Tag Archives: Captain Marvel

World’s Finest 282 – Superman and Batman in happier times, Slingshot returns, and Hawkman and Shazam end


Superman and Batman continue to deal with leftover devices of the Weapons Master in World’s Finest 282 (Aug. 82), by Burkett, Novick and McLaughlin.


Hoodlums get ahold of one, and shoot Batman with it, sending him back in time.  Superman follows, finding him on Earth long before the evolution of humans.


They encounter an alien race, whose magic creates harmony and good feelings.  Superman and Batman are both surprised at how happy they feel in this era, but when Superman gets asked to go deal with a volcano, Batman still gets suspicious.

And he is right to, as the volcano is magically induced.  One of the aliens is worried that their people will never head back to their home planet, and is trying to cause problems, so that they will leave.  Although his direct attempt fails, his actions do serve as a wake-up call, and the aliens leave.  Superman and Batman return to the present, and Batman wonders if he will ever be that happy again.  Aw.


Black Canary gets knocked out and kidnapped as this month’s story opens, by Barr and Gil Kane, who also did the cover for this issue.


Green Arrow is unaware of the complexity of the plot going on.  He thinks he is just after Slingshot, and a normal street gang, but in fact is dealing with the machinations of the mother of the boy he accidentally killed about ten years earlier, in the pages of the Flash.


She brags to Black Canary of her plan.  She has had her gang steal a few of Green Arrow’s arrows, and figures out the notched coding he uses to determine which arrow is which.  Changing these, she sets him, and Slingshot, up, so that Green Arrow pulls the “wrong” arrow, and kills Slingshot.


Hawkman’s story comes to an end, by Rozakis, Infantino and Rodriguez.  I have the feeling that this story was written and drawn before the decision was made to end the series, as it spends ten of its eleven pages having Hawkman fight with an alien.


Only on the very last page does Hawkwoman show up, pretty much out of nowhere.  A brief mention is made of the fact that she found and saved the Thanagarian fleet, and now suddenly all is well between them.

The Hawks both continue to appear as members of the Justice League of America.


Two of Kid Eternity’s enemies, Her Highness and Silk, make their only appearance in a DC book in this story, by Bridwell and Kane, teaming up with Captain Marvel villain Aunt Minerva.  Their evil scheme involves getting the Marvel Family to perform at a circus.


They plan to rob the homes of those attending the circus.  Yup, that’s the big plan.  Kid Eternity, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr, Mary Marvel and even Uncle Marvel all get involved, which is overkill to the max.

The Shazam series ends here, but moves over to Adventure Comics Digest.

World’s Finest 281 – Superman starts his heart, Green Arrow’s really easy case, Hawkman gets back to his ship, and the Marvel Family and Kid Eternity vs Mr. Mind


Burkett, Irv Novick and Chiaramonte conclude the army of war storyline in World’s Finest 281 (July 1982).


As Batman continues his impersonation of Captain Cutlass, setting up many of General Scarr’s men to be captured by the police, Superman escapes the “time bomb” by starting his heart, and using the beat of it to “create” time, the paradox of which frees him.  It’s almost philosophical.


Major Disaster is the one the plan to take over Metropolis largely relies on, as he keeps other heroes busy by creating a number of disasters across the country. We see the Flash, Firestorm and Wonder Woman all rushing around, dealing with his catastrophes, but Scarr needs him to do even more, and the Major’s powers get overloaded and short out.

Colonel Sulphur is easy to nab, and Scarr is left with no troops at all at the end.  I can’t help but feel that there was a good idea in this story, but it just didn’t come off – likely because of the second rate villains filling up the story. Of the four, only Major Disaster would continue to appear, returning in the pages of Green Lantern in a couple of years.


Green Arrow gets a case so easy to solve it’s amazing that it takes him the full nine pages, but at least Von Eeden and Mahlstedt keep the art attractive on Cavalieri’s story.


Arsonists have been burning a number of slums and abandoned buildings.  The very day after one building comes down, a billboard is put up announcing the new building to be constructed on the site.  Gee, maybe they should have just signed their name in the ashes.


Hawkman makes it back to his own ship in this chapter, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte, only to find that another alien from the trapped ship has made it there first.


