World’s Finest 262 – Superman and Batman vs the Pi-Meson Man, Black Canary is not a good hostage, Aquaman begins, Hawkman rescues Adam Strange, and Captain Marvel battles Evil

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Denny O’Neil, Joe Staton and Dick Giordano introduce a new villain for Superman and Batman, the Pi-Meson Man, as well as the one blind girl who is able to see him, in World’s Finest 262 (April/May 1980).

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The villain is a victim as well, a scientist working on a new energy source (the pi-meson thing).  It exploded and irradiated him, and now he has to live in an isolated cell.

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Though his body cannot leave the cell, he can emit another self, the Pi-Meson Man, who is invisible to most people, and capable of hugely destructive power.  But one blind girl is able to see the pi-meson energy of the second self, and helps the heroes merge and secure him.

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The character bears a distinct resemblance to the 60s Batman villain, Dr. Double-X, except for the invisibility aspect.  One very nice element of the story is that the climactic battle takes place in the Batcave, adding some interesting visuals.

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Conway, Tanghal and Colletta conclude the Aunty Gravity story in this issue.  Green Arrow continues to be out-classed by the telekinetic hillbilly, and she and her kin escape with the unconscious Black Canary, intending to hold her for ransom.

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But Black Canary is not the person to just sit around and wait to be rescued or ransomed.  She quickly takes out the hillbilly boys, even without breaking her bonds, and her sonic cry takes out Aunty Gravity.  She does make a return in the pages of Green Lantern, not too long down the road.

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Aquaman’s series moves over from Adventure Comics, bringing with him Aqualad and Mera, as well as Siggy, the mutated telepathic Nazi seahorse who has become his pet, in a story by Rozakis, Newton and Adkins.  Hawkman cameos, alerting Aquaman to a missing ship carrying a US senator.

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Investigating, Aquaman finds a whirlpool and a mysterious woman underwater.  But following them leads him into a extra-dimensional realm, from which people and ships cannot escape.

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The realm is run, more or less, by Atlena, an ancient Atlantean.  With the help of Mera and Aqualad, who are both still outside the warp, they send a chain through the whirlpool.  Aquaman tries to lead the others out, but only he escapes before the entrance seals up.

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Jean-Marc deMatteis and Ken Landgraf take over the Hawkman series with this issue.  Some excellent art on this story.

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While fighting some street criminals, Hawkman sees what appears to be the ghost of Adam Strange.  The two had last seen each other during Hawkman’s run in Showcase, as is noted in this story.  The story also cites a recent appearance by Adam Strange in Brave and the Bold.

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The psychic Trixie Magruder makes what might be her final appearance in this story.  She was most recently seen in the pages of Karate Kid.  The ever-helpful Trixie uses her powers to contact Adam Strange, who has been trapped by a problem with the zeta-beam.  Trixie is able to merge Adam’s spirit with Hawkman’s body.

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Hawkman and Hawkgirl then head to the Justice League satellite, and with the aid of Red Tornado they use the teleporter to split Hawkman and Adam, and allow Adam Strange to re-emerge in his own body.

The story continues, sort of, in the next issue.

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Captain Marvel meets an early predecessor in this story by Bridwell, Newton and Hunt.  He comes to the future (our present) to seek the aid of the current Captain Marvel to battle Evil.

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Vlarem takes Captain Marvel to meet the long forgotten gods who give him his powers, before they head out to deal with Evil and his many minions.  In the Shazam universe, there are a lot of “morality” villains – the Seven Deadly Sins being the best known, and they are in this story, as well as Sin, Terror, and Wickedness.

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Captain Marvel and Vlarem defeat the various evils, and seal them beneath a huge mountainous spire – which will become the Rock of Eternity.  At the end, Captain Marvel discovers that Vlarem eventually became the wizard Shazam.

This story is based on an original version from the 1940s Captain Marvel series.

 

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