Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

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.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Batman 81

“Two-Face Strikes Again” (earth-one)

This is an Earth-one tale, though at the time of writing Dc (or what would become DC) didn’t yet know they would be making two distinct universes, so it is still written as if it were Earth-two. Earth-two Harvey Dent never returns to crime.

Getting to the actual thing you are here to read, Harvey Dent, face whole from his plastic surgery, passes by a store and sees that it is being robbed. Feeling moraly obligated to stop them he rushes forward, and the explosive charge for the safe goes off right in Harvey’s face! (We are all super stunned by this) Taking this as a sign, and knowing the surgery couldn’t be done again (his doctor told him so) he once again becomes Two-Face. He flips his coin to make sure though.

The very next night he robs a circus, which I don’t think is a good idea because he needs time to both heal and plan. He doesn’t steal from the box office, but from one of the clowns, who has a collection of diamond stickpins. An hour after that crime (boy he’s moving fast!) he robs a collection of jewels from a deep sea diver.

The next day Batman and Robin are told of yet another crime by Two-Face, this time he stole from a man who specialized it portraying Abe Lincoln and he had taken papers that had belonged to the real Abe. The Duo are as confused as I am about why the double themed villain such objects, until Bruce gets an idea. He points out that all of the victiems have had ‘two faces’ themselves. The actor who sometimes looks like Lincoln, the deep sea diver and his breathing mask/helmet, and a clown.

Our heroes begin a search for possible victims and we have a funny scene where Two-Face is hiring people to his gang based on flips of his coin. He also tells the reader that since Batman has two faces he will be he climax of his crimewave. Two-Face and his men are spotted as they head for Gotham Point, where only four men live. We know that they are going for the gambler, but Bruce doesn’t yet. See, his  second face is his poker face. Batman figures it out on the drive over.

Now this guy has one weird house. I’ll put a pic on the Tumblr version of this blog. Basically the place is filled with giant versions of gambling stuff, light a humongous billiard’s table. While atop this table Batman and Robin slide into on of the holes to escape the pool balls being rolled at them, and inside the slide Robin gets his foot caught. Batman makes a net for the incoming ball and saves his ward. Though Two-Face escaped once more, this time it was without the loot.

At home, alert for anything that may be able to be seen as someone having two faces Bruce sees in the paper that a Japanese man had ‘lost face’ and he and Dick conclude that must mean he must have had two- making him a viable target. They rush to the embassy where there is a gargantuan statue which a battle is soon waged on. Also it is not Japanese by any stretch, but I couldn’t tell you what Asian country the outfit the statue is wearing is form. Once again Robin is more a hindrance than a help (which we know him to be most of the time. Everyone has bad days!) and must be saved by his father figure. Unfortunately this lets Two-Face escape again.

Returning home Bruce remembers that he has an appointment with some nearby Sioux, to be made an honorary chief which would make him have two faces, well three, Paleface, Sioux, and Batman. (about that being made a chief thing. I did a tiny bit of  research and found this: For the Sioux, the title of Chief was viewed as a medal earned for outstanding performance during times of war or peace. To be Chief was considered an honorary title. It did not mean, however, that the Chief was solely “in charge” of his people. Rather than a linear chain of command, the Indians traditionally ruled by unanimous vote of a council of Chiefs of “Headmen” from a variety of bands. Decisions made by the council served to guide rather than command the people. But I have no clue how he’d have earned this)

Looking around the site as Batman before he must appear as Bruce, Robin spots a plane with two engines landing, and they know their trap is ready to spring. Before they can though they are blinded by the sand that the landing plane kicked up and are captured. Awww, Harvey ties them to a giant coin, making me relive fond memories, and then has them flipped by a truck with a sort of launcher on the back. Using their belts to form a magnetic field Batman and Robin do not land on the bed of spikes prepared for them, and manage to free themselves from the ropes and then handily take out the gang in two panels and take them to jail.

“The Boy Wonder Confesses” 

Dick Grayson is late for school one day, and a classmate jokes he isn’t there because he is heartsick over Maria, another kid in class. Maria it seems likes Robin you see, so Dick would have no chance. But Dick does turn up, and he tells the class he was late because he was chasing a crook, as he was Robin.

After the intial shock the students think it’s a joke, so he whips off his over clothing and tells them to go outside where he will preform Robin-level stunts. He does, and then, as the class watches there is a car accident and Robin truly shows his skill by jumping off a building and using a flag pole to catch himself so he can land safely and save the people trapped in the cars. One of the kids called the papers, and with Dick being Robin, Bruce Wayne must be Batman! When asked the billionaire replies ‘no comment’.

There is a panel where it says Dick has a good reason for confessing, and we go to a flashback from nearly a year before. They had dealt with a criminal known as Mr. Camera, and he had given the quite the runaround, until they met up with him in a theater. Changing clothes in the nearby alley they rushed back in. Seeing where they came from Mr. Camera laughed with glee. He fled, and took film from a camera in the alley with him.

They were able to catch up with Mr. Camera and his men not too much longer, but the film showing their identities had been hidden. Mr. Camera mocked them with the knowledge would be revealed once he was released from prison and there was nothing they could do about it. Skip forward nine months, and a friend of Mr. Camera’s is coming into town, and he knows where the film is. It would be shown next month.