So they have a bit of a fight.  Hawkman wins, and gets out of hyperspace, but still has no idea where Hawkwoman is.


Rounding out this less-than-impressive issue is a story that brings together the Marvel Family and Kid Eternity, as they deal with a giant sized Mr. Mind, thanks to Bridwell, Newton and John Calnan.


Mr Mind cocoons the Marvels, so Kid Eternity calls up a viking hero to pretend to fight Mr.Mind, but actually cut them free.  He even calls up Puck to short out Mr. Mind’s repeller machine.  Because, you know, no one would be better with technology than a forest spirit.  Captain Marvel reverses the machine that made Mr. Mind a giant, and they take him down easily.

World’s Finest 279 – Alfred prefers Superman, Green Arrow and the cult, Hawkman and the hyperspace whirlpool, and the secret brother of Freddy Freeman


Cary Burkett is joined by Keith Pollard and Mike DeCarlo as they begin a multi-part story in World’s Finest 279 (May 1982).


The story itself is not bad, but by far my favourite scene comes right at the start, with Superman in the Batcave, complimenting Alfred on his service, and Alfred thinking how much he prefers the considerate Superman to Green Arrow.


Then we get down to the action, as Batman faces a new villain, Captain Cutlass, complete with pirate themed henchmen.  Numerous wealthy people are being kidnapped, and Cutlass is clearly part of the scheme, but not the only mover involved.


Superman deals with a localized earthquake, which also seems to be part of the plan, but clearly outside Cutlass’ control.


It does not take long before we get introduced to the team behind this, who interact according to their names.  Lead by a general, whose identity is not revealed yet, the story brings back Colonel Sulphur, a minor Batman villain last seen a couple years earlier in Brave and the Bold, as well as Green Lantern villain Major Disaster.  Despite the fact that none of these people really hold the ranks they claim, they appear to content to let those ranks determine their status.  This is very odd, considering that Major Disaster is far more powerful than the two men above him.


Batman attempts to infiltrate the group, allowing himself to be captured as Bruce Wayne, but is exposed by the one in charge – yet another minor villain of his, General Scarr.


Joey Cavlieri takes over the scripting of the Green Arrow series with this issue, while Von Eeden and Mahlstedt continue on the art.  The story deals with a cult patterned on the Moonies, and the daughter of one of the reporters Oliver Queen works with on the Daily Star has become a member.


Concerned, Green Arrow seeks out a group dedicated to retrieving kids from the cult.  But he does not quite trust them, and rightly so, as the group is really part of the cult, keeping tabs on those out to shut them down.  By talking to them about the girl, Green Arrow has simply placed her in more danger.


Hawkman’s story, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte, follows immediately after the previous issue, and must take place before the Superman/Batman story in this issue, as the heroes are just leaving Thanagar as the tale opens.


Hawkman continues the search for his wife, finding a whirlpool in hyperspace. Even I know this is completely outside of anything scientifically plausible.  He finds a ship in distress, and goes to help them out.


The aliens on the ship are far from grateful, more interested in attacking Hawkman than thanking him.  One has to assume that Hawkman is so upset about his missing wife that he falls for a preposterous trick, as a shape shifter takes the form of Hawkwoman, and Hawkman stops fighting, allowing himself to be captured.


Bridwell, Newton and Chiaramonte finally bring the subplot about the mysterious ghosts and such to the forefront in this story.  The tale itself is largely irrelevant, dealing with a dying man who threatens to destroy the world if his heart stops beating.  While Captain Marvel deals with the missiles, Freddy ponders the strange appearances that have been happening, going all the way back to an appearance by Sherlock Holmes in a story of his from the 1940s.


Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, shows up to save the life of the cranky old man, but that is just a prelude to the big revelation.  Kid Eternity, making his second appearance in a DC comic after a small role in the Shazam comic in the mid 70s, is the one who has been calling forth the various historical and fictional characters.  Captain Marvel Jr identifies him as his brother, Kit Freeman.

The story continues in the next issue.


