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.

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.

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.

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.

Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

World’s Finest 67

Superman

One of the richest and meanest people in Metropolis  is the first we see here. He is constantly in the papers for things like failing to pay taxes or trying to evict people. He hates every on in the city, ironically it was his own ancestor who founded it! Musing on this hate he is hit by a car, and his doctor tells him his chance of survival is slim. So he decides to get revenge on the city before he dies.

Now we finally get to see Clark. He is asking Lois about the condition of Galloway (the man from above) who is still living a few days later. She heads out to get the information for the paper and Clark heads downstairs to the printing room, because he heard a shot. He has to stop a hold up there, though two crooks escaped before he arrived. Oddly what they stole were newspapers from the day before, basically valueless. That’s just the beginning too, from here on every where he turns there are crooks stealing random worthless things. They’re coming from all over as well, and Superman has to build a new jail to hold them all!

But it isn’t just Superman and the police after these petty crimesters, a gang shoots down a few who stole some glass beads from the museum, for reasons yet unknown. Superman gets his first clue when bank robbers steal a box of pennies from the vault. Each coin had a nick on it, and by stacking them by order of date he was able to see, well something. It hasn’t told me yet. But we shoot over to the crooks, who had shot the other gang. They too have figured out a code from the beads, but they said it was useless without all the clues.

But they learn that Superman has learned of the real reason behind the robberies and so decide just to go after who put the clues out there in the first place- Galloway. So they kidnap the man, who cleverly/stupidly drops a pill every once in  awhile to leave a trail. (Stupid because what if he needs one immediately? I mean I don’t know what kind of pills they are, but it sounds dangerous to toss them) Due to a hunch Superman was at Galloway’s very soon after and finds out about the kidnapping. he then goes to the police and explains about what we have learned. Galloway invited all criminals to find the clues which lead to a five million dollar treasure hidden in Metropolis.

Using a information line Superman was able to follow tales of those who saw the car, the line of pills, and a light in an abandoned building. Superman found the treasure and picked it up on the way to save the man. The crooks gave up at once. He then explained how he wanted to  rial the town up, cause gangwars, and make life hard for the citizens. But after hearing about the phone line that saved him, and the numerous cards wishing for him to recover soon, he changes his world view. He donates the money to charity and devotes the rest of his life to doing good.

Tomahawk

Tom and Dan and sneaking through town, on a mission for the rebels. They have to sneak as they have been ordered to be arrested on sight, and they have a list of minutemen on them hey dare not let the British see. They are seen however, and while ducking into a place to hide they over hear that there is a traitor. Taking a few instruments off the wall they march into the room, playing Yankee Doodle. The leader of the group in there thinks i is a great joke for a Tomahawk imitator to be playing the insulting song, until he is told it’s the real Tom. But it was too late at that point, as they were behind the man, and slammed the drum down on his head.

They also saw the traitor’s face, and so when they managed to leave their pursuers behind, they went to their meeting and told them what the man looked like. It was the owner of where they were meeting right then! and he lead the redcoats straight to them. By dropping the curtain on them Tom and some other rebels escape, and the traitor is left to make a comic parade for the prisoners, and more the British were going to pick up that night. Tom and Dan come back though and capture the man, and then take him to one of their men where he is bound.

Knowing that the parade will incite anger Tom plans to turn that anger to free their men, and changing a few words in Yankee Doodle would be their cue. After spending the night making signs and the like Tom and Dan start the parade. Their signs do the trick and the watching crowd is filled with anger at the procession. The prisoners begin to sing, and as it is a song written to mock them they aren’t stopped, but the words are new and call men to action.

The town fights and sings, and the prisoners are freed, and run to safety. They new words still booming through the air, Tom and Dan return to the woods until the next time they are called upon.

Green Arrow

A prison break, lead by a crafty man by the name of Micheals brings Oliver and Roy from their beds in the middle of the night. Because eight people escaped with him on the eigth of August Micheals decides eight is their lucky number. He dresses as an octopus, gets an octopus, and lets his new pet choose what crime they are going to pull. They go to an ice show and as the star makes a big figure 8 her skates melt an opening for the gangsters, and they begin to snatch gems. Oliver and Roy were in the stands though and manage to run off the crooks and make them drop the loot.