They figure they can make an excuse for Bruce and Dick being in the alley, as long as they can prove they are different people. They planned on having Alfred dress and Batman, and the two meet, but Alfred would be gone next month. So they decide to up the time table.

We see Bruce with some reporters and, getting annoyed, he says he’ll get in touch with Batman, and they will prove the story silly. But Alfred fractures his leg on the way back from shopping because of the snow and can’t play Batman. Bruce comes up with an idea on the fly, and has Dick change to Robin and get the batplane ready. He is told to set the plane’s auto pilot and take a car or something to the Newell building then he use the remote for the plane to send it to the gray building across the street at 8:50. Bruce says Batman will be there, and he must fly the plane away at 9:05.

Next we see Robin on a roof, with the remote as he lands the plane. Soon both Bruce and Batman are there. Well Batman’s on the roof, Bruce is on the street with a mega phone. They chat briefly, laughing that some people think they are the same person. The plane takes off and people investigate. Robin was across the street, he couldn’t have flown the plane. There was one set of foot sets from where Batman had stood to the plane, and it all looks legit. Alfred’s in the hospital, and Batman wouldn’t hire an actor or else they would know. The only question was, why did Dick start the fuss? A girl.

So the explanation was it was a snow-batman, which was melted with a thermite pill. The uniform was designed to dissolve as well. Batman had made the footprints when he made the figure and erased any extras he had made. Oh and they told the papers Dick had asked Robin for a favor, and it really was he who did the stunts outside the school.

“The Phantom Bandit of Gotham City”

There has been a robbery at a bank in Gotham, though there had been no sign of disturbance until the vault was opened in the morning and it was almost empty, with writing on the wall that said “Thanks! The Phantom Bandit!” We see two other victims of the Phantom, valuables having vanished with only a written thanks as a trace. Vicki Vale gets assigned to the case, and Batman and Robin are called in.

A suspicious masked figure  was seen near the dragon vault, a place where all the Tong members keep their savings. (who are the Tongs? is it a family? an organization?) As Batman and Robin arrive they see the figure leaving the vault with a large bag. They attack, causing the Bandit to drop his takings but in doing so they activate a mechanism in the vault which shoots fire at them, letting the thief escape.

At another site of robbery (the Gotham Racetrack) Vicki finds a model polar bear with ice skates, which Bruce knows is a souvenir for the Polar Bear Club, which means they are going in. Dick complains about the suits, but Bruce knows they may recognize the Bandit.

By the way Vicki is also at the club, and the main attraction is a ‘swami’ who can read minds. Bruce notes that the assistant’s corsage is wilting wrong, and ruins the act by destroying the mic hidden in it (it transmits the sound to the swami). Later Batman tells Robin he’s checked into it and all the victims had been to the club, and all had their minds ‘read’. So they begin to follow all the people who had participated the previous night. They have a run in with the Bandit again, but he gets away. Once more it is shown that he can get into any vault, no lock can stop him.

While Dick is home reading one night Vicki asks him to help her set up a trap for the Bandit. Dick masquerades as a young, rich South American man (he looks ridiculous!). They go to the club, and have his mind read. Then they return to the hotel to wait. We then see two people come up to the door, the swami and his helper. The Bandit puts something in the air conditioner to knock out the people in the room.

They open the door once Dick and Vicki are unconscious, saying they have the key. The assistant came along to help search for the riches, as they don’t have a set place like a vault to grab from this time. Seeing that Dick was down for the count via his binoculars Batman rushes into action. He smashes through the window and beats both the crooks. The girl would pickpocket the people she talked to and make a wax form of the keys, before returning them.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Superman 87

1 (this first tale is Earth-one) “The Thing from 40,000 A.D.”

One night a strange being lands near Metropolis, seeming to have come from outer space. It has no form, looking like a weird eyed ditto more than anything. Like a ditto it seems to be able to change form, as it does so- shifting into a tree shortly after landing. It is sentient, as it takes in the life forms around it, and thinks that they must be extinct in 40,000 A.D, which is when it is from.

Though it is not know what has landed the people in the city known that something has. Clark is sent to report upon it. As Clark changes clothing so he can make better time he notes that this is especially  important as the area was to be used for bombing test soon, which had made the army cordon off the area. The thing takes on the appearance of one of the men that pass it, thinking that the fact humans are the predominant life form will make things easier for it. As it will have no trouble from the primitive species.

Superman arrives and is told that the fallen object seemed to have vanished. But, seeing the thing pass by shortly before the man it had copied, lets Superman and the captain into the thing’s secret. The thing escaped, and Superman began to search for clues, finding that there was a trail of slime from a place that looked like a tree had been recently and where he had seen the thing looking like the private.

We then see the being robbing the town of radioactive isotopes, using it’s shifting abilities. But Superman cannot follow up on this right away, as Clark has another assignment, reporting on the world’s largest synthetic diamond. As Clark leaves he is seen by the thing, who thinks he would be a valuable identity to use. That night it used Clark’s form to steal the diamond. Superman finds the large diamond using his x-ray vision, and then loudly proclaims no human could lift the stone, so he must be the fake.

