Tag Archives: World’s Finest Comics

World’s Finest 323 – World’s Finest ends

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Cavalieri, Delbo and Alcala bring World’s Finest Comics to an end with issue 323 (Jan. 86).  It would have been great to have a strong final issue.  The cover certainly conveys that possibility.  But it was not to be.

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Instead we get another villain sent out by the Power Broker.  Nightwolf is not without interest, commanding ghostly wolves, whose supernatural nature makes Superman vulnerable to them.

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Batman goes into detective mode, determining who Nightwolf is, and then disguising himself as the young man’s mentor, in order to get close enough to remove his magical power source.

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Towards the end there is a good scene, as Batman bitches out Superman for rushing headlong into things, without taking the time to learn all he can about the situation.

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So the last couple of pages do bring the series to some sort of closure.

World’s Finest was cancelled as a direct result of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the creation of the post-Crisis universe, in which Batman and Superman did not begin as friends.

Starting in 1990, there would be a number of miniseries to use the name World’s Finest, all of which featured Superman/Batman team-ups, though the next ongoing series to do so would take the name Superman/Batman.  It was not until the New 52 that World’s Finest would become an ongoing series again.

World’s Finest 321 – Superman and Batman vs Chronos

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Chronos takes on Superman and Batman in World’s Finest 321 (Nov. 85), in a story by Cavalieri, Delbo and Alcala.

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Chronos had appeared in brief scenes in the previous two issues,being contacted by the Power Broker,a mysterious villain,whose identity and motivation never did wind up getting revealed.  Chronos had last appeared a couple of years earlier in Justice League of America.

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Chronos draws out Superman and Batman, and then sends Superman racing into the past, to prevent bombs Chronos has sent there from changing history.  But that is just to get Superman out of the way.

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His real target is Batman, and Chronos sends him back in time, to the moment of his parents murder.  Chronos figures that Batman will either be so traumatized by seeing this it will break him, or he will step in to prevent it, thus erasing his own existence.  Not a bad idea, but it fails.  Batman watches, and that’s all.

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The heroes make it back to the present, and Chronos runs off.  The story gives a weird set-up for something more with his character, but in fact, his next appearance is in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

 

World’s Finest 318 – Sonik returns

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Sonik makes a really disappointing return in World’s Finest 318 (Aug. 85), in a story by Cavalieri, Delbo and Alfredo Alcala.

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After an attempted murder of a rock star during a concert, at which Sonik goes into action, he winds up more or less drafted into becoming the man’s bodyguard.  So much for being a hero of the streets.  Superman and Batman spend the issue dealing with other problems, as Cavalieri does his best to create a through-line in this last year of tales, but that just leaves Sonik stuck in a milieu that is not his.

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The only scene that stands out does so for sheer silliness, as Sonik is forced to waterski down a looped ramp into a pool, just for the rock star’s amusement.

World’s Finest 311 – the Monitor gives a young boy access to Superman’s computer

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Cavalieri, Woch and Marcos have a lot of fun in World’s Finest 311 (Jan. 85), one of the only issues from the final year of this series that I enjoy.

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The Monitor and Lyla, last seen observing the Legion of Super-Heroes, set their sights on Batman and Superman in this story, wondering how they would react if someone gained access to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

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Rather than give this to some established or aspiring villain, the Monitor hooks up a young boy’s computer to the one in the Fortress.  He believes that he has accessed some new type of game, and has no idea of the trouble that he is causing.  Even more entertaining is the boy’s mother, who has no appreciation of anything that is going on during the story.

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Superman finds himself battling his animals from his interplanetary zoo, as well as his own constructs, including robots he had created for a kryptonite fuel project.  Seeing the chaos, Batman traces the link to Superman’s computer.

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The boy has just begun to figure out that he is not playing a game, when Batman tracks him down.  The boy’s oblivious mother has no idea who Batman is, and when she asks if he is one of the kid’s friends from the “scoutaree” I still laugh.

At the end of the story, the Monitor contacts a newbie team of villains, the Network, and provides them with tech.  The Network will dominate much of the rest of this year, but despite some lovely art by Alfredo Alcala, and another appearance by the Monitor and Lyla in issue 314, I’m skipping over all of that.

World’s Finest 310 – Superman and Batman meet Sonik

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A new hero gets introduced in World’s Finest 310 (Dec. 84), in a story by Joey Cavalieri, with excellent art by Stan Woch and Rick Magyar.

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Will Parker grew up in the slums, but got a college degree.  He volunteers at a youth centre, which a local gangster is planning to buy and shut down.  The kids tend to look up to the hoods, and Parker decides they need a better role model.  Using his technical knowledge, he creates some sound-based devices and a costume, calling himself Sonik.

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His first outing does not go so well. Batman is after the gangster, and Sonik’s attempt to help simply gets both of them caught.  They are placed into a pretty good death-trap, under a bus, but Batman gets them free.  What is Superman doing all this time?  Protecting a foreign diplomat from assassination.  The stories actually are connected, as the mob runs an assassin for hire service.

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Superman does show up at the end, helping Batman and Sonik take down the head of the mob.  Sonik reveals his identity to the kids.  No point in being a hero if they don’t understand that he is one of them.  In a nice closing touch, Bruce Wayne buys the building, creating a much better youth centre.

Sonik returns later in the year.

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.

World’s Finest 306 – the origin of Swordfish and Barracuda

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Kraft is joined by Bob Rozakis as they continue the Null and Void story, with Lightle and Dennis Janke on the art for World’s Finest 306 (Aug. 84).

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The origins of Swordfish and Barracuda are largely the same as that of Null and Void, although taking place far earlier, in the time of pirates.  And while Null and Void have put their powers towards crime, Swordfish and Barracuda became crime fighters in their era, working to stop X’ult, the most evil pirate around.

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Superman manages to get free of Void’s trap, returning to the real world.  Null has basically become one of the good guys, hoping to take out Void, even at the cost of his powers.

The story concludes in the next issue.