Comic Books

Tag explanation


Most often the first tag will be a year. This is the cover date. There are two dates for comics as you might know. Publish date which is when the comic is done and it goes to the printer. People who have subscribed get it around this time. Then there is the cover date, which is about two months later, and when it is on shelves. So this mean Christmas tales or whatever will appear in the posts marked as February.


Continue reading “Tag explanation”

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Adventure Comics 197

Superboy “Clark Kent Toughie”

We open with a teacher entering his classroom to find a rude picture of himself on the blackboard, and when he asks who had done it Clark confesses. His odd behavior continues, as he tosses an eraser at a classmate (misses and hits a teacher), gives someone a hot-foot, and throws spitballs. That day as he heads home he is approached by a boy who wants him to join the gang the skull and crossbones. Clark says that he might want to join the red dragons. To convince him the boy tells Clark what the skulls are planning for that afternoon.

Superboy had plans for the afternoon, which was demonstrating at a circus, and the skulls disrupted the event and could have harmed someone, had Clark not been alert. Clark thinks about how dangerous the gangs have gotten and explains to the reader that the Principle had asked Clark to infiltrate on of the gangs to undermine them.

The next day Clark goes through initiation. Though the tasks are nothing to the boy of steel, a normal kid may have been hurt. They hear about the rival gang graffiti-ing city hall, and though Clark suggests they help clean it, the chief has them try to deface the statue of Smallville’s founder. Superboy, moving faster than could bee seen blocked all the rocks and used ventriloquism to make the statue talk, scaring off the gang. Next they try to make a shop that looks like a shoe reek, but Clark knows it would scare off her business, and ruin her so he fills her store with the scent of flowers,and she thanks the gang for helping her.

Some of the boys are touched by her thanks, and think Clark’s idea about cleaning  city hall was good, but aren’t quite ready to turn tide. Their chief sets up a battle between the two gangs, but Superboy tells them there is a fire in town, and guilt trips them into helping put it out. In the end the two gangs are still rivals, but they decide to be rivals on who can get the most awards and acknowledgment.

Aquaman “Aquaman Walks the Plank”

The U.N. declares the camel-backed Whale as endangered and they send out an order to not kill the mighty beast anymore. But there is at least one man on the ocean who does not head this; Captain Samson. Of course this is mentioned to Aquaman, as Samson makes no effort to hide his deeds from the U.N. As there is not an official law, there is nothing anyone can really do, but Aquaman has a plan for the pirate wanna-be.

He shucks the bright costume and goes undercover as a sailor. (I find it funny when the captain asks if he’s had much experience at sea) He causally mentions Aquaman, and the captain gets angry, saying that if that fish-man knows what is good for him he’ll stay out of his way. While Aquaman is on board the man comes across a school of Camel-backed Whales, and sends out boats to kill them. Unnoticed our boy jumps overboard and helps the whales with the help of his finny friends. It is noticed at this point that Aquaman is not on the ship and when he returns he is forced to walk the plank. (head being pounded against wall)

On the bottom of the sea Aquaman had his friends gnaw off the ropes, and returns to the ship. They toss him over again, this time with a ball and chain. He slips them off with grease from a sunken ship, and carefully hangs the chain over some drift wood. Thinking that Aquaman didn’t go down the Captain climbs down a ladder to make sure he sinks. An eel sends a small amount of electricity into the chain, paralyzing the man so Aquaman can make him promise to leave the whales alone.

Johnny Quick “The Second Fastest Man”

There is a club, cleverly called “the fastest men’s club” which contains various racers and other speedy dudes. Johnny Quick however won’t join, as his achievements would dwarf the others’. Johnny Chambers and Tubby Watts are at a meeting of the club, to record it for posterity. One of the men claim that they have a helicopter which can go 1000mph, and he puts himself down for consideration for the club. one of the other men worries that the man and his ‘copter will be able to take his place as the fastest man in the club and vows to do something about it.

Most of the club’s meeting seems to involve racing and showing off their speed. Johnny is able to use his skills as a camera man to get most of the footage, but when the ‘copter starts to rise he needs to use his formula. While looking for a good place to change Johnny sees the jealous man focus the cannon he is usually shot out of with a torpedo/missile like object, set to hit the rising machine. Johnny rushes into the air and saves both man and machine. Knowing that Johnny Quick knew what he had tried to do the man attempts to flee, and the speedster films both the rocket car the attempted murderer uses and the helicopter have a brief race mid air, which the ‘coper won. Johnny picks up the villian, and the new fastest man of the club gets his congratulations.

