"The Contest of Heroes": This story is reprinted from World's Finest #74.
80-Page Giant #15 is an issue of the series 80-Page Giant (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1965. It was published on August 12, 1965.
Synopsis for "The Contest of Heroes"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #74.
When a rocket is launched into outer space it picks up an unlikely hitchhiker, an alien creature that wishes to go off and "Kllrg". When the rocket returns to Earth, the military attempts to capture the creature as Lois Lane and Clark Kent witness the event while covering the story for the Daily Planet. To their surprise, the alien creature is able to emit force beams from its hands and also shape change. The creature is lost among the crowd when it first shape-shifts into the form of Clark Kent, and then later escapes by changing into a soldier to blend in with the army. When news of the alien reaches the public it causes hysteria around Metropolis until Superman builds a giant television screen broadcasting a message to calm people down and tell them to return home.
That evening in Gotham City, Batman and Robin arrive at the Gotham Museum to see the security guards fleeing the scene claiming that they've seen a monster. Going inside they find two crooks and what appears to be the alien visitor, however with the aid of the true creature (disguised as a centaur statue) Batman and Robin reveal the "alien" helping the crooks to be really another crook in a costume trying to capitalize on the public hysteria. Inspired by Batman, the creature takes on Batman's form and flies off into the night to "Kllrg" some more. Batman calls Superman with his newly built Superman signal, and the Man of Steel stop the faux Batman from toppling over the Statue of Liberty.
Impressed by Superman's abilities, the creature takes on Superman's form and battles him, enjoying the fact that they are "Kllrging" together. Superman is forced to leave the scene and allow the alien to escape when the creature kicks a gas tank like a soccer ball, forcing Superman to chase after it. Meeting with Batman and Robin, the three super-heroes deduce that the alien might actually be a child and "kllrg" might mean "play" in its native language. Batman and Robin keep the creature occupied by playing "tag" with it using the Batplane, while Superman goes into space to investigate and learn if their theory is true. When it proves to be sound, Superman takes a meteor and fashions it into a replica of the alien's world and presents it to the creature as a present. The creature becomes home sick and asks to be taken home. Mentioning that there is crime on its world, it tells Batman and Superman that it's been inspired by them to fight crime. When the alien has been returned home, the three heroes wonder which one the alien is imitating on its home world. There, on the distant planet, the alien fights crime appearing as a composite of both Superman and Batman.
Appearing in "The Contest of Heroes"
Synopsis for "The Three Super-Musketeers!"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #82.
While covering a story at a historians convention, Clark Kent listens to a speech from renowned scientist Carter Nichols declaring his intention to learn the true identity of the historical figure of the Man in the Iron Mask. Remembering Nichols as a friend to Bruce Wayne, Clark changes into Superman and pays a visit to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson in Gotham City. Explaining what Nichols intends to do, Superman offers to accompany Bruce and Dick as Clark Kent so that they can take advantage of Superman's x-ray vision to learn the true identity of the Man in the Iron Mask.
The next day, Bruce, Dick and Clark all pay a visit to Carter Nichols, who uses his special hypnosis to send the three men back in time to France in the year 1696, during the reign of King Louis XIV. Arriving in the past, the three men change into their costumed identities and happen across D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. The Musketeers have been seriously injured during their most recent clash with Bourdet, councilor to the king, and are at risk of being captured. With Bourdet's minions closing in, the three heroes arm themselves with swords and help D'Artagnan defeat the horde of attackers, sending them into retreat.
Thanking Batman, Robin and Superman, D'Artagnan explains that he and the Musketeers were attempting to free the Man in the Iron Mask and reveal Bourdet's evil ways to the king. With the Three Musketeers injured, Superman, Batman and Robin agree to pose as them in order to lend a helping hand in ousting Bourdet's from his position as councilor to the king. They storm Bourdet's castle in an attempt to rescue the Man in the Iron Mask. However, when the heroes bust through the defenses and confront Bourdet, Bourdet has the Man in the Iron Mask at gunpoint to ensure their escape. Superman attempts to see through the mask with his x-ray vision, but finds that the mask is also lined with lead and therefore impossible to penetrate. In order to prevent the Man in the Iron Mask's death, the heroes allow themselves to be chained up while Bourdet and his men flee with their prisoner.
Traveling to the Bastille, where the Man in the Iron Mask lived to his death according to history, Batman and Robin leave to get King Louis XIV to come while Superman and D'Artagnan prevent Bourdet from executing the Man in the Iron Mask. Batman and Robin are chased by Bourdet's men, but manage to make it to the king's palace. There they break into the king's room, and the king, mistaking them for assassins, leaps to tackle them and accidentally knocks himself out. Taking this as an opportunity to hedge their bets, Batman disguises himself as King Louis and puts Louis in his Batman costume. Rushing back with the unconscious king, they find that the Man in the Iron Mask has super-human abilities that prevent Bourdet from killing him. When the "king" orders the man unmasked, they are all shocked to find that it's really Superman. The Man of Steel reveals the real Man in the Iron Mask was the innocent Count Ferney, who in turn explains that Superman busted into his cell and they traded places for Ferney's protection as Bourdet was sure to try and execute him. With the truth revealed, the revived king orders Bourdet arrested and placed in the Bastille, ironically forced to wear the same mask for the rest of his life.
