Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

All-Star Western 75

Johnny Thunder “The Scarecrow Hero”

We open in Mesa City where the ‘crazy hat gang’ had stuck a scarecrow version of Johnny Thunder on main street. They then ride down the street, shooting the effigy. They say that is what will happen if Thunder shows his face, and tells the townsfolk the sheriff is their prisoner. John, while still dressed as a school teacher, walks up to them and tells them they will never escape the law and that their kind had no place in the west. Two of the gang literally pick John up on their leader’s orders and toss him through a window.

Somehow unhurt he waits for a bit and then calls his horse, and changes to the western hero. To keep hidden, and for the surprise of it I guess, John takes the scarecrow’s place and manages to get a few before a bullet hits him. He flees, but it is a ruse, and as the gang chase his horse he drops on one of them. He then leaps at the two remaining men and does the classic riding two horses by standing on their back trick. Then he has the men lead him to his father (the sheriff).

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Strange Adventures 41

Captain Comet “The Beast from out of Time”

As Adam is an information clerk at a library, it’s quite normal to have people come ask him things, especially as he is quite knowledgeable and can save you the trouble of actually getting a book most times. However when some chick asks him where she can find Captain Comet he doesn’t answer her straight off, instead wanting to find out why she required the hero. She explains that her father, a famous nuclear physicist, had gone missing. So Adam does a quick, ‘oh yeah I had a meeting with him planned, go outside’ and rushes to change.

After they remeet up she tells him she hasn’t gone to the police, as they would never believe her story. Before she explains what happened she explains that she always sat next to her father as he slept, and wrote down what he says. One of the ideas he came up with in his sleep was a time machine, and he became obsessed with making his dream a reality. That morning the man had finished, and when he turned a dial, both he and the machine vanished.

Unsure if her father would be able to return she got Comet. He quickly reads through the scientist’s notes and makes a time machine all his own. He sets the dial to the same year as the man had (50,000 A.D.). The girl goes with him, and they find themselves in the time of the dinosuars! Adam says a circut got crossed and has to fix it before the T-Rex gets them. This time they are greeted by a balding man, who says he has been expecting them, and asks them to follow him.

They are brought to an elderly man, who explains that all is now peaceful, but thirty years ago a comet was going to pass close to Earth killing 4/5ths of the population. Knowing this they sent their brightest minds into different eras to save them. We see the girl’s father as he is being told he won’t recall being from the future after an hour in the past. Now having gone back to his own time his memories of his daughter, and the 1950s had vanished. The girl refused to return, and Adam had to leave before he lost his own memories.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

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.

Johnny Quick

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.

Green Arrow

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.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

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.

Congo Bill

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.

Tommy Tomorrow

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)

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Detective Comics 203


This is an earth-one tale, as earth-two Selina Kyle never returned to crime. Anywho, a newspaper decides to run a series about some of Batman’s greatest achievements; including one on Catwoman. To Selina Kyle, currently running a pet store in Gotham, this seemed like egotistical boasting, even though Batman had nothing to do with their running the story. That alone probably would not have tipped her hand, but two crooks came in just as she finished the story, and gave her a ribbing. Again, she’s tough, she can take some teasing, but before she could refute or fight back Batman and Robin ‘saved’ her, doubtlessly putting another blow on her pride.

He had come to tell her he had nothing to do with the story, but as she strokes one of the cats in the shop she looks especially catlike. As the duo drive home Batman worries that she is missing the excitement, the danger, and indeed in the very next panel Selina dons the iconic purple dress and green cape again. That night she pulls a daring crime, ‘cat’apulting onto a mail helicopter and trussing the pilot in her cat o nine tails. Batman, while watching over the city, sees the helicopter land somewhere it was not due, and drops down to see what’s going on.

Batman sees Selina and calls out to her to surrender, but she flees, correcting his use of her name to Catwoman. The next day the papers are full of her return, and the underworld once more respects and fears her. Commissioner Gordon asks if Batman would rather stay off the case, as he had once tried to make her go straight, but he refused. ( I adore Batcat, oh god I just stopped reading for an hour to go through the tag, oh shit these two are gonna kill me) Batman goes to investigate a possible crime at a circus and sends Robin to another potential target.

At the circus he hears what sounds like cats at the top of the tent and headed up to find the canopy filled with catbirds, to lead a false trail. Catwoman is really below, feeding gas into the tent that makes people sleep while she and her men steal the days take. Drowsy though he was Batman swung down from the tent top and locks the safe while hitting the alarm. He then succumbs to the gas. Her crony wants to kill Batman, but she says she couldn’t bear to have him die and instead they take him prisoner. She tells him that next she is going after the target Robin was to secure, a collection of cat’s eye gems.

