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Topic: Who should be the World’s Finest? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

At DC Comics, World's Finest Comics was an anthology book that started with a Superman story and finished with a Batman story - at the time, the finest that National Comics* had to offer. All-American Comics* had the matching equivalent in Comics Cavalcade, with Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Flash highlighting their books - again, a magnificent anthology with solid anchor strips.

Comics Cavalcade's run of super heroes was 29 issues, whereupon it switched to funny animal features. World's Finest's anthology format lasted until World's Finest #71, when it switched to a rather constant series of the Superman, Batman, and Robin team.

But many people feel that, while Superman and the Dynamic Duo were, as the best sellers at DC, a perfect combination for World's Finest... there should have been more to it than just popular characters.**

So I've wondered - who should have been the World's Finest team? Who do YOU think should have been that team?

Let's play with both companies. I'm leaving out teams that existed (e.g., Superman and Batman and Robin or Captain America and the Falcon.) What team of two (or three) heroes would you have liked to see? You can pick any era, but no crossing over of companies. The sole exception to that is with National and All-American (who were knida the same company ANYHOW.)

Or go another direction; who should have teamed up with Superman and with B&R to make a more compatible team up?

For myself, I think the good combinations would have been Superman and Hawkman, and Batman and Robin and Robotman (either one, but let's note that it was established that the original Robotman's creator, Robert Grayson, was related to Dick Grayson - a GREAT hook IMO.)

With Marvel, I don't feel that Spider-Man would make a good regular partner - he was supposed to be a loner***, and I think that worked (and to heck with Marvel Team-Up.) I gotta go with what seemed a natural that I liked the one time it actually happened - the Human Torch and the Iceman.

I think those teams, while different nature of heroes, would have been a bit more natural. Let me know who you think would have matched up well.

*Remember that there was no "DC Comics" as such in the 40s; there was the National Comics side of the house that had Superman, Batman and Robin, Aquaman, Green Arrow, etc., and All-American Comics that had Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and most of the later Justice Society.

**After all, Marvel never released a team-up series with Spider-Man, the Hulk, Wolverine, or Ghost Rider, or even an anthology book with all four strips. Although I seem to recall one experiment... :)

***However, I think I would have liked Spider-Man teaming up occasionally with another loner character - Dr. Strange. Yes, that probably shows my favoritism for Steve Ditko. You got a problem with that?
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 10:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I'm guessing you didn't read MARVEL TEAM-UP much?


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Adam Schulman
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 11:18am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

These days DC is more about "the Trinity" -- Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. There was even briefly a comic named TRINITY.

"...let's note that it was established that the original Robotman's creator, Robert Grayson, was related to Dick Grayson - a GREAT hook IMO."

Typical 1980s Roy Thomas. They have the same last name so they must be related.

I think it was also Thomas who said that as Two-Face was Harvey Kent before he was Harvey Dent -- and still was on Earth-Two -- he must've been related to Clark Kent (or, more precisely, Ma and Pa Kent.)

Silly, really. Like how Green Lantern (Hal) must've been related to Air Wave because, after all, both of their last names were Jordan, never mind that Air Wave properly belonged on Earth-Two in those days, not on Earth-One.

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Adam Schulman
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Anyway...to properly answer the question...

Batman and Martian Manhunter, or Batman and the Flash (Barry).

Daredevil, Power Man and Iron Fist (which happened occasionally). Or Daredevil and the Daughters of the Dragon.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Brian, I was quite a fan of Marvel Team-Up. But that's not the kind of partnership I mean. Captain America and the Falcon IS... but it's been done already. ;) I mean a regular, monthly team up with the same characters.

Do you have any pairs or trios that you'd like to see as regular features?

Adam S. - why not have the Graysons related? I was okay with that.

And on Earth-2, Two-Face was Harvey Kent to start with. Another "Bob Banner", I guess.


Edited by Eric Sofer on April 15 2019 at 12:03pm
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Andrew Cate
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 3:58pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Hulk and Thing cruising across America in a VW bus saving people would be cool. 
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Mike Norris
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I surprised Tim Drake and Dinah Drake haven't been outed as relatives. ;)

Odd couple teams are fun. Batman and Superman. Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Hulk and just about anyone  Spider-man and the Hulk would be fun. 
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It only happened two or three times, but I really liked Spider-Man and Captain America teaming up.  They looked good together (both red, white, and blue) and I liked the older/younger dynamic--that "mentorship" made more sense to me than the Iron Man/Spider-Man relationship pushed the last few years in the comics and movies.

Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Power Man really worked well together and felt right.  Glad to see them together on TV as THE DEFENDERS (and I do like the TV version of Jessica Jones--but that's off-topic).

Going back to the Golden Age and Earth 2, It does seem a natural to pair Hawkman and Dr. Fate.


Edited by Eric Jansen on April 15 2019 at 6:22pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Eric S. wrote, "...why not have the Graysons related?"

Because it's tin-eared, obsessive fan-garbage that has absolutely nothing whatsoever with the original characterizations or the worlds into which they were written. It also serves to pile on the coincidences and shrink the stories rather than expand them. Another strike against the idea: it swiftly became a Roy Thomas cliche. Any two characters whose last names matched up were subsequently dragged through the morass of an extended family relationship. Characters who originated at separate companies, such as Ted Knight (Starman) and Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady) were suddenly closely-knit cousins in defiance of their separate histories and any sense of logic. 