With the mystery resolved, Batman, Robin and Superman change back to their civilian guises and return to the present where they share their revelations with Professor Nichols.
Appearing in "The Three Super-Musketeers!"
- Bourdet (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes!"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #88.
Lex Luthor has teamed up with the Joker to start up a manufacturing company. The news breaks, and Luthor and Joker reveal that they intend to go straight and start their own company Luthor and Joker Inc. Superman however is not entirely sold on the idea, and suspects that there is something more going on. Superman heads to Gotham and the Bat-Cave to visit Batman and Robin, and the Dynamic Duo agree to keep a watchful eye on the trio's greatest foes.
They next visit the manufacturing company where the Joker and Luthor are operating from, and learn that the two have created a group of "mechano-men", indestructible robots that can carry out any job, no matter how dangerous. Unable to prove any wrongdoing, the three heroes continue to maintain a watchful eye on the two supposedly reformed criminals. Sure enough, the Joker and Luthor have anticipated this, and send the mechano-men on jobs that appear to be crimes in progress in order to mock the three heroes and make them look bad in the public eye.
Ultimately, while making a public display of the mechano-men, Luthor and Joker carry out their true crime. Sending mechano-men duplicates of themselves which are supervised by Superman, Batman and Robin; the two crooks seek to rob the local treasury. However, the Dynamic Duo and the Man of Steel have seen through this plot and are there to arrest the two crooks. When Luthor and the Joker are locked up, Superman reveals that they caught onto the crooks plot and sent robot duplicates of themselves as well to the exhibition so that they could see what the Joker and Luthor had planned.
Appearing in "Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes!"
- Perry White (Cameo)
Synopsis for "The Day Superman Betrayed Batman"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #97.
When a number of predictions made by Professor Milo's super-computer "The Preditor" come true, Lois Lane goes to interview the man. During their interview she asks him if his computer can provide any leads in helping Superman, Batman and Robin capture the Condor gang, led by the criminal known as the Condor. The machine comes up with two predictions: Batman and Robin will capture one group of the mobsters when lightning strikes, and Superman will capture another when a table turns. Sure enough, Batman and Robin foil part of the Condor Gang's attempt to rob an observatory when lightning strikes, causing their getaway car to crash, and Superman captures another group fleeing their safe-house at a train yard when he spins a train turntable around at super speed.
Realizing the potential of the machine, the Condor sends some of his goons to kidnap the professor and his machine. Deciding to deal with the threat of Batman and Robin, they pump information into the machine to find out how to foil Batman and Robin. Sure enough, they get a plan: They call the police anonymously and tip them off to the hideout of bank robber Ace Logan. There the Gotham Police find a film reel which has some startling footage -- Batman accepting a bribe from Ace Logan. Horrified that the most trusted man in Gotham City is really a criminal, Commissioner Gordon is pressured by the influential millionaire John Titus to bring Batman and Robin in. When Batman learns the news he decides to rush off and clear his name. When the Caped Crusader fails to answer the Bat-Signal, Gordon summons Superman to bring Batman and Robin in.
Superman leads a team of reporters to the Batcave and arrests the Dynamic Duo. When the reporters decide to check out who owns the Batcave, they are shocked to find that it leads up to the mansion where millionaire Scott Forest lives with his son Billy. When questioned by the news, Superman tells the people that while Batman and Robin are in police custody, he is not entirely convinced that they are guilty and is going to seek out Ace Logan and find proof that will clear their names.
Impressed, the Condor orders that Professor Milo and his prediction machine be brought to his secret lair. When Milo is brought before the Condor, he reveals himself to be Superman in disguise. The Man of Steel explains that they set up this elaborate ruse (including getting permission from the Forest family) to set up the Condor for a fall. With his explanation complete, Superman unmasks the Condor as none other than John Titus. Titus has prepared for this possibility however and has his men drop a chunk of Green Kryptonite into the room. Before it can fully harm Superman, Batman and Robin burst in and round up all of Titus's men, however, Titus tries to escape in a speed boat. Superman, fully recovered from his Kryptonite exposure, speeds off and captures Titus, turning him over to the police.
Appearing in "The Day Superman Betrayed Batman"
- Ace Logan (Single appearance)
- Condor (John Titus) (Single appearance)
- Blinky (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Billy Forest (Single appearance)
- Scott Forest (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The True History of Superman and Batman"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #81.
