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Most often the first tag will be a year. 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 usually about two months later, and when it is on shelves. For dc/marvel I keep to the cover date, but many of the other publishers don’t make it quite as easy to find so it goes by a publisher by publisher basis.
This is a very important change in the history of comics. Because of people’s worries that comics are too violent, and of how they might affect the children reading them, the CCA was formed. It is a set of guidelines that the comics must follow in order to receive the seal of approval. Most publishers keep true to this for a long time.
Here is the list of guidelines:
- Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
- If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
- Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.
- In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
- Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
- No comic magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title.
- All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
- All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
- Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
- Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
- Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
- Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
- Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
- Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
- Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
- Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
- Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
- Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
It get modified a few times, and eventually fades from use.
The ages of comics are not clear cut. In this case, gold to silver, there are three points in the timeline that are debated as the actual switch over. This is the first, with the introduction of the Comic Code. The next would be the introduction of Martian Manhunter, and finally the first appearance of Barry Allen. Of course this is only for Dc. For Marvel the CCA is a good primary indicator as well, but it doesn’t fully turn until Fantastic Four #1.
The issues in between these points will be tagged both Golden age and Silver age.
Volume: World’s Finest vol 1
Cover date: 1955 Feb
“The Indestructible Wizard”
A man comes up to a guard, asks him directions and then vanishes in a puff of smoke. The guard freaks out and it gives the man the distraction he needs to sneak behind him. Then he does another trick inside to seem as though he is a ghost and escapes with valuable information. Plas and Woozy are called to investigate and keep watch for another such crime. As soon as another person sees a ghost Plastic Man is informed and he heads to the place. The Wizard is ready for him and drops a huge crate on him and then hypnotizes Plas to be his servant. Plastic Man is forced to help the man steal military secrets and then to gather up those that had already been stored elsewhere before they return to their country. Plastic Man then reveals he was only pretending to be hypnotized to get all the formation back and drops the crooks off at the FBI.
This is the last issue of this volume that contains any original stories. So we must say goodbye to PLastic Man for now, though versions of him will return I’m not actually sure about the Earth-Quality version. We’ll see I guess.
“S.O. S. From the Past”
Wonder Woman is competing with some of her sister Amazons in a series of activities. Because she has won all of the previous games in this one she is bound before she jumps off a cliff into the sea to race to catch a bottle with a message in it. But this is a tiny handicap for the mighty Wonder Woman and she is still the first to the bottle. When she brings it in though they discover this isn’t the bottle Hippolyta tossed in the ocean, but an SOS from 1555.
For a normal person this would just be sad because there is nothing we could do; but for Wonder Woman and the Amazon time machine this is a walk in the park. She ends up on a deserted island the day the letter was written and soon finds the writer about to be sacrificed to some god by the natives of this island. Wonder Woman scares them, breaks their statue, and frees the man before telling the natives to be just, peaceful, merciful, and kind. Then she brings the man onto a passing ship.
The captain has never seen anyone like Wonder Woman before, and upon questioning she tells him how she came to find the man she had saved (omitting that she is from the future). He too had recently Roy d a cry for help in a bottle, but as it was dated 1056 there is nothing he could do about it. Wonder Woman can though; and she focuses her mind on the future and her mother obligingly changea the settings to send Wonder Woman to where she is needed.
This time the danger is not in being trapped on an island far from home; but a prince is being held within his own castle and is going to thrown into the moat to die. Wonder Woman easily gets past the guards and grabs the falling figure. But it isn’t the prince, just a statue that is made of magnetic metal that traps her wrists to it. She sinks to the bottom of the moat, unable to pull herself free until she tempts an electric eel to shock her and lessen the pull. She gets to the surface in time to catch the real prince, then she bursts in the castle, fights people and reinstates the prince. As a reward he gives he a bottle with a message in it, which is the one Hippolyta had thrown into the water; having slipped through a crack in time.
