World’s Finest Comics – 246


World’s Finest Comics – 246

General Info

Issue No:
246
On Sale Date:
May 1977
Cover Date:
September 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Baron's Name is Blitzkrieg

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Neal Adams
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
N/A
Colourist:
N/A
Editor:
Denny O'Neil, Jack C Harris

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince/Princess Diana), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Baron Blitzkrieg, Adolf Hitler
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
General Adrian Hanking, Sir Claude Auchinleck, Mr. McBride, Winston Churchill
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Comments

This two part story features the first appearance of Nazi super villain Baron Blitzkrieg who subsequently appeared in the “Superman vs Wonder Woman” Collector’s Edition.

Synopsis

It is night time in a foggy London, and US General Adrian Hawkins arrives outside his home. Hawkins has spent the last three months as Liaison Officer for the British and American Allied Command but has never quite adjusted to life in Europe.

He greets the guard outside his house and steps inside. As the guard watches him enter he glimpses a shadow out of the corner of his eye. The guard moves towards the alleyway where he had seen the movement and challenges the individual to show themselves. But before he can react he is clouted unconscious by an unseen attacker. With that, the figure bounds up the street and enters the building.

Meanwhile upstairs, Hawkins is peering out of his window at the foggy street and hears the sound of the door opening behind him. He turns expecting to see the guard but instead comes face to face with a powerful looking man in a yellow and lilac costume, wearing a helmet over his head which covers all but his eyes and mouth. Hawkins demands to know who the intruder is and the man introduces himself as Blitzkrieg and that he has come to kill him! In the next instant, Hawkins is thrown through the window and plummets to his death onto the pavement below!

Sometime later the authorities are on the scene including Major Steve Trevor and Yeoman Diana Prince. McBride, head of British Intelligence explains to Trevor that one of their constables found Hawkins’ dead body lying in the street and had at first suspected suicide. But they soon realised that the position of the body indicated that he had fallen backwards. Diana asks McBride whether he is suggesting that Hawkins had been murdered, but McBride icily tells her that he had been addressing Major Trevor and not her! He continues that he can hardly see the point in seeking the counsel of a woman – and a Yeoman at that!

Trevor tells McBride to take it easy and informs him that Diana is his assistant and that he values her opinion. Diana tells Steve not to worry and that she is sure McBride would feel more comfortable talking with Steve alone. With that she walks away.

She uses the opportunity to go inside and look around Hawkins’ apartment before McBride’s men trample all over any evidence. She spies a stain on the carpet and bending down to investigate finds it to be dried sea water. She remembers that the shoes on Hawkins’ body were clean which means the stain was left by his killer who must have recently stepped in the sea.

Just then she notices Hawkins’ attaché case on the table and sees to her horror that it is open and its contents have been removed. She realises that if the killer has taken the “Auchinleck” File, then it could spell disaster for the British 8th Army in Africa! She decides that it is time for Wonder Woman to get involved!

Four hours later and after several investigatory phone calls, Wonder Woman approaches the coast on board her invisible plane. There had apparently been reports of a U-boat in the waters the night before and she surmises that Hawkins’ killer might have been dropped off here.

She touches down on the cliff tops and clambers down to the beach. She soon spots a dinghy hidden in an alcove, confirming her suspicions that the killer had been dropped off by the sub. As she wonders if any of the locals had seen anything the night before, she senses someone behind her and turns just in time to deflect a shovel swung at her head. She swiftly responds by punching her attacker and sending him skidding across the sand into the cliff wall.

The man draws a revolver and fires at her, but she calmly deflects the bullets with her bracelets. The man panics at this sight and tries to make a run for it but he soon finds himself in the clutches of her magic lasso. She demands to know why he attacked her and what he knows about the man who landed here the night before. He begins to stammer that he is just a poor fisherman, but the power of the lasso overwhelms him and he reveals that he is also a paid agent of the Third Reich who assists spies that come ashore like the man the night before.

He struggles to conceal the spy’s name, pleading with her that the German will kill him but she orders him to say the name and the fisherman blurts out “Baron Blitzkrieg!”.

He then continues to tell her the story of this Prussian Noble who became a favourite of Hitler in the early days of the Reich. The Baron’s true name and history were unknown, save that his castle was used by the Fuehrer as a retreat. They became friends and when Hitler invaded Poland and began his purging of the Jews, the Baron was given a reward for his loyalty and was named Commandant of a death camp.

