Tag Archives: Trevor Von Eeden

World’s Finest 307 – Superman & Batman, Null &Void, Swordfish & Barracuda

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Kraft, Rozakis and Von Eeden conclude the Null and Void/Swordfish and Barracuda storyline in World’s Finest 307 (Sept. 84).

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X’Ult, the evil pirate, had long been in love with Barracuda, and wants to bring her back to life to be his.  But Swordfish longs for her as well.

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Batman, Null and Swordfish are all thrown into prison cells by X’ult, although Batman gets them all free.

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Superman is battling with X’ult, while Batman faces off against Void again.  You can kind of tell this story is not one I find really enthralling, despite Von Eeden’s art.

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X’Ult revives Barracuda, just as Superman destroys X’Ult’s pirate ship, which sends the pirate, as well as Swordfish and Barracuda, back into the past.

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This also has the result of stripping Null and Void of their powers.  Null is eager to confess his crimes, if only to ensure that Void gets imprisoned as well.  Really, Null and Void, as well as Swordfish and Barracuda, are interesting characters, but the story was far too long for it’s content.

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World’s Finest 305 – Swordfish wants Barracuda

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Great cover for World’s Finest 305 (July 1984), as Kraft continues with the story behind Null and Void, with Von Eeden and Marcos on the art.

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Von Eeden just goes wild as Superman finds himself trapped outside of reality, and spends the issue trying to get back.

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Void teleports himself away, to get to the ice block, leaving behind Null, who has little interest int he situation, or being a criminal, or having anything more to do with Void.

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The second block, the one containing two figures, has been split in half by Void.  Null helps Batman break free the one trapped inside it, who calls himself Swordfish, and indicates that he needs to find his female counterpart, Barracuda.

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Meanwhile, Void has freed the one first found, the most supernatural of them all, a being called X’ult, an old enemy of the two fish-named heroes.

The story continues in the next issue.

World’s Finest 287 – Batman possessed

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Burkett is joined by Trevor Von Eeden for this chapter of the two Zodiacs, in World’s Finest 287 (Jan. 83).

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Batman spends a lot of this story trying to fight off the possession of the dark god invoked by Madam Zodiac.  Robin is the first to notice, but he has no luck standing up to Batman.  Superman fares a bit better, but neither hero is able to break the spell over him.

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Dr. Zodiac, who was really just a small time con artist and thief, is getting very distressed about Madam Zodiac’s plans, and finds himself now just another pawn in her game.

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Some excellent art by Von Eeden, who shows his versatility with this issue.  The style he uses really works for a magic based tale.

The story ends with Batman completely under the control of the dark god.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 280 – Superman and Batman and the army of crime, Green Arrow doesn’t care for Harmony, Hawkman thinks of people he hates, and Kid Eternity’s origin

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An excellent cover for World’s Finest 280 (June 1982), as Burkett, Buckler and Smith continue with the army of crime storyline.

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Severely underestimating Batman, Scarr tosses him into a cell and ignores him.  In other words, Batman gets free.  Scarr is more concerned with explaining his plans to the rest of his crew.  An auction is being held for devices left behind by the Weapons Master when he fled.  Colonel Sulphur has managed to secure them in invitation to the auction, which Batman overhears.

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Other villains are bidding as well, but Superman and Batman do their best to bust things up.  The Trickster gets a page of action against Superman, and loses.  No surprise there, but I guess it allows the heroes to win at least a small battle during the course of the tale.  Scarr gets ahold of the Weapons Master’s stuff, and hits Superman with a “time bomb,” which leaves him trapped between seconds, outside of normal time, and as good as dead.

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Batman does manage to take down Captain Cutlass, and takes his place.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Cavalieri, Von Eeden and Mahlstedt conclude the Harmony story, as Green Arrow heads out to the cult’s camp, only to find that a mass marriage is being performed, to tie the members even further to the cult.  The woman Green Arrow is hoping to rescue is one of the brides.

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Von Eeden’s art is just wonderful on this series.  And it’s a really nice touch that it is not Green Arrow who convinces the woman to leave, but the behaviour of the rest of the cultists, turning against her for even thinking of leaving.  She realizes that they could not possibly have really cared about her if they were willing to turn on her so quickly.

