Action Comics 189
Superman “Clark Kent’s New Mother and Father”
Superman is out flying around and he sees a cruise-liner that is on fire. Before he swoops down to help he notes that Lois Lane somehow found out before him and was on a small boat next to the liner. He dunks the liner, and decides to do something about Lois’s scoop crazy stunts. So he goes to Perry and requests that she be given less dangerous assignments.
So her next task is to interview the Vanderviers about their missing son. Their son was a pilot who happened to be the spitting image of Clark (another one, what are the odds.) Due to the fact Clark is an orphan, the elderly couple wish to adopt him. At first Clark was going to refuse but once hearing that any great disappointment or shock would finish Mrs Vandervier Clark agrees. He then reminds us that this is his third set of parents, which makes him seem rather unlucky to me.
Clark then moves in with the Vanderviers which strikes me as odd. I know a bunch of people live with their parents for a multitude of reasons (working to get out of debt, or to look after them to name a few) but Clark doesn’t even question it. The Vanderviers then find out about Clark’s timid facade and tell him their son is brave, and they are sure he’s just like him. Lois doesn’t want them to be disappointed so she tells them that Clark takes great risks as a newspaper man (god does Lois look pretty in this panel. Actually I really like the art in this story.) He asks Lois why she did that and she just tells him to chill, that she would ask Superman to watch over him.
So he changes clothes and lets her ask him to guard himself. And so Clark begins to ask for the most dangerous jobs. He begins to act a bit cocky, and Lois is not pleased. Clark records a confession of his identity to his parents, and when hearing about a robbery on the radio he plans to face them as Clark to help Lois’s story. He walks in to their midst and becomes a hostage. Clark ‘passes out’ and he switches places with a dummy when the robber’s backs are turned.
He shakes the building to make the robbers flee, and Lois sends the pictures to Clark’s new home (instead of destroying them like she had all the the others. Even if she was mad and wanted to expose him, Superman saves people, the picture wouldn’t prove anything). Thinking the envelope was for them, Clark’s new parents open it and are shocked and hurt he has lied to them. He resolves to just tell them he’s Superman. He overhears them talking though, and Mr. Vandervier says their own son was too brave, and will stand by Clark. He also mentions how the son went missing, and so Clark went to look for him.
Through a method that really wouldn’t work Clark finds the real son. He retrieves the tape he made and then gets unadopted I guess? Is that even possible?
Congo Bill “The Mail Order Hunter”
Congo Bill is asked to a camp run by a friend of his because he wants Bill to go along on a safari that his son is going on. The father wants him to go into business with him, but the son (Dick) has taken a mail course on big game hunting and is too stubborn (and stupid) to realize he is not an expert. The man asks Bill to please protect his son.
Things go well at first, with Dick listening as Bill explains how he can tell elephants had been in the area. But the boy refuses to move when a killer elephant appears, and he tries to take it out with an entirely too small gun. But to everyone’s wonder Dick actually takes out the beast with a single shot. Even cockier now Bill refuses to let Dick take a shot at an approaching lion, as he knows how dangerous it’ll be is he misses. Like Bill does five seconds later. Dick makes the feline flee by hitting it with a rock though, and like that the dynamic of the group changes.
Next the come across a river full of crocs and a rhino. Bill steps into the spotlight here as the weapons the team has could not breach the protection of the rhino’s skull, and he is able to teach the others to zigzag to avoid the powerful horns. Dick falls though, but as he yells at it the rhino runs away. Now thinking big game hunting dull Dick decides to return to business, and Bill explains how he made the truly dangerous sport seem harmless. He shot the elephant at the same time as Dick, and another member of the party had brought a zebra close enough that the lion went for it instead. The rhino left because it was scared by the flashlight shone in it’s eyes.
