World’s Finest 277 – Superman and Batman and the plague pets, Green Arrow released, Zatanna battles herself, Hawkman reaches the breaking point, and Captain Marvel Jr and the Moon Tree

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The Superman/Batman tale in World’s Finest 277 (March 1982) is far from the best.  Burkett’s story is nothing special, and the art, by Don Heck and Romeo Tanghal, leaves something to be desired.

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After a reporter on the Daily Planet dies from the plague, Superman and Batman begin to hunt for the source.

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The man behind it plans to reduce the population of Metropolis by releasing a horde of pets, all infected with the plague.  He also kidnaps Lois Lane, who was on the story, trying to find out who killed the other reporter.

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The heroes track them down, and the only one who winds up getting exposed to the plague is the man who wanted it released.  Superman inhales the bacteria gas, and emits it in space.

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On the other hand, the Green Arrow story, by Barr, Von Eeden and Rodriguez, in this issue is excellent.  A mobster gets murdered, found with an arrow in him, which implicates Green Arrow.  But it also causes the release of Oliver Queen.

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We find out that his secret source was the secretary of the mobster, who found out what her boss was really up to, and turned to Oliver Queen for help.  With him dead, she revealed her actions to the police, so there was no longer any reason to hold Queen.

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Green Arrow tries to solve the man’s murder, but gets caught up in the gang war to take the man’s place.

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Zatanna faces her evil half in this story by Kupperberg and Spiegle.  It’s not made clear exactly how this doppleganger was formed, although it would have been easy to tie it to her power reduction.

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She winds up conning her dark half, convincing her that she had the power to draw all the stolen energy back into herself.  And since the shadowy Zatanna believed this, the real Zatanna was able to succeed.  Pretty easy.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Rodriguez push Hawkman to the limit in this story.

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Still all stressed over Hawkwoman’s departure, Carter is furious when he comes home to find Mavis Trent has moved in with him.  I kind of like Mavis, but this was really too much.  But no sooner has he tossed her out than the police come, still hunting for his wife.

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On top of this, he receives a message from Thanagar, telling him that the planet is in chaos, rebelling against Hyathis, and he is needed back there.  He heads to the Justice League satellite to recruit Superman and Batman to help him.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Captain Marvel Jr gets an entertaining little tale in this issue, by Bridwell, Newton and Chiaramonte.

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Professor Edgewise, the resident absent minded genius, creates a seed from which grows a tree that will go all the way to the Moon, linking it with the Earth, and intends to drive from one to the other.  Freddy has to go into action, as the professor has no considered the destruction the Moon Tree will cause.  Captain Marvel Jr discovers that the tree is already attacking itself to the Moon, and has to remove it as quickly as he can.

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Returning to Earth, he finds that that part of the tree has already been cut down.  By Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk?

Something odd is clearly going on.

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