Haney, Tuska and Colletta conclude the Doc Willard storyline in a tale that has Batman and Superman work on the same case, but not interact, in World’s Finest 255 (Dec/Jan 78/79).
It’s a shame that Tuska is the artist on this story, in which Batman has dreams of Superman working alongside Green Lantern’s enemy, Sinestro.
And Sinestro does, briefly, get Superman under his control. Sinestro is drawing his willpower, great enough to affect Superman, from a giant brain in space. This is Boss Dyke’s brain, made giant sized by the aliens, who are once again working with Doc Willard.
Batman tracks down Willard at last, but finds him driven insane by the aliens. Superman uses his x-ray vision to reduce the “growths” on the brain, which shrink it to normal size, reducing Sinestro’s powers and making him an easy target for Superman.
Considering that this is both the first time that Superman and Batman have shared an adventure without meeting, and the first story that pits them against someone else’s enemy, it is really a shame that the story, and art, are not better.
Conway, Von Eeden and Colletta conclude what was a Green Arrow and Black Canary story in the previous issue, though now it is credited solely to Canary. And she does get the starring role, to be fair, with Green Arrow largely tagging along. They are both captives of the Glorn, and extra-dimensional race.
Canary has learned that the Glorn used to be insect-like creatures, who evolved to their present form as a result of radiation from Earth, which began around 1900.
Realizing that this radiation must be radio waves, she sets off her Justice League signal, which emits radio waves. This wreaks havoc with their systems, apparently de-evolving them. No matter, it gets them out of the way and allows Black Canary and Green Arrow to get back home.
Green Arrow also gets a solo story in this issue, again by Conway, Von Eeden and Colletta. It’s a bittersweet story that brings back the Arrowcar, not seen since the end of Green Arrow’s previous series in World’s Finest, back in the 60s.
This story sees it auctioned off, and we learn that Oliver had sold it years ago, after his bankruptcy. It gets bought by criminals, who plan to use its features to help them commit crimes. Green Arrow winds up having to destroy the car to stop them.
A really good story, which unfortunately got wiped out by one continuity switch or another, as Kevin Smith brought the Arrowcar back in his Green Arrow series.
Ditko delivers another excellent Creeper tale as he pits Jack Ryder against Mr. Wrinkles.
Mr. Wrinkles appears to be a young child, but is a climbing mobster, who has the ability to dramatically age anyone he touches. He uses this on other gangsters, to get them out of the way, and then on the Creeper. Jack Ryder discovers that, when he changes back to himself, it ends the aging effect.
He creates a Creeper costume that matches his aged appearance before seeking out Mr. Wrinkles again. Not realizing that he could still age the man inside the Creeper outfit, Wrinkles allows the Creeper to get too close. The Creeper smashes the device that allows him to age people, and Mr. Wrinkles turns into an old man himself.
Captain Marvel comes to the aid of Billy’s greedy uncle Ebenezer Batson in this story, by Bridwell, Newton and Schafenberger.
This story makes reference to Sivana’s suspendium, the machine he built which backfired, but kept all the Fawcett characters in suspended animation from the 1940s to the present. This was introduced in 1973 when the Shazam series began. Ebenezer had made a deal with Satan for great wealth, wealth which accrued during the decades that they were trapped in the suspendium. Now he has his wealth, but his time is also up.
Captain Marvel challenges Satan for Ebenezer’s soul, and fights and defeats a squad of his supernatural minions.
Grateful, Ebenezer returns Billy’s stolen inheritance to him, and he uses it to bail out WHIZ, the station he works for (and now technically owns).
Tagged: Batman, Billy Batson, Black Canary, Bob Haney, Captain Marvel, Creeper, DC Comics, Doc Willard, Don Newton, E Nelson Bridwell, Ebenezer Batson, George Tuska, Gerry Conway, Green Arrow, Jack Ryder, Kurt Schaffenberger, Oliver Queen, Satan, Sinestro, Sterling Morris, Steve Ditko, Superman, Trevor Von Eeden, Vince Colletta, World's Finest Comics