“The Golden Doom”
One day something strange begins happening. Roses turn to gold, as does the coal miners bring up, or the soil in a farmers field or the flower box on Diana’s windowsil. Knowing at once the danger this could cause she leaps out of the window onto her invisible plane to investigate. One her way she spots a house fire, tries to snuff it out with dirt but the dirt is gold and it melts so she brings down a water tower instead. After speaking to General Darnell and Steve she goes back to her plane and begins to drill into the Earth, which is the origin or gold.
Eventually she gets to a large cavern filled with golden mole men. They cover her with gold via their gold guns and explain to the captured woman that they want to be the prime race on Earth, and will achieve this by starving the humans when all the dirt is turned to gold. Wonder Woman whispers to her plane to dive and it begins to drill even further into the Earth and she goes with it. Soon they are deep enough that the moltan heat melts the golden casing around Wonder Woman and she turns the plane around, sucking the heat up with her and melting the mole men as she passes. It also melts the gold on the surface when she arrives and she says it fixes thw problem, but… Whatever.
“The Secret of Wonder Woman’s Sandles”
Ok, I get why we need a story about her lasso, or her tiara, or even her earrings which she uses to breathe underwater. But her sandles? They don’t do anything special. They are mostly normal shoes. In this story we learn they are another thing she earned before she could leave the island for Man’s world.
They are shown to her right off, but they are much too small for her for they grow with her deeds. The first thing she does to begin to be worthy of them is something that needs to be done at once. An undersea volcano begin bubbling, and threatens Paradise Isle. So Wonder Woman lifts the entire island, moves it, and re settles it far enough away from the volcano to be safe. But even this amazing feat only makes one of the sandles grow.
The second thing she does is much smaller in comparison, but a ship had gotten stuck on the back of a passing whale? She lassos the whale to make it stop so the ship goes forward with inertia and then she catches it before it smakes into the sea. This makes the other sandle grow and she puts them on.
You may have noticed that a few posts for last month were shorter than you are used to, But not likely since people rarely come here. Anyway, the reason for that is that it takes me too long to write up those posts. A friend and I calculated that I was writing almost as much a week as a person does during Nanowrimo. I just can’t keep doing that. So I am going back to the shorter posts, hope I don’t disappoint anyone. Oh and I’m dropping the weekend posts. I’ll still read them, but I’m done typing them.
Superman is sent into the past via a time machine along with Perry, Lois, the inventor of the machine and a crook. He has to become Superman to fight off a dinosaur so Clark is ‘lost’ for a while. When Clark returns the criminal takes over the group of cavemen and so Clark ‘falls’ down a hole to become Superman again. To get the part back for the time machine Superman helps the crook seem powerful but tricks the criminal into coming with them by locating a vein of fool’s gold in the hole he had fallen in. Eagar to use his new riches the man returns to 1955 with the rest and is sent to jail
- Congo Bill
Bill and Janu are asked to deliver a baseball with a note written on it to a man in a village they will be passing. They do so, but the man ignores the plea for him to return to his team in the US because he thinks he has lost all control over his pitch. Bill teaches the kids in the village to play baseball and ropes the man into joining. Then one of Janu’s friends pretends to be a danger to one of the kids and the pitcher tries to hit him with a ball. He misses, but the big cat pretends otherwise and the man regains his nerve and returns home.
- Tommy Tomorrow
There is a scarcity of milk in the cosmos, and after delivering what they could Tommy and Brent go to investigate why this is. The place where most of the milk comes from is this one asteroid so they go there and find that all the cows have been replaced with a giant robot cow that changes grass into milk, usually this is quite effective but it has been screwing up the past few days and the inventor of the machine is missing. After running around different places the man might be Tommy figures out that how the milk has been failing spells out ‘help’ and the scientist is trapped inside the cow.
