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.
Adventure Comics 196
Mr. Lang and Mrs. Lang are set to become sacrifices to an idol who the natives believe will then free them from the rule of the Jungle Monarch. Before the two could be killed however the Monarch appears, and we find he is a fierce and powerful gorilla. Abruptly we cut to Lana who is crying in worry about her folks being so long without contact. She confides in Clark and that night she leaves home. Knowing of her fears Clark knows where she has headed, and so stows away on the same plane as her, as Clark. When he ‘trips’ and reveals himself to her she is very touched that he would do this for her.
Of course their trip can’t be easy and the pilot loses control of the plane and Lana is knocked out, and we also see the sacrifice ceremony is about to restart. Clark changes clothes and brings the plane in for a landing. While scoping for a place to land he sees the Langs. Because Lana would be suspicious if he went in as Superboy, he knew he must save them as Clark Kent. So Clark landed them in a clearing nearby, and the three of them were captured by the tribe that had her parents. Both were shocked to see Lana, and scared for her life. The prisoners draw lots to see who will be sacrificed. Lewis being a brave man and wanting to protect his family tries to rig it so he will be the on to die, but Clark undoes his trick and make it be him instead. (Lana feels very guilty that he was only there because of here.)
Good thing Clark was lead away from where the other can see as he is tied to a stake and they try to burn him, but only destroy his Clark clothes. He stands before them in his colorful garb and resists all their attempts to harm him. Soon enough the Kinggorrila arrives. As we all know, he has the same amount of luck in harming our boy. So he quickly makes a suit of clothes that match the ones burned away, and is brought back to the Langs and the pilot, being praised as a hero. All the natives had said was that he had defeated their enemy.
It is a perfectly ordinary day for the king of the sea when he is stopped by a group of criminals with a rocket. They tell him they stole it, and plan to shoot it off with Aquaman inside. Held at gunpoint Aquaman is forced into the ship, and it rushes into the air. Due to the g-forces he passes out and when he wakes he is wearing a helmet, and is surrounded by little green men, who tell him he is on planet Sea. (This is so a dreamed tale.) He sees he has Iron balls attached to his ankles and asks if he is a prisoner. They reply that he is not, and that they are so he will remain on the ground.
But the biggest difference isn’t the unbreathable air or the lessened gravity, but rather the consistency of water and dirt has been switched. While eating a magnificent feast the city if hit by a tidal wave, something the residents of Sea have been having a problem with lately. Rushing to help he calls the dirt dwelling whales to break up the wave. (They do this by praying it, and making it into smaller waves, but I think the author believes that they suck in water/dirt to spray, which whales don’t)
Anyway they send him home then, with a gun that shoots compressed atmosphere. He blacks out again on the way back, and believes everything that happened to be a dream. He then heads back to the crooks who sent him away, and find them having taken over a ship and the coast guard is not returning fire due to the fact the stolen ship contains a cargo of gold. Aquaman then pulls out the gun he was given, and by shooting it at the criminals they are shot into the air. Though this plays out as a dreamed tale, the gun is proof enough for me to believe it happened, and hence I will forgo the dream tag.
There was a fire on the outskirts of town, which thankfully was put out without too much trouble. unfortunately the entire police force had some smoke inhalation, and would need time to recover. over hearing Johnny volunteers to be a one man force for the next day, by which time they think the men will have recovered. As the town isn’t rife with crime Johnny is asked to help with traffic, and specifically the shipments of fish that were going out that day. We cut to our baddies, who want to foul up the shipment because they didn’t pay the protection racket.
And so they cause the speedster problems he wouldn’t have other wise encountered, such as spilling tacks over the road, fiddling with the traffic lights, and finally a helicopter that is going to shoot buckshot at the windshields of the cars carrying the fish.. Johnny hears of this last one before it occurs, from a captured member of the gang. Well Johnny paints over the trucks to disguise them and then, when he spots the ‘copter, surrounding it with bricks and catching the gang.
Last but definitely not least in this issue is Green Arrow. (that would be Johnny in my opinion) GA and Speedy are out on patrol and they spot some jewel thieves heading for their get-away car. Oliver asks Roy what arrow they should use, and I thought it was a test thing, but Roy was confused. After the solder the getaway car shut so the crooks can’t enter he again asks Roy how they should proceed. When the reporters appear GA leaves his partner behind, so he was the only one to show up in the news the next day. When questioned liver merely said he had wanted to return home to finish a story he had been reading. (I feel you there Ollie).
However that night was not a one-off, and the next night Green Arrow once again asked the boy what they should do in order to capture the criminals they came across. Like before the older man fled before the reporters could get a glimpse of him. When Oliver mentions seeing a story about Speedy in the papers Roy thinks he is acting jealous, which makes no sense, as if he was wouldn’t he stay for the press? Queue a montage of crooks, and Speedy, alone with reporters.
Still thinking his friend is envious of him, Roy decides to leave. We cut to some crooks, who attack a guard, and stunned to weakness he is only able to send out a signal via the light on his ship. Speedy spots the sos and heads over. He is doing very well when the Green Arrow shows up. Barely lending a hand (seriously Roy had this, good job) GA then leads the press and police up onto the boat, explaining he had been following him, and called them. GA then explains that he had nominated Speedy as the world’s most heroic boy, and that he had to step back in order to prove that Speedy was just as capable without him.
Adventure Comics 195
Was the previous appearance of Marsboy before this blog was started? I don’t know, so I’ll give you a quick rundown. He is a boy from Mars with similar powers to Superboy, and he came to Earth a while ago and became friends with Clark. The title of this story reveals he is back again.
We open with Lana looking over pictures of Superboy and sighing over how perfect he is. But Lana feels as though she has no chance with the boy of steel as long as he is so busy using his powers for good. Trying to get her mind off of her troubles she goes to the movies and gets an idea from the women in the screen. She wants to make him jealous, but almost tosses the idea away as no one can compare to him.
Meanwhile Clark is going down the street and someone begins to play tricks on him. If I didn’t read the title, and this was Superman not the boy, I would suspect Mr. Mxyplyzyk. But it is obviously his friend Marsboy, and he tosses a giant boulder with an address on it to Superboy. He hurries there and greets his friend happily. But Lana Lang is at the place they met, and overheard both his identity and the resin he came to Earth; that being two escaped criminals.
One of them he had recaptured, but he needed Superboy to get the other, as he was hidden in a cave lined with copper, which blocked Marsboy’s vision like lead does with our hero. Knowing Marsboy keeps his identity secret, as Superboy does she follows him to his prisoner and tells him she will tell the crook his identity if he does not obey her. (Lois would never do such a thing) She of course wants him to pretend to be smitten with her, but her plan is doomed to failure as Superboy is heading to see his friend and hears the tail end of the conversation. Soon Clark, the prisoner, Lana, and Marsboy are heading to the red planet.
Clark gathers up the other crook with ease, copper being no problem for his x-ray vision. Lana begins her game in earnest, but Clark pretends to be bored with the proceedings and asking why he can’t use his powers for something more important than pleasing Lana. While Marsboy is busy playing to her tune Clark steps up as the hero of Mars.
Clark turns the situation back on her, pretending to fall for one of the Martian girls. She fills with anger as she sees him doing every tiny thing asked of him by the other girl. She demands he use his powers for more important things, to no avail. Next she pretends that she can’t handle Mars’s atmosphere, but he makes he a helmet and turns back to the girl.
She pulls him aside and tells him the truth and then says he must promise not to talk to the Martian girl ever again or she would tell Marsboy’s identity. So they fly home, and Clark smiles back at a message from his friend saying that the girl had explained the plan, and saying thanks.
A gang of crooks on the run purchase a boat, and begin to strip the other sea goers bare. After a few goes like that they begin a protection racket. One of the Captains refused to pay and so they came up with a plan. The tug sprung a leak during a storm (I suspect sabotage) and during this crisis they drew close to some rocks. Hearing of this danger from one of his friends Aquaman rushed over and sees the bandits cut the cargo from the tug.
In order to save both Aquaman must let the criminals flee, but at least their work was useless this day. A close shave with the sea-king does nothing to make them slow down their aquatic crime wave. He keeps coming after them though, and with the help of some electric eels he gets them to surrender. But it was a ruse, so he would get close enough for them to wrap him in a net and then drop him to the ocean floor. (Stop trying to drown Aquaman you stupid assholes! Even if they just thought he’d be trapped, he can talk to fish! They could bring him something to cut his bonds, or a cephalopod could do it, or any number of ways.) Soon after their boat springs a leak, and they have to abandon it for an ice flow. When it gets dark, it also get unbearably hot on the flow. they figure they must have hit a fast current, as well. In the heat the ice melted quickly, making the three wish for rescue and that they had not ‘bumped off’ Aquaman.
As the last of the ice melted they found themselves on the back of a whale, facing Aquaman. He tells them how he escaped, (he got caught in a fishing net) and how he had played with them by pushing them to the equator. He told them the coast guard would be by soon, and he was gonna give back the money.
Johnny and Tubby are sent to a school for mischievous youths, to take videos, and keep the kids busy enough that they don’t play their pranks. They hear a cry and hurry to find a group of kids tossing a boy out of the window! Changing to Quick Johnny saves the boy to find it is a straw dummy. But the teacher has had enough and is determined to quit. Johnny tells him to take an hours break and when he returns the students will be well-behaved.
He leaves Tubby; who had just been bragging about knowing all the tricks they could pull, in charge and pretends to leave. Of course, he is taken down in minutes, sitting on the floor sopping wet with a bucket wedged on his head. But Johnny knew this would happen and his plan was to make the tricks backfire on the kids, and make it seem like Tubby was the one responsible. But I don’t see how a moving chalk picture that spanks a kid could be done by Tubby.
Next they send a toy plane loaded with sneeze powder down to the janitor. But Johnny just catches the plane and brings it back, spraying the kids with the powder. Tubby gets free as the sneezing slows down and heads to his desk. There is and apple there, somehow loaded with red pepper. And after he takes a bite a delayed reaction is triggered, making everything on the desk fly at him. So Johnny begins to juggle the kids, until they swear never to play another trick again. The Prof returns and every one is perfectly well-behaved from now on.
Our boys are called to HQ, but rather than a missionfor the archers he asks them to leave town. Entering a new town they run into a group of thieves, so they stop to capture them. As they plan to leave the next day there is another attempted robbery they stop. they are glad to be soemwhere they are wanted and needed even though they don’t know why they were made to leave home. Wonder of wonders their room in the hotel is right next to a gang’s and they overhear their plans and head over to catch them. But the crooks flee and head toward Star City, where the archer have been forbidden to go.
But they also can’t let the criminals go, and so stay after them. When they get back home they find the cops welcoming the crooks! It turns out that Star City had wanted to throw a surprise party for the archers, and so ordered them out of town to prepare. All the criminals they captured were really stuntmen, hired to keep GA and Speedy busy, and also film a movie about the two.
Adventure Comics 194
Another genius who could have greatly helped he world if only he hadn’t turned to crime. This one is very Luthor-esk and wants not only to use his new lightning gun for crime, but to prove himself smarter than Superboy. He moves himself and his minion to Smallville as soon as the gun is tested. They first rob a bank, and when SB steps in they shoot him with the gun. As we all know a little electricity is nothing to a Kyrptonian, but Clark knew that merely his being around others with his new electric field was dangerous. First our clever boy solves his problems from afar, forming a giant shovel to carry the crooks, but they simply shoot out a bridge while in transport, making him leave them to fix it.
Clark then flew out to Pluto and worked off the power that clung to him, and he goes after the crooks again then they strike that night. They cut off the powerplant, but SB used their own weapon against them by making himself into a giant light bulb with the help of his new blast of electricity. While fleeing the town the criminals come across Superboy standing before them, glowing. They pull out the gun and try to charge him enough so he must leave, only for it to fly out of the boss’s hands into the sky where the real Superboy had coiled metal around himself so as to make himself into an electromagnet. The version on the ground was made a metal, and given just enough of the energy to glow. Superboy then showered bits of electrified metal around the crooks, left to work of the rest of the power and soon returned to bring the men to jail.
Our boy was just drifting along on the back of a walrus when he sees a ship being attacked and so he heads on over to see what he can do. Imagine his shock when it wasn’t some random pirate, but an actual armada of enemies. So the crooked navy gets away with that ship’s cargo, but Aquaman is ready for them with the next ship that passes by. He has called up his friends, and put up a ‘smokescreen’ by having the octopuses release their ink and then the whales sprayed it into the air. Next torpedoes were sent after the ship Aquaman was protecting, but some of Aquaman’s friends simply nudged them back toward the shooters.
So they closed in, deciding to fight hand to hand. Aquaman scared them off though, with legions of turtles, painted to look like mines. They still made off with the gold from the ship though. Except it wasn’t gold, but a radio, to bring the coast guard to the leader of the thieves. He set up this trap on the first ship, by mentioning that the other was going through, and there was a bug that relayed that to the crook. I wonder why he decided to drop that bug though, and how Aquaman knew about it.
