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.