One day, Superman suddenly appears at the Metropolis Zoo and, with no explanation, gathers up all the animals and builds a giant replica of Noah's Ark before returning the animals to the zoo. When the story hits the Daily Planet, Perry White and Lois Lane are shocked at this unexpected action played out by the Man of Steel. While in Gotham City, Batman and Robin suddenly take a plane they saved from a crash and drop it into Gotham Harbor and then save it by converting the Batplane into submarine mode to recover it. The event is also covered in the Daily Planet, leaving Perry and Lois to wonder about this strange action as well.
As it turns out, the night before Batman and Robin were visited by a man named Ka Thar, a time traveler from the year 5956, who demands an audience with the Dynamic Duo and Superman. Calling Superman to the Batcave, the trio of heroes are informed by Ka Thar that he is a historian of their heroic deeds. He tells them that some of the historical accounts in his book about their exploits have turned out to be incorrect, and in order to avoid the truth coming out and becoming a laughing stock among the people of his era, he now threatens the three heroes to "correct" his errors at risk of having their secret identities revealed to the world.
As the heroes go about carrying out Ka Thar's demands, Lois Lane happens to stop the time traveler while he films Superman redoing his repairing of Adams dam as depicted in Ka Thar's book. Upon learning that Ka Thar is a time traveler from the future, she convinces him to let her tag along in the hopes of getting a look at his history book and learning about Superman's future.
When Batman is to capture Shark Slaney and his gang, Ka Thar orders Batman to let Slaney get away so that he can rope him up with a lasso while speeding after him in the Batmobile. Not wishing Slaney to potentially get away, Batman poses as Slaney and has Robin pose as Batman to recreate the feat in the way Ka Thar describes in his history. Noticing Lois's attempts to read Ka Thar's history book, Superman, Batman and Robin have finally had enough with the troublesome traveler from the future. Coming up with an idea on how to deal with him. Batman calls Ka Thar's bluff and refuses to do anymore work for him pointing out that he can't reveal their secret identities centuries before they were supposed to be revealed. With no more means of coercing the three heroes to do his bidding, Ka Thar gives up and agrees to return to his own time. Explaining the story to Lois, Lois tells them that she wasn't interested in knowing Superman's secret identity, but learning whom he was going to marry.
Appearing in "The True History of Superman and Batman"
- The Shark Slaney Gang (Single appearance)
- Ka Thar (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
Synopsis for "The Battle of the Super-Heroes"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #95.
While out on their routine patrol of Gotham City, Batman thinks about how he blacked out prior to going on patrol, but decides not to mention anything as not to worry Robin. When they find a bunch of crooks attempting to get away from the scene of a bank robbery, Batman soon realizes that he has been endowed with super-powers similar to that of his friend Superman, and he easily busts the criminals.
Superman, meanwhile is on his way back to Metropolis from a mission outside his home city. As he passes through Gotham City, he recalls how he had a momentary blackout before he spots a building fire. He arrives at the same time as Batman and Robin do and he tells them to stand back while he deals with the fire. Batman, however, becomes jealous of Superman and tries to use his newly acquired super powers to put out the flames.
Much to Robin's shock and dismay, Batman and Superman form a rivalry between each other. One that becomes so big, it makes national headlines. As Superman and Batman are called in to deal with various disasters, the two super-powered men attempt to outdo each other.
After stopping a hurricane, the heated competition between the two men leads to an all-out brawl to see which of them is the strongest. When Robin spots some looters taking advantage of the hurricane and Superman and Batman's fight, Robin stops them easily. He then tries to get the two mighty titans to see that they are overlooking their responsibilities.
Before Robin can get them to think any further he is transported to the distant planet of Xlym. There he is brought before two aliens who decided to wager to see who could win in an equal fight: Superman or Batman. The aliens abducted the two heroes, explaining Batman's and Superman's blackouts, and used their world's advanced science to endow Batman with powers similar to Superman and to instill a hatred in each man towards the other. They conclude their explanation by showing Robin that the only way to reverse their experiment is to throw a specific switch, and tell Robin that they have no intention of returning the Boy Wonder back to Earth where he can continue to interfere with their bet until it has been decided. However, they return Robin to Earth when they hear their superior, who has scolded them for interfering in other species lives before, coming their way.
When Robin returns to Earth, he soon sees Batman and Superman stop fighting and suddenly make peace, making him realize that the alien superior must have overheard the two aliens and reversed the effects of their machinations.
Appearing in "The Battle of the Super-Heroes"
- Aliens from PLanet Xlym (Single appearance)
- Following this issue, the numbering sequence for the "80-Page Giant" specials alternates to reflect the numbering sequence for the Annual issues of each respective title.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Son of Kal-El (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)