Sunday, January 14, 2018

All's Fair at the County Fair

A Visit with Ma

One day Clark Kent is visiting his mother on the farm in Smallville. She gives him a slice of her famous apple pie and tells him about all the local doings.

"You know that big ranch that's been for sale for years?" she says, "Someone bought it, and a thousand head a cattle to put on it."

"Who?" he asks.

"That man from Gotham, rich fellow, didn't you say he was a friend a yours?"

"Bruce Wayne?!"

"That's the one."

At the Billionaires' Club
Meanwhile, at the fancy Billionaires' Club, Bruce Wayne is talking about his new ranch to the fellows. Lex Luthor is particularly interested and also a bit incensed. He can't allow that whelp from Gotham to outdo him as the classiest billionaire! He determines to buy his own beef ranch in the very same vicinity. That'll show Wayne!

Riding the Range
Bruce Wayne has invited Clark Kent and his friends Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to spend a week on the ranch with him and his ward, Dick Grayson. He acts all surprised like he had no idea this was Clark's hometown. What an extraordinary coincidence! But he had heard rumors that, after Metropolis, this is where Superman shows up most often. What a funny thing. Clark gives him covert frustrated glares while Lois and Jimmy take in all the ranch has to offer.

The Prize Steer
After the fun time riding, Bruce leads everyone into the barn where he unveils something very impressive: a prize steer! And he also unveils his grand plan: to enter it in the upcoming county fair. But they are not unobserved...

Inside Intelligence
Lex Luthor was eavesdropping on the conversation in the barn. He rushes back to Mercy at the car and tells her they can't let Wayne beat them: they're going to enter a steer in the county fair too!

To make extra sure that Wayne's steer won't beat his, Luthor sends Mercy to sneak into the barn and cut its tail off or some such devious sabotage. But Jimmy gets wise to this and tells Dick when she's coming. Dick says he has a friend who can help: Robin, the Boy Wonder! Together, Jimmy and Robin stop the saboteur and send her packing.

Judgement Day
At last, the day of the Fair has come! There are rides, and food, and games that everyone has a great time with, (though Clark, as he has throughout, is rather put-upon, and it's funny) but what everyone is waiting for most eagerly is the cattle judging. The judge looks over all the steers and is about to announce the results. He starts with Third Place, which goes to...

Sore Loser
Third Place goes to Lex Luthor! Luthor is furious that he didn't get First and activates a device--his steer is revealed as a robotic menace of destruction! He jumps astride, takes the controls, and rampages though the fairgrounds. Bruce and Dick are suddenly nowhere to be found, and Batman and Robin emerge to battle the biomechanical bovine beast! Lois and Jimmy rush forward to photograph the fracas, leaving the reins, literally, in Clark's hands.

A Job For
The Dynamic Duo gets the upper hand over Luthor and his mechanical bull and hits the weak spot, causing the robot to explode. But the explosion knocks over the Ferris wheel, and it's going to fall right on Lois and Jimmy! This looks like...

Moment of Truth
Everything's calmed down now, and Superman, Batman, and Robin mysteriously disappear before Lois can get a statement from any of them. Clark, Bruce, and Dick show up again and everyone returns to the judging pavilion to hear the rest of the winners. Second Place goes to Bruce Wayne!

But then, who gets First?

BLUE Ribbon
Ah, there was another member of the Billionaires' Club who was also inspired to follow Bruce Wayne's ranching example, though this one not out of envy. Plus, he has an assistant from Texas, so of course they'd raise the best steer of all...

The First Place Blue Ribbon goes to Ted Kord!

Prizewinning Pie
So, the World's Finest didn't manage to win the top place in the cattle division, but someone else had entered her famous apple pie in the baked goods division and brings home a blue ribbon after all. After a wild day at the Fair, everyone gets a slice of victory.

The End.

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster,
Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger,
Ted Kord created by Steve Ditko,
Jaime Reyes created by John Rogers and Keith Giffen,
All characters copyright DC comics.

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