Super Mates 64: Secret Origins of the Superman-Batman Team!

Just how did the World’s Finest heroes meet? Was it A) When they were kids in Smallville? B) When The Dynamic Duo saved the Man of Steel from Kryptonite? C) On the Superman Radio Show? The answer is: D) ALL OF THE ABOVE!


Chris and Cindy take a look at World’s Finest Comics #271, celebrating ALL of the origins of the Superman-Batman team! Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler weave a tangled web that involves time travel, Earth-Two, the Flying Fox and the deadly Atoman! Plus, your feedback!


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Clip credits:

Selected tracks from Superman: The Movie by John Williams

Batman TV soundtrack by Nelson Riddle

Superboy TV themes by John Gart

Superman Serial theme by Mischa Bakaleinikoff,

“The Electric Brain” from the Batman movie serial by Lee Zahler

The New Batman/Superman Adventures theme by Shirley Walker

“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor

“I Want a Deep-Fried Turkey” by William Shatner

11 responses to “Super Mates 64: Secret Origins of the Superman-Batman Team!

  1. This is one of my fav single issue comics. I still have the same copy I bought off the newsstand (Voorhees News and Tobacco, represent). So while I was happy it was going to be covered on the show, I know that it was ripe for a picking apart by Logic Lass, so I steeled myself as I hit play. Little did I realize, it would be a new character, Logic Lad, that would come after the book and point out glaring plot holes! Does anyone wonder why I hate the Legion?!?

    Re: Rich Buckler and swiping–I think the reason I give RB a pass when being harder on other artists who swipe is, Buckler can clearly draw well. When he does swipe, it’s probably more of a matter of speed than the inability to conjure and reproduce images. Wally Wood used to do the same thing, and no one’s accused him of being a lackluster artist! Buckler did great work in this issue.

    Not happy with SMP going monthly, but them’s the breaks I guess. Not judging, but maybe one of you could quit your job to work on the show full time?

    Thanks for playing the TreasuryCast promo!

    1. I hope my love for this comic came across. Despite the absolute wonkiness of some of it (most of which isn’t Thomas’ fault), I was thrilled to re-read it and talk about it. I did know it would set Cindy off, so it was partially a set-up, but I haven’t blown her mind a lot lately, so we were due.

      Good call on Buckler. I can see the swipes now, and I don’t really mind them. Dick Giordano often swiped from himself, or from images he’d inked over Adams’ pencils.

      If I could get a raise from Fire & Water, maybe we could go back to bi-weekly? Just sayin’…


  2. Of the thirty-nine issues of WORLD’S FINEST from the “dollar” era I’ve amassed twenty-five of them while back-issue hunting first for Black Canary stories and then others. I haven’t snagged issue #271 yet, but I’ll definitely be on the hunt for it now after hearing how crazy this issue is.

    Given my well-known feelings about Roy Thomas’ stern adherence to continuity (can we say Anti-Haney?), I’m sure my impressions of the story would mirror Cindy’s.

    1. I failed to mention the fact that Supes and Bats kicked their co-stars out of the book this issue. I LOVED the Dollar era of World’s Finest. My purchases of it were regular, if spotty, due to newsstand distribution, the bane of my young existence.

      I should have brought up Thomas desire to chronicle such “Secret Origins” led to the 80s title, but I think that was pretty well covered elsewhere on the network!

      This story, and the obsession with continuity is definitely pure Thomas, but you have to admire his skill at weaving all of these elements into a compelling narrative.

  3. Just starting to listen but before I go on I have to say, you never put out what sounds like a dashed-off filler episode, don’t undersell yourselves. That said, going monthly is a good idea given how busy you are. Right, back to the show, sounds like we’re in the radio show…

    ‘Tramp’ 🙂

    1. Thanks Martin. I’m my own worst enemy.

      Don’t you love how Cindy cuts to the heart of the matter? Lana Lang = Tramp.

      That’s my girl!


  4. Fun episode, I’d completely forgotten about this issue. What a mess. I’ve a huge tolerance for continuity mash-ups but this is one Roy Explains It All Too Many. It’s probably a fun challenge to a writer but at some point you must think, this is really dumb.

  5. Great work, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. And I have very fond memories of this issue of World’s Finest; I also liked the dollar comic phase of that book (as I enjoyed Adventure’s all-too-brief run of dollar issues), but mainly I picked them up more for the various back-up stories than the main Superman/Batman feature. This one, however, was an instance when I absolutely loved the Supes/Bats story. I suspect my reaction now, as a middle-aged adult, would be more like Cindy’s if I were to re-read it, but back then, at about the age of 12 or 13, I ate this one up and I recall reading it several times over. I really enjoyed the way Thomas took all of those disparate origins and first meetings of the World’s Finest team and wove some more-or-less coherent explanations for them, and cleverly mixing in a little Earth 2 continuity to help him out.
    Also, I loved, loved, loved Buckler’s art here.
    By the way, I remember when I first opened it up all those years ago, my first reaction to the “Atoman” moniker was also, “Hey, that’s Power Man!” – Because I’d read that original robot Power Man story not too long before in one of those ubiquitous DC digests (a line that I also adored back then).
    Anyway, looking forward to future episodes.

    1. I loved the Dollar Comics too, Edo. WF, Detective, Superman Family, Adventure…those were the books where I really became invested in the DCU. I think World’s Finest had the strongest line-up. It was almost like a Justice League Anthology book, with a little Shazam! thrown in!

      I know the digest you speak of! I didn’t have that one as a kid, but I do now. Roy’s narrative hooks may have been convoluted, but they did work.

      Thanks for listening!


  6. Very confusing issue but it was great hearing Chris’ and Cindy’s take on this. Agree with Martin above that it felt like a challenge to Roy Thomas to connect all the different Superman-Batman First Encounters into one coherent story, a challenge that became too convoluted!

  7. Well.. I’m of two minds.

    First, it was great to hear Chris and Cindy back on superhero comics! I loved HOUSE OF FRANKLINSTEIN (seriously great episodes), but my bread and butter are superheroes.

    Second, that comic was a hot mess. Maybe not even “hot”. Just a mess. So much continuity minutia! I can see why Cindy was so frustrated. 🙂 I’m already not a huge fan of the “trinity” during the Silver and Bronze Age, so this was just head-spinning.

    Again, wonderful to hear y’all back in action with the funny books! And totally understand about the format/timing change. It will just make us appreciate your episodes all the more. And keep my STARMAN CHRONICLES episodes coming!! Need those!!

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