World’s Finest 288 – Superman vs Bat-men

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Mike W Barr and Marv Wolfman join Adrian Gonzales for the concluding chapter of the Dr. Zodiac/Madam Zodiac storyline in World’s Finest 288 (Feb. 83), a story which resolves quite well, despite the complete change of creative team.

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Wonder Woman calls on Superman as Zatanna finally wakes from her coma.  She fills Superman in on Madam Zodiac, the coins and the dark god.  Nothing new for the reader, but a tidy recap, and now Superman finally knows what is going on.

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The dark god’s energies will eventually burn out Batman’s body.  Dr Zodiac wonders why she did not choose Superman, but she explains that the Earth-based spirit could not link with an alien body.  She had Bruce Wayne’s medical records stolen (many issues ago) so that they could create numerous Batman bodies, which the dark god can move into after he burns each out.

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Dr. Zodiac, searching for some way to stop his “partner,” discovers another Madam Zodiac.  She had begun by using the Gemini coin on herself, which split her into good and evil halves.  Presumably, this is a relative term.  The evil half has been calling on the dark god, keeping her good half imprisoned.

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Superman finds himself fighting an army of Batmans, while Batman finally gets free of the dark god, whose power is split between the many bodies.

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With information gleaned from the good Madam Zodiac, Batman uses the Zodiac Wheel against the dark god, destroying his access to this realm.

A slam bang conclusion to one of the better Superman/Batman story arcs.

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