Green Arrow “Crime’s TV Station”

Quick note before we begin Green Arrow’s hat is reddish orange in this issue, but I don’t think it’s something the character has, just a coloring mistake. Maybe since Speedy’s hat is yellow they thought GA’s was also a different color than the rest of his suit?

When we start Green Arrow and Speedy are getting changed to follow a tip on the ‘Zig Brady Gang’ who they were told would be at the pier at eight to divide loot. They sneak to a hole in the warehouse where the gang is meeting, but they weren’t busy with ill-gotten gains, instead they were watching a show on the television, drawn in as well as young children before a particularly interesting cartoon. As the two heroes go for the loot in the corner the man on the screen announces that what had just been shown was a reenactment of a city bank hold up,and they give an award to the man who killed a bank guard. Distracted by this odd station GA is nearly shot and only Speedy’s warning saved him, but the shot hit the tv, protecting it’s secrets.

We cut to the station, where they are making their next show, featuring the archers. They plan to make them seem like cowards, mock them for increased moral. The captured men refuse to talk. To get to the bottom of this Green Arrow and Speedy head out to see Willie “Wireless” Weems, a crook who specializes in radio and Tv. As they arrive Willie is tuning in, and they hear that the special for next week would feature the ‘cowardly Green Arrow’. It then shows a brief preview, and Speedy yells at the Tv in anger, letting Willie know they are there. So they have to capture Willie, who is certain that the program will go one forever.

Having some of their next show they head to one of the sites, hoping they aren’t done filming there. Luckily for them, the gang does show, and they keep quiet this time, and follow them back to their base. While making their plans for breaking in neither of them see the gang member who has spotted them. We switch to inside the building where the film is being processed. Hours pass, and no brightly colored males enter the building. They wait until the video is being shown and then take the camera and film their real exploits in the place of that night’s show. (not sure how filming and broadcasting work,  especially in the mid fifties, but I don’t think it’s like this) Across the city crooks blanch at the show of their prowess. Oh and they do mention the guy who saw them outside. Apparently they attacked him back and that’s how they knew the right time.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Batman 81

“Two-Face Strikes Again” (earth-one)

This is an Earth-one tale, though at the time of writing Dc (or what would become DC) didn’t yet know they would be making two distinct universes, so it is still written as if it were Earth-two. Earth-two Harvey Dent never returns to crime.

Getting to the actual thing you are here to read, Harvey Dent, face whole from his plastic surgery, passes by a store and sees that it is being robbed. Feeling moraly obligated to stop them he rushes forward, and the explosive charge for the safe goes off right in Harvey’s face! (We are all super stunned by this) Taking this as a sign, and knowing the surgery couldn’t be done again (his doctor told him so) he once again becomes Two-Face. He flips his coin to make sure though.

The very next night he robs a circus, which I don’t think is a good idea because he needs time to both heal and plan. He doesn’t steal from the box office, but from one of the clowns, who has a collection of diamond stickpins. An hour after that crime (boy he’s moving fast!) he robs a collection of jewels from a deep sea diver.

The next day Batman and Robin are told of yet another crime by Two-Face, this time he stole from a man who specialized it portraying Abe Lincoln and he had taken papers that had belonged to the real Abe. The Duo are as confused as I am about why the double themed villain such objects, until Bruce gets an idea. He points out that all of the victiems have had ‘two faces’ themselves. The actor who sometimes looks like Lincoln, the deep sea diver and his breathing mask/helmet, and a clown.

Our heroes begin a search for possible victims and we have a funny scene where Two-Face is hiring people to his gang based on flips of his coin. He also tells the reader that since Batman has two faces he will be he climax of his crimewave. Two-Face and his men are spotted as they head for Gotham Point, where only four men live. We know that they are going for the gambler, but Bruce doesn’t yet. See, his  second face is his poker face. Batman figures it out on the drive over.

Now this guy has one weird house. I’ll put a pic on the Tumblr version of this blog. Basically the place is filled with giant versions of gambling stuff, light a humongous billiard’s table. While atop this table Batman and Robin slide into on of the holes to escape the pool balls being rolled at them, and inside the slide Robin gets his foot caught. Batman makes a net for the incoming ball and saves his ward. Though Two-Face escaped once more, this time it was without the loot.

At home, alert for anything that may be able to be seen as someone having two faces Bruce sees in the paper that a Japanese man had ‘lost face’ and he and Dick conclude that must mean he must have had two- making him a viable target. They rush to the embassy where there is a gargantuan statue which a battle is soon waged on. Also it is not Japanese by any stretch, but I couldn’t tell you what Asian country the outfit the statue is wearing is form. Once again Robin is more a hindrance than a help (which we know him to be most of the time. Everyone has bad days!) and must be saved by his father figure. Unfortunately this lets Two-Face escape again.

