moods when he accompanied her before.
But before Dinah can actually begin her trip, or even cool down from her fight, the Glorn emerge again, and take her captive.
While Green Arrow may act like an insensitive ass, he does care. When he finds Dinah missing, he immediately tries to get help. He approaches Hawkman and Hawkgirl about traversing dimensions, and they provide him with a machine that will track Dinah.
Green Arrow heads to the realm of the Glorn, who live in a large, hive-like structure.
He does find Black Canary, but also discovers that the Glorn are drawn by her sonic cry, and want her to be their queen, whether she wants to or not.
The story concludes in the next issue.
Ditko serves up another entertaining Creeper story, in which the hero saves the day, and Jack Ryder gets hated by all. Again. There is some opening banter between Jack and Fran, quarreling over assignments. Jack gets a plum one, accompanying a movie star.
Fran and the rest of the staff have to deal with a vengeful inventor and his destructive creation, the Wrecker. The Wrecker is one of those wonderful creations that Ditko can draw, which just wouldn’t look as good by anyone else. It’s also a nice touch that the Creeper does not defeat the Wrecker so much as turn it on itself, which also causes the death of its creator.
The Shazam series moves to World’s Finest after the series gets cancelled in the DC Implosion. Although Captain Marvel is the star of the series, it encompasses any and all of the Fawcett characters. This chapter, by E Nelson Bridwell, Don Newton and Schaffenberger, picks up directly from the end of the last issue, as Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior deal with the joined forces of Captain Nazi and King Kull.
Captain Nazi is off spying on Sivana, as well as two of his children, Magnificus and Beautia. Sivana has been creating a machine that will sap everyone’s wills, and make them obey any orders they are given. Captain Nazi knocks Sivana out, and sets off the machine himself.
This puts everyone under his control, with one exception. Jim Barr, Bulletman, has a cameo, revealing that he was too preoccupied, his brain too focused, to fall under Captain Nazi’s spell. Not that it matters, he has no significant role in the story.
Captain Nazi discovers that King Kull has set off machines that will destroy the Earth, and the Marvel family rush around smashing the machines. Nazi and Kull are busy fighting each other, so the Marvels have little problem finding them and taking them down as the story ends.
But not quite the end. Ebenezer Batson, Billy’s miserly uncle, gets approached by Satan in the final couple of panels, leading into the next story.
Tagged: Batman, Beautia, Black Canary, Bob Haney, Bruce Wayne, Bulletman, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr, Captain Nazi, Clark Kent, Creeper, DC Comics, Dinah Lance, Doc Willard, Don Newton, E Nelson Bridwell, Ebenezer Batson, Frank Chiaramonte, Gerry Conway, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Jack Ryder, Jim Barr, Julie Madison, King Kull, Kurt Schaffenberger, Magnificus, Mary Marvel, Oliver Queen, Satan, Shazam, Sivana, Steve Ditko, Superman, Trevor Von Eeden, Vince Colletta, World's Finest Comics