Tommy Tomorrow “The Forbidden World”
A scientist has created a few powerful devices he says will help rid the universe of crime much faster. The leader of the planeteers plans to test them in the hands of the accomplished Tommy Tomorrow. Because the devices are secret Tommy heads to the forbidden world to test them safely in that area. On their way (shit I forgot Tommy’s friend’s name again… oh well) they come across a small ship in the restricted area and warn them off. The ship claims they are space prospectors who lost their way and will leave at once.
On the “prospectors” ship one of the others is warning the pilot that the warning systems on the forbidden planet will alert anyone of their approach. But the pilot has a plan. He sends out radio signals to the Forbidden planet, telling them they have been shipwrecked (space shipwrecked). In the smaller ‘life boat’ they are allowed to land on the planet. They say that they are going to get the powerful weapon that is on the planet and as soon as they land the shoot the planeteers who are there. One of the planeteers gets a warning off before he is shot down, and the leader shows his gang to the asteroid destroying machine that they came here for.
Meanwhile Tommy has hear the warning, and he and a bunch of other planeteers race to stop the murderers. But when the ships arrive the criminals already have full control of the machine, and Tommy orders a retreat so they aren’t blown to bits. Leaving the rest of the planeteers behind Tommy and Captain Wood, take the Space Ace in alone. They turn on the camouflage device they had been sent to test (it makes them look like a comet on the radar). Once they get closer they switch to looking like a ringed asteroid. Then they are able to turn invisible for just enough time to land.
The radar still picked them up though, and they had to land quite a distance from the lab to aviod the bolt shot at them. Still Tommy doesn’t give up and he attaches another one of the new devices and the two drill into the world. Now close enough they activate a giant magnet and pull the whole tower where the asteroid destroying machine is into the air. Then they skip forward to Tommy talking to his commander, telling him everything is now safe, and the new devices have been put in a safe place to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Vigilante “The One-Armed Bandit”
Vig and Stuff ride into town, having tracked the villainous One-Armed Bandit there. But we only see that for a single panel before we jump over to the man in question. He has been cornered by the sheriff, who tells him to raise his hand, but when the Bandit does so I’m sure the sheriff regrets it a tad as he is shot down. We should note he has two arms, one is just tucked against his body like it is hurt. Vig appears then and while he would like to go after him, he has to stop, or run over the sheriff and the other injured with his motorcycle.
While helping one of the men to his feet he mentions that he should have shot the Bandit when he had a chance a year before. It turns out he was the one to teach the Bandit his current skills. His real name is Sam, and he had been a horse riding accident which caused the injury to his arm. He was too stubborn to go to the hospital even though his arm may not be a lost cause, and the old man helped him adjust to it’s loss. Hearing the story Vig and Stuff head out to find him, but there are no tracks and Sam is smart enough to not start a fire. While searching they talk about the guys low tactics where he goes after folks who haven’t heard of him and so think him harmless. When they hesitate to strike a handicapped person he kills them.
Since they couldn’t find Sam Greg writes a song making fun of of the Bandit, and telling saying that Vigilante will take him down. Having heard of this song Sam goes to one of Greg’s concerts and tries to shoot him. Neatly ducking backstage (though being grazed on one arm) he changes clothes and jumps on his bike to follow the gunman. He jumps off the vehicle to attack, and while Sam’s companion gets Vig at gun point Stuff has him in the same situation. So to break the standoff a one armed Vig must fight the On-Armed Bandit. The fist fight begins and Vig has him on the ropes til Sam brings his other arm into play. But our boy is able to bring him down, and Sam goes to prison.
Action Comics 188
Clark heads into the office but nearly the same time as his arrival the civil defense siren goes off. Knowing there was no air raid drill planned that day Clark and the other members of the planet turn on the radio. The announcer warns that a nearby nuclear project had gone out of control and Metropolis was set to be destroyed at any time. The radio continues to talk about evacuation, but Clark Kent is gone.
