Friday, July 25, 2008

World's Finest Comics #178

World's Finest Comics #178 (On Sale: July 25, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams that I have always loved. First you have the unusual guest appearance by Green Arrow then you have Superman holding up this typical Curt Swan costume. I have just always loved this one.

"The Has-Been Superman" is by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. In yet another imaginary story, Superman investigates a rip in space in which several probes have disappeared. He travels through the rift to another dimension and finds the missing probes inside a giant guard mechanism. He returns to Earth, but alien antiseptic from inside the machine permanently causes him to lose his powers.

Superman soon becomes bored since he has to give up his crime-fighting career. He decides to carry on without powers just like Batman and Green Arrow. He creates a new costume with a gimmicked cape and becomes Nova.

Batman receives an alert about a prowler on a movie studio lot. When he investigates he finds that the suspect is actually Superman engaging in training exercises. Batman wishes Superman luck, but doubts that he will succeed in his new crime-fighting identity. The former Man of Steel soon runs into his first gang of criminals and as Batman feared, he loses the fight and is captured.Superman investigates a rip in space in which several probes have disappeared. He travels through the rift to another dimension and finds the missing probes inside a giant guard mechanism. He returns to Earth, but alien antiseptic from inside the machine permanently causes him to lose his powers.

Superman soon becomes bored since he has to give up his crime-fighting career. He decides to carry on without powers just like Batman and Green Arrow. He creates a new costume with a gimmicked cape and becomes Nova.

Batman receives an alert about a prowler on a movie studio lot. When he investigates he finds that the suspect is actually Superman engaging in training exercises. Batman wishes Superman luck, but doubts that he will succeed in his new crime-fighting identity. The former Man of Steel soon runs into his first gang of criminals and as Batman feared, he loses the fight and is captured. Reprinted in DC Special Series #23.

The back-up is "Rip Van Superman," a Superman story from Superman #107 by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. Superman stops a runaway cyclotron, but he is put in a coma by the experience. He awakens one thousand years in the future to a world of supermen. The men of the future all have super powers and rely on robots.

A renegade scientist, Drago, takes control of the moon-prison and causing great tidal waves. All of the robots are also disabled. Superman inspires the citizens to take action and defeat Drago.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

3 comments:

vinnie said...

Knowing what was in store for Green Arrow a year, and then two, down the road, it's amusing to see the Adams version of him here while still in his "boy scout" phase. Kind of like seeing videos of Dennis Rodman playing for the Detroit Pistons in the 80's.

Phil Marrone said...

i could never find the conclusion of Superman's tenure as The Nova. Was it in 179, 180?

Jim Akin said...

Phil, as you may have figured out in the intervening 4 years :) the story concluded in WF #180 (#179 was an all-reprint 80-Page Giant). The story is recapped on the site in this entry.