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Hawkman spends this chapter fighting against the aliens trapped in the hyperspace whirlpool, thanks to Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte.  The shape shifter is the biggest problem he faces, as the creature is somewhat telepathic, and takes the forms of those Hawkman cares for.  Interestingly, one of those forms in Mavis Trent.  So I guess Hawkman is not completely immune to her charms.

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He beats the creature by thinking only about the people that he hates, and has no trouble beating the crap out of.  But even with this victory, Hawkman is still trapped in hyperspace.

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Bridwell, Newton and Chiaramonte blend together the origins of Captain Marvel Jr and Kid Eternity in this tale.

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Freddy’s origin had been retold only a few issues earlier, but now we see that he and his brother were split up by their uncles.  Kid Eternity’s origin has some distinct similarities to that of Captain Marvel Jr – once again set on a small boat, with a boy and an older relative who dies.  Though Kid Eternity also gets killed in his origin story.

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But the boy was not meant to, and Mr. Keeper is sent to watch over him as he returns to Earth, as a kind of ghost, able to call up other dead people.

Not much actually happens in this tale, aside from the blending of the two origin stories.  They do work extremely well together, remarkably so as Captain Marvel Jr was a character from Fawcett Comics, and Kid Eternity from Quality Comics.

 

 

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 278 – Superman, Batman and Hawkman on Thanagar, Green Arrow solves the murder, Zatanna ends, and the Marvel Family meet the Darkling

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World’s Finest reduces to carrying four stories with issue 278 (April 1982), although that is not immediately apparent, as the Hawkman series crosses over with the Batman/Superman team-up, as all three heroes head to Thanagar in a story by Rozakis, Buckler and Pablo Marcos.

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We follow Superman as he keeps the Thanagarian troops busy, but Batman seems shoved to the side as Hawkman confronts Hyathis.  He has the Gamma Gong, a weapon that once belonged to Kanjar Ro, which has the ability, when rung, to paralyze everyone on the planet.  He threatens to make Hyathis the immobile queen of a world of statues unless she will step down.  Hawkwoman shows up, and is not pleased at all with Hawkman’s threat.  As she starts to fight against her husband, we do get the indication, through Hawkman’s thoughts, that something else is actually going on.

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Batman hasn’t just been forgotten about.  He was off dismantling the major power source for the Thanagarian weaponry.  The gong Hawkman is carrying is not actually the Gamma Gong, it simply resembles it.  His role was simply to distract Hyathis, to prevent her from noticing the warning lights as Batman penetrated the most secure area.  With the weaponry depowered, the Hawks take down Hyathis together.

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Hawkman is offered leadership of Thanagar, but turns it down, insisting that they elect a leader.  The story seems to be coming to a happy ending, until Hawkman notices that Hawkwoman has already left.  Nothing has really been fixed between them, and Hawkwoman is still trying to find and rescue the fleet.

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Barr, Von Eeden and Mahlstedt conclude the Green Arrow story arc, as he finally figures out who killed the mob boss and framed him for it.

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That gang war kept him distracted, as the murder was really not that difficult to solve.  The arrow the man was killed with was missing one of the fletching feathers, and could not have been fired accurately.  So it had to be thrust into the victim by hand, and the only person with the opportunity to do so was the secretary, the one who was also Oliver Queen’s stoolie.  A good ending, if a sad one.

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Zatanna’s series comes to a relatively unimpressive conclusion, as the magician gets involved with a stolen puppy and a dog show.

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Spielge’s art suits the strip, and while Kupperberg’s story is not bad, none of these tales have really added anything to Zatanna’s character, or done much that really challenged her.

Zatanna continues to appear as a member of the Justice League of America.

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Bridwell, Newton and Chiaramonte introduce another new villain for the Marvel Family, the Darkling, a woman given her mystical darkness powers by Satan himself.

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The visuals for this villain are great, and the magic darkness somehow prevents Shazam’s lightning bolts from being able to make contact with Billy, Freddy and Mary.

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Abruptly, Mary gets carried out of the Darkling’s shadow by Thjalfi, a viking demigod with super-speed, and Shazam is able to power her up to becoming Mary Marvel, and she takes down Darkling.  But neither Mary nor Shazam have any idea where Thjalfi came from.