Having followed it to it’s headquarters he finds the thing is making an atomic time machine. His foe creates a landslide that Superman has to stop, but first Superman gets the thing to reveal it’s plan to take over his time, with it’s great abilities and explain that it had been driven to the past as those from the future had feared it. When he next finds the thing it has taken the form of Superman. The two begin a ferocious duel, the thing having Superman’s powers along with his shape. Superman lead the thing back to where it landed, and as he had hoped it was unable to adapt to the explosion in time, and so only one blue clad figure survived.

“Superman’s Super-Boners”

One day Clark is asked to report on a showing of gems, but as he already knows all about the show as he is the one who has been asked to transport and protect them, he decides to check on an atomic engine. He sees it is about to explode, so he wraps it in his cape and lets it explode there. Soon afterward Superman makes the wrong move in dealing with a small fire, and accidentally causes more damage than he would have prevented. He is able to fix it up with little to no problem, but he wonders if his thinking may have been impaired by the explosion. (dude you made one mistake- lighten up)

He goes on patrol later and finds a yacht in danger of crashing due to a dead motor and the tides. He smashes the rocks they are about smash into, without realizing one of the bridge supports is in them. He holds up the bridge while he waits for the repair crew. A rival paper spoke with the mayor and the city planned to test Superman to see if he will be allowed to use his powers. He agrees and the test begins. He is first asked to make a cruel man love his dog, and does so by staging a rescue by the hound. Next he is told to stop a rock slide, but he is not allowed to melt the rocks with his heat vision, nor blow the boulders back uphill also he must do it from a distance. He forms a giant container from a boulder,melts iron inside it and pours the mixture on the rocks. Then he makes a large magnet and lifts them out of the way. Finally he is made to count all the grains of sand in a patch. As there was a time limit he compresses it into a brick and has it weighed. Using that information, plus a small sample he was able to measure and count in time allows him to calculate the rest.

Superman wonders about the ‘mistakes’ he had made, and wonders if things may have been set up. So he goes to look and finds that the rocks where the bridge support was were covered with lead, and that there was tampering at the scene of the fire as well. He figures that the reason he had been made to seem incompetent was so he would be taken off guarding the gems. He rushes back to the show and recovers the gems.

“The Prankster’s Greatest Role”

Clark Kent is walking down the street when he hears a cry for help, saying the Prankster is back. Barely thinking he strips his outer wear, not even bothering to conceal himself first. Nearly gave me a heart attack that did. But we see in the next panel that Clark has been asked to play Superman in an upcoming play. We continue with the flashback seeing Clark-dressed as Superman- being hoisted by a wire, and capturing the ‘Prankster’ as practice for the big night.

The real Prankster is furious at being put in the play, and vows to make the role of Superman trouble for Clark. At the next rehearsal Superman sees that some of the people who have come to watch have rotten eggs, tomatoes, and other prime throwing material along with cards saying they are from the Prankster. Clark rushes backstage and spins the backdrop, hurling the rotten food back at the Prankster’s men.

Angry at their failure he Prankster says he’ll handle it himself, and his anger rises again as some fellow crooks mock him. He shows the hoodlums who’s boss and sees on the paper that the first showing of the play will be in a swampy town outside of Metropolis. Oswald cut out a section of the bridge, and disguised it so when Clark and the rest of the play’s crew passed over it they fell to the murky water below. Superman manages to make it seem as though a rope in the car had tangled around his leg, and he fell over a support beam, the momentum snapping them over again- so saving the car and his identity.

Finally the opening night. Police guard the entrances, as now they are expecting trouble from the Prankster. Of course though the real Prankster has taken the place of his double and sticks up the crowd while Clark dangles from a wire. The wire ‘breaks’ and Clark lands on the floor, sending a barrel flying onto the prankster. He takes out the lights with a chunk of lead and tears off the fake costume for his own. He then paints a picture of himself? and makes a cage. When the lights come back on he swoops down and gathers up the crooks. Superman got accused of being Clark in reality, but the wax figure of Clark (there was one for each cast member) and ventriloquism allied suspicions.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Detective Comics 204

Batman “The Man Who Could Live Forever”

We open upon a man holding up a jewelry store, only for him to be interrupted, not by the Bat, but a fancy man in a hat and a cape. He says that he will be taking the loot. The original robber shoots the interloper, who loudly proclaims he is immortal and nothing can harm him. We cut to Bruce Wayne and his ward playing Ping pong, until Bruce spots the Batsignal on the sky.

The shop clerk talks to our heroes, telling them the man (who he somehow knows is named Odo Neval) had bared his chest, and there was no bullet proof vest. About to leave the radio in the Batmobile alerts them to Odo’s location and so the costumed crusader head over to the subway where he had been spotted. Finding the man is not catching him however, and he drops a live wire onto the metal steps they would have to take to follow him. Batman slides down a Batrope, using a wooden cane to lift the wire to allow others down the stairs but by then the man had vanished.

The next day there was an article in a paper about the fact there was a criminal named Odo Neval centuries ago. Curious Batman and Robin head over to see the man who claimed this. He pulled out a manuscript, which clearly has a picture of Odo on it, and says, in modern English mind you, that he was he criminal who lived forever. The man then explains that Odo was a scientist of Atlantis, and he had made the formula for immortality back then. Batman states he doesn’t care and he’s going down either way.

