World’s Finest Comics – 250


World’s Finest Comics – 250

General Info

Issue No:
250
On Sale Date:
January 1978
Cover Date:
May 1978
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Reality War

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jack Abel
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
George Tuska
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Jack C Harris

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana) ,Batman (Bruce Wayne), Superman (Clark Kent/Kel El), Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)
Heroes:
Flash (Barry Allen), Hawkman (Katar Hol), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Atom (Ray Palmer), Elongated Man (Ralph Dibney), Creeper (Jack Ryder), Aquaman (Arthur Curry)
Villains:
Ravager (Professor Mark Ronsom), Agent Axis II, Gustav
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta
Other:
Alfred Pennyworth
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Comments

This is a special Anniversary issue starring several heroes including Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and of course, Wonder Woman all in one single main story.

Synopsis

On returning from a mission in deep space, Batman and Superman find themselves having to deal with Nazi tanks and submarines that seem to appear as if out of nowhere. These mirages spread throughout the world but what is far more concerning for the two heroes is the fact that not one single member of the Justice League is tackling these menaces. On further investigation they discover that their colleagues have all gone, including the JLA satellite! Even Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred, seems to no longer recognise Batman!

The next morning Superman and Batman visit Barry Allen but he too has no idea who they are or who this ‘Flash’ person is. As they scour the country they find all the other heroes have no memory of their heroic identities and in two cases, they discover heroes who never actually existed!

Approaching Paradise Island to speak with Diana they find themselves under attack from the Amazons, led by Diana herself. It is obvious to the two men that they are no longer recognised as friends and that they cannot set foot on Paradise Island to defend themselves. Superman, holding Batman as he floats in the air, instead uses a super blast of air to bowl the Amazons over. Diana quickly gets to her feet and demands to know why they here and how they found Paradise Island?

Realising she too does not recognise her JLA colleagues, they attempt to explain recent events. After hearing their story, Diana feels compelled to believe them for some subconscious reason. She tells them that the Amazons understand the flow of time in a way inexplicable to man and she leads them to a chamber in the heart of the Royal Palace. There, Queen Hippolyta shows them the Magic Sphere in which all things past and present become visible to the discerning eye. She tells them that she has been studying it all day and has seen much that disturbs her. Time has broken, eroding as a muddy bank of a flooded river with past and present merging. The past appears in their time while the present vanishes. At the centre of this chaos there are four people. One is a figure known to Batman and Superman, who darts back and forth in time and is known as the Ravager. The second is an Amazon who calls herself Wonder Woman, a woman who it seems is her daughter Diana! Where she comes from Hippolyta does not know, but she too is central to the disturbance threatening reality. The final two individuals are known as Black Canary and Green Arrow who are the true cause of the temporal madness. Hippolyta then warns Batman and Superman that if the Ravager is not stopped and Black Canary and Green Arrow not prevented from doing whatever it is they’ve done, the world will end. The Magic Sphere has revealed that whatever Wonder Woman and the others did on August 13th, 1942 it must be prevented and they must therefore journey back in time.

With that, Superman and Batman set off for the time barrier and as they go, Batman feels sure that he has heard the names Black Canary and Green Arrow before somewhere…

The story switches to events which took place earlier. Dinah, (Black Canary) and Ollie (Green Arrow) are having a heated discussion about their relationship. Dinah tells him that she loves him but feels that she is sometimes smothered by his love. She feels lost, out of place and explains that ever since her husband died on Earth 2 and the Justice League brought her to Earth 1, she has felt cut off from everything she knew.

After a passionate ‘making up’ session she tells Ollie that she has an idea to help her straighten her head out. She had left Earth 2 without resolving her feelings about her husband’s death. She therefore has to go back to Earth 2 for a while to visit the old places and old friends and adjust. She has to do what she should have when her husband died – mourn.

Ollie agrees to help her and the two heroes teleport up to the Justice League satellite. Hawkman is on duty and greets them. Black Canary explains that she wishes to use the multidimensional transporter device to return to her former home. Hawkman however tells her that Superman has ordered the machine off limits after a monster from between Earth 1 and 2 was able to enter their dimension using it and it had taken the combined strength of Supermen from both Earths to defeat it. But Green Arrow wants his lover to get her wish and activates the device before both he and Black Canary leap through it. Like ripples in a pond spreading from a tossed stone, the effects of Green Arrow’s act spread outward from this point in time. Hawkman and the Justice League satellite wink out of existence and across the globe dozens of super heroes lose their powers and memories of their heroic identities. Only four heroes escape the effects – Black Canary and Green Arrow who are on their way to Earth 2, and Batman and Superman who are on their mission out in deep space.