While she leaves him alone Batman begins a plan to free himself. As he knew he would be dealing with Catwoman he had filled a pouch in his belt with catnip, and by holding his bound hands in front of that the cats themselves wore away his ropes. He then calls Robin, and warns him. Robin brings around the batmobile and they head for the yacht of the collector. not worried, as he believes his gems safe out on the water with the Bat on his way the owner of the boat starts fishing, which Selina says she will use to get aboard. Okay, she just made a giant catfish dummy and hid as he pulled her in.

Just then the duo leap from the bridge onto the ship. By lifting the anchor and forcing Batman and Robin to bring the ship under control she gains time to escape, though with no loot. Later they find the wreck of her boat, and are left to wonder if she perished, or truly escaped. (spoiler she escaped)

Roy Raymond Tv Detective

Audition time again, and our story is introduced with a man who claims to be fireproof. To prove this he stars a fire with a large magnifying glass and then replacing the burning log with his arm. After long minutes he is still unaffected, as are his clothes I might point out. Next the man prepares a tub of boiling oil, and dives on in. Startled Roy asks the man how this came to be and the man explains.

The fireproof man used to work in Vaudeville, but his fame turned, as happens and soon he was on the down and outs. A scientist who had seen his act and was a fan came up to him with a serum he had devised, and both planned to gain fame via Roy’s show. Roy feared it would spook the audience however, and truly he didn’t believe. Later he took a closer look at the gear the man had used. The magnifying glass had a filter that could be removed or placed via a button, and the boiling effect on the oil had been caused by dry ice.

Just then a man rushed in to tell Roy and Karen that the Fireproof man’s scientist had built a bonfire and the man was going to walk into it. Fearing that the scientist had tricked the Fireproof man into believing he was just that, Roy sped to the scene. They saw a figure walk into the flames, and when the fire died there was no trace. Here Roy knew something was wrong. No matter how hot the flame there would have been some sign. So he gives the police a picture of the man and has them start a drag net. Soon he is found and brought in to the station. Roy opens his bag to find a large amount of money stolen from he man’s work, and the man goes to jail.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Strange Adventures 40

Huh? okay this must be set before last issue as Adam’s scientist friend is alive again. They are on the roof messing with a telescope when they see the police arriving. They tell the hero and the professor that a criminal has come this way, and while they have Captain Comet there they decide to tell him about the confusing case.

A woman walked up to a man secretly transporting 250,000 in bonds and he was paralyzed and the woman took the briefcase and walked away. Apparently the man is only now becoming able to move again. Comet seems to think there is a connection between the woman and a nova that had just occurred. So he goes to look over the exploding star again. While there he sees a spider bathed in he radiation of the nova. When he turns his back we see the Spider become the woman.

Later he comes across the woman as she is fleeing from another theft of hers. She attempts to paralyze Comet as she had done with the bank man, but he is no normal human and is able to fight through it. He follows her to his friends house, but the only thing in the room is a spider. By pure instinct he knows it isn’t a normal spider and watches as it changes from spider to lizard to woman to a floating brain. She tells him her tale, of how she had been just a normal spider, but the radiation of the nova- heightened by the professor’s machine- had changed her.

While she had been talking Comet was under the ray that had changed her, and he too changed into a brain. She wants to rule the world with him. They will themselves back to human form, and he tells her he would like her better in prettier clothes and so sends her out to shop while he configures the machine to reverse the process. When she returns she is changed back into her true form.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Jan

Superboy 30

A giant turtle decides the Mayor’s back tire would be a good snack, delaying his departure to work. Superboy sees the man’s dilemma and comes to help. He comes by and promises to bring the turtle back to the man who bred it, and school teacher named Willis. Willis is saddened by the fact that no one in Smallville is pleased with his growth serum, and have plans to move out of town.

We jump forward two years and Willis and his wife perish just after he has perfected his serum, leaving their child alone on the island they had moved to. Hungry and unwatched the babe drinks the serum. Eventually the child sees a city on he main land and strides across the ocean to it. When Superboy hears of the boy playing with a ship in the bay he rushes over, seeing the airforce, waiting for an opening, once the ship is safe. Superboy has another plan though and he has the giant let go of the boat in favor of a spinning (and empty) ferris wheel, he then deflects the attacks, asking to be let to take care of the situation himself.

Superboy makes a giant mirror and leads the child further into the mainland, to a place he can make into a play pen for the boy. As they pass the boy accidentily destroy’s the mayor’s barn, and angry he rounds up a posse to take out the giant. Meanwhile Clark traps the child in a canyon and heads out to find Willis, who he thinks must be behind this. Finding the parents dead and the notes destroyed Superboy drinks the serum to learn it’s full effects. The posse begins to blow the barrier he had put up to keep the child inside. It scares the poor boy, who goes running into Smallville.