Returning home Bruce remembers that he has an appointment with some nearby Sioux, to be made an honorary chief which would make him have two faces, well three, Paleface, Sioux, and Batman. (about that being made a chief thing. I did a tiny bit of  research and found this: For the Sioux, the title of Chief was viewed as a medal earned for outstanding performance during times of war or peace. To be Chief was considered an honorary title. It did not mean, however, that the Chief was solely “in charge” of his people. Rather than a linear chain of command, the Indians traditionally ruled by unanimous vote of a council of Chiefs of “Headmen” from a variety of bands. Decisions made by the council served to guide rather than command the people. But I have no clue how he’d have earned this)

Looking around the site as Batman before he must appear as Bruce, Robin spots a plane with two engines landing, and they know their trap is ready to spring. Before they can though they are blinded by the sand that the landing plane kicked up and are captured. Awww, Harvey ties them to a giant coin, making me relive fond memories, and then has them flipped by a truck with a sort of launcher on the back. Using their belts to form a magnetic field Batman and Robin do not land on the bed of spikes prepared for them, and manage to free themselves from the ropes and then handily take out the gang in two panels and take them to jail.

“The Boy Wonder Confesses” 

Dick Grayson is late for school one day, and a classmate jokes he isn’t there because he is heartsick over Maria, another kid in class. Maria it seems likes Robin you see, so Dick would have no chance. But Dick does turn up, and he tells the class he was late because he was chasing a crook, as he was Robin.

After the intial shock the students think it’s a joke, so he whips off his over clothing and tells them to go outside where he will preform Robin-level stunts. He does, and then, as the class watches there is a car accident and Robin truly shows his skill by jumping off a building and using a flag pole to catch himself so he can land safely and save the people trapped in the cars. One of the kids called the papers, and with Dick being Robin, Bruce Wayne must be Batman! When asked the billionaire replies ‘no comment’.

There is a panel where it says Dick has a good reason for confessing, and we go to a flashback from nearly a year before. They had dealt with a criminal known as Mr. Camera, and he had given the quite the runaround, until they met up with him in a theater. Changing clothes in the nearby alley they rushed back in. Seeing where they came from Mr. Camera laughed with glee. He fled, and took film from a camera in the alley with him.

They were able to catch up with Mr. Camera and his men not too much longer, but the film showing their identities had been hidden. Mr. Camera mocked them with the knowledge would be revealed once he was released from prison and there was nothing they could do about it. Skip forward nine months, and a friend of Mr. Camera’s is coming into town, and he knows where the film is. It would be shown next month.

They figure they can make an excuse for Bruce and Dick being in the alley, as long as they can prove they are different people. They planned on having Alfred dress and Batman, and the two meet, but Alfred would be gone next month. So they decide to up the time table.

We see Bruce with some reporters and, getting annoyed, he says he’ll get in touch with Batman, and they will prove the story silly. But Alfred fractures his leg on the way back from shopping because of the snow and can’t play Batman. Bruce comes up with an idea on the fly, and has Dick change to Robin and get the batplane ready. He is told to set the plane’s auto pilot and take a car or something to the Newell building then he use the remote for the plane to send it to the gray building across the street at 8:50. Bruce says Batman will be there, and he must fly the plane away at 9:05.

Next we see Robin on a roof, with the remote as he lands the plane. Soon both Bruce and Batman are there. Well Batman’s on the roof, Bruce is on the street with a mega phone. They chat briefly, laughing that some people think they are the same person. The plane takes off and people investigate. Robin was across the street, he couldn’t have flown the plane. There was one set of foot sets from where Batman had stood to the plane, and it all looks legit. Alfred’s in the hospital, and Batman wouldn’t hire an actor or else they would know. The only question was, why did Dick start the fuss? A girl.

So the explanation was it was a snow-batman, which was melted with a thermite pill. The uniform was designed to dissolve as well. Batman had made the footprints when he made the figure and erased any extras he had made. Oh and they told the papers Dick had asked Robin for a favor, and it really was he who did the stunts outside the school.

“The Phantom Bandit of Gotham City”

There has been a robbery at a bank in Gotham, though there had been no sign of disturbance until the vault was opened in the morning and it was almost empty, with writing on the wall that said “Thanks! The Phantom Bandit!” We see two other victims of the Phantom, valuables having vanished with only a written thanks as a trace. Vicki Vale gets assigned to the case, and Batman and Robin are called in.

