A short note first, I always try to scan my copy of the comic being reviewed, but my scanner is not cooperating. As a matter of fact, the next order of business is to look for a new scanner. So today this cover is one I got off the intertubes. It's close enough in condition to my own, so it's good enough fer ya! Nah, you guys deserve better, but this is the best I got...So I present unto you:
World's Finest Comics #103 from 1959
This is one of my father's old books. The first story in this comic does indeed feature Batman, Robin and Superman. It begins with Batman and Robin driving by the Gotham City Park and noticing someone freaking out and running around. They get out to investigate and to see if the fella needs any help. It turns out he is babbling about a dragon! A dragon that he unwittingly released from the box in his hands. Just as Batman is thinking this guy is nutty he sees the dragon in question and it's a biggun! Batman promptly jumps back into the Batmobile and drives around the dragon in circles in an attempt to confuse the creature. Once the dragon stomps on the poor Batmobile as Batman and Robin dive for cover, they use a combination of a search light and a fire hose to drive the dragon into a nearby cave...I guess enormous caves are normal features in the parks of Gotham. Robin promptly contacts Superman, knowing he's the only one capable of tying the dragon up. As they are waiting for him Batman questions the guy who started the whole mess.
The fellows name is Atkins and he and his partner Bork bought a treasure map off a bandit, who smuggled these four treasures, each created by a sorcerer, into the US years ago with his accomplices, they hid the hot loot and all died in a car crash, all but the one guy they bought the map off of, who was about to die too...apparently.
When Superman shows up to, and I quote, "hogtie that dragon!" they discover the dragon is gone, along with Atkins. Since Atkins was helpful enough to tell Batman exactly what his plan was, they knew where to find his partner. Superman went to confront Bork while Batman and Robin continued on to the third spot expecting to run into Atkins.
When Superman finds Bork he has a giant spherical prism and Superman instantly knows that the power has "unhinged Bork's mind!" So instead of trying to reason with him, Superman tries attacking without warning. The prism sends Superman careening off wildly! As Bork puts it, "Just as an ordinary prism distorts light touching it, this prism distorts and deflects energy!" Ahem, I believe light IS energy, Mr. Bork. But I digress, Superman decides to use his superbreath to blow the prism out of Bork's hands only to have that deflected too, out into the ocean where a bunch of tankers are blown all out of the water! Of course saving those poor sailors and the ships is a cinch when you are the Man of Steel, but this give Bork just enough time to make his get-a-way.
Meanwhile, Batman and Robin have discovered where the two power hungry madmen are off to meet up at and now have to contend with the powers of the prism AND the dragon! Robin, thinking quickly, is able to get the prism and uses it to knock out the dragon, who shrinks down and is able to be put back into his box and out of the way. Having come back to his senses, Bork tells Batman where the fourth treasure can be found. While they are discovering his location Atkins finishes digging up the third treasure, a glove that dissolves inert matter! He creates a chasm where Bats and Robin are standing and they are just barely able to grab the edges to save themselves. Just as this is happening, Superman finally shows up and he's promptly deflected by the prism again! But when he recovers, to Atkins' shock and mine, Superman begins to sing! While even Robin is puzzled by a surely mad Superman's actions, the prism suddenly shatters in Atkins' hands! Superman used his "super-tone" to break the prism! So not only can he leap buildings in a single bound but Superman also has a beautiful singing voice. I never knew.
But the cunning criminal still had one treasure up his sleeve, a mantle (a kind of cloak) of invisibility! Thinking that he's about to get away scott-free, Atkins tries to flee, but Superman, holding true to his name, acts quickly and crushes a boulder into powder and blows it over the area, as the dust settles they are easily able to see Atkins and Batman places a well times right hook to knock the crook out! Pow!
To be sure that no greedy men will ever be able to use the treasures again, Superman wraps them all up in the mantle and hurls them into space, where the air friction sets them afire! The End.
Whew, that was a lot of typing for a 12 page story! I think I'll skip the last two stories, one with Tommy Tomorrow and one with Green Arrow. Maybe I'll do a sequel blog down the line. But for now, I leave you with this copious conundrum, is Superman a baritone or a falsetto?