Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 March

Adventure Comics 198

Superboy “The Super-Carnival from Space”

When a large space ship is set up in Smallville overnight proclaiming an interplanetary circus, naturally the townsfolk think it is a hoax. Or at the very least just a clever marketing ploy. When Clark uses his x-ray vision to discover that the man with eight arms actually had right arms and they weren’t fake. So he is definitely going to the show. During the show they continue to act as though they truly are what they seem. At the very least Clark is certain after seeing the “metal man” lift a solid iron platform with his mind.

However the alien’s power fails and the iron begins to fall into the crowd. Clark dives beneath the stands and zooms into action. Clark wants a word with the ringmaster after and apparently he wants to speak to the Kryptonian as well so it all works out. Though the circus is real Clark doesn’t want the people of Smallville to know. (If my words seem winky it is because I am drinking) When he heads into see the ringmaster after the show he makes sure that the circus is there honestly and means no harm to Earth. He tells Clark they come in peace, and asks the teen to join his circus. Well not really asks as after Clark refuses he is told he doesn’t have a choice and he’ll be coming no matter what.

He calls the circus strongman and Clark is able to lift and spin the strongman with ease. After seeing Clark best him he calls another being made entirely of flame. When Superboy proves he is invulnerable to the heat the ringmaster pulls out his trump card- a giant bipedal elephant with wings. The ringmaster used his mental control over the creature to attack our hero. Clark couldn’t be harmed but the thing but neither could Superboy defeat it. In fact it seems just as invincible as Clark himself! Seeing that the two are at a stalemate the ringmaster orders the other to attack the town. He will call him off if Superboy agrees to join him.

Finally he has no choice but to give in, for the sake of his home. But he warns the ringmaster he will leave the moment he finds out how to stop the elephant alien. When the town hears he has joined the circus some kids think he is jealous of the attention that had been taken from him. Others think he is lowering himself by acting with the ‘phonies’. During a show one day Pa Kent rushes in to ask Superboy for help as the shop had been robbed. Clark is torn between his two duties, but decides the whole town is more important than petty thieves. (So Pa knows something is up now) As his father leaves Clark lets himself have a moment to weld the doors of the thieves’ car shut with his eyes, and blows their tires.

Later he flys over the town, giving everything one last good bye before he must leave. He passes over his own house with it’s lead roof and gets an idea. He returns to the ringmaster and tells him he will be staying on Earth after all. Naturally the winged Elephant thing is brought back and Clark throws a rock in the things mouth and it seems to block the control over the beast as the ringmaster then asks Clark to convince it to go with him and the rest of the circus as they pack to leave. Apparently Clark had made and disguised a lead helmet that blocked the telepathy, but I don’t really think that would have worked?

Aquaman “The Daredevil of the Seven Seas”

A man named Alan wants to become a cargo boat driver, though he is usually a PT boat pilot. Aquaman comes into the meeting and says he has managed to get the guy a licence. Once the man saw that Aquaman supported Alan his tune changed at once, and he was all for Alan. When Alan is heading out on his first shipment Aquaman joins him and they begin with a photo shoot. The man is warned about the ice flows in the area but he kind of waves it off saying it won’t be a problem.

While driving his boat he begins to think about his time in the army when he was bring his boat through a mine field. Between his PTSD and his cockiness he quickly gets his boat propellers broken and is heading for  an iceburg. Luckily Aquaman is still near and he asks some octopodes to replace to propellers when Alan calls to him. Of course this near miss is nearly enough for Alan to lose his job, but Aquaman asks for another chance for him.

The next time however he was just as bad- if not worse. He took his boat out in the middle of a tornado  (fairly sure they are water spouts at sea but the fact remains that is what it is). Just before they die swept up in the air, Aquaman shows up and tells Alan this will be his last chance. He waterproofs the ship and has whales drag it below the surface. When he returns to land Alan had lost his job.

Living on the dock one day someone approaches Alan, saying his methods are what they need. They take Alan to an island that belong to the government where they once hid treasure, but it is now guarded by marines in houses secret defense work. Feeling abandoned by the world Alan agrees, and he quickly makes his way through the security. (with stealth not fighting) When Alan is heading back they go to see him and are met with the coast guard. The whole thing turned out to be a trap, with the reputation building and breaking and all.