A suspicious masked figure  was seen near the dragon vault, a place where all the Tong members keep their savings. (who are the Tongs? is it a family? an organization?) As Batman and Robin arrive they see the figure leaving the vault with a large bag. They attack, causing the Bandit to drop his takings but in doing so they activate a mechanism in the vault which shoots fire at them, letting the thief escape.

At another site of robbery (the Gotham Racetrack) Vicki finds a model polar bear with ice skates, which Bruce knows is a souvenir for the Polar Bear Club, which means they are going in. Dick complains about the suits, but Bruce knows they may recognize the Bandit.

By the way Vicki is also at the club, and the main attraction is a ‘swami’ who can read minds. Bruce notes that the assistant’s corsage is wilting wrong, and ruins the act by destroying the mic hidden in it (it transmits the sound to the swami). Later Batman tells Robin he’s checked into it and all the victims had been to the club, and all had their minds ‘read’. So they begin to follow all the people who had participated the previous night. They have a run in with the Bandit again, but he gets away. Once more it is shown that he can get into any vault, no lock can stop him.

While Dick is home reading one night Vicki asks him to help her set up a trap for the Bandit. Dick masquerades as a young, rich South American man (he looks ridiculous!). They go to the club, and have his mind read. Then they return to the hotel to wait. We then see two people come up to the door, the swami and his helper. The Bandit puts something in the air conditioner to knock out the people in the room.

They open the door once Dick and Vicki are unconscious, saying they have the key. The assistant came along to help search for the riches, as they don’t have a set place like a vault to grab from this time. Seeing that Dick was down for the count via his binoculars Batman rushes into action. He smashes through the window and beats both the crooks. The girl would pickpocket the people she talked to and make a wax form of the keys, before returning them.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Tomahawk 22

“Admiral Tomahawk”

As you know the revolutionary war was rough, lack of funds, proper equipment and the like. While little can be done about that, Tom is asked to delay supplies to the British, to help even the footing. So he is given a ship with a small crew, even though I’m sure that there is probably someone better for the job than a frontier’s man. As is normal for this man Tomahawk gathers more men from allied tribes with whom he is friendly.

Their first battle doesn’t start off so hot, as their enemies have better range. But Tom’s Native friends are able to save the day, by shooting flaming arrows into the powder kegs on the British ship, and blasting them to bits. Tom leads his men to victory after victory, and he is finally given a more specific target; a ship bringing rifles that HQ wants him to recover for the American forces. After winning that battle the British send their most powerful ship against Tom’s tub. I should probably mention that people keep telling Tom he needs to have better discipline.

But as has been proven, unorthodox methods work wonders. Tom and his native friends build a fleet of canoes, and loaded them with oil. The bring in the canoes, unseen from the massive warship. Then they dump the oil, and light it. Having put quite a dent into the enemy forces Tom is given a salute and taken off the sea.

“The Frontier Protection Racket”

Sam Dalton is having a nice meal with his family when flaming arrows are sent into his home. Fortunately it is not a full blown attack, but a warning. Sam thinks a man called Hank Slater is behind the attack, as Sam had refused to pay him protection money. Sam is pissed, and rightfully so, but maybe it wasn’t so smart of him to go up to the man and accuse him, without proof. For his trouble Sam gets walloped across the jaw, but he vows he’ll stop the raids none the less. Hank says Sam’s gonna end up with a Tomahawk in his head, which I thought would make him think of Tomahawk, but I guess he’s not that well known?

But he goes to the nearby tribe, and discovers the arrows do not come from them. To get to the bottom of all this the chief calls his friend- Tom. We see a brave set out to find him, bring him back and finally the meeting Tomahawk has with the tribe. One of the brave actually was in on it (I thought Slater and his men may just be dressing up) as he thinks that he has to report to him. Even though his men warn him of Tomahawk’s mighty feats, Slater is unconcerned and sets up a raid for the next day.

After Tom and Dan chase off the raiders and return the cattle to their field Hank comes up and is all “shame that had to happen I could have protected you if you payed” and Tom pretends to fall for it. Sadly this causes the rest of the settlers, barring Sam, to pay up. Still, they should get their money back in the end. Tom starts his investigation with no eyes on him. He follows Slater’s tracks and finds the horde of loot he had gathered while convincing people to pay him, but it turns out Slater and his men weren’t fooled and they ambushed Tom inside the cave.

Not wanting to have any chance of his death being put upon him Slater takes Tom’s clothes and one of his men wear hem on the next raid, hoping the townsfolk will lynch him. Sure shooting they see the figure dressed as him and are beyond angry. Dan of course stands by his friend. Slater’s men tell everyone they captured Tom and they come with torches. But when the boulder blocking the cave is rolled away Slater is there, still dressed like Tom. On top of that Tom has the rest of the tribe pointing bows at Slater’s men.