We cut to the man who had been stealing the jewels Odo had taken, and other criminals. They want the formula for themselves and track down Odo to buy it. After proving his abilities all of Gotham’s criminals begin to pull big jobs to get the cash for the expensive formula. By capturing one of these men Batman gets the whole story, and then goes undercover as Big Luke. While buying the formula Batman notes a mark on Odo’s arm that proves him a fake (I’m guessing its the mark from the smallpox vaccine) Some men come in and knock him out, and they discover he’s Batman by opening his shirt and there is a large Bat there. Either they forgot to color the suit besides the bat, or this version of Bruce has a very revealing tattoo.

Robin, who is Bruce’s backup bursts in to save him. He drinks the vial of formula, and though it is a fake Odo can’t let the other men in the room know that. He is captured none the less and Batman and Robin are brought to a car and they plan to dump Batman over a cliff. Thinking the formula to be real Robin acts recklessly and crashes the car, Shielding Batman with his own ‘invulnerable’ body. Cops come to the scene and Robin heads after Odo, after explaining the situation to them.

When Batman wakes he rushes to help Robin, worried that he will be harmed by his overconfidence. Batman arrives in time and, by throwing a small rock at him was able  to show the boy the truth and they team up. By breaking a giant light bulb (there for effect) they cut Odo’s face, proving him a fake. They capture all the crooks there and then explain that Odo was using a flesh colored bulletproof vest, and rubber gloves that look like bare hands, and he was really the historian that had the document from before. Also I was right, the mark was from a vaccine, though it doesn’t say smallpox specifically.

Roy Raymond Tv Detective “The Stars Spell Doom”

A window washer falls, but rather than dying in a large splat he is caught by an awning and gets barely a scratch. He tells the onlookers that it wasn’t the only impossible thing to happen to him. He had been warned to avoid heights by his astrologer (his boss didn’t see that as a good excuse though). We skip to another man who looks to the stars. He is standing in a downpour, unwilling to go inside his home as it has been deemed unlucky for this day. As he explains this to his neighbor his house explodes. Faulty oil burner.

We cut to Roy, and Karen is marveling over the two predictions, which had both made the paper, and were foretold by the same man. Roy scoffs, but at that moment the astrologer and another of his grateful clients come in. His story is not so spectacular, he was warned not to travel, and when he did he lost control of his car. Not wanting to dismiss him off hand he asks the man to give Karen a reading. He says she has gotten a large sum of money, and then a messenger boy comes in with a check for a thousand dollars from a raffle.

Roy then asks for his own fortune. He says Roy will be involved in an accident on May 27th with a bunch of people under one roof. Karen reminds him he has plans to watch a boxing match that day. She begs him to ask the people to call off the event, as many could be killed. He says it is a fake and says he can prove it. Karen’s check was sent on the 30th but only arrived on the 1st. Since the star chart he made was for this month the money should not have shown up on the reading. Then he rips of the astrologer’s fake beard, revealing the head of a gambling syndicate that had heavily backed the likely loser of the upcoming fight.

He then explains all the people had been paid off, and the check was sent by the astrologer as well. Angry and wanting the truth kept quiet he calls in his men, who attack Roy, only for him to push a bull statue in their faces. He then smacks the leader with a set of scales and the cops come. Roy reminds us astrology isn’t real.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

World’s Finest 68

Superman “The Menace from the Stars”

A large asteroid is slowly (or maybe it just seems to be slow due to the size and distance) falling toward Metropolis. Superman heads to an observatory to get the down-low before he stops this danger, and is informed that there is something similar to kryptonite upon the falling stone. Naturally Superman still goes to stop the asteroid, but he now knows it may be dangerous to him. He knocks the thing away, saving America, but he falls as soon as this is done, crashing into a tree and splitting it down the middle. He sees others dressing in costume, having been at a ball, and thinks he must have been out with them. He has no memory.

He finds his Clark clothes in his cape and changes, and continues to walk aimlessly around town. He goes by the Planet and thinks he should go inside, as papers typically cover the artist’s ball and someone may have seen him there. Of course, his co-workers know him, to his surprise. He tells them he has no memory, and they are like ‘dude did you hear the news Superman has vanished!’ Great friends there. Of course, Clark doesn’t know who Superman is.

Lois pulls out a picture and Clark realizes he was dressed as Superman the night before, but thinks it was as a gag as Superman was his friend. We hear a news blurb from the radio, warning the people about tidal waves, caused by the asteroid being so close. Not realizing he can do something about those he heads out to see a doctor. On the way he comes across a bank robbery. Thinking only to scare the men he puts on the Superman costume he has, and they shoot him. Realizing who they had shot at the criminals give up, and Clark thinks it is just the costume that protected him. He thinks Superman must have given it to him.

He accidentally breaks a fire hydrant, and comes to the conclusion that Superman had given him the suit- which gave him powers- because he wasn’t sure he’d come back. He thinks he probably got amnesia by over doing his new abilities, and begins to try things out, like flying. When he feels he has a handle on it he heads out to combat the mighty waves. That done he begins to deal with the other effects of the asteroid,such as a cyclone, and other weather disasters.

However the asteroid was still causing damage from it’s new orbit around the planet, and Clark knows he must get rid of it for good, even if he must die like his friend Superman. He heads out and smashes the foul thing, and returns home where he plans to tell the world Superman perished, and left him a magical suit. But as he heads to the office, wrapped in his thoughts he gets hit by a car. Finally the man figures out who he is, and when he turns in the typed up story of events he realizes that his memory is returning.