Batman and Robin in “The Batman of Tomorrow”
Bruce is at a gala when a machine begins to roll down the stairs toward him. Not having time to become Batman he stops it from crushing those below but that leaves him trapped as crooks rob the place. Bruce says goodnight to Vicki after having his injured arm checked on and then goes to meet up with Robin to investigate the crime. Someone disguised as a bank manager had toppled the machine as a distraction and they figure it must be this one makeup artist. But Vicki almost catches up with them and they worry if she sees his injured arm she will know he is Bruce Wayne. So they call the Batman from the future; Brane Taylor, to play the part of the modern Batman. As Vicki, Batman, and Robin track down the makeup artist we see that this Batman is not nearly as skilled as our normal one and Vicki gets suspicious. During the final chase, Bruce Batman takes over again, arm healed by the future tech Brane brought.
Roy Raymond TV Detective in: “The Man No Prison could Hold”
We open at a prison where Roy Raymond is going to be giving a live performance. Several of the men complain about this, as Roy had been the one to get them arrested in the first place. One of these men claims that his ability he had (to walk through walls) had ‘disproven’ by Roy was real, but that he had decided at the last moment to use it for crime and so rigged the whole thing so it looked like a scam. But he had been caught soon afterward trying to rob a bank and was sent to jail. Now he wants to prove Roy sucks and then go about his life.
So at the show, he showcases his ability and Roy cannot explain how he did it. So later the prisoner tells some of the others that he is going to leave the next day, and one of them tells him the location of their loot so that he can arrange a jailbreak for him. Then the police dig up the loot and we learn the prisoner was really an undercover cop.
Blue and Bold means a change in the section
Green and italics means a new appearance but no other change
Red and underline means spoilers
I don’t go blue and bold if the location changes slightly, if they go into space, or another universe or something vastly out of norm… then we get blue.
I’m updating as I learn things so I will mark a character as alive until I hear they are dead. I will remove people from the list if they have not appeared for five or more years. Or before the blog haha
Current Super ID: Captain Comet
Last seen: 1954 Oct
In What Issue: Strange Adventures 49
ID known by: Prof. Zarko
“Tests of a Warrior”
Perry White gives a copy of the sports page to Jimmy, telling him to run it to composing. He says ‘okay, Cheif’ and we get the first instance of Perry not wanting people to call him that! With a ‘yes chief’ he leaves the room to deliver the paper. One his way to composing he is stopped by an actual chief, of someone who looks like a Native American chief at any rate. He wants to speak to the boss, so Jimmy takes him to Perry’s office.
Clark is in there, and so he hears when the man tells Perry why he is there; to ask for Superman’s help. His father, Hun-Sha, is the chief of the tribe and he believes in peace. The medicine man says that Hun-Sha has lost his courage and that he must re-do the tests of Warrior again, to prove he is still a strong chief. But due to his age, and that fact that the medicine man is sure to interfere with the test, his son worries he might not survive. Perry isn’t sure Superman will drop everything to go however far he would need to for this, as he has plenty to do in Metropolis but the man knows that Superman, lover of justice as he is will come.
It is Perry who is wrong, for Clark goes at once to some sort of closet and becomes Superman. When the man leaves the Planet Superman scoops him up and asks where they are going. Going at speeds no human could Superman arrives at the tribe with the still unnamed son of the chief. The medicine man sees them arrive, but the sight of Superman doesn’t intimidate him. He doesn’t think he will be able to stop him, and that Superman will, in fact, be the undoing of Hun-Sha.
The first test Hun-Sha is presented with it to cut down a tree in ten strokes, and Superman notes from his hiding place the tree is already half sawn through so that once hit the tree will fall on the chief. Hun-Sha strikes and the tree begins to fall, only super breath keeping it in the air long enough for the man to escape. Next, he has to paddle into a whirlpool in a canoe and then paddle out again. This would strain most strong young men, but while this would limit Hun-Sha’s chances they are dashed entirely when his paddle breaks as he tries to leave the whirlpool.
At the bottom of the whirling water, Superman begins to spin counter to the water’s natural current, the sudden change causing Hun-Sha to be shot out of the whirlpool. Thinking it was the great bird spirit that had saved him that night they hold a celebration toward the god. Since he has been shown great favor that day the medicine man asks him to pray for rain and a good harvest, but first Hun-Sha wants to please the Great Bird with a feat of strength by I guess wrestling a buffalo? which is another test of the warrior.