He explains how he was able to push one stone down the incline, and have it smash into the barrier and make him an opening to slip through. He gets his friends and they capture Slater. The chief is left to deal with his  turncoats, the loot is recovered, and Slater’s men go to trial.

“The Battle of the Puppets”

While on their way to yet another adventure Dan and Tom pass a puppet show, which is highly pro the revolution. When two redcoats come to arrest the puppeteer Dan and Tom take them down. Then the three flee, using the escape Tom already had planned. When the frontier’s men aim to leave him behind before they head into danger the man insists on going with them.

Soon they come across the settlers who are engaging in battle with the native tribe nearby. They make a break for the inn, and hole up inside with the rest. After chasing off the band for a while they take stock of their situation. Having been fighting for a while only six fighters remain in the settlers, and Tom informs them the continental troops can’t be there til the next day. To cheer up the settlers the Puppeteer puts on his show, which gives Tom an idea. And they get to making puppets.

Tom, Dan, and the puppeteer head to where the tribe is, their leader making a speech of victory. Tom leaps from the trees and says that won’t happen and using magic he would show them the real outcome. The puppet stage glows for some reason, making the figures of Tomahawk and the tribe’s chief clear. The puppet Tomahawk beats the figure of the chief and then the puppet troops arrive to capture the rest of the tribe. Some believe the show, and others do not. To prove it Tom will fight the leader by himself.

In a way very similar to what happened in the puppet show Tom beats the chief. the tribe prepare to flee the coming troops, but a scout comes and tells his people how far the troops are. Dan drops his powder horn into the fire to give Tom time to escape, and the two are chased by the tribe, away from the inn. As the ran the troops showed up, and the tribe fled- but it was really the remaining settlers from the inn, dressed as the military. When the troops arrived for real, they were able to see a puppet version of the whole ordeal.

Comic Books · Golden Age · Marvel

1954 Feb

Kid Colt Outlaw 34

A few men had been tracking down Colt for months as he had killed their brother. I mean I feel bad for them, but it’s not like Colt kills for fun. He probably felt a little bad himself, but he still shot and killed them. One shot however did not come from the brothers, but a bar. Luckily for the shooter Colt didn’t notice. His companion stopped him from letting off more rounds, warning him that Colt was too good. The shooter complained that they both wanted him dead, as Colt was siding with the ‘valley nestlers’ against him.

The man, who is called El Tigre, tells his men that they need the valley to bring their stolen cattle through, and the people in the  valley make it difficult. His men reply they know this, which I think is humorous. In fact this villain is pretty funny, if you ignore the written out Mexican accent. He contiunes talking to his men, saying the valley people are strong, and killing Colt may make them band together against them.

While Colt rides through the town he finds out that a bullet had killed a child during his battle with the brothers, and he blames himself. He swears never to carry a gun again, and the valley people turn from him for bringing this violence. Later the kid wakes up, as he had only passed out from a minor wound. El Tigre is the first to find out he is not dead, and forms a plan.

He hides the fact the kid is alive, and when Colt comes into town to gather supplies and try to figure out what he’s going to do now the men strike.  Filed with anger, and unarmed he lets loose his fists, fighting like a madman to keep them from their guns. He manages to win, and the news of him not wearing his guns spread. The father of the injured child, having been threatened by Tigre is hiding his boy, who gives him a sound talking to about leaving Colt in danger and letting him feel so guilty.

Soon the man rides out, and tells Colt the truth. And Colt makes a speech about each man having an art as he picks up his guns. He rides to El Tigre’s place and shoots down all the men there before hitting the road once more.

Again we jump right into the action, Colt is in a gunfight with a group of Apaches, and it looks as though he has another on his side. As their enemies flee Colt drags his injured companion into the shade. He is apparently a deputy, and now the flashback begins. He is riding along, and notes their are signs of rouge Apaches in the area, and that he thought he had shook his tail; a man named Jake Macklin.

As he thinks this a young man, a boy really steps out and has Colt at gun point. He is unimpressed and kicks the pistol out of the deputy sheriff’s hands. Backing up slowly Colt intends to leave, but Steel is startled by a rattler and spooks, giving the boy a chance to grab for his fallen weapon. Without thinking Colt lets off a round, and the boy goes down. Seeing another sign of the Apaches, and not sure how hurt the deputy was he returns from riding off to check on him.