World’s Finest 276 – Superman and Batman vs Dr. Double X, Green Arrow in a prison riot, Zatanna faces a demonic audience, Hawkman vs Weather Wizard, and Captain Marvel fights alongside ghosts


Barr, Buckler and Smith bring back a Batman villain not seen in almost twenty years in World’s Finest 276 (Feb. 82).


Dr. Ecks has been sitting in Arkham Asylum for many years, until he finally decide to stick a finger in a socket and split off his energy self, Dr. Double X.  Superman tries to prevent his escape, but fails.


Dr. Double X devises a revenge scheme on both Superman and Batman.  He captures Batman, and hooks him to a chair connected to an energy chamber that he lures Superman into.  Whatever power Superman uses gets channeled into the chair, which Double X intends will kill Batman.  It would work, except of course Batman escapes.

It’s a pretty simple story, but better than many of Dr. Double X’s outings.  He returns a year down the road in Brave and the Bold.


Excellent art, and a pretty darn good story in this Green Arrow tale by Barr, Von Eeden and Mahlstedt.  Oliver Queen is still in prison when a riot breaks out.


Oliver has spotted Slingshot, also a prisoner there, heading very determinedly during the riot, and realizes that his former target is also in the prison.  He puts together some rudimentary archery gear, wraps a handkerchief around his face, and goes into action.


He beats Slingshot, despite being out of practice.  And again, nice that this does not resolve his imprisonment.


Zatanna has yet another show go wrong thanks to Kupperberg and Spiegle.  So many of her solo stories begin with something going terribly wrong during a performance, it’s a wonder she still gets an audience.


In this case, demonic creatures emerge, attacking both her and the audience.  An old stage magician is there, and there is a delightful scene as he uses some slight of hand on a little monster.


But the demons take Jeff through a portal, and Zatanna has no choice but to follow, finding a shadowy version of herself.


Hawkman continues to hunt for Hawkwoman in this story, by Rozakis, Carmine Infantino and Rodriguez.


Mavis Trent is still on the make big time, but Carter cares only for Shiera.


His battle with Weather Wizard, while not bad, feels a bit like filler to round out the story.


We finally get to meet the mysterious brother of Joan Jameson, Billy Batson’s secretary, in this Bridwell, Newton and Adkins tale.  He has aged, as he was not trapped in the Suspendium, and has been working as a mercenary, to his sister’s dismay.


But when a horde of magical being attack the city, so many that even with the aid of Captain Marvel Jr and Mary Marvel, they are almost over-matched, the brother goes into action, along with a number of his soldier buddies. It is only when the battle is done and the magic creatures have fled that he realizes that some of the friends that showed up died long ago.


World’s Finest 275 – Gotham freezes and Metropolis fries, Dinah does the footwork, Zatanna vs the Shrieker, Hawkman vs Matter Master and Magificus as Captain Marvel


Paul Kupperberg joins Buckler and McLaughlin for a bit of a mystery in World’s Finest 275 (Jan. 82).


Gotham has started freezing, and Metropolis is boiling hot. It’s clearly not natural, but Superman and Batman are puzzled as to who is behind it.


The solution is so obvious to any reader nowadays, but Mr. Freeze is not even one of those suspected in this tale.  He was a minor Batman villain at best during this time, and had last appeared about four years earlier.  It’s not a bad story, so much as a reminder that Freeze was not a big name for a very long time.

It would be over a year before Mr. Freeze would return, and then in a cameo along with many other Batman villains.


Green Arrow sits in jail while Black Canary takes care of business in this story by Barr, Von Eeden and Mahlstedt.  One of Oliver Queen’s cellmates is a man that Green Arrow caught during a robbery.  Oliver now learns that the man was desperate for money, that his wife and child, all illegal immigrants, were in danger of being turned over to the police by a mob connected slumlord.


Oliver explains all this to Dinah when she comes to visit, and she goes into action as Black Canary, setting up and taking down the slumlord, and also giving the wife a job in her flower shop, beginning her legal process to become a citizen.

Very nice that, rather than move on directly with the story of Oliver being in jail for not revealing his sources, a different tale plays out during the middle of it.


Zatanna concludes her battle with the Shrieker in this story by Conway and Dan Spiegle.  The source of the critic’s new powers is never fully explained, but that’s not such a big problem.