Just like with the other tests Superman does not interfere until he is sure the man cannot succeed in his task, and in this case, this means he doesn’t act at all. Putting a rope around the Buffalo’s horns and twisting around the beast it’s weight causing it to flip onto it’s back. Superman is impressed and wants to make sure the Great Bird’s side of the bargain is done as well, so he crushes a chunk of ice far above the tribe’s fields and camp, the small pieces melting as it comes down it begins to rain.
Worried now that there is nothing Superman cannot do he tells Hun-Sha that he has seen the Great Bird in human form before, and he can work wonders. But still, it is possible he is just a clever magician. The only way to truly tell is for the Bird to appear and run the gauntlet- and survive. Hun-Sha is rightfully irritated here, for how is he supposed to summon the god to do this? There is no need to do so, the medicine man says, as he is right there. Superman decides to take a more active role and he lands, accepting the challenge.
As they ready themselves to use all their weapons the medicine man once again thinks about how Superman will cause Hun-Sha’s death and the time is coming now. Countless arrows hit Superman, but of course, do no harm to his invulnerable skin. Next flaming lances are tosses at him, and when he gets closer the tomahawks dent against him. Now the chief must hit him with their mightest of axes. As he was about to slam the blade into Superman the hero sees with his x-ray vision that the weapon has dynamite placed inside. It could not harm Superman of course, but being that close to the explosion would kill Hun-Sha.
As the weapon rushes toward him Superman burns away the handle just below the blade with his x-ray vision causing it to fly off as if it had hit him. The blade explodes above the medicine man and he hurriedly confesses his whole plan before asking Superman if he will live. Superman tells him he was unharmed by the blast, and that it had just scared him silly. He is revoked of his status, and Superman lets everyone know just how little he had helped Hun-Sha, and that the buffalo had been beaten without any of his help at all, which pleases the chief.
Hun-Sha’s son returns to the Daily Planet, where he gives Perry a chieftainship from his father, an honorary title with no power I assume, but Jimmy says he now can’t get mad at people calling him chief.
“The Human Circus”
Brent and Tommy are in their ship, going around space when they find an empty space suit with balloons tied to it, floating in space. Not too far from that is a set of trapezes, and while Brent at first thinks it might be some sort of odd joke Tommy knows it is a space trail, and even who it is from. The Space Circus troupe had vanished and Tommy believes this was a trail the left toward a world they crash landed on after their radio went on the blink.
So they follow the trail and sure enough, they find a shipwreck marked with a giant clown balloon. They land next to it, but there is no sign of its inhabitants, but also no sign they have been harmed. Tommy and Brent follow the footprints to a gleaming civilized city. Upon entering it however they find it is not inhabited by humans or human-like beings but rather tigers. Due to the thinner atmosphere, the tigers have developed a breathing style which means they breathe out vapor like we do when it is cold.
Tommy and Brent are captured in nets and brought to a circus, apparently not understanding the words Tommy shouts at him as intelligent speech, which he thought they would. Apparently, they don’t have ears, but I would just think that we only sound like animals do to us. Once at the circus they are given to one of the tigermen who begins to train them like humans do lions for our circuses. But other than the fact they are being trained they are treated well, fed well, and even petted. When they are brought to their cage to sleep they find the space circus performers.
There they are told that those who fail in training are taken away and never seen again. The worry is that they are killed for being worthless, and so Tommy knows this is a danger unless they are able to prove they are intelligent. So the question becomes, how do these aliens communicate? The circus telepath says it’s not telepathy, for their minds are closed to it. Sign is not an option with the less dexterous paws they have, and there have been no signs of written language.
The night of the show arrives and the humans are lead on a parade around the ring before the act begins. As they pull a carriage with a tiger doing a handstand in it Tommy notes that the ringmaster’s breath comes out in a strange formation. By observing the crowd he watches them ‘cheer’ as the acrobat takes his bow. Tommy has Brent gather up straw and sawdust and they make a smoky fire. Though they do not know the language they are able to make shapes from the smoke that the tigers recognize and know they are trying to communicate. The humans are released and we learn those who failed the training had become pets. They repair the circus ship and the humans head back into space.