Just as the boy tries to attack Colt the Apaches arrive and we are where we began. The deputy awakens and starts talking about how someone had said the Colt was square, but he hadn’t believed them. Colt fixed up his wound, and finds out the man who had been talking good about him was the boy’s dad, (Jake Macklin) who was a sheriff in a town over run by a man named Blackie and his gang. While they speak Jake comes in the cave they are hiding in. he says that though though he hates to do it, Colt is an outlaw, and he must bring him  in.

With a quick movements Colt manages to get away, and now Jake and his son are in real danger, as Blackie has the sheriff at gunpoint. Riding away Colt hears shots and turns back, finding the deputy who tells how Blackie had shot his father and he was going to get revenge. Knowing the boy was still too hurt to risk such things Colt goes for him instead. Together they shoot the foul man and the boy becomes the new Sheriff.

Black Rider “Whip vs Gun”

The Black Rider costume has changed again. Last time it was a hood with eyes cut out, and we previously had a cloth just hanging down the lower half of his face. Now it is a combination of the two. Pics on Tumblr as always.

Black Rider comes across a man, whipped and flayed nearly to death, and while helping him asks who had done this to  the man. It was a man known as Whip Ward, and the injured man had found his stealing his cattle. I assume he confronted Ward, but it doesn’t say. He takes him to Doc Master’s place, and then leaves to find the doctor. Though half of him wants to go after Ward he knows it is more important to fix up the poor man.

We skip to later in the day, when Doc himself gains the wrath of Whip Ward. Ward had seen Doc talking with Marie, and wanted her for himself. So he knocks of Doc’s hat, and lashes around his ankles so he falls over. Then he uses his whip to loop around Marie and pull her towards him (Like Indiana Jones, but an ass). For once Doc stands up and gets in the guy’s face, and then pushes Ward to the ground. Then Marie protects Doc by being a shield for him and they head back to Doc’s place and she says she’s proud of him.

As soon as she leaves he changes clothing and becomes the Black Rider. He comes across Whip Ward in the saloon, and he doesn’t seem happy to see the famous lawman. As the whip flashes out to hit the Rider he shoots bits off the leather, again and again. Mocking him Black Rider allows him to lash around his guns, and then pulls the whip out of his hands via the guns, and the enemy pulls out their own firearms. Black Rider laughs at them, and cleanly shoots them down.

Kid Colt

Alright, so Colt is about to swing. He has been accused of rustling, there is an eyewitness and he’s already a wanted man so they didn’t bother to give him a trail. The men are justifiably angry about their herds being stolen, but Colt says it wasn’t him. The horse beneath him moves, but a split second before it left a bullet breaks the rope and the steed takes off with him. He manages to free his hands and plans to go back to ask the witness why he had lied. He almost runs into a woman as he wonders who saved him.

He stops to help her up, and stunned by her beauty, kisses her. Then he rides off. On the way back to town he finds cattle tracks that aren’t on the usual paths and follows them to the rustler’s hideout. He sneaks in, but when he sees the man who said he had seen Colt rustling he steps out and yells at him for a bit. Then the woman comes in, and Colt tells  he’s gonna turn her brother (that’s who the guy is) in.

First she says no one would believe it, it couldn’t be proven. Then her brother gains a spine and says they are stolen so of course it could be proven! She acts ashamed of him, but he scoffs, telling her not to lie. She had made him, he had always done whatever she wanted. She then pulls out a gun and planned to kill both of the men. She tells Colt that she told the townsfolk where he was, to take suspicion off of her. Colt asks if they knew who saved him (still at gunpoint guys…) and the brother says he did, as he couldn’t stand to have an innocent man hung.

See he’d killed a man by accident once, and she had held it over him for a long time. He tells her he’s through taking orders and charges her. She shoots, but it’s a flesh wound. Taking advantage of her distraction Colt steals her gun and ties her up. He tells the brother to turn her in, and that the law would go soft on him. Then Colt rides off to his next adventure.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Superman 87

1 (this first tale is Earth-one) “The Thing from 40,000 A.D.”

One night a strange being lands near Metropolis, seeming to have come from outer space. It has no form, looking like a weird eyed ditto more than anything. Like a ditto it seems to be able to change form, as it does so- shifting into a tree shortly after landing. It is sentient, as it takes in the life forms around it, and thinks that they must be extinct in 40,000 A.D, which is when it is from.

Though it is not know what has landed the people in the city known that something has. Clark is sent to report upon it. As Clark changes clothing so he can make better time he notes that this is especially  important as the area was to be used for bombing test soon, which had made the army cordon off the area. The thing takes on the appearance of one of the men that pass it, thinking that the fact humans are the predominant life form will make things easier for it. As it will have no trouble from the primitive species.

