Sunday, May 10, 2009

DC Challenge #7 (May, 1986)

Previous issue writer Elliot S! Maggin moaned about how the confusion in earlier scripts was "multiplying exponentially issue to issue, so it was clear that it was time to bring some order to the chaos." He then went on and on about his love of Albert Einstein, who is not a copyrighted DC character, but who he had do away with all the other writers' subplots. "Paul, I effectively said, go forth and disassemble no more and you will be saved." He had imagined his Nazi story taking precedence, with Jimmy and Adam joining underground resistors like Ollie Queen, Uncle Sam and Perry White. Maggin then complained his follow-up writer didn't ignore the efforts made in previous issues to concoct an admittedly convoluted story by dismissing and hijacking it with one tale of his own devising, as he had done. Maggin wasted two columns of the letters section to defend his hack job, and another half went to his bio. At least he rightly called out Batman's otherworldly rescue being unnecessary.

  • The Joker disregarded the Einstein "resolution" of last issue, reinstating the alien invasion, Aquaman and Zatanna's desert doom, the conflict on Rann, and the heroes trapped in a "nasty dimension of holes!" He then recalled the complications of Batman's freefall and the Nazi conquest of the world. Rip Hunter, Time Master and Dr. Kemeny's medieval adventures with the Silent Knight were forgotten, as was Captain Comet

  • "The United Nations Plaza, New York City, 1986:" Nazis had conquered the world, and captured the reality displaced Adam Strange and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. "Obviously, Jimmy, the alien spaceship our little fuzzy-haired friend sent back through time accidentally with the Blackhawks fell into German hands-- and they used it to turn the tide... and win the Second World War!" Jimmy struck out at a commandant, much to Adam's chagrin, but Strange pressed the attack anyhow. Adam and Jimmy then used Strange's jetpack to escape, claiming a Luger along the way. From a nearby window, the pair were spotted by the aged Fuhrer, who wanted them in his clutches immediately.

  • Batman was still in the jungle, presumably due to Zeta Rays wearing off, but with no Hawkwoman in sight. A phony demonic Robin the Boy Wonder had dropped the Caped Crusader into an active volcano. Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared from the Fifth Dimension to turn the lava into rubber. The imp was looking for Superman with no luck, but was nice enough to return the Dark Knight to the Batcave. Alfred had contacted him to inform that the code from the first issue had been cracked by the Batcomputer. Mxyzptlk vanished, leaving Batman wondering how his magical powers still worked on Earth.

  • Elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard, Plastic Man and Woozy Winks were on the aliens' case. It seemed the pair were from yet another Earth in the Multiverse, but Woozy's curiosity at a time/space warp hole landed them in this story. Plas went off to investigate the aliens, leaving Woozy to fall through another warp hole...

  • On the planet Rann, the effects of the Zeta Beams must have worn off, or maybe it was all Einstein, sending Hawkwoman, Captain Marvel and Dr. Fate off-world. Sardath fretted about his world's lack of heroes to face the horde of monsters still present. No new Zeta Beams would strike Earth for days, but Alanna had a plan. While the aliens siphoned away Earth's magical and scientific energies, the opposite effect hit on Rann, intensifying magic to the point of manifesting mythological creatures. Alanna studied an occult scroll, and directed Rannian flyers to effectively halt the horde through magic. Space Cabby happened by, answering a beacon set by Sardath, and took for him vital information to Earth.

  • Aquaman and Zatanna were still trapped in the Sahara Desert, lying flat on their bellies, roasting under the sun. According to the Sea King, all Einstein had done was send them "...from one desert to another... somehow!" The enchantress had no water to offer. "M-magic gone... all of it... from Earth...!" Suddenly, the Fifth Dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared, as though a mirage. "Say, you folks look parched! Have a drink! Anyway... I thought I could have a few giggles with all the trouble going on-- but everything's so screwed up that nobody even notices my pranks! And just try to find Superman in all this...!" Aquaman thought the aliens might have killed the Man of Steel, which appalled Mr. Mxyzptlk so much he teleported after them. Sadly, he neglected to take the stranded, but at least now rehydrated, Detroit Leaguers with him. "...Now we've got a longer time to wait to die..."

  • Woozy Winks landed in the Plane of Holes, still inhabited by Deadman, who launched into a stream of fat jokes. The Anti-Matter Man, Darwin Jones, Bobo the Detective Chimp and Dr. Terrence Thirteen, Ghostbreaker were long gone. Woozy stumbled through yet another warp hole, Deadman followed, and the pair landed in WWII Nazi-occupied France. The Blackhawks were in the skies above, first fighting the alien spaceship, then pretending to escort it to draw Nazi anti-aircraft battery fire against the ship. Woozy cowered in the bushes, claiming to be 4-F. Blackhawk himself took damage, knocking him unconscious and sending his plane in a dive right toward Deadman and Woozy

  • Plastic Man slithered aboard an alien spacecraft, where he eavesdropped on Dr. Xhytg giving a report to "the master," as preparations were made to implement the final plan on Earth. However, an invader dropped heavy packages on the disguised Plas, revealing the hero's presence. The master then turned out to be the Joker, and "I've got every last hero on this planet twisted around like a pretzel with their own problems! By the time they get unwound... it'll be all over except for the coronation! Mine!

  • "Don't Bogart That Grape... Hand Me The Gas Pump" was by Paul Kupperberg, Joe Staton and Steve Mitchell

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