The Baron loved his role which achieved the Prussian dream of complete and total domination over men – the power of life itself! He could also make a profit too and demanded a percentage of the money taken from the Jewish families, in the form of wedding rings, gold teeth and so forth. It would have been a wonderful way to spend the war years but for one young Jew who one day broke away from the terrified herd and flung a bottle at the hated camp commander. Although the valiant Jew was shot down dead the next instant, the bottle succeeded in destroying the baron’s face!

Hitler immediately ordered the Reich’s finest surgeons to save his friend but although they salvaged his eyesight, they could do nothing to repair the ravaged face.

Hitler’s next decision was made perhaps out of some strange, twisted compassion but more likely he saw the baron as damaged property, fit only for use as a guinea pig. On the Fuehrer’s orders, the baron was given a series of experimental and agonising injections, composed of drugs designed to siphon the mind’s mental energy into the body’s cells. This gave the subject full control of his body’s resources allowing him to become super-strong in an instant. Transformed, the baron was no longer a useless cripple but became a new tool for the Reich – a being capable of superhuman efforts for limited periods of time – a man of such power and lightning speed he could only be named one thing – Blitzkrieg!

The fisherman then tells Wonder Woman that the baron was sent to England to find out what the Allies’ planned counterattack will be in North Africa, after the pounding they have taken from Rommel. Once he has that information, the baron has then been ordered to kill the commander in charge! Wonder Woman realises that the situation is desperate because that commander is none other than General Sir Claude Auchinleck!

After delivering her prisoner to Scotland Yard, the Amazon Princess speeds across London to the British Army Staff Building. But as she arrives she sees the building is ablaze and fire crews are trying to fight the flames. It is obvious that Blitzkrieg has already struck but has he succeeded in killing the general yet?

She jumps down to the ground and a startled Steve Trevor, who is also on the scene, asks her what she is doing here? She races past saying there is no time to explain as a man may be dying inside. With that she jumps through the window to find Blitzkrieg holding one of the General’s staff officers by the scruff of the neck.

The baron turns see her approach and tells her that he was hoping to meet her at some point although he would have wished for less distracting circumstances. He has always wondered how they would fare in battle against each other and now he has the chance to find out!

With that he hurls the officer at Wonder Woman, catching her off guard. The baron is even stronger than she had expected and she knows that if she is to win, she will have to use every skill with all the power at her command. As she gently lays the unconscious man to the ground, she turns and punches the baron with a massive blow, sending him toppling backwards.

But he quickly recovers and congratulates her on making the first blow. However. He reminds her that it is not a matter of who strikes first – but who strikes last! With that he lifts up a large, metal, fireproof filing cabinet and using his mental energies to summon enormous strength, hurls it at her with such speed that she is unable to avoid it. She is sent crashing into a wall and falls to the ground. As the cabinet pins her to the ground, she finds she is momentarily paralysed as the room begins to burn around them.

He looms over her, gloating that he is the perfect warrior of a master race and that no-one can defeat him, least of all a female. But as he talks, she reaches for a chunk of masonry from the rubble of the destroyed wall and throws it up into his face, taking him by surprise and dislodging his faceplate.

He staggers away clutching his face, crying out that he cannot let anyone see his disfigurement. Wonder Woman manages to free herself and grab the officer as the flames begin to advance, but sees that in all the smoke the baron has fled. She muses to herself that she cannot understand Man’s vanity sometimes! She then quickly exits the burning building, knowing that General Auchinleck must surely be the baron’s next target.

A few hours later, Yeoman Prince and Major Steve Trevor are riding in a staff car towards Number 10 Downing Street. Steve discusses what Wonder Woman had told him earlier about the nazi super agent with the strength of a dozen men. He still cannot quite believe it but Diana replies that the idea of a “Wonder” woman is also outlandish but yet he believes in the Amazon. Steve accepts her argument but tells her that it will not be so easy convincing General Auchinleck, let alone Prime Minister Churchill!

As they pull up outside the PM’s residence, Diana suddenly sees a grenade fly out of nowhere towards their car. She pushes Steve to the ground just as the car explodes killing the driver. As they pick themselves up from the floor, they see a figure blur past them and Diana recognises Blitzkrieg, now with mask again, and watches him enter Number 10 while the guards have been distracted by the explosion!

She quickly races down a nearby alley and transforms into Wonder Woman. As Steve and the guards circle the burning car wreckage, she leaps over their heads and enters through a window into Number 10. The sight before her is one that makes her despair. Blitzkrieg holds Churchill by his collar and, with his fist raised, he greets her once again. He informs the Amazon that Churchill and Auchinleck will be accompanying him to the Fatherland and that unless that Allies surrender immediately, neither of them will ever return!