Superman arrives and is told that the fallen object seemed to have vanished. But, seeing the thing pass by shortly before the man it had copied, lets Superman and the captain into the thing’s secret. The thing escaped, and Superman began to search for clues, finding that there was a trail of slime from a place that looked like a tree had been recently and where he had seen the thing looking like the private.

We then see the being robbing the town of radioactive isotopes, using it’s shifting abilities. But Superman cannot follow up on this right away, as Clark has another assignment, reporting on the world’s largest synthetic diamond. As Clark leaves he is seen by the thing, who thinks he would be a valuable identity to use. That night it used Clark’s form to steal the diamond. Superman finds the large diamond using his x-ray vision, and then loudly proclaims no human could lift the stone, so he must be the fake.

Having followed it to it’s headquarters he finds the thing is making an atomic time machine. His foe creates a landslide that Superman has to stop, but first Superman gets the thing to reveal it’s plan to take over his time, with it’s great abilities and explain that it had been driven to the past as those from the future had feared it. When he next finds the thing it has taken the form of Superman. The two begin a ferocious duel, the thing having Superman’s powers along with his shape. Superman lead the thing back to where it landed, and as he had hoped it was unable to adapt to the explosion in time, and so only one blue clad figure survived.

“Superman’s Super-Boners”

One day Clark is asked to report on a showing of gems, but as he already knows all about the show as he is the one who has been asked to transport and protect them, he decides to check on an atomic engine. He sees it is about to explode, so he wraps it in his cape and lets it explode there. Soon afterward Superman makes the wrong move in dealing with a small fire, and accidentally causes more damage than he would have prevented. He is able to fix it up with little to no problem, but he wonders if his thinking may have been impaired by the explosion. (dude you made one mistake- lighten up)

He goes on patrol later and finds a yacht in danger of crashing due to a dead motor and the tides. He smashes the rocks they are about smash into, without realizing one of the bridge supports is in them. He holds up the bridge while he waits for the repair crew. A rival paper spoke with the mayor and the city planned to test Superman to see if he will be allowed to use his powers. He agrees and the test begins. He is first asked to make a cruel man love his dog, and does so by staging a rescue by the hound. Next he is told to stop a rock slide, but he is not allowed to melt the rocks with his heat vision, nor blow the boulders back uphill also he must do it from a distance. He forms a giant container from a boulder,melts iron inside it and pours the mixture on the rocks. Then he makes a large magnet and lifts them out of the way. Finally he is made to count all the grains of sand in a patch. As there was a time limit he compresses it into a brick and has it weighed. Using that information, plus a small sample he was able to measure and count in time allows him to calculate the rest.

Superman wonders about the ‘mistakes’ he had made, and wonders if things may have been set up. So he goes to look and finds that the rocks where the bridge support was were covered with lead, and that there was tampering at the scene of the fire as well. He figures that the reason he had been made to seem incompetent was so he would be taken off guarding the gems. He rushes back to the show and recovers the gems.

“The Prankster’s Greatest Role”

Clark Kent is walking down the street when he hears a cry for help, saying the Prankster is back. Barely thinking he strips his outer wear, not even bothering to conceal himself first. Nearly gave me a heart attack that did. But we see in the next panel that Clark has been asked to play Superman in an upcoming play. We continue with the flashback seeing Clark-dressed as Superman- being hoisted by a wire, and capturing the ‘Prankster’ as practice for the big night.

The real Prankster is furious at being put in the play, and vows to make the role of Superman trouble for Clark. At the next rehearsal Superman sees that some of the people who have come to watch have rotten eggs, tomatoes, and other prime throwing material along with cards saying they are from the Prankster. Clark rushes backstage and spins the backdrop, hurling the rotten food back at the Prankster’s men.

Angry at their failure he Prankster says he’ll handle it himself, and his anger rises again as some fellow crooks mock him. He shows the hoodlums who’s boss and sees on the paper that the first showing of the play will be in a swampy town outside of Metropolis. Oswald cut out a section of the bridge, and disguised it so when Clark and the rest of the play’s crew passed over it they fell to the murky water below. Superman manages to make it seem as though a rope in the car had tangled around his leg, and he fell over a support beam, the momentum snapping them over again- so saving the car and his identity.

Finally the opening night. Police guard the entrances, as now they are expecting trouble from the Prankster. Of course though the real Prankster has taken the place of his double and sticks up the crowd while Clark dangles from a wire. The wire ‘breaks’ and Clark lands on the floor, sending a barrel flying onto the prankster. He takes out the lights with a chunk of lead and tears off the fake costume for his own. He then paints a picture of himself? and makes a cage. When the lights come back on he swoops down and gathers up the crooks. Superman got accused of being Clark in reality, but the wax figure of Clark (there was one for each cast member) and ventriloquism allied suspicions.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Detective Comics 204

Batman “The Man Who Could Live Forever”

We open upon a man holding up a jewelry store, only for him to be interrupted, not by the Bat, but a fancy man in a hat and a cape. He says that he will be taking the loot. The original robber shoots the interloper, who loudly proclaims he is immortal and nothing can harm him. We cut to Bruce Wayne and his ward playing Ping pong, until Bruce spots the Batsignal on the sky.

