Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

Adventure Comics 195

Superboy

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.

Aquaman

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 Nov

Adventure Comics 194

Superboy

Another genius who could have greatly helped he world if only he hadn’t turned to crime. This one is very Luthor-esk and wants not only to use his new lightning gun for crime, but to prove himself smarter than Superboy. He moves himself and his minion to Smallville as soon as the gun is tested. They first rob a bank, and when SB steps in they shoot him with the gun. As we all know a little electricity is nothing to a Kyrptonian, but Clark knew that merely his being around others with his new electric field was dangerous. First our clever boy solves his problems from afar, forming a giant shovel to carry the crooks, but they simply shoot out a bridge while in transport, making him leave them to fix it.

Clark then flew out to Pluto and worked off the power that clung to him, and he goes after the crooks again then they strike that night. They cut off the powerplant, but SB used their own weapon against them by making himself into a giant light bulb with the help of his new blast of electricity. While fleeing the town the criminals come across Superboy standing before them, glowing. They pull out the gun and try to charge him enough so he must leave, only for it to fly out of the boss’s hands into the sky where the real Superboy had coiled metal around himself so as to make himself into an electromagnet. The version on the ground was made a metal, and given just enough of the energy to glow. Superboy then showered bits of electrified metal around the crooks, left to work of the rest of the power and soon returned to bring the men to jail.

Aquaman

Our boy was just drifting along on the back of a walrus when he sees a ship being attacked and so he heads on over to see what he can do. Imagine his shock when it wasn’t some random pirate, but an actual armada of enemies. So the crooked navy gets away with that ship’s cargo, but Aquaman is ready for them with the next ship that passes by. He has called up his friends, and put up a ‘smokescreen’ by having the octopuses release their ink and then the whales sprayed it into the air. Next torpedoes were sent after the ship Aquaman was protecting, but some of Aquaman’s friends simply nudged them back toward the shooters.

So they closed in, deciding to fight hand to hand. Aquaman scared them off though, with legions of turtles, painted to look like mines. They still made off with the gold from the ship though. Except it wasn’t gold, but a radio, to bring the coast guard to the leader of the thieves. He set up this trap on the first ship, by mentioning that the other was going through, and there was a bug that relayed that to the crook. I wonder why he decided to drop that bug though, and how Aquaman knew about it.

Johnny Quick

Johnny, Tubby, and some adventurers find a lost city (I think it’s in South America, but they don’t say) Tubby’s biggest worry is that the natives believe it haunted. There seems to be something to the rumor as well. Statues coming to life, and people hurling spears at them before vanishing. But when the adventurers stumble upon a sacrificial pit (Johnny saves them) that has paths and tunnels around the bottom he thinks he may have found how the previous events had happened. While exploring these (and nearly dying again) the four find stacks of gold. Modern gold, as it had mint marks and the like.

The gang comes after them, but Johnny quickly (haha) chases them back, and when they block the tunnel the speedster digs them out in seconds. The criminals are then trapped in a thrown together cage of spears.

Green Arrow

Our story begins by seeing the duo going after some bank robbers. The crooks end up running into a scientist’s lab where he is exploring the relationship between light and time. The entire party ends up in the future where they witness another bank robbery, and the Archers are greeted by a cop. Oddly not only did the people from the future know them, and even expect to see them, but GA knew about special arrows they had in this time, and how to use them. The bank robbers here were the same ones from the past, just changed in their methods and what they planned to steal. Just as in modern (or not so modern as it’s the 50s) times they escape briefly, but GA and Speedy are able to find them again with the help of the police.

The crooks try to escape again in a rocket, but the archers use Anti-atom arrows to kill the reactions in the jets. Still using fantastic (and most likely impossible) arrows they capture the crooks and then wake in the lab.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Oct

Adventure Comics 193

Superboy

Clark goes swimming one day, and he hides his suit rather hastily. So naturally it is found by on of his classmates, a boy even more timid than Clark. His first thought was to return it, but all he wanted was his girlfriend to like him again. She had gotten fed up with his cowardice and dumped him. So he wore he suit and told her that he was Superboy. Clark let him run with it, knowing the boy’s timidity would force him to give up the truth, which it did. But Clark set up a scene where the girl seemed to be in danger, hoping that the boy would save her. He did of course, and learned some bravery from the experience.

The nest person to cross paths with the costume was a man who had fallen on hard times. He stole the suit through the boy’s window and used it to commit a robbery. Superboy had been watching, and had set up the store from which the man had stolen. He knew the man was good at heart, as he was his neighbor. He knew the man’s conscience would not allow him to keep what he had taken.

Finally the suit crossed paths with a conman, who used it as an example of the fabric he was selling. Of course the fabric he sold did not have the same properties as the alien suit. Clark didn’t bother trying to teach this man a lesson, but hurried to save those who thought their newest purchase would protect them, and he sent the conman to jail.

Aquaman

I love Aquaman! He might be my family’s favorite DC hero. (Combined, what with my brother’s hatred of most of them and how much my Mom likes him) While clearing a path for a ship who was traversing the northwest passage he found a giant beast. At first he was afraid, but soon found the creature just wanted to be his friend. His only problem was that his new friend would attack every passing ship. Eventually the Navy threatened to kill  the creature next time he harmed a ship. Lucky for Aquaman the next ship belonged to a criminal, and the creature’s help caught him. They discovered that the creature ate coal, and all Aquaman needed to do to prevent the danger to ships was to keep him well fed.

Johnny Quick

Tubby heads to a museum where he and Johnny are to be shooting later that day. However he has arrived early, and as he is admiring the artwork of the Greek gods he is blindsided by Hermes, who Tubby had thought was nothing compared to his friend. Insulted Hermes decides to challenge Quick to a battle of wits and speed. The god pulls out many tricks; turning invisible, making him forget his formula, and putting him to sleep. Hermes could have won, if he had put on the speed before Johnny was able to reverse the trickery, but like in Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, his confidence and laziness make Johnny winning inevitable. Of course, Tubby wakes up after Quick has defeated Hermes for the last time, revealing the whole thing as a dream.

Green Arrow

We all know about those slippery crooks that you just can’t get enough evidence on. By pure chance a passing photographer got a picture of one such man killing someone. Scared he had fled, but decided to come back for the sake of justice. While trying to save him from crooks GA missed several important shots, leaving Roy both worried and confused. Of course, we find out at the end that each of the shots went exactly where he wanted, but he didn’t have the time to explain to Speedy (there was totally time).