Johnny, Tubby, and some adventurers find a lost city (I think it’s in South America, but they don’t say) Tubby’s biggest worry is that the natives believe it haunted. There seems to be something to the rumor as well. Statues coming to life, and people hurling spears at them before vanishing. But when the adventurers stumble upon a sacrificial pit (Johnny saves them) that has paths and tunnels around the bottom he thinks he may have found how the previous events had happened. While exploring these (and nearly dying again) the four find stacks of gold. Modern gold, as it had mint marks and the like.
The gang comes after them, but Johnny quickly (haha) chases them back, and when they block the tunnel the speedster digs them out in seconds. The criminals are then trapped in a thrown together cage of spears.
Our story begins by seeing the duo going after some bank robbers. The crooks end up running into a scientist’s lab where he is exploring the relationship between light and time. The entire party ends up in the future where they witness another bank robbery, and the Archers are greeted by a cop. Oddly not only did the people from the future know them, and even expect to see them, but GA knew about special arrows they had in this time, and how to use them. The bank robbers here were the same ones from the past, just changed in their methods and what they planned to steal. Just as in modern (or not so modern as it’s the 50s) times they escape briefly, but GA and Speedy are able to find them again with the help of the police.
The crooks try to escape again in a rocket, but the archers use Anti-atom arrows to kill the reactions in the jets. Still using fantastic (and most likely impossible) arrows they capture the crooks and then wake in the lab.
Adventure Comics 193
Clark goes swimming one day, and he hides his suit rather hastily. So naturally it is found by on of his classmates, a boy even more timid than Clark. His first thought was to return it, but all he wanted was his girlfriend to like him again. She had gotten fed up with his cowardice and dumped him. So he wore he suit and told her that he was Superboy. Clark let him run with it, knowing the boy’s timidity would force him to give up the truth, which it did. But Clark set up a scene where the girl seemed to be in danger, hoping that the boy would save her. He did of course, and learned some bravery from the experience.
The nest person to cross paths with the costume was a man who had fallen on hard times. He stole the suit through the boy’s window and used it to commit a robbery. Superboy had been watching, and had set up the store from which the man had stolen. He knew the man was good at heart, as he was his neighbor. He knew the man’s conscience would not allow him to keep what he had taken.
Finally the suit crossed paths with a conman, who used it as an example of the fabric he was selling. Of course the fabric he sold did not have the same properties as the alien suit. Clark didn’t bother trying to teach this man a lesson, but hurried to save those who thought their newest purchase would protect them, and he sent the conman to jail.
I love Aquaman! He might be my family’s favorite DC hero. (Combined, what with my brother’s hatred of most of them and how much my Mom likes him) While clearing a path for a ship who was traversing the northwest passage he found a giant beast. At first he was afraid, but soon found the creature just wanted to be his friend. His only problem was that his new friend would attack every passing ship. Eventually the Navy threatened to kill the creature next time he harmed a ship. Lucky for Aquaman the next ship belonged to a criminal, and the creature’s help caught him. They discovered that the creature ate coal, and all Aquaman needed to do to prevent the danger to ships was to keep him well fed.
Tubby heads to a museum where he and Johnny are to be shooting later that day. However he has arrived early, and as he is admiring the artwork of the Greek gods he is blindsided by Hermes, who Tubby had thought was nothing compared to his friend. Insulted Hermes decides to challenge Quick to a battle of wits and speed. The god pulls out many tricks; turning invisible, making him forget his formula, and putting him to sleep. Hermes could have won, if he had put on the speed before Johnny was able to reverse the trickery, but like in Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, his confidence and laziness make Johnny winning inevitable. Of course, Tubby wakes up after Quick has defeated Hermes for the last time, revealing the whole thing as a dream.
We all know about those slippery crooks that you just can’t get enough evidence on. By pure chance a passing photographer got a picture of one such man killing someone. Scared he had fled, but decided to come back for the sake of justice. While trying to save him from crooks GA missed several important shots, leaving Roy both worried and confused. Of course, we find out at the end that each of the shots went exactly where he wanted, but he didn’t have the time to explain to Speedy (there was totally time).
- Adventure Comics 192
- Captain Marvel Adventures 148
- Detective Comics 199
- Marvel Family 87
- Strange Adventures 36
- Action Comics 183
- Adventure Comics 191
- All-Star Western 72
- Batman 78
- Detective Comics 198
- Action Comics 182
- Adventure Comics 190
- Detective Comics 197
- Marvel Family 85
- Plastic Man 42
- Strange Adventures 34
- Action Comics 181
- Adventure Comics 189
- All-Star Western 71
- Batman 77
- Captain Marvel Adventures 145
- Detective Comics 196