He calms with the cool new sights and picks up a house and a train, with some people. Just then Superboy, as large as the child, flys in and lands next to him. Happily he gives his toys to Superboy, just as a normal child will hand you random objects. The posse is heading home when they find a small child in the hills and the mayor decides to adopt it, not knowing it was the giant he tried to kill not an hour before. Also we see that there is a giant Superboy robot. Then he comes home and tells his parents the story.


Clark is minding the store one day when a man, in a huge hurry comes in and calls Clark Superboy, and says he needs him to follow him. Clark protests being called Superboy, especially since Lana is right there, and the man pulls out a photo of Clark changing into the hero. He is told that a classmate of his took the photo, and was no in danger. Clark said he’d come with, as Henry was his classmate and he didn’t want him in danger from the ‘trick’ photograph. Lana of course comes with. Apparently Henry had taken another man’s photo, and he had broken in to steal it back, and had gotten the one of Clark instead.

Clark manages to have Lana leave, by making a fire alarm go off in a store as they passed, and asking her to call the police, so he is able to speak freely with Henry. Clark is able to cast doubt upon the picture of him changing identities, by suggesting that Henry had accidentally double exposed the film, by accident, and as the shot was taken in the dark Henry hadn’t seen the change himself. Still he said he wanted to help and asked Henry to show him the photo the man had meant to steal.

Before it could be shown though, a gang of crook came in and held them at gunpoint. Inhaling sharply Clark caused a downdraft in the chimney, and filled the room with smoke so he could run the crooks into each other and knock them out. They question the men when they wake and find it is a third man who hired them. But the picture showed nothing out of the ordinary. Clark offered to hold on to it, as the man was sure to think he was Superboy, and fear taking it.

Instead he came in, to blackmail Clark, as our hero had hoped. But Lana, who came into the store just then, stole the photo, and fled. Lana headed to a train, and Superboy secretly hindered the man by busting a pipe before him. The man calls into someone else and he plans to unhook the car Lana is on. Clark leeches the power from the train via the third rail and makes it stop before it reaches where a man waits. Lana explains her tale, and he police get called in and they find he man in the photo is supposed to be dead, and some of his men had even gotten insurance money from his ‘death’.

All those who gained from the death were brought in, and they broke quickly, letting the police know where the ‘dead’ man was. Superboy flew to the location, having been listening to everything as it occurred and burned up the negative with his x-ray vision.


We star by seeing a newspaper, proudly proclaiming Superboy’s victory against a group of criminals the day before, and mentions he had saved a classmate of Clark’s. Well the boy, Tommy Tuttle had his own things to say- namely that he had helped Superboy, and he begins his tale. Here the narration and the actual panels differ greatly, mostly just to make Tommy seem braver.. He and Clark had been walking together, and Clark sees a crime taking place leaves to ‘get the police’. Before Superboy can arrive the crooks come down and capture Tuttle as a hostage.

Clark saved the boy by lifting a bridge as the criminals reached it, causing them to leave the car. Superboy finds a layout for the crime on one of the men and concludes that it had been made by the Crime Professor, a man who used his great intelligence to form and sell crimes to lesser men. The next day Tuttle got involved in the case again, when he happens to check out a book from the library that I’m guessing something was hidden inside, else-wise why would they capture a little kid?

They take Tommy with them on their job, and once more Superboy showed up and saved him. Having been listening to this tale Superboy also thought there was something odd about the second gang grabbing Tuttle, and went to look for the book. Not finding it outside he rushes through the library and finds it there, and then confronts the librarian, who is evidently the Crime Prof, and he had hidden the plan in the book.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Tomahawk 21

The villain of this piece is a man who seems to have some amount of power over a nearby tribe, and uses it for ill. The tribe has been praying for a wrathful spirit to destroy the man, and while the men laugh and mock this, the news that Tomahawk is coming is met with more fear by them. The leader thinks that even should the Natives tell Tom of their mistreatment, he could find no proof as he plans to treat them well while he is there. Now we jump to Tom and Dan, who are told of the upcoming arrival of the wrathful spirit, and a few other things, such as the lack of rain and the cruelty of the colonel.

As night falls a glowing being rides up on a glowing horse and shoots an arrow at Tom, or maybe just past him since I know not the skill of the archer. Tom tells the others to hide and he and his friend run after the specter. However fast they run though, the distance between them and their quarry remains the same. When Tom throws his knife it passes through the figure, and it turns to mock him, and then fades from view. Tom is now outside of the fort ran by the cruel colonel. As they contemplate things the colonel comes running from his cabin, yelling about a ghost. He complains that he had been shot with and arrow, and shows a small wound on his arm, and says the weapon has vanished.

