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.