Janu and Bill are about to lead a safari out of a trading post to get ivory, which is scarce, without killing the elephants. As they travel they see a man heading their direction, worn out and tired. He tells them while drinking water that a herd of elephants had gone on a rampage and were smashing everything in their path. Bill is saddened by what they must do, but they only way to stop the herd is to kill them. Thinking that they could use the help Janu calls Bombo on his whistle.
Of course, the humans cannot hear it but Bombo does and soon trundles out of the jungle. After directing the man to a nearby village where he would be able to recover the safari begins to track the herd. While I imagine it’s rather easy to do as far as tracking goes they also are able to determine a possible path as the leaves the elephants eat are salty and therefore they will head for the nearest river.
When they arrive at the river and the men prepare to shoot Bombo leaves the party and heads to the herd. Janu tries to call him back, but he does not return, instead leading the herd away from the danger of the hunters. Janu is stung by his friend turning on them, but as Bill says, he had seen it happen. Bill says they need to build a trap for the herd and so they dig a pit and cover it with branches and leaves so it can’t be seen. Hiding downwind they wait for the elephants to approach and when they do Bombo is in the lead.
He smells the branches above the trap and the hunters wonder if he smells Janu on them and if it will keep them from stepping into the trap. Bombo turns them from the pit trap and instead directs the herd toward the village. The hunters race ahead and hide behind trees after telling the people who live there to flee. The plan is to shoot the elephants as they pass the trees, and Janu asks if that includes Bombo. Sadly it does, as if he has become a killer he cannot be allowed to live. Janu bravely says that he wants to be the one to take Bombo down because he doesn’t want anyone else to end his life. Janu weeps as they wait for the elephants to arrive.
The elephants charge, heading into the ambush. As they do Bill sees something… that makes him need to stop Janu from shooting. Since the noise is too great to be heard over BIll shoots the gun out of Janu’s hands. The elephants get closer and Bombo stops before them, leading them to the back of the party where we find that their safari went the only ones trailing these elephants. Men with spears had been enticing them to each attack so they could kill the elephants without getting the expensive license and get their tusks.
So Bombo had joined the group to protect them until he could show Janu and Bill the truth, and Bill had discovered this by watching the trunks of the charging elephants. When attacking their trunks would be held high, but these elephants were fleeing, and therefore they were lowered. With the men’s hands tied behind their backs, Bill and Janu’s group begins to gather tusks from the bottom of a river where many elephants spend their last moments.
Available on Patreon since 11/25/18
“The Batmen of All Nations”
So if you look at the tags here you will see that this post/comic introduced a lot of characters with varying degrees of importance. We have met Percy and Cyril Sheldrake before, but that was their earth-two versions. (maybe? let’s see if they bring up meeting him before in this issue, but if so I guess it’s just one of those mirrored things?)
In England a bell chimes, and it works as a signal to tell the Knight and Squire (Percy and Cyril) that they are needed. They capture the crooks minutes later, but it isn’t fast enough for these heroes who think Batman and Robin could have done it faster. They wish they could see them in action, in America and they are not the only people who wish for that. The Musketeer in France, the Legionary in Rome, the Gaucho in South America, and the Ranger in Australia fell similarly. It is this last one, the Ranger, that writes to ask Batman if he would teach those inspired by him his ways.
Batman responds at once, and soon papers around the world announce that Batman will be teaching classes in Gotham. While the gathering of crimefighters would scare off most crooks it does not spook them all. “Knots” Cardine has a plan involving these classes and as the last of the ‘Batmen’ arrives he has one of his men force him off the road.
A parade welcomes the heroes, none later than the others so we don’t get to know who the impostor is. That first night Batman and Robin show the newbies the bat-signal, the contents of their belts, and explain that they also have secret identities. While performing acrobatics for them the Musketeer notices that the Bat signal is on and brings it to the attention of Batman and Robin.
They rush down to the police headquarters with the others where commissioner Gordon shows them a program on the news. Knots is on there, publically declaring that while all the Bat inspired heroes are in town he will perform unprecedented crimes. Just as the program is ending a man rushes into the office to tell Gordon that they had just received a phone call that had been cut short where the guard of the Gotham Bell Company was calling for help.
The party heading to the crime is larger than normal; Batman, Robin, Legionary, and Musketeer in the Batmobile Knight and Squire on their horse painted motorcycles and Ranger and Gaucho on actual horses. When they arrive Gaucho suggests some of them watch the gates and so Batman stations him and Knight there.
The others head inside and are met with an ambush. A large gong is rolled toward them and Batman stops it by swinging on his rope but the distraction is enough to allow the crooks to escape. Knight is in there with them, and when they leave it is Legionary at the gate so maybe they swapped or maybe a mistake on the part of the writer/artist. The criminals had gotten past the gate guards by simply rushing past them. So the various heroes fan out to find them. With Musketeer and Legionary in the Batmobile Batman mentions a certain alley that they didn’t need to search due to the fact that it can’t be sped through. As if hearing this the men hide in the alley and so when everyone regroups there has been no sign of them.
They return to police headquarters to report back to Gordon about the fact Knots had gotten away and they have no clue as to where their hideout is. A shit ton of money is being transferred to the Gotham branch of a bank and Gordon wants Knots caught before it arrives for, even though it will be guarded by Batman it may come under attack.
Legionary has a small clue to go on, that the sides of the crooks car were scratched up as if they often drove through dense bushes or woodland. The police put out a watch for such a crime but Knots’s plan is working in that Gaucho, at any rate, wonders if Batman is really all people say he is.
While searching for the car Batman and Robin get an alert on their radio about a robbery at a circus and since they are close head over to see what they can do. The wagon in which the money is stored had been connected to a car with scratches on the sides and is being towed away. The Batmobile goes after it but just like before the crooks seem to know where Batman is and where he isn’t going to look.
But after they avoid immediate capture it isn’t too hard for Batman to pick up the trail again. Some man had seen a car towing a circus wagon heading for the hills and Batman figures it won’t be hard to find the tracks on the dirt roads. They are not found though, and Knight and Squire confess their doubts about the heroes to each other. This is likely not helped by the fact that Legionary finds the next clue. He spots a side road that had bushes right at the level the scratches on the car are and Batman sends Musketeer back to tell the others where they went while Batman, Robin, and Legionary head up the road.
They find a house up the way and the tracks they were looking for on the road. Legionary suggests someone watch the road to make sure no one escapes and so Batman leaves them both there to proceed to the house. Batman takes note of the electric eye but perhaps misses something else for the house explodes. Robin calls out for his mentor in grief. Robin and Legionary run up to the remains of the house, the remains of the trap Knots had obviously wanted him to find.
The paper the next day reports Batman has been killed, much to the sorrow of Gotham as a whole as well as the men who imitate him. Legionary says that they must bring Knots in for this, and says that he thinks Knots probably went all this trouble for the money transfer Batman was to be guarding.
So Gordon asks them to guard the money instead, with Legionary as the leader as he seems the most logical. Some of the men are sent as scouts ahead, Robin keeping an eye on the rear and Legionary in the car with the driver. When they get out of sight of the others the driver plans to slow down to let Robin catch up but Legionary takes out a gun and soon Knots’s crew pour out of the woods to take the car.
In one of the bags they find not money, but Batman. Robin rushes up very soon and the rest of the Batmen are not far behind. Batman explains he couldn’t call them while they were with Legionary, who turns out to be Knots himself. Wired with a walkie-talkie he had been able to relay information to his men and almost kill the bat.