Well they go to their cabin, and instead of going inside they wait, and soon men come, talking of killing Tom. Dan and his friend surprise their would be ambushers, but after the leader of the group is knocked down he pulls out a gun. But from behind Tom appeared  the spirit once more, and it shot an arrow again. Dan said the arrow was for Tom, but we can’t be sure as the panel is unclear. Tom however moves and it hits and kills the man with the gun instead. It flees, they follow, it disappears.

The colonel is frightened, as are his men, and all refuse to go with Tom when he investigates the trail in the morning. Dan and he soon find a phosphorus rock, and then a cave of it. They also find the figure they had followed, and discover it was made of woven reeds. As the glowing figure would catch all attention the actual fiend would be able to move it with a long stick or the like and not be seen. Tom voices his suspicion that the colonel is the man behind this ruse, and the wound he had received was from when Tom threw his knife at the reed figure.

Then they hear voices, and the men of the fort approach. The colonel cries for them to slay Tom and Dan, and that none would know it wasn’t the spirit. But it wasn’t the real ones they shot at, but they reeds re-woven to look like our boys in the dark. The men fled in fear, and together they took down the rotten commander. Taking the tale to those higher in command, the man is imprisoned, and the story ends.


Tom is reporting to a mayor of a frontier town, letting him know a tribe of hostile natives have changed direction as so the town is safe. There is quite a commotion in town that catches the eye of the frontiersman. The smith, Jamie Bean, had just invented a machine that moved forward powered by steam. The wagon also had a dream powered cannon upon it, but he let the pressure get too high, and the thing exploded.

Tom and Dan help the man back to his shop, while the townsfolk whisper harsh words about him. Can’t exactly blame the folks as it seems he has caused many accidents, and put himself and other in danger many times. Later that day he is told that they twin will forgwt everything if Jamie will just not invent things ever again, but he refuses, saying he’ll move to another town.

Tom and Dan leave before Jamie, but the soon hear his wagon, and they head back to warn him he is heading toward the hostile tribe. It is too late however and even as they speak they are being watched. They were able to scare off their attackers when the fifht began, by using the cannon on the wagon to scare them off. Dan and his friend must head out to warn a nearby fort, and for some reason Jaime just plans to stay where he is. In till he bemoans the fact that if he had another boiler he could take them up river faster. So Tom takes out some pota and with some of the scrap Jamie had brought with him turned it into a sort of boiler. Then they change the wagon into a rough raft, and viola thw first steamboat.

When they arrive at their destination however they find that the fort had been taken by the natives. Aiming to take it back Tom builds a stockade around the wagon, making a sort of tank. Knowing the doors to the fort were too strong to run down Tom heats the fire in the modified pots so the pressure built and it blew, opening the fort to them. The fort was soon recaptured and Jamie moved in, well he built a home just outside for the safety of the people. He planned to invent a safety valve, as the boilers were too dangerous for regular use.


Tom is speaking with a man who had just inherited a section of forest, and now he wants to clear it and open it for settlers. He has asks Tom there to guide a survey crew. We should note the man has a cane, as the tile of this is “The Man with a Cane” As a precaution the man sends gifts to be given to any natives they encounter. It seems to work as they pass by very quickly after giving the men the boxes. That night though Tom notes that they are being followed, and by the footprints the followers belong to the tribe of Tall Man, who is a known troublemaker.

The next day they are shot at, and once again it is one of Tall Man’s braves. Tom deduces that the chief wants to be on the warpath with them. They start to look for the brave and when they find him Tom hits the rifle in his hand to the ground with his tomahawk. He lets the man flee as he looks over the weapon, which still had packing oil on it. This means that the weapon had just arrived. Tom said he was gonna follow the native that fled and sent Dan to warn the others. Arriving back Dan noes many crates are missing and as he is about to investigate gets knocked out by people clearly wearing tricorner hats. The two then carry Dan into the woods.

Apparently having failed to find the man who shot at them Tom returns back and can’t find his young  friend. He asks the men if they have seen Dan, and notices what Dan had, and checks the bottom crates, finding more guns. He sees the markings of a cane, and figures that Dan had noticed the fact they were smuggling weapons and had the man who hired them had taken Dan. While talking to the men about the cane-marks something strikes him and he suddenly says that Dan is being held prisoner at Tall Man’s village. He hurries to the village and frees Dan, who confirms the man with the cane was behind the smuggling.

Then there is a fierce battle as Dan and Tom fight their way out suddenly joined by the tribes nearby who are friends with our frontier’s man. Naturally our side wins and Tom points out that they real man with the cane truly was good, and probably was the man who they met with before they began, and the smuggler was his twin, who had taken his place in order to stop the project and keep the land and money going into the project form himself. He figured out by the fact the twin put little weight on the cane, and so left small impressions.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

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 Quick

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.

Green Arrow

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.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

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.)

Congo Bill

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 Tomorrow

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.