Superman arrives at the scene of the nuclear project, and does what no other man could have done and manages to raise the rods before any explosion tales place, and while the city celebrates its survival Superman slowly leaves the room, filled with enough radiation that none can get near him. There is no telling how long the is will remain deadly, and so he has to take himself away from all people. Clark calls in the story and tells Lois that he’s gonna be gone for a while too, which alerts her suspicions again.
Even far in the country where there are no humans Superman is bringing death with him, trees wither and grass burns beneath his touch. And of course, criminals take advantage of Superman’s absence. Clark does what he can, foiling a crime by using his glow to write in the sky after over hearing a crooks plans. Days later there had been no news of either Clark or Superman, and so Lois gets in a car with a stranger who promised her a big Superman story. To no ones shock she is once again kidnapped. Meanwhile Superman is told via the phone that a large shock may cure him. He ignores this for now and flys out to a bank robbery in progress, having heard about it over the radio and wanting to see if there is anything he can do. The crooks are just then leaving on their helicopter, and Superman tells them to land or he will grab the copter. Guessing this might happen the men show Superman that they have Lois. Giving in Superman hides and secretly follows the men into a storm, fearing for the innocents Clark tries to protect the craft from the worst of the storm ans gets struck by lightning. Nearly passing out Superman regains his senses, and find a himself free of the radiation and he brings the copter in for a landing where they will be caught at once.
He doesn’t let himself be seen in his blue and red though, and comes up to Lois as Clark, telling her he had been staying near Superman’s hideout for a story, and that the man of steel would be cured within a week.
Our story opens on what they are calling a sea lake, whether this is a salt lake, or a bay I don’t know. What I do know is there is a whale there that has been killing people, they call it Sinbad. Note it is not an orca. We then have a montage of people trying to kill the beast, only to perish themselves. Congo Bill is hired to deal with the whale, but the owner of the lake isn’t sure of his skill and so offers a 5000 dollar reward to take out the gigantic mammal. Next we see Bill stop two men from shooting the whale but destroying their scope. he then takes his motor boat closer and changes into a diving suit.
Um he lassoes it, that’s a bit weird. Then he lets the thing pull him beneath the waves. Another boat tries to kill Bill and the whale, as ‘That Jungle man is wise to our little game’. While trying to escape the killers the whale dives and ends up in the sister lake, by means of an underwater tunnel. Bill then throws his air tank at the helicopter of his followers, and the whale attacks it? I don’t think a whale would really do that, but hey what do I know. Bill then explains that smuggling had been done through the tunnel, but only the whale knew where the tunnel was and so he had to save it.
Okay Tommy’s friend has a name. Brent. So anyway. Brent hears his friend Tommy has gone missing and heads out to look for him and to his great horror, he finds Tommy floating in the dead of space. And now for a flashback. He was looking into smugglers bringing precious artifacts from Earth. He stops by a wax museum while searching and is a bit tickled to find a statue of himself. While looking he has a thought and checks inside the body of a large figure and finds the loot he was looking for. While inside the figure he hears the owner talking to his cohort and finds out neither of them are the leaders of the ring.
So he remains where he is as they take off, and tries to figure out a way to signal the Planeteers, since he can’t get near the radio. So he started to throw some figures out into space, to form a set of clues for his fellows. But as he tossed them out it moved the ship slightly and the men came to see what was going on. Tommy manages to push them back to the pilot room, but knew he was doomed if his message wasn’t understood.
Back with Brent he pulls in the figures. Tommy Tomorrow, and ape to denote ‘calling’, and pair of criminals, a head, a body in quarters, and a Plutonian sea monster marked with craters like the moon. Together they meant Tommy calling, criminal’s headquarters on monster moon. Brent’s ship came down shooting and captured the criminals outside the ship, and saved Tommy, and then all was well.
Vig has done many a good thing in his life, and we start off by seeing the fruits of his labor; a large group of former criminals who are now reformed. They are showing off their skills, and having a good time playing cops and robbers with Vig. Well some crime boss is finding it harder to find men from his gang, and others are trying to drop the life, as Vig’s group has shown it to be possible and rewarding.
When Vig leaves that day the crime boss decides to prove that if a man goes to crime once, he’ll do it again, for the right price. He heads in to give a proposition to the group. We cut to a week later, and crimes are being pulled with the unique talents of the reformed criminals. The public is suspicious, but Vig believes in them, only gaining a small amount of doubt when he sees the man who was going to try to sway them back to crimedom with one of them.
One of his the men, Pete, separates from the rest and Vig decides to follow him. Along the way they find a posse after, well, Pete. Vig explains that he had been following him, and that Pete couldn’t be the man they were after. However they just thought he was covering for him. Now he knows it’s a frame up. Next time he finds one of the phonies at work he doesn’t hesitate. But this one was the real McCoy! Vig takes off with the man, saying he’s going to jail, but the people around think he is aiding and abetting.
Well, during the ride the man gave Vig the low-down, that they were being hired to pretend to rob and steal like they used to, and there was going to be a movie made. The films were being used to train the fakes. (The place the real member was robbing belonged to the man who hired him, so it doesn’t count as a real crime)
Action Comics 187
Superman is following some crooks who had just pulled a job, but he notes a dynamite truck on the same road. He worries that something might happen with the truck during the chase and is relieved when the truck pulls onto a side road. But the road there is being repaired and Superman knows the heat might also set off the dynamite. Superman stops to bring the truck to safety, but he needn’t worry about the crooks as they had an accident and had perished. Superman laments that he doesn’t have enough power, or else he would known about the danger of the truck before.
One of the people watching this scene hears him and thinks ‘So– the great Superman admits he isn’t perfect, Eh? Well I mustn’t let that encourage me… I must remember that in all the years I’ve been battling him, I’ve always come out the loser.’ Which, okay what ever he’s obvo the villain in this piece, but I’ve never seen him before? Next panel he is called Silver by a man who works for him as they see Superman on TV, where he is on a show and is being told that in a few weeks the planets will be in the same position as when Krypton exploded. (Not possible in that amount of time but okay.)
The next day at a bridge opening ceremony Superman seems to hear a man say he is going, to jump, but he can tell the man is not speaking. Still, he rushes to be near the man. As he grew near the man did leap, and as Superman saved him he told the Kryptonian that he couldn’t help thinking about doing so as he walked across the bridge, and Superman comes to conclude that he might have heard the man’s thoughts. That night a similar occurrence- but this time a criminal who for some reason is stealing sand off a barge. He follows the man, and is lead to a lead lined cavern. Needless to say he is both shocked and pleased when he manages to see inside the cavern, though not as clearly as he does through other substances. But the men inside are doing nothing but piling up sand.
While helping set up for the news cast that will celebrate the solar system’s alignment with how it was on the day Superman’s planet died, he hears a man thinking that he had found some kryptonite. The man with the kryptonite goes to the cavern, and Superman feels it’s effect and thinks it must be true. Inside the cavern Silver is explaining to the men his plan and shows how he has had Superman ‘read’ minds by playing a radio message higher than a human could hear. And he changed the doors on the cavern to one with less lead, and then none, so Superman would now be able to see through ‘lead’. On his next visit to the cave the kryptonite has been switched for a fake, making Superman think he is now invulnerable to the mineral.
Seeing this he heads in, only for them to bring out the real thing, and they then tie him up. They taunt him with their plan to blow up Metropolis, if the city doesn’t pay ransom for it’s hero. Before they go one of the men wants to beat up the helpless Superman, so Silver moves the kryptonite away just enough so Superman can barely defend himself. Since he has little to to no strength he knows he must use his brain to get out of this situation. After he is beaten they leave him alone, but the do have a camera watching him. Silver tells his men that he’s not actually planing on turning off the bomb, even if they get the cash.
But Superman just stands up, rips off his bonds and finds the bomb, in like five seconds and gets to the controls even though their covered with lead. Oh, oh see Superman managed to switch places with the man during the fight, who then rushed to destroy the bomb, as it he didn’t have the time to flee if the bomb went off. Then he headed to his gang and as they fled from the ‘Superman’ they left the kryptonite, so Superman was able to head in a pick them up. (The bonds were just weak, though strong enough to hold a kryptonited Superman.)
Bill goes to see a friend, who is the new king of a small European country. Well not king yet. He tells Bill that he must first win a joust to get his crown. Well, not a real joust as the lance is rubber, but enough to fulfill the law. Bill’s sharp eyes see that his friend opponent is not using a rubber lance at all, but one made of steel. He tells his friend, who is worried. If he fails to win this joust, the man who beat him shall be king. Bill takes it upon himself to teach his friend to joust, in the short week before the duel.
When it is learned how skillful the king to be has become they drug his drink before the final showdown. Though he does wake before hand he is far too weak to properly fight. Then the fight begins, and masterfully the knight dressed in the white armor of the king to be wins. The man who drugged the prince declares a foul and states it is Bill in the armor. Bill doesn’t deny it as he takes off the helm. But he sites the law that if the prince is unwell he can ask a knight to take his place, and as Bill was knighted right before the duel, it was valid. Also, the fighter who was going to fight with the steel lance and the drugger were captured and I guess thrown in jail? Who knows, maybe they were beheaded.
Tommy and his still unnamed partner (seriously he’s in almost everyone of these stories give him a name you fuck wits!) are out in space and they are passed by an alien craft. They send out a message but there is no response. As the ship seems to be heading to Earth Tommy follows it. It lands on our planet, but nothing leaves the dark ship. Tommy offers to go in first, to check it over with special equipment. It is full of wonderful machines, such as one that makes water from air.
As soon as the machines were removed the ship flew away. It was thought to be a benevolent gift from another race, but Tommy isn’t so sure. When the ship returns later, people pile inside to see what has been brought this time, but there is nothing, and the doors seal. Finding that they look just like us they decide to go to our home and take or places, to escape their police and become the important people who had been chosen to examine the new gifts. Left in a cage there seemed to be no hope, except for something Tommy has kept hidden.
With the mini acetate torch he burns out of the cage and sets a fire to the dry grasses, which brought the police. The criminals were captured, and the Earthmen sent home.
During a show of Greg’s Stuff notices a man they suspect to be tied with the gang they’re hunting leave the place, and keeps an eye on him while Greg wraps up and changes clothes. By following this man the two were able to see a bank robbery in progress. They see on of the crooks ‘drops’ the loot on the man they had followed there, obviously double crossing his own gang. Vig jumped at the man with the money, and we see in the other man’s thoughts that he is surprised that someone was right where he was going to dropped the loot.
They manage to shake Vig, but the man who had dropped the gold had been proven to be a traitor to the gang, and so the boss told him to either kill the Vigilante, or have proof of his crimes given to the cops. The doomed man has two men lead Vig to where he can shoot at him, but he sees the reflection and dodges in time. Knowing he has no chance the would be killer jumps off a small cliff to a river and manages to cling to a tree above the falls.
Next he goes to Vig’s hotel. (Did he get a room in both identities? Why does the Vigilante get a hotel room?) Anyway, he comes in and starts shooting. When his first shots missed he jumped out the window into a hay cart he had placed there, and it rolled him down hill where he was able to change clothes and hide. Seeing Vig help out an old man he came up with a new idea, and the next day he disguised himself and pretended to be a weak person, that needed help. With his guard down, the man was able to shoot Vig.
Or so it appeared, for a few more panels and the gang who came to see if he was really dead, was ambushed by Vig, who looked hale and hearty. After he took them down he pointed out the mistake in the man’s disguise that had made Vig know he was a fake, (no callouses) and let him switch the bullets for blanks.
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