Zatanna finds her enemy more difficult to deal with then one would expect.  But this is the period when her powers had been significantly reduced, and she was only able to manipulate natural forces.  She succeeds, of course, but it’s a shame that her series is running when her powers are in decline.


Rozakis, Saviuk and Rodriguez continue with Hawkman’s world of troubles in this story.  He tries to complain about his marital problems to the Flash, who points out that at least Hawkwoman is alive, unlike his wife.  Oops.


The Matter Master thefts have been more clever and complex than it seemed at first.  He would use his matter transforming wand to alter objects, wait until they were removed to an easier location, for examination, and then steal and replace them with copies.  Hawkman does figure out the plan, and capture the thief, but things get worse when Matter Master implicates Shiera Hall as his partner in crime.

Matter Master is next seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths.


The blackmailing of Billy Batson’s secretary continues in this Bridwell, Newton and Adkins story, as Billy gets kidnapped, and the kidnappers demand that Captain Marvel act as their agent, as ransom.


The secretary, Joan Jameson, turns to Captain Marvel Jr for help.  He goes to Sivana’s son Magnificus, and with Beautia’s help, they make him resemble Captain Marvel.  Junior covers the powers, while Magnificus tries dealing with the kidnappers, but the hoax gets revealed.


Fortunately, by that point, Freddy is able to break Billy out of his cage, and he becomes the real Captain Marvel, who the bad guys are none too happy to see at this point.

World’s Finest 274 – Batman gains super-powers, Green Arrow heads to jail, Zatanna begins, Hawkwoman leaves, and Captain Marvel in silence


Burkett, Gonzales and Breeding conclude the Weapons Master storyline in World’s Finest 273 (Dec. 81).


It’s not any better than the first two parts.  Batman gets all super-powered up, but also starts burning out, with only four hours to live.  He bursts into the Weapons Master’s ship and frees Superman.


While they do not actually defeat the Weapons Master, they do succeed at driving him away.  With minutes to spare, Superman alters the chamber that gave Batman his powers, drawing them back to save his life.


Mike W Barr takes over the scripting on the Green Arrow series, joining Von Eeden and Mahlstedt.  Much of the story is told in flashback, as Dinah listens to a tape Oliver left her, explaining why he has taken off.


Through information gained by a stoolie, Green Arrow busts a drug ring, and writes about it as Oliver Queen.  The police want to know his source.  George Taylor tries to cover for him, but Queen gets arraigned anyway.  He runs off to Star Island to hide, but Black Canary tracks him pretty easily.  She knows him too well.


Together, they decide that Oliver should stand up for his principles and accept the consequences, even if that means heading to jail.


Zatanna begins a series in this issue, by Gerry Conway, Gene Colan and Robert Smith.  She is performing on a cruise ship, and has her manager/boyfriend Jeff Sloane along with her.  While Zatanna has been appearing regularly as a member of the Justice League, Jeff has not appeared since the end of her series in Adventure Comics, back in the mid-70s.


There is a professional newspaper critic on board, a nasty, bitter man who gets empowered by some nebulous mystic force, which gives him a sonic cry, not unlike Black Canary’s.


One of the nice touches in this story is that Zatanna differentiates between her stage garb, the classic fishnets costume, and her hero garb, his Justice League outfit, rationalizing that she does not want to capitalize on her crime fighting.

The story continues in the next issue.


Hawkman wakes up to find that Shayera has left him in this story, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Rodriguez.  She has gone off to find and rescue the Thanagarian fleet that he trapped in hyperspace.


Hawkman heads to the Justice League satellite, and asks Superman and Green Lantern to help him find her.  They have no idea where to even begin looking, and though it’s awkward, they also indicate that they aren’t sure that helping him is really the right thing to do.  Hawkwoman is their friend as well.


Miserable, Katar returns to his job at the Midway City Museum.  A number of exhibits have been stolen and replaced by duplicates, and he begins to investigate.  Mavis Trent hears about his marital troubles, and immediately puts the moves on him.  The reader, but not Hawkman, sees that the Matter Master is the thief.  He had last appeared a year or so earlier in DC Comics Presents, and returns next issue as this story continues.