Meanwhile the culprits of this mayhem, Dinah and Ollie find that their journey to Earth 2 is taking far longer than normal. Green Arrow begins to wonder whether they are lost in the void and that perhaps his actions were a little rash. Just the they see a rip in space ahead and dive through it into the world known as Earth 2 in the year 1942.

High above Washington DC Wonder Woman is patrolling in her invisible plane when out of nowhere the rift opens in front of her. The two heroes collide with the plane as they exit and propelled by the impact, they together with the invisible plane crash back through the rift, into the void and through a second rift leading not to Earth 2, but to Earth 1! However, this is not the Earth 1 that Black Canary and Green Arrow left moments before but instead is the Earth 1 of World War II, specifically August 13th, 1942!

Surprised onlookers watch as the portal opens in the sky and the two heroes and the invisible plane tumble to the ground next to the Lincoln Memorial. When Black Canary and Green Arrow come to their senses they look around and see by the style of the clothes and the cars that something is wrong. Just then Wonder Woman exits her plane and floors Green Arrow with a punch, demanding to know what they did to her plane. Black Canary warns Wonder Woman to leave him alone and the Amazon hears her American accent.

She slaps Canary out of the way saying that if they’re not German that makes them traitors instead! Meanwhile Green Arrow has got to his feet and fires one of his special arrows at the Amazon Princess which covers her with a strange substance. As he helps Dinah to her feet he explains that the arrow contains a combination of plastic and yeast and the more Wonder Woman struggles the bigger the glop grows! Black Canary addresses the still struggling Amazon, asking her if she is ready to talk yet? Wonder Woman agrees, realising that they cannot be enemy agents or else they would have taken the opportunity by now to kill her while she is helpless.

A quarter of an hour later they finish trying to explain recent events to Wonder Woman and although to others such talk of parallel worlds would seem nonsense, to an Amazon who knows much more about time, it does makes sense. She guesses that when they journeyed from this Earth to her own, they had passed back in time as well as space. When they emerged from the portal they had struck her plane and they all rebounded back through the inter dimensional barrier to Earth 1 in the 1940s.

Just then the military arrive on the scene and Wonder Woman attempts to explain to them what has happened. A little while later a bemused General feels it all sounds like some Nazi plot but Professor Ronsom their scientific adviser explains that he has been working on a time device of his own. He calls it the Chronal Transponder and theoretically by using it they can attack the Germans and the Japanese in the past! He muses that if these people have come from the future then perhaps they can help him perfect the device. Suddenly, gunfire shatters the night and the professor is shot. Green Arrow swiftly uses a gas arrow to subdue the attackers while unseen, a figure curses hiring American gangsters to perform such a delicate mission. His superiors in Germany will be most annoyed if Professor Ronsom is not killed – but he, Agent Axis, will ensure that it happens!

Meanwhile Wonder Woman attends to the dying scientist who weakly tells her that his only chance is for the transponder to be activated and put his body in a state of time stasis. He will then continue to live without further deterioration. Unable to activate it himself, he asks Wonder Woman to press the button which she does – and the Ravager is born! Ronsom becomes a glowing figure and disappears before their eyes. The Lincoln Memorial also vanishes and the three heroes are left wondering what on earth has happened?

Over the course of the next several hours Washington is plagued by the repeated appearances and disappearances of the man who used to be Professor Ronsom. Every time he does so, something vanishes. The authorities and the three super heroes are now confronting him in front of the White House. As they watch, the marine Guards begin to disappear and Green Arrow fires one of his shafts but it simply burns up. Wonder Woman twirls her lasso above her head and loops it around the being. But he simply fades away again and Wonder Woman can only despair, knowing that his rampage is all her fault. Suddenly out of thin air Superman and Batman materialise offering their help to capture Ravager…

Hours later in an abandoned boarding school on the outskirts of Washington now used as a secret HQ for a local Nazi-Funded sabotage ring, two former colleagues of Ronsom now turned traitor explain to Agent Axis that with the proper equipment they can override the transponder controls and assume control of it themselves. He orders them to arrange such a device so they can capture Ronsom and the transponder as soon as possible.