Tomahawk “Nine Men Against Fort Mohawk”

In the middle of the night, mid summer 1776, Tom and Dan have hurried to a coach in the middle of the night in response to a missive marked ‘very urgent’. The man in the coach had a mission for the two from General Washington. He shows them a map, where a fort holds the entire valley, and it can’t be straight up sieged, as the British have civilian hostages. It is up to Tom to remove the hostages, after which the battle can begin.

Tom requests seven men from a allied tribe join him and his friend on their mission. In order to keep the British from seeing him as an American scout he and Dan stain their skin and dress like their friends before they begin. On the way to the fort they see many people heading the same way, supply wagons and new troops. Once they arrive Tom scouts ahead, and finds out that a different tribe is working with the British, guarding the area.

Tom and his men drive a herd of cattle from the nearby farms into the woods that surround the fort, and hiding amongst them the nine men (well eight and Dan) sneak up to the fort. Then Dan and Tom wipe away their dye, because they don’t want the hostages to be scared of them. (rolls eyes seriously that wasn’t even necessary. they hid from everyone they passed.) Then Tom hurls his tomahawk over the wall, where it buries itself in the wood and the men began to climb over in the shadows.

Once inside the fort they begin to pick off any guards with silence and precision. They lead they hostages away, and light a fuse to a keg, rolling it toward the fort entrance just as an alarm sounds. The keg blows, and Tom drives the supply train full of rescued civilians out of the fort. Quickly he troops follow, leaving a skeleton crew behind. We then find that the wagons hadn’t been filled with our people, it was merely a distraction. Tom and the rest come out of hiding and handily take care of the remaining men. (How is the wagon supposed to keep going? Are they counting on the horses being scared of the troops following them?) Anyway, They rebuild the door, and when the British return, the Fort is American held. A few hours later more American troops arrive, and Tom and Dan head back to the woods.

Green Arrow “The Mystery of Vanishing Villains”

The Arrowcar is chasing another vehicle (which isn’t cool enough to have a name) through town, and despite their close proximity they don’t see what happens to their prey as they literally vanish from the car. Something similar occurs the next night, as bank robbers crossing a rope over a road also vanish. GA and Speedy talk over these occurrences with the police, though they have no new information to offer. Heading home Oliver suggests to speedy that the disappearances are due to illusions of darkness and light. In order to keep a better eye on the criminals GA  is going to record the next time they head out on film, in the hope it might see something they missed.

Naturally they once again find criminals, who vanish before the heroes can capture them, and they head home to watch the film. I shows us nothing new. This leads to them having another brainstorming session, when Ollie reminds us that all the vanishings have all occurred at night.  Oliver figures that maybe it’s necessary for the trick that it be dark, and if he makes it bright they may not be able to vanish. So when they head out this time they pack flash bulb arrows, but even with it as bright as day, they see nothing. One moment they are there, and then, gone.

Searching for clues Oliver notes the gearshift of the car is in neutral. Maybe they had never been in the car? Simply pushed it  down a sloped road. Roy points out they had seen the people, but Ollie seems to have figured it out. He pointed out that the crooks crossing the rope, hadn’t effected the rope with their weight, as they would have had if real people had been on it. On the night they recorded the escape they see that their foes didn’t leave footprints in the sand. The next day they are called to another robbery, they shoot thread arrows at the figures and it is revealed they are balloons. The balloons lift them in the air, and they release the air and drift down to the real crooks. Quickly they whip them and then they explain to the police, but it is still unclear as to how they can make the balloons vanish. It they drift off, that would be seen. If they were rigged to pop, there would be rubber left behind.

Batman and Robin “The Secret Weapons of the Crimesmith”

Batman and Robin swing down from their batlines and capture a robber, who we see being sentenced in the next panel. He of course swear revenge on the duo. While in prison the man, Garrow, is shown to be a genius with machines and is eventually paroled. Soon afterward whispers being about the crimesmith, a man who can furnish any weapon, and we see a man named Whitey Willerson being taken to the ‘crimecave’. Once there Garrow tells Whitey he’ll help him pull a job in the platinum store house, for half the loot. Whitey readily agrees, astonished by the wonder of the man’s hideout. Garrow also mentions he’s gonna make a machine to rob all of Gotham.

We cut to the platinum robbery which is pulled off by using a machine to drill into the warehouse from below. Before they make their escape Batman and Robin arrive. They chase they machine as it returns to the earth. Unfortunately the tunnel begins to collapse, and Robin is struck on the head, and Bruce has to carry him from the tunnel. Then they go over the records of people who could possibly be the crimesmith- as they guessed he must be behind the drilling machine. They find Garrow’s records, and see that it fits.

Meanwhile the crimesmith is planning another job. The plan was simple, a helicopter was flow above which had a magnet attached to it which lifted the armored car delivering the funds from one bank, to the newly opened one. When they land and open the truck two figures, one dark and one brightly attired, launch themselves at the fiends. The fight is quick, and they question their captives about the crimesmith, but they can’t tell us much, just that people are brought to the crimecave blindfolded, by a circuitous path, and with earplugs. Also about the weapon he’s planning for Gotham. They also mention some of the things they saw in the cave, such as a giant sun lamp.