The shop clerk talks to our heroes, telling them the man (who he somehow knows is named Odo Neval) had bared his chest, and there was no bullet proof vest. About to leave the radio in the Batmobile alerts them to Odo’s location and so the costumed crusader head over to the subway where he had been spotted. Finding the man is not catching him however, and he drops a live wire onto the metal steps they would have to take to follow him. Batman slides down a Batrope, using a wooden cane to lift the wire to allow others down the stairs but by then the man had vanished.

The next day there was an article in a paper about the fact there was a criminal named Odo Neval centuries ago. Curious Batman and Robin head over to see the man who claimed this. He pulled out a manuscript, which clearly has a picture of Odo on it, and says, in modern English mind you, that he was he criminal who lived forever. The man then explains that Odo was a scientist of Atlantis, and he had made the formula for immortality back then. Batman states he doesn’t care and he’s going down either way.

We cut to the man who had been stealing the jewels Odo had taken, and other criminals. They want the formula for themselves and track down Odo to buy it. After proving his abilities all of Gotham’s criminals begin to pull big jobs to get the cash for the expensive formula. By capturing one of these men Batman gets the whole story, and then goes undercover as Big Luke. While buying the formula Batman notes a mark on Odo’s arm that proves him a fake (I’m guessing its the mark from the smallpox vaccine) Some men come in and knock him out, and they discover he’s Batman by opening his shirt and there is a large Bat there. Either they forgot to color the suit besides the bat, or this version of Bruce has a very revealing tattoo.

Robin, who is Bruce’s backup bursts in to save him. He drinks the vial of formula, and though it is a fake Odo can’t let the other men in the room know that. He is captured none the less and Batman and Robin are brought to a car and they plan to dump Batman over a cliff. Thinking the formula to be real Robin acts recklessly and crashes the car, Shielding Batman with his own ‘invulnerable’ body. Cops come to the scene and Robin heads after Odo, after explaining the situation to them.

When Batman wakes he rushes to help Robin, worried that he will be harmed by his overconfidence. Batman arrives in time and, by throwing a small rock at him was able  to show the boy the truth and they team up. By breaking a giant light bulb (there for effect) they cut Odo’s face, proving him a fake. They capture all the crooks there and then explain that Odo was using a flesh colored bulletproof vest, and rubber gloves that look like bare hands, and he was really the historian that had the document from before. Also I was right, the mark was from a vaccine, though it doesn’t say smallpox specifically.

Roy Raymond Tv Detective “The Stars Spell Doom”

A window washer falls, but rather than dying in a large splat he is caught by an awning and gets barely a scratch. He tells the onlookers that it wasn’t the only impossible thing to happen to him. He had been warned to avoid heights by his astrologer (his boss didn’t see that as a good excuse though). We skip to another man who looks to the stars. He is standing in a downpour, unwilling to go inside his home as it has been deemed unlucky for this day. As he explains this to his neighbor his house explodes. Faulty oil burner.

We cut to Roy, and Karen is marveling over the two predictions, which had both made the paper, and were foretold by the same man. Roy scoffs, but at that moment the astrologer and another of his grateful clients come in. His story is not so spectacular, he was warned not to travel, and when he did he lost control of his car. Not wanting to dismiss him off hand he asks the man to give Karen a reading. He says she has gotten a large sum of money, and then a messenger boy comes in with a check for a thousand dollars from a raffle.

Roy then asks for his own fortune. He says Roy will be involved in an accident on May 27th with a bunch of people under one roof. Karen reminds him he has plans to watch a boxing match that day. She begs him to ask the people to call off the event, as many could be killed. He says it is a fake and says he can prove it. Karen’s check was sent on the 30th but only arrived on the 1st. Since the star chart he made was for this month the money should not have shown up on the reading. Then he rips of the astrologer’s fake beard, revealing the head of a gambling syndicate that had heavily backed the likely loser of the upcoming fight.

He then explains all the people had been paid off, and the check was sent by the astrologer as well. Angry and wanting the truth kept quiet he calls in his men, who attack Roy, only for him to push a bull statue in their faces. He then smacks the leader with a set of scales and the cops come. Roy reminds us astrology isn’t real.