BHOC: WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #220

My Grandparents lived not all that far from us. They were frequent visitors to my family’s home, and on rarer occasions we would go to theirs. It was on one such trip that I got this, WORLD’S FINEST #220, the second part to the story I had read earlier. I was a little bit astonished and overjoyed to be able to read the conclusion of that tale–the first two-parter I was ever able to do this with.

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WORLD’S FINEST #220 picks up right where the previous issue left off, with Superman and Batman confronting El Monstro while in search of a cache of stolen Nazi gold. They learn that, in reality, El Monstro is a young woman, illegally imprisoned and accidentally transformed into a creature during her escape attempt.

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Batman is sympathetic to El Monsto’s plight and desire for revenge. Superman isn’t wild about letting a savage monster with a death wish run around the countryside. This leads Batman to tell Superman that the reason for his lack of empathy is that he isn’t human.

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Going their separate ways because of their disagreement, Batman pursues the subject of El Monstro’s wrath, and is saved at a key moment by the creature. In a hypocritical moment, Batman begs El Monstro to forgo her vow of vengeance, but the monster will hear none of it–the thought of vengeance is all she has to live for.

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Both the hunters and the hunted are almost killed by an avalanche, but once again El Monstro saves the borderline-incompetent Batman’s life. Her vengeance achieved, she intends to return to the hidden Nazi sub that houses the gold.

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As Superman continues to do nothing, a Government plane destroys the sub with depth charges, and then a Government helicopter pelts El Monstro with defoliants, Destroying her. In the end, the two useless heroes think deep thoughts about the situation, and none at all about how useless they have been throughout this entire tale. It really feels like author Bob Haney wanted to be writing a SWAMP THING issue or a mystery story this week, rather than Superman and Batman. Inker Murphy Anderson gives the Dick Dillin pencils a softer feeling here as well.

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As with the previous issue, this book also includes a Metamorpho back-up about which I remember absolutely nothing. I don’t quite know why Metamorpho failed to capture my attention–he’s a great character with a fun set-up and a cool supporting cast. But he did nothing for me here, as he tries to rescue the abducted Sapphire from kidnappers.

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It does have a memorable scene in which, after she has been killed via fatal injection after her ransom is paid in counterfeit money, Sapphire comes back to life when one of Element Man’s tears magically is able to counteract the poison.

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