Batman asks the cops to keep an eye out for the lamp, and they soon get a call. They head out to a movie set, where they are using real gems for the treasure. The light from the lamp bursts out and blinds the cast and the criminal heads to reap what he has sown. This is when Batman arrives to find the set lighting on fire from the heat, and knows he must protect the people. The light also helps protect the criminals as they flee, blinding and pursuers. Batman puts out the fires, but the crooks have gotten away with the jewels and some old film. Thinking that last bit odd, Batman asks to know what was on the film. Apparently they were scenes from sci-fi films, scenes of destruction. Knowing the caves around the area very well, so as to be sure none connected to the batcave, Batman knew there was no cave nearby a car could enter (barring their own).

Bruce and Dick step inside the manor to relax briefly, but once seeing the television, Bruce has an idea and runs back to the cave. He explains to Dick as they change, but not to us. They begin to search for… something. Soon on screens across the city scenes of robots destroying the city appear, and it is set to seem as though they are real. Like that radio show about the martian invasion, it sparks terror into the heart of Gotham. Robin uses the batplane to write in the sky and reassure the people, while Batman is looking for the crimecave. Batman finds the place, in an old warehouse which is disguised on the inside. Garrow turns the sunlamp on Batman and he pulls out a mirror and blinds the criminal. He then turns the cameras to himself, and tells the people everything is okay.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Wonder Woman 64

“The 3-D Terror”

Okay so we’re at the movies, and the young couple we are focusing on are praising the special effects (1954. I can’t even imagine how bad they were) when the monster on screen really  jumps out of the screen. Wonder Woman is going by the theater, and she tries to calm the fleeing crowd, thinking it was only an effect that frightened them. The owner of the movie house explains everything to Wonder Woman, and plays the film from the first for her. As the film is projected the monster comes out again, and WW leaps up and fights the beast.

Riding the creature she ends up in the air where she finds another, and saves a plane from it’s grasp. In anger it rushes toward her and she has the two monsters crash into each other, and fall down dead. When she also has to fight a seas monster she is convinced we are being invaded, and asks for military help. Because of her great influence she is able to avoid the question of how this invasion is occurring.

Wonder Woman had all the 3-D film spliced together, and began to play it, where the alien invader briefly explained through really fake science, how they had managed this. But before they could leave the tape, the strip of film WW had added of a powerful hydrogen bomb went off and killed all the creatures on the film.

“The Doom Dolls”

It is an exceptionally windy day. So windy that Wonder Woman must halt her normal activities to catch a falling water tower. Then it skips to the next day, when Wonder Woman is at her newspaper job. Two men come in, saying they are the president, and secretary of one of the many Wonder Woman fanclubs. They tell the woman they are putting on a parade in her honor. She says she has only done as much as any other person in her position would do, but she wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone, so the parade is a go. As the men walk away they reveal they are actually from a Wonder Woman hate club- made of criminals.

A think we get a hint of their evil plan as we see people shutting down shops so they can attend the parade. Almost all of the city has turned out! Wonder Woman herself is there, sitting next to the men who made the parade as giant Macey day balloons move past. As they do so the crowds drift into slumber, except for the gangmen who have small air filters in their noses. Wonder Woman is placed inside of one of the balloons (which must have a smaller container inside so it doesn’t let all the air out) and then they let it loose. Gang members start looting the town, and we have a panel where we see them carelessly stepping upon the unconscious figures on the ground. Then they fly away by letting remote controlled balloons lift them into the air.

We cut to our hero, who has woken. She calls her jet, and it zooms through the balloon, but it is made of auto sealing rubber, and closes back up. Instead WW starts vibrating, until the balloon pops. She jumps onto her plane, and gets hunting. She ropes the flying balloons, and brings them to earth with her. We close upon the crowd, awake once more, and marching for their hero.

“Wonder Woman’s Last Hour”

Wonder Woman is facing down a group of criminals, bouncing back bullets, and as they try to run her over she lies flat and the vehicle goes over her. Then, returning to her feet Wonder Woman lassos her prey from behind. Handing them over to the cops Wonder Woman calls her plane and makes a miraculous leap from the ground to it. Once seated in the cockpit Wonder Woman takes stock of her  surroundings and with her powerful vision (is this a new power or has she had it before? I’m gonna tag it because I don’t remember it.) she sees a jet plane on fire. The pilot has bailed out, but their chute got caught in the engine; and the pilot is Steve!

Once she is near enough she neatly jumps out of her plane, plucks him out of the air and gently lands on an invisible wing. The she spots an office building that has a hold up going on in a lower floor and she runs down the side of the building to get to it. (never seen her do that before either.) She dodges the bullets of the crooks and smacks them all over head with a large painting.

The next day gangland has called their brainiest member to solve the Wonder Woman problem, and from the headlines about the day before gave him an idea. We cut to WW as she walks down the street, and she sees the same gang she had captured on the first page. For some reason the bullets didn’t bounce off her bracelets (though she was still unharmed) so she went to lie under the car as it went for her. She lassos it like the day before, but her lasso doesn’t hold. She calls her plane to follow the gang, but mixes up her commands and leaves her face first in the road.

Steve lands safely before her and after she explains what has been going on he tells her she must be in a world of illusion. To get out she must seize the one real thing in it. (How would he know that?) But before she can figure out anything more she hears the hold up in the skyscraper, and starts to run up the side of the building only to find she can’t. Her greatest tools not functioning, and Steve having run into the building to face the gang Wonder Woman knows she must fight bare handed to save him.