You know, not everyone who's related shares the same name, and hey, get this, not everyone with the same name is related... But in infantile Roy-Thomas-Land they are. It's more about Thomas jumping up and down and shouting, "Look what I noticed! Look what I noticed!" and being given the power to make his every fanboy dream come true. 

It doesn't serve the story. It doesn't serve the characters. It doesn't serve the readers. It does serve Roy's sense of fanboyism, and since that IS the priority here... 

Also weird and only slightly less off-base, E. Nelson Bridwell's establishment of a familial relationship between the previously unnamed Kit (Kid Eternity) and Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel Jr.) be-- cause they're both... orphans or something... 

Fanboys shouldn't be prohibited from writing comics entirely, but they should be slapped extremely hard when they become coy and self-indulgent as with the cases here. 

Hey, you know how Spock's mother Amanda Grayson is from Earth and we don't know anything about Kirk's history except that he has a brother and spent time as a youth on Tarsus IV? Y'know what would be SO F***IN' COOL? If we found that the Graysons and the Kirks shared some really recent forebears together because it would make Kirk and Spock like second cousins who didn't even know it this WHOLE TIME!! Omigod, all that stuff about them being brothers could be closer to the truth than the two of them EVER KNEW! Omigod! We HAVE to do this!! We HAVE TO!!

I mean, hey, it doesn't hurt the story at all, right? Doesn't violate canon or anything that's ever been established onscreen. It makes some of the K/S stuff vaguely incestuous, but who knows? That might be all to the good as well. We don't know. Slash fans might like it.

And hey... if this guy... and this girl belong in the same Christmas photo together... 


...and Robin and a transplanted brain in a robot body who pals around with a talking robot dog can be cousins, anything goes, right? So, Amanda Grayson and Dick Grayson are obviously related, because, Grayson, clearly, so in the 23rd Century, the investigative and scientific legacy of the Caped Crusader is carried on by another pointy-eared detective with a thing for dark capes (as shown in THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY), and we already know that Spock, in that same film, intimated that one of his ancestors was Sherlock Holmes, which means that Batman has blood ties to Holmes through Robin... It's almost as if they were fated to meet somehow, right...? God, this is all SO perfect... and clearly what the creators would have intended all along if they'd only been as smart as a fan to think of it...


Edited by Brian Hague on April 15 2019 at 9:23pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: April 15 2019 at 10:04pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Pairing Superman and Batman as the WF team makes as much sense as any team-up, given that they weren't made to operate side-by-side. Given my druthers, I'd have one WF team be Superman and Lois, at her best as a sharp-witted, more-clever-than-thou schemer, hell-bent on securing the front page, no matter who she has to kill to get it. Inspired by Superman's success with a double identity, she might go about for a while in costume as a Tarpe Mills- Miss Fury style adventurer calling herself, "The Evening Edition" or "The Night Extra" or somesuch. She would only go out in costume occasionally and only in World's Finest Comics. The rest of the time, the identity would largely go unmentioned.

For Batman's side of the book, I could see a 40's-era style team-up between the Caped Crusader and a Gotham beat patrolman who was framed for a crime and is out looking for the guys who did it as a P.I.. Batman could be instrumental in helping him regain his good graces with the force, and the grateful detective could help Batman with inside info from the ground level and city streets. Ideally, I'd like to see the guy, we'll call him Detective John Dodge, be black, but that might not fly in the Forties. Dodge could routinely go undercover and might be working with a group of Baker Street Irregular style kids, as patrolmen of that day so often did. 

I wouldn't be in hurry to put social activists from dead planets alongside cloak-and-gas-bomb-millionaire crimefighters patrolling the night in dark cowls. 

Going further afield, I might assign Wonder Woman a partner in the planet Venus's Queen Desira who, inspired by her adventures alongside the Amazing Amazon, decides to come to America to start a women's social betterment organization. She invites WW to join, but Diana prefers to remain an independent operative, working alongside the Agents of Venus only on especially dangerous cases. Decidedly pro-feminine and brusquely intolerant of males who impede their aims, Desira and her Agents are always ready to lend a helping hand to a woman in need and to knock over a few of the barriers preventing women from participating fully in the governance and success of American society, always with WW standing nearby to cheer them on.

Over at Marvel, I was disheartened to learn that the very wishy-washy hodgepodge assemblage of the Champions was originally supposed to be just Bobby and Warren touring the country, Route 66-style, and finding trouble wherever they go. That sounds like a fun book. 

Also, back in the day, Iron Man was dating Whitney Frost, the Maggia criminal empire's Madame Masque. I'd like to have seen the title morph into a romantic twosome with her taking a place in the crimefighting pantheon alongside her armored paramour ala' Daredevil and the Black Widow. I wouldn't have objected to a Captain America/Agent 13 book either, except that Cap already had a partner. 


Edited by Brian Hague on April 15 2019 at 10:10pm
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: April 17 2019 at 1:57pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

For a while, Carter Hall's son -- Hector Hall -- was the new Doctor Fate!! 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: April 17 2019 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And the new Sandman! And the Silver Scarab! And the father of the latest incarnation of Dream of the Endless! And Lord only knows what else... Comics am weird. 

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