Friday, August 7, 2009

World's Finest Comics #188

World's Finest Comics #188 (On Sale: August 7, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

We begin with Superman and Batman in "The Super-Rivals" by Ed Hamilton, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye and reprinted from World's Finest Comics #85. Princess Varina visits the United States and meets her heroes Superman and Batman. The heroes begin competing for Varina’s affection because if she elopes with Stefan, her royal guard, a commoner, she must abdicate. Abdication would lead to civil war in Balkania.

The heroes continue their pursuit of Varina, but when Pete Kaney’s gang try to steal the royal jewels, the heroes make Stefan appear to be a hero. Stefan’s notoriety allows him to safely marry the princess without risk of war pleasing not only the princess but Lois Lane and Vicki Vale as well.

Next is Superman and Batman in "The Super-Newspaper of Gotham City" also by Ed Hamilton, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye and reprinted from World's Finest Comics #80. Lois Lane and Clark Kent are asked to work for the Gotham Gazette temporarily to save it from ruin. Bruce Wayne also joins the staff as a reporter to help track down a large crime ring. Bruce and Clark compete for stories, while working on breaking up the crime ring as Batman and Superman. They eventually track down the ring with Robin’s help and deliver the story to the Gazette. The newspaper increases in circulation due to the story and is saved from bankruptcy.

That is followed by Superman and Batman in "The Negative Superman" by France Herron, Jim Mooney and Sheldon Moldoff and reprinted from World's Finest Comics #126. Luthor uses a new device to cause Superman to split in a positive and negative half. The Negative Superman begins helping Luthor and other criminals. The real Superman is unable to stop his duplicate because of an energy field.

Batman and Robin assist the Man of Steel in combating the super-powered menace. Batman uses Kryptonite, but the mineral causes the Negative Superman to grow more powerful. When Superman collides with his negative half, the increased power of the Negative Superman breaks the energy field and allows them to merge back into one being.

Next is Green Arrow in "The World's Worst Archer" by Robert Bernstein and Lee Elias and reprinted from Adventure Comics #262. Roy Harper, a promising athlete and archer, wants to become Green Arrow’s partner. His guardian is Brave Bow, an Indian chief whose life was saved by Roy’s late father. Brave Bow has trained Roy to master the bow and arrow, but is now too old to care for Roy.

Green Arrow gives the boy a chance to prove himself at the Greenville Fair. Roy’s arrow misses the target horribly. Roy doesn’t give up and follows Green Arrow after some crooks. Roy uses Brave Bow’s lucky flint arrow to catch the criminals. Green Arrow misses the action and believes the crooks were caught by a lucky accident.

G.A. gives Roy another chance after Roy wins a track meet. Again the boy’s arrow goes wide of the target. Roy is disappointed, but again trails Green Arrow after some crooks. His flint arrow punctures the tire of the getaway car, but the shaft breaks off leaving no evidence that Roy was responsible. Roy finally gives up, but Green Arrow returns later to explain to Roy that his arrowhead was in the tire. The shots he missed were metal arrows which had become magnetized at the fair, causing them to go wide of the targets. Green Arrow gives Roy the nickname Speedy and takes him as a partner.

We end with Superman and Batman in "The Batman Nobody Remembered" by Bill Finger and Jim Mooney and reprinted from World's Finest Comics #136. Batman is forced to crash land the Batplane during a lightning storm. When he returns to Gotham City no one remembers him. He also discovers that certain things are different. Bruce Wayne is really Superman and lives with Robin and Alfred; Vicki Vale looks like Lois Lane; and the Joker is a TV comic.

Batman’s behavior causes Superman and Commissioner Gordon to think he is a criminal, so he is hunted. He eventually proves himself by helping Superman rescue Robin. After relating his story to Superman, the Man of Steel reasons that Batman has been on a parallel Earth. Then he sends Batman to his own dimension, where he belongs.

Edited by E. Nelson Bridwell.

No comments: