This Day in DC History (50 YA, approximately)

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Kevrob

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Sep 15, 2020, 8:52:49 AM9/15/20
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On sale date: Sept 10, 1970 - a little over 50 years ago!

For 16 years WORLD'S FINEST COMICS had hosted teamups
of Superman with the Dynamic Duo, Batman & Robin.
Originally a 100-page anthology spotlighting DC's top
two features on the cover, backed by popular strips
of the second-rank (The Sandman, Boy Commandos, The
Green Arrow) WF had been whittled down over the years,
eventually being reduced to the new standard length
(32 pps + covers) at the 10 cent price point. Just
before that it had been 64 pages for $0.15. #197 was
released in mid-August, 1970, as a 64-page reprint
"Giant," for 25¢. #71, from May of 154, was too slim
to contain separate Superman and Batman stories and
still have room for a back-up feature meant to showcase
a character fans of National's big guns didn't normally read.
The editors decided to combine the "cape and cowl" into one
feature, and "THE WORLD'S FINEST TEAM" was born! Or just
named, anyway. S,B & R had been working together on the
radio for years.

But in 1970, with editorship of Superman titles being
taken from Mort Weisinger and put in the hands of Julie
Schwartz and Murray Boltinoff, the Superman-Batman teamups
were replaced by Superman and rotating guest-stars, with
a two-part Flash/Kal-El race kicking things off in #198
and #199.

https://www.comics.org/issue/23825/cover/4/

Nifty Curt Swan cover

https://www.comics.org/issue/23887/cover/4/

Snazzy Neal Adams cover

The WFC logo was reworked into a banner leaving room
for each hero's own personal marks, at least until #211.
Superman's own version of Batman's THE BRAVE AND THE
BOLD was over by August, 1972. [issue #211, which
guest-starred the modern-day Western crimefighter,
The Vigilante.) #215 brought back the teamups of
the Man of Tomorrow and the Darknight Detective, but
usually Robin couldn't get away from his studies at
Hudson University to take part. As it was, Dick Grayson
got to guest-star once without Bruce, and 3 of the issues
in that run featured Batman. But there were some cool
issues, notably the ones featuring Dr Fate and the original
Teen Titans.

The concept of "Supes teams with whoever" was successfully
revived as "DC COMICS PRESENTS" in 1978, likely an
attempt to cash in on SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.

https://www.comics.org/issue/32384/cover/4/

DCCP lasted a healthy 97 issues, with the team-up format being
tried out in ACTION COMICS under the hand of John Byrne.

https://www.comics.org/issue/42327/cover/4/

In 1970, splitting up "Your two favorite heroes - Together!"
seemed as radical as....turning all the Kryptonite on Earth
unto iron! It was a nice change of pace, though. The few
S&B issues in the `70-`72 run must have outsold the other
duos.

I ran across Brian Cronin's remembrances here:

https://www.cbr.com/superman-batman-worlds-finest-team-ups/

--
Kevin R



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