Batman had been onto him however from almost the beginning. The scratches the Legionary claimed to have seen were on the other side of the car and so he couldn’t have spotted them. Batman disrupted the electric eye with a Batarang to see what would happen and it triggered the explosion. Batman then knew he would go after the bank shipment and so planned his own attack. The batmen are once again impressed with their hero and the story ends. I assume they find the real Legionary and he’s fine as he does appear again.
“The Castle of Doom”
Karen and Roy are on a trip around the world to find oddities for their show and are currently in the Gulf of Siam. They can see the place they will be staying; a castle that belongs to a friend of Roy’s, from where they are. Before they can set foot upon the land, however, their boat is boarded by modern-day pirates who demand the cargo.
They leave once they have everything on board and head for the other side of a tall rock island. As they watch them go one of the sailors says this is the third time this has happened, and this time they are ready for them. He indicates the police boats closing in on the pirates, and they are completely trapped in the bay. Night falls as they watch, and Karen points out a large cave in the side of the rock island that would be big enough to hide the ship, but as it is not right on shore it would be impossible for the ship to get in there.
Though the ship was cut off from the rest of the ocean and had nowhere to go the police cannot find it in the dark gulf. Roy and Karen stay with them all through the night and it is around noon the next day when they head up to the castle. At the gate, they are told they won’t find the owner there as he is in the village. Confused, but obviously wanting to get some rest they head to see Roy’s friend. (his name is Roger by the way)
They find him with ease and Roy asks why he is down here instead of his own castle. Roger explains there is a legend that should someone leave the castle for more than two years the ownership will revert to the original owner, no matter how long ago he died. Now Roger didn’t use to believe that (or he wouldn’t have been gone so long I would think) but something has changed. When he returned home last week he had gone at once to bed, and while dozing off there was a clanking noise and a man appeared before him. He claims to have been the man who built the castle and that it is once again his. Should Roger not leave he would perish. Then before his very eyes, the man begins to dissolve into thin air.
Now Roy thinks this must be some sort of trick, and he asks that they all spend the night there that night so Roy can expose the trick. Karen doesn’t miss a beat in declaring that she is going too. When they get up to the castle it is dusk, and everything inside looks normal. Roger says it all had before as well, but Roy doesn’t let that bother him. Each of the people heads to a different room to retire, and Roy watches outside of his window for a long moment before heading to bed. The view from there is beautiful, showing the gulf and the rock island they had passed on the way in.
As he watches he sees Police boats once again searching through the gulf and wonders if there had been another attack. A loud clanking sounds and Karen rushed into the room to get Roy as strange things are happening in the grand hall. The entire room has changed how it looks, reverting to how it would have looked 500 years before. Then before them appears the Siamese Prince who tells Roger that since he defied his warning he will now die. Roy moves quickly toward the apparition but he begins to fade from view, telling them that while they cannot harm him he can destroy them.
Roy does not stop moving however and while the other two think he is fleeing he is really only going to the light switch and when the light is on the place changes back to its true appearance, including the prince who is really the caretaker of the building. Roy explains that the illusion is done with black light, though I have no clue how that would be… but whatever. 1950s comic books you just have to deal with things like this. The ‘vanishing’ happens when the light source is blocked causing the image of the prince to dim. Roy calls the police over and shows them to a secret tunnel which I don’t know how he found this side of it, but the other was the cave in the rock, which was accessible at high tide.
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“The Impossible Illusions”
Clark Kent is in the Smallville Theater watching a magic show performed by a magician Zazar who calls for a volunteer from the crowd to make disappear. A man stands up in the crowd and is chosen to go on the stage. Clark thinks he looks kind of familiar and tries to place it as Zazar explains that he is going to lock the man in a cabinet and then say the magic words and he will vanish completely. Mentally ridding the man of his beard and dark glasses… he recognizes him just as a police officer tells Zazar to stop, that it is Torch Marron in the cabinet. Torch is a bank robber, and currently public enemy number one.