She runs into the room, picks up two men, who promptly vanish. Feeling as though she can’t do anything right today she sits down and buries her face in her hands. Steve tells her something must be real, she just has to find it. She grabs Steve and he begins to change shape, becoming her true foe- the Thought-Master (she says she’s faced him before, but I don’t recall him.). She says she started to suspect him when Steve skipped the danger he had been in yesterday. With the capture of the Thought-Master the illusions end, and leaving the building Wonder Woman lassos the real Steve and pulls him to her, just to make sure.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Adventure Comics 196

Superboy

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.

Aquaman

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

Superman

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.

Vigilante

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

Superman 86

Clark, Lois, and Perry are in London, about to open a new branch there, and the older man is scoffing at a tale in another paper about a dragon. He says they would never publish a false tale like that, and Clark pipes up about, what if it’s not fake? He is laughed at and told if he ever brings in a story about a dragon he would be fired on the spot. The real story, according to Perry is a jousting tournament, put on by the descendants of famous knights.

Because all the details remain the same among-st the witnesses, Clark wants to investigate the dragon tale, but worries that his co-workers might wonder why Superman was in England. Clark hears some of the knights saying that they want to seek out the dragon as well, and so he challenges one of the knights, and of course wins. This allows him to become one of their group, and he goes with them to search for the beast.

They soon find claw marks upon the ground, and the dragon appears. In order to protect the knights Clark steps forward and his armor is melted from his invulnerable body when it breathes flame on him. But stray flame burned one of his comrades and so he rushes him to a hospital after trapping the dragon with a large canyon around it. But when it rains the creature is able to swim across the gap and is free.

In his delirium the knight mutters about Superman’s identity and reveals it to Lois and Perry. Clark has no time to come up with a story, as he must go fight a dragon. While he does this task, sidetracked by putting out fires and the like, they write-up the story. The dragon breaks into a museum and perishes next to bones that look like itself. Superman says that it was a prehistoric beast and the added carbon dioxide caused the flaming breath and instinct made it want to die next to its kin.

He was able to clear up the reveal of his identity by stealing a wax figure of Clark they had made to fit his armor, so the real Clark wouldn’t have to stay there. Thinking Superman hid inside the wax figure, in order to help his friend, his identity was safe.

2

Perry White wakes from a nightmare to Superman fighting, well is it really fighting when Superman is going after regular crooks? I don’t think so.. So I guess I’ll saw he was swooping down to catch them and being shot at. So he runs to the office to write-up the story, just as Clark dons his less colorful suit and does the same. To their shock they find Jimmy Olsen, (eeeeeeeee! Jimmy has been around, but this is his first month as a named character, and I am super excited) the cub reporter of the Daily Planet is now the editor. Lois explains that it’s just for a day, as it’s boy’s day when all the jobs are given to kids so they can learn how they are.

Clark types up the Superman story for Perry and then the two are called in to the editor’s office by Jimmy. As the town is pretty quiet right then Jimmy suggests that the two look into an old unsolved case that took place exactly seven years ago. As the statute of limitations would end tomorrow, Jimmy wanted them to solve it by then. He gives Clark the photos of the crime, and tells him to run the plates. Lois was in charge of the only witness and Perry was to look in the jewelry stores to see if  the stolen goods had been sold.

I think it was a tad silly that he switches to Superman to check on the plates, but I suppose he could just say Clark asked him to. He finds that one of the cars at the scene belonged to a criminal known as Snipe. Lois meanwhile has located the witness siting at the same table in a bar with Snipe! Blinded by anger and a need for justice she tells him that he is nothing but a crook and she bets his testimony was fake. But, she doesn’t have the strength or training to resist when they capture her. (Lois Lane, Karate Champ. I want it.) Still she does have a super (boy)friend, and he spots her as the crooks are about to throw her-bound and gagged- into the sea.

He saves Lois and gets the story confirmed that the ‘witness’ was a member of the gang, as was Snipe. The jewels had yet to be recovered though, so Superman headed out to see if Perry found anything. The usual editor was tired, and sore, and he’d been looking at the photos of the gems for so long he knew them each by heart. And so when one of them was right under his nose he knew it at once and headed out to the paper. The owner of the store where Perry found the jewel was run by a member of the gang though, and when Perry arrived to tell Jimmy what he had learned, they were both held at gunpoint.

He didn’t want to kill them, just hold them til the statute of limitations expired. Superman located his friends and, seeing their predicament blew Chloroform through the air system and put them to sleep. When they awoke they found themselves handcuffed and being brought to jail by boy police officers.

3

It was a normal day at the Planet, with Lois printing a story praising the man of steel, with Perry’s approval. The next day though things started going wrong. It started small, with a picture being changed into something ridiculous. Then Perry went to investigate the type machine which was spitting out sardine cans. When he exclaimed in shock the thing spoke! “Someone – Please- Get Superman at Once!” he calls and so Clark sheds his over clothes and asks his help. Before Superman can speak a voice comes from thin air, and says Superman is too stupid to explain anything.