Back at the White House, Batman is explaining to Green Arrow that the Ravager has damaged time so much that he and Black Canary no longer exists in the present day. President Roosevelt asks Batman how one man can cause so many overwhelming changes and the Caped Crusader replies that what if someone had stopped Lincoln’s assassination – wouldn’t that have changed the world? When the Ravager moves from past to present he brings a chunk of the previous era with him. Just then an officer informs them that the Ravager has re materialised at the Library of Congress and the army have him surrounded. Quickly the heroes make their way there. As one they attack using their own unique skills but they make no headway against his power. From the shadows Agent Axis watches the battle with the two former aides. They tell him that the neutralising belt he now wears will allow him to control Ronsom’s transponder and use it to send them both to Berlin. The Nazi quickly rushes towards the Ravager and leaps at him. In a flash the two of them vanish leaving the heroes wondering whether they have seen the last of the Ravager.

Two days later Batman and Green Arrow are flying on board a B-17. Batman explains to Ollie that the reason why they have all split up, with Superman going on alone and Canary riding with Wonder Woman in her robot plane, is because military intelligence have discovered that the Germans have captured the Ravager. He is being held in the top secret Nazi HQ in Bavaria and the best way to get to the fortress alive is to hit it from all sides.

Elsewhere, Wonder Woman lands her invisible plane in the nearby forest and she and Canary are greeted by German Resistance fighters. They are provided with false ID papers and civilian clothing and prepare to make their way to the Fortress HQ. At that moment, guards on duty there think they hear a ghost whoosh towards them but are soon bowled over by the Man of Steel himself moving at lightning speed. Using his X-ray vision, he detects which room the Ravager is being held in and decides to scout the rest of the fortress completely before the others arrive.

A short while later Wonder Woman and Black Canary in their disguises hand their papers over to the guards at the gate. But the Germans realise they are intruders and the Amazing Amazon must use her bracelets to defend herself and Canary from a hail of machine gun fire. She proceeds to deck the soldiers and then she and Canary race off to their positions before their colleagues arrive.

Elsewhere, Batman and Green Arrow parachute down to the ground intent on letting themselves be captured. After a brief struggle with some guards they are both overpowered and taken to the chamber where Ravager is being held attended by lab assistants. Agent Axis mocks their futile attempt at rescue and Batman warns him the Ravager is too dangerous to be left in the hands of the Nazis. Axis replies that they will harness the Chronal energies trapped in Ronsom’s form just as the Americans plan to harness the Atom. Time is greater then Atomic Energy and by using the Electro Magnetic Neutralising belt he can control Ronsom’s power. Suddenly, two of the female lab assistants reveal themselves to be Canary and Wonder Woman, who proceed to launch themselves at the guards. In the confusion, Batman takes the opportunity to kick the Neutralising belt out of Axis’ hands and up into the air before he and Green Arrow floor him. Superman arrives just in time to catch the flying belt.

As the heroes continue to mop up the resistance a dazed Axis decides that if the fatherland cannot have the transponder – then nobody can. With that he destroys the machine which is keeping the Ravager in check and with an abruptness that defies description, time stops. And of all the creatures in reality only a handful nearest the centre of the Chronal explosion survive, tossed like flotsam on the temporal river as events from past and present rush by without meaning. Superman realises that the Ravager’s energies are shattering the whole space-time continuum and in seconds nothing will be left but might-have-beens. There must be a way to reverse the process and the key must surely be in the Neutralising belt he still holds. The Man of Steel uses his X-ray vision to quickly analyse the workings of the device while the others face their demise in their own ways. Suddenly Superman cries out to them amongst all the confusion, telling them that he has studied the device and can set the controls but there is one problem – the belt’s power pack is damaged and the field is weak. To reverse the Ravager’s Chronal Energies it has to be within two inches of his body to work.

Green Arrow instantly takes the belt and attaches it to one of his arrows. Superman sets the device to activate in ten seconds and as Canary wishes him luck, Ollie takes aim. He counts down to one before letting the arrow fly towards Ravager. There is a flash of energy and time flows once more! The heroes split apart, each returning to his or her own time and place. All that was, and then was not, now exists again. Time flows on. Life continues. Reality has been repaired.