Johnny Quick “The Mechanical Fortune Teller”

Johnny is reporting on a man who is making a machine to tell the future, though both Johnny and the man’s wife think he is wasting his time. Johnny says that even if he succeeds there is nothing people could do, as they can’t escape what fate has in store for them. The wife bemoans the fact that while her husband is working on this currently useless machine, they are losing the house and their daughter can’t go to college.

Johnny feels bad for the family, and since the inventor is a very stubborn man who won’t quit Johnny says he’s going to make the machine work. So he heads into the future by moving faster than the speed of light and gathering information. Moving faster than the man could see Johnny then put in the answer to the question put into the machine. Then, knowing the man would need a quick stipend they have Tubby give him some money that Johnny got from cashing in a treasure chest on the bottom of the ocean. Of course they made it seem like he just hit a jackpot.

With his money and machine he bets on a baseball game, and wins. After gaining his winnings Johnny goes to step two in his plan and fakes a flying saucer. The saucer leads the police to the man, so the money is given to charity as the bookie is arrested. Cursing his bad luck he goes back to his machine and finds out that a man will soon be finding a gold mine, and goes out to by a share from him. Of course, the mine is simply salted by Johnny.

The man gives the miner the rest of the money Tubby gave him to get half the gold the miner digs up that day. Johnny is a little shit and had made it so the miner would only hit the gold at the end of the day. But that isn’t all he has done. He asked a friend to sit where the miner was gonna dig, and the miner has a short temper so he hits him to get him to go. His friend is named Gold.

The inventor gets bummed, thinking that Johnny may have been right about being unable to fight fate. Still he makes one last attempt, and goes out to win a raffle. With the machine (read: Johnny) he wins and Johnny has to cobble together how he is gonna stop him from profiting this time. He has to abandon the complicated plot when a Tubby rushes into traffic and he stops to save him.

Johnny thinks the jig is up, but the slight commotion he caused by appearing in the dark meant the inventor lost the raffle ticket. The final panel is of Tubby informing Johnny the inventor has taken a job, and Johnny wondering if everything would have worked out fine even without his help.

Green Arrow “Wanted for Murder: Green Arrow”

The Green Arrow signal flashes across the sky, and Roy and Oliver rush to change before heading to the police station. A woman was a witness to a murder and in fear for her life fled the country, however it is now time for the trial and so Oliver and Roy are being sent to Paris to retrieve her. They are warned that the accused, Darrow, will have sent his men as well. They head out that night in the Arrowplane.

While in the plane they hear the woman has left police custody and bailed out over the small country of Entonia, which has been untouched by modern civilization. We then cut to that country, where Darrow’s man has already arrived and made contact with an ambitious man who seeks to usurp the throne. Since the king has the witness the two are going to work together to achieve their aims. The Entonian man spreads the word that a fake Green Arrow will soon be arriving in Entonia, and he is really a murderer. Since Entonia respects GA, they are outraged by a criminal using his name.

This gives our heroes a small amount of trouble as they don’t want to hurt innocents, but a volley of smoke arrows allow them to get through the first group. When they make it to the castle, and meet the witness, she too believes they are fake- and that they are Darrow’s men. To prove himself the real Green Arrow he shoots one arrow and then splits it with another. He is shocked when all of Entonia’s archers duplicate his feat with ease. So he pulls out one of his special arrows- the harpoon arrow- and snags the bows from the other archer’s hands, before returning them. This is enough to convince the king.

But it also creates an opening for the evil Entonian, who attacks before GA can return the bows. Which makes the army sure that GA is not who he says he is. The king and witness are taken hostage, and GA desperately tries to convince the other archers he can help free them. Oliver suggests he be sent over the wall in a catapult but they don’t trust him out of their sight, so they send Speedy instead. He unlocks the door and the men charge to the rescue of their king.

GA and Speedy head in and knock the gun out of the gangster’s hand and electrify the Entonian with his own knife. They save the girl and the king, and head home for the trial.

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