I cannot stand Ben Affleck as Batman! Sorry, I need to just say it once in a while, especially since he all bit ruined the new Justice League preview. Like, I am all “wow, Aqua Man looks cool. Ahh, Flash is rad. Ooh, they look good.” And then there’s emo Affleck trying way to hard or not enough, can’t tell which. How does the failed Daredevil get the most important cowl in comics- Sorry, I need to stop before I write a whole post on my dislike of Bat-fleck. I bring it up because of the other high potential movie he ruined, Batman v. Superman. The two highest profile heroes of the DCU have always had an interesting relationship. The dark and brooding vigilante and the true blue boy scout have been closest of allies, and brutalist of enemies. Anyway you toss it, the two together carry one of the most interesting dynamics (except in the case of the Bat-fleck movie). Today in Deconstructed, we are going to take a look at a 1984 team-up, featuring a couple stories, and some other cameos, in what used to be the book to go to when you wanted to see the heroes together, World’s Finest Comics.
Something about watching Batman beat the crap out of Superman can be so satisfying. This cover is no different, as Bats takes his punches with kryptonian fists at a well bruised up Supes. While nearly all the 323 issues of World’s Finest Comics feature the two DC icons, this cover is one of the most graphic versions of the heroes pitted against each other.
Oh my god, it’s Joust! Anyone who has ever read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, is well aware of the importance of this vintage video game. This ad brings this epic game to another level! “Joust. You don’t play it… …you live it!”
World’s Finest Comics
Price: $.95 (Todays worth: $1 to $5)
Cover art by Ed Hannigan and Klaus Janson
“The Superman – Batman Split!” – This story is a reprint from World’s Finest Comics #176, June 1968. (Well that’s kind of lazy)
Written by Cary Bates
Pencils by Neal Adams
Ink by Dick Giordano
“No Rest For Heroes!”
Written by David Anthony Kraft
Pencils by David Mazzucchelli
Ink by Rodin Rodriguez
Letters by Duncan Andrews
Colours by Carl Gafford
Edited by Roger Silfer
Starting with “The Superman – Batman Split!”, two men know the secret identities of the two heroes, but are they up to good or evil?
The story begins with Clark Kent going to interview a movie star, Ronald Jason, at the stars home. At the end of the interview, Jason reveals that he knows Kent’s secret-
After revealing Superman, Jason reveals that he is not Ronald Jason but an alien in disguise, and he needs Supes help.
Vice President Dur, fearing he may be assassinated next, he has run to Earth and hidden as the movie star. Now, he thinks his enemies are tracking him, and he needs the help of Superman.
This is a pretty fantastic image of He-Man, and the Masters of the Universe. They don’t seem to be selling anything in particular, the tv show, toys, or comics, it just seems to be a reminder that the Masters of the Universe franchise exists. I’m not complaining, this picture is sweet!
Meanwhile Batman returns to his cave to find that the cave has been infiltrated by an alien. The alien has a very different story than the one told to Superman a couple pages earlier-
Batman joins the alien cop, and the first thing he wants to do is call Superman (that doesn’t sound like Batman). But Tiron somehow knows Dur has contracted Supes. So, Bats gets the help of someone else-
Batman and Supergirl head off to the fortress of solitude knowing that’s where Superman would hide someone. Tiron decides to stay behind, suspicious, but Batman the worlds greatest detective doesn’t question the alien on it at all. As Supergirl is maneuvering the giant key-
While Superman and Supergirl begin to throw punches, Batman slips into the fortress. Just as Bats has found Dur, Superman catches up to him, after tossing Supergirl with a sweet super spin.
A shark tooth pendant for $9.95, in 1984? Can’t you find these in gift stores across the world for $2?
Then there is this over-the-top aggressive exchange between our heroes-
Superman holes up Dur, and decides that he needs his own teammate to face Batman and Supergirl. To contact her- because he does not know her real identity- Superman pretends to be a living statue? Until she shows up-
Good one Supes- wait who the hell is Twiggy? Any way, he convinces Batgirl- or as the book called her, the curvaceous crime fighter- to join his cause. While back at Jimmy Olsen’s apartment, Jimmy has a surprise visitor-
And news to me, Jimmy Olsen and Robin have their own secret headquarters that not even Batman and Superman know about. Why? Probably just for this situation. The two kids uncover the secret-
As the boys rush to their own mini-jet, they are mysteriously gassed and knocked out. Meanwhile, Batman has tracked Superman’s hiding spot using his Justice League tracker. That’s when Batman pulls off the gloves, well more accurately he puts them on-
While the big names go at it, Supergirl tries to locate Dur. Unfortunately for her, he is protected by Batgirl. In the resulting battle Batgirl falls off a cliff, and Superman is to weak from the kryptonite to save her. Who will save her?
Suddenly, Tiron the alien collapses, he is dying from… from… I’m not sure. But not before he reveals himself as-
But, why? Ronald Jason had a brother Desmond who was a scientist who created the tech Ronald was using as an alien, but also discovered Batman and Superman’s identities. When a lab explosion killed his brother, and gave himself radiation poisoning, Ronald decided to pull off his greatest performance: fooling Batman and Superman!
Finally Robin and Jimmy show up- way to hustle boys, and they re-explain the situation. At which point Superman he knew the whole time (I mean he has x-ray vision), and had Batman in on it too. Batgirl and Supergirl were the only suckers here.
In the next short story “No Rest for Heroes!” Batman and Superman had just wrapped up an adventure with the Justice League and The Outsiders-
When they decide to grab some food and a drink at a local shady pub. They order milk. Then as the two chat it up Batman gets all feely, whiny, and emo-
The locals over hear, and assume because Batman is so whiny and emo, he must not be the real Batman. A couple thugs throw a bet down and attack the heroes as their feely conversation continues.
And then the two superheroes ditch the pub before their milk arrives. That’s it. The end.
There is this one fan who believes that a certain story line would go down in comic history. The fact we have no idea what he’s talking about confirms he is wrong.
Star Trek is on sale now! That’s the whole ad.
Thanks booknerds, thanks for joining me for this weeklong kick-off to Deconstructed. Going forward you can look forward to an installment once a week on The Green Onion Blog!