He tells him to stop the show and get him out, but Clark with his x-ray vision can see that he is already gone. He leaves the theater to turn into Superboy and seek out the vanished crook and spots some of Torch’s men speeding away in a car. Setting himself upon them Superboy tears the roof off of the car, only to not find the man he is looking for inside. Then he realizes that the wood of the cabinet had changed after the act. He is forced to let them go due to lack of evidence and returns to the stage. He finds a trap door and figures that while the area was filled with smoke the henchmen had taken down the cabinet that held their boss and replaced it with an empty one. (Why did Clark not see this, was there really enough smoke to cover that the entire cabinet was being lifted and taken?)
Zazar is also trying to figure out what happened to Torch, going so far as to show the officer exactly how the trick works. He cannot explain where the crook has gone, and Zazar figures his career is ruined, as no one will believe that he did not intend to help Torch. Knowing what had happened, but that the story will not prove Zazar had nothing to do with it Superboy pulls the man aside with a plan to clear his name. He whispers the plan, which will involve his friend Clark Kent and the next day signs go up around town advertising Zazar bringing Torch.
The show begins, with Clark on stage acting as assistant. He makes Clark float, thinking Superboy is actually doing it, which he is as this is Superboy’s normal flying power. Then Clark is covered by a sheet and Zazar drives swords through him, hoping all the while that Superboy knows what he is doing. Underneath the sheet, Clark is using super speed to bend the swords around him and then returns them to their normal shape as they are pulled out.
Two of Torch’s men are in the crowd and they are awed at the skill of Zazar, forced to wonder if maybe the man can actually bring back their boss. Worried they leave the room to go call him to make sure he is still at the hideout as Clark gets into the cabinet. Zazar tells the crowd that Clark will be replaced with Torch and Clark listens intently within the small booth. He hears the phone call, and at speeds that no human could see Superboy flies out the top of the booth, and goes right to Torch as he tells his men he is fine. Trussing him up with rope Superboy gets him back and dumps the crook in the cabinet and is revealed to the crowd.
Zazar is super confused as the police take Torch away, not knowing how Superboy pulled off his miraculous tricks. Clark knows he could explain to the poor magician if he didn’t mind his identity being exposed, but that is not an option. So Zazar will go the rest of his life with no clue as to what really happened in either of these shows.
“Through the Eyes of Superboy”
Guys, I really liked this story. Go read it if you have a chance. Anyway, Superboy is heading to the office of some charity that’s got a drive going on when he is waved down by some members of the chairty (or so it seems). they ask him to wear a badge reminding people to donate and he promises not to take it off at all. He then flies around town doing a few super deeds not knowing about the tiny camera in the badge that relays everything to the crooks of the piece. They use this to track him down to 57 Oak st where they saw him put on normal clothing. They burst in to demand Superboy’s foster father to tell them Superboy’s secret ID only to find that all the furniture is covered in sheets.
Superboy uses one of these sheets to wrap them up and then explains that a woman who had been near him during the day had been watching television and it picked up his camera.
“Public Chimp Number One”
So there is this really well known performing chimp named Bongo. He is on tv every week and is known to be really smart. So, When he is kidnapped it causes quite an uproar. Superboy does what he can for the effort, spreading posters and asking around pet shop owners but no one has seen the chimp. But kidnappers aren’t gonna let their captive be so easily found. Plus they have plans for the chimp.
Knowing some of the things he is trained to do they drop Bongo in an office via the window and he opens the door for them as he had done publicly in a skit. When they enter the office however the burglar alarm goes off, set off deliberately by Bongo. Superboy sees them escaping but for some reason, I can’t recall can’t capture them right then. Anyway, late Bongo is sent in an office with a new trick he learned of dropping a pellet in a bottle. The chimp goes up to some dudes desk and drops the marble he had been given in the soda on the man’s desk. The reaction causes a powerful gas to begin to flood the room and put everyone in it to sleep. The crooks come in with gas masks to rob the place but are stopped by Superboy. See Bongo, after realizing he had been made to assist in another crime had called 911 and screamed into the phone. As everyone knows his voice they sent Superboy there at once, and everything returns to normal.
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warning for murder and suicide