Mr. Mxyzptlk appears and tells Perry he will continue to give the Planet a hard time til they retract the lie that Superman is the greatest person to have ever lived. He was, and he wanted that in print. Perry says he’ll think on it, and then begs Supes to get the imp to go home. Forming a plan Superman challenges Mxy to do better than him in  a series of tests. Superman smashed a rock, and Mxy changes another into rockcandy.  Superman collects an entire crop of grapes, and Mxy changes them to grapefruits, which cost more. Superman then unearths an old temple, claiming only he could possibly read the runes upon it. He ‘translates’ the first word and almost gets Mxy to say the second, but he catches himself in time.

Returning to the Planet Perry flatly refuses Mxy, and he leaves, saying he’s gonna put out his own paper and out sell the Planet. Perry tries not to worry, though he should, as Mxy has access to the fourth dimension, and  is able to print news from the next day. Crimes are stopped before they happen, stock is bought at great profit, and weather is watched with greater knowledge. But as many good things as it did, it did just as many bad. Knowing this has to stop Superman gathers up a bunch of goose feathers (?) and then changes the feed of future news to the printer.

Next Paper he puts out says that Mxy is going to become a laughing-stock, and when he leaves his office he sees everyone is indeed laughing at him. After circling the globe to find the same results everywhere he leaves. Superman explains to his friends that he used super speed to tickle everyone as Mxy came near them.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Wonder Woman 63

We begin in a police station where some egotistical ass has called to alert the police to his impending crime. But unlike a cool phantom thief the dude just walks out of the bank he just robbed and happily laughs as the bullets bounce off him. He drops a gas grenade and walks away from the stunned officers of the law. Days later Steve thinks that such a thing is impossible and is conversing with Diana when suddenly the man- who calls himself the human tank- runs out before him with his new illegal gains. Steve of course tries to shoot him. Diana dashes to an alley and changes clothing, but she is unable to stop the Human Tank as she is to busy making sure the ricocheting bullets don’t hit the civilians.

He takes a car and drives off, Wonder Woman chasing him. But her lasso does as much good as the bullets had, bouncing off of him. (That’s not how lassos work…) Instead she ends up leaping on the car and lifting the man over her head with one hand and taking him to jail.

He’s not there for long however. That night he literally punches his way through the prison walls with the help of his toughened skin. She knows she must somehow weaken him before she can capture him for good. When she sees some sand blasters at work she gets an idea. The next time she is notified of his whereabouts she is ready for him. She steals back his loot with her lasso, and so the man chases her. She runs into a carnival, and then it’s fun house, still being chased by the criminal. The tunnel he follows her into shoots jets of pressurized air at them, and though they quickly fell the Amazon, the Tank seems unaffected. Gritting her teeth Wonder Woman holds on, waiting until the Tank cries out as the chemicals on his skin wear away.

2

Diana wakes one day, and looking out the window is shocked to find herself in San Fran, not New York. She went to be in her own apartment the night before and now she is at the other end of the country. She changes into Wonder Woman and calls her plane, noting by how quickly it arrives that it was also in San Francisco. She decides to fly back to NY and follow her footsteps to find out she had ended up in California. But as she flys back she finds that 3000 miles later she’s in San Fran again. Intrigued she returns to the apartment where she woke, and there was a man there, who asked her how her trip had been and told her he was the one who made her come out this way.

He shows her how he had projected images into her mind, and changed what she saw so when she woke she thought she was in San Fran, when really she was in NY. He explains that he has this ability due to the alien race that was using him to spy on Earth before invading, and he called her to help prevent it. Once she leaves to stop the invasion the man reveals he is really the Duke of Deception.

Wonder Woman finds and destroys fake space ships, and uses her radar to hopefully hide the real ones. She is directed into a cloud, but she finds none. The friction of her flight causes the cloud to rain, and it was radioactive. Flying in front of the drops she causes a draft to sweep the deadly water with her, she then goes higher so it freezes and turns into a ball of snow. When she finally sees the real invaders (the duke and his men) she lassos the snowball and throws it at them, therefore removing the threat with their own weapon.

3

There is a picture of Wonder Woman in a history book, not too abnormal, except for this painting was done more than four hundred years ago. She says she is going to clear up the mystery by going to the past, which I think clears it up pretty well, but I guess she wants the full story. So she goes to see Paula and is sent back to when the portrait was done, Steve jumping in right after. Though it was a very small amount of time in 1954 Paula worries the time machine will have sent him to vastly different era.

Wonder Woman appears near a castle and decides to ask the people there for answers, only for them to try to kill her as she approaches, mistaking her for another. She is moments from taking them all down when an unseen enemy hits her from behind. She manages to remain standing, though her vision goes black. When she recovers she finds herself alone, though not for long as another group of knights come up to her. They call her Queen Niada and say how worried they had been.

They explain that they must hurry as her uncle is about to crowned, so she turns and runs back to the castle planning to continue the ruse until she could find the real queen. She shows up in the throne room, and is all like ‘uncle you look as though you’ve seen a ghost’ a picture is painted of her return and a feast is held. During the feast the amazon faints and her ‘uncle’ takes her to her room and calls a physician. Then the two throw her out a window.

She manages to wake during the fall and punch a way into the castle via the moat where she landed. She happens to come through in a dungeon where the real queen, and Steve were being held. WW breaks down the door and takes them both with her. The Prince’s men try to stop them, but she easily defeats them and then the two time travelers go home.