There has been a subplot building over the last few Shazam stories, dealing with Billy Batson’s secretary getting blackmailed, and that begins to move to the foreground with this issue, by Bridwell, Newton and Mahlstedt.


The main story pits Captain Marvel against a thief who has the ability to suppress sound, meaning that Billy cannot use his magic word when the man is around.  He has the secretary play a tape of him saying Shazam when the villain appears, which calls down the magic lightning, and allows him to triumph.


World’s Finest 273 – Superman and Batman vs the Weapons Master, Count Vertigo goes nuclear, Plastic Man guests, Hawkwoman or Hawkgirl?, and Sivana wins a Nobel Prize


Continuing the story from the previous issue, Burkett, Adrian Gonzales and Smith pit Superman and Batman against the Weapons Master.  This is neither the first, nor the last, villain to use this monicker, and also not the most impressive one to do so.


This Weapons Master is an alien who scavenges the technology of various planets.  His main goal is assembling the weaponry of the Dabalyans, a long dead alien race.  Even Superman is unable to withstand the power they had.


The Weapons Master has decided to take over the Earth, and the only hero he feels would be able to cause him problems is Superman, so he focuses on taking him out first, and succeeds in capturing him.


Batman is still in the Fortress throughout this tale.  Earlier in the story, Superman showed him a power charger he has constructed.  The device will give Batman the same powers as Superman, but only for four hours, and then kill him.  Despite this, Batman gets into the power charger.

The story concludes in the next issue.


Count Vertigo makes an impressive power play in this story, by Haney, Von Eeden and Mahlstedt, although he almost causes a nuclear war.  Vertigo was fully aware that his battle with Green Arrow would draw the attention of the Soviets, and uses this distraction to take control of the nuclear arsenal they have planted in his country.


While Green Arrow attempts to explain that Vertigo has his own agenda, trying to regain control of Vlatava, the Soviets do not believe a word of it, and think this is all some American plot.  They are ready to go to war unless they get control of their nukes back.

Green Arrow plays on the Count’s ego, setting him to be short circuited, figuring, correctly, that his new level of power would make him more susceptible to an electric current.

Count Vertigo winds up held by the Russians, but returns a couple of years down the road in Green Arrow’s first miniseries.


Plastic Man gets a story in this issue, possibly left over from his run in Adventure Comics.  The tale, by Marty Pasko, Joe Staton and Robert Smith, has all the hallmarks of that run.  Actually, I found it then, and find it now, the best of those stories.


But what made it so entertaining may now make it almost impenetrable.  It plays off of the early designer jeans, and has characters based on Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein, as well as a Brooke Shields-type model, parodying her “nothing gets between me and my Calvins” ads.


Plastic Man and Woozay Winks had last appeared earlier in the month in an issue of DC Comics Presents, but this is their final appearance before Crisis on Infinite Earths.


Hawkman and Hawkwoman deal with the final element of Hyathis’ attempted invasion of Earth in this story, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Rodriguez.


The story pits them against the shape-changing Thanagarian Byth, their oldest foe.  A number of panels in this story are pretty near swipes of Byth’s earliest appearances, back in Brave and the Bold.  Not that that is such a bad thing.  It may not be Kubert, but the forms Byth adopts are still monstrous.


In a particularly nice touch, Byth takes on the form of Hawkwoman, as he tries to get close enough to Hawkman to kill him.  But he makes the mistake of calling himself Hawkgirl, unaware that she had dropped that name.  Hawkman picks up on his mistake, and freezes Byth, effectively ending the Thanagarian invasion.


Sivana wins a Nobel Prize in this story, by Bridwell, Newton and Adkins, for a number of inventions he rejected, simply because they had only beneficial results for mankind.  Sivana is disgusted and appalled to be considered for a Nobel, and breaks out of prison, building a machine to drive everyone on Earth crazy.


He does not take into account that the machine will affect him as well, making him become even more altruistic, and invent even more helpful devices. It also causes various dictators to stop acting aggressively, and Sivana winds up with a Nobel Peace Prize by the end of the story as well.

It’s silly, but it works.