World’s Finest Comics – 286

General Info

Issue No:
286
On Sale Date:
August 1982
Cover Date:
December 1982
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
When Hell Breaks Loose

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Rich Buckler, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Cary Burkett
Penciller:
Rich Buckler
Inker:
Sam de la Rosa
Letterer:
Phil Felix
Colourist:
Gene D'Angelo
Editor:
Marv Wolfman

Characters

Main:
Batman (Bruce Wayne), Superman (Clark Kent/Kal El)
Heroes:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Robin (Dick Grayson), Zatanna Zatara
Villains:
Doctor Zodiac (Theodore Carrigan), Madame Zodiac,
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, Tim, Jack, Paula, Dan Hunter, Rabbi Shlomo Ben Haviv, Mrs. Rabinowitz, Sophie
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Synopsis

Batman and Superman have taken Zatanna to the Justice League Satellite after the incident with the fake zodiac coins that occurred in the previous issue. Wonder Woman tries to heal Zatanna, but the sorceress doesn’t seem to recover. Wonder Woman decides to take Zatanna to Paradise Island, where she will use the Purple Healing Ray to cure Zatanna. Batman and Superman return to their cities and Zatanna starts a slow recovery with the healing ray, although the damage caused by the evil dark cloud is still too great.

In the meantime, Dr. Zodiac ponders about his current situation and remembers how he was sprung out of prison by Madame Zodiac. Once outside, she revealed that she needed the Zodiac Idol he had previously used in order to get revenge against Batman and Superman, which is exactly what Dr. Zodiac wanted. Dr. Zodiac retrieved the Zodiac Idol and Madame Zodiac used magic to recover all the zodiac power coins, changing them for fake ones. In the process, Dr. Zodiac had fallen in love with Marissa, but she seemed only determined to use the power of the zodiac idol to fulfil the wishes of the evil dark cloud. Finally, Dr. Zodiac is forced to stop remembering as Madame Zodiac needs him to release the powers of the Zodiac Idol and energise the dark cloud.

At that moment, Bruce Wayne had returned home and after a training session with Dick Grayson, he decides to slow down his efforts against crime, much to everyone’s surprise. In the meantime, the dark cloud starts moving again and creates havoc wherever it goes. The cloud’s powers seem to unleash people’s darkest impulses and turns people against each other using hate as the fuel.

When Clark Kent returns to his apartment, he notices that his neighbour’s dog is missing and using his x-ray vision, he finds the puppy at the mercy of a satanic cult and about to be sacrificed. Superman stops the senseless murder and attacks the maniacs. However, he is once again attacked by the dark cloud and is temporarily incapacitated. Moments later in Gotham City, Lucius Fox returns home only to find a large faction of the Ku Klux Klan waiting for him outside his house.

Batman and Robin are out on patrol when they hear the police radio report about the attack on Lucius’ home and they go to the place to stop the monsters of hate from killing Lucius. They succeed with small help from Superman, who arrives in time to assist them. With the criminals restrained, Superman explains his experience in Metropolis, which leaves the heroes baffled.

Later, the dark cloud has gained all the powers required from Dr. Zodiac and Madame Zodiac and a new wave of monsters start plaguing the cities of America. Many members of the Justice League have to fight Werewolves and Vampires. In Gotham City, Batman, Robin and Superman have to deal with a horde of Zombies, but after successfully dealing with the monsters, Batman is possessed by the dark cloud.