Next they aim to rob a boat race, and by pretending to be one of the racers and saying they sprung a leak they are brought aboard a large ship. Though they ship gets a message off, the police (and the heroes) don’t get there on time, but Oliver begins to piece together the pattern of 8. He sees the eight escapees on the tv at some sort of show, and so he and Speedy head over. They manage to capture the entire gang, except for Micheals, who then swears to kill GA.

He posts his threat in the newspaper, and says the number 8 will be they undoing of the archer. When there is a robbery on route 8 GA heads out, even though it was almost the time set that the Octopus said he would perish. Turns out they had found the bomb that was left in the Arrowcar- which has 8 letters- and road out there cause they knew he’d want to watch them die. They chase him to the hideout, have a brief tussle with the pet octopus, but get him in the end.

Batman

A man gets access to his full inheritance, and at once he goes out on dangerous expenditures, like big game hunting, and climbing Mount Everest. Being that he is a wealthy man in Gotham, naturally he knows Bruce. Though he hates to leave a case unfinished, Bruce goes to one of this man’s parties to keep his cover. Naturally criminals try to rob the wealthy guests and the host, but with Batman on hand I have no fear they’ll lose their stuff.

And I was right, Batman takes them down, and the thrill the young man gets fills him with a burning desire to fight crime, ya know for the fun of it. I do get a kick over how Robin thinks it’s impossible to have a millionaire detective. Have you forgotten who you live with? Mostly this causes Bruce alarm because the man is sure to get hurt, and possibly get in Bruce’s way as he has announced he is going after the same man Batman is hunting.

A rare book is being brought into the city and both Batman and the new detective think that it is a likely target of robbery for the Zero (the man they’re hunting). So while Batman and Robin take up guarding from afar, the new detective buys the entire store the book is being delivered to, and sits down to wait for the thief. Zero had himself delivered in a crate, and Batman could have gone after the man as he left with the loot, but he had to save the life of the millionaire instead.

The next day Bruce goes to see the man (as Bruce) and pretends to be interested in becoming a detective himself. He hears the man is offering thousands for information on the Zero. He is told that he himself will be robbed, and so he and the tipster (who I think is Zero) head to his estate. The place is empty as he called the servants and told them to leave. The tipster collapses, and while bending over him the new detective is hit. (I still think it’s him. The panel isn’t quite clear enough to prove it’s not.)

Batman and Robin, who are arrive in time to run off Zero without the gems he was after, but another point to my thinking it’s that guy, as the Zero’s mask is found in the house, and he claimed his head hurt, even though he was clutching his stomach when he fell. I mean he might have hit his head when he landed, but…

To keep a better watch on him Bruce joins the detective agency that the man had set up. As his next step the detective had issued a challenge in the paper sating that he would have a million dollars in the office that night if Zero wanted to try for it. His men had orders to keep Batman out, but haha, jokes on them he’s right next to you! Fucking Called It! Sorry a bit ahead of myself. Batman goes out of the room to change, he had figured out that the tipster was Zero, and so had no qualms diving in the window despite the fact the tipster was supposedly a hostage to Zero. (It was dark, like a fuse was cut or something) Batman explained how he had figured it out (dust, prison records) and in showing the skills needed to be a detective Batman finally put the man’s dreams of being a detective to rest.

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.

Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Oct

World’s Finest 66

Superman

Clark gets the goods on a major criminal, King Sapphire. When he reaches the apartment of the man however, he has vanished. But there was a card on the floor, calling Sapphire to a meeting with a man called ‘the Mask’. In order to catch more crooks Superman decides to take Sapphire’s place for this meeting. He and a couple of other crooks are there and they are each given a task. Superman is asked to build his strength, while the others work on a radio and with blasting powder. Because the Mask keeps mentioning further plans Clark goes along with the bank robbery that was planned. But he is stopped by the cops and his suit torn, revealing the blue costume underneath.

He tries to explain to the judge, and as he is Superman he is let off, but he cannot find the real Sapphire to prove his innocence. Soon a vast a majority of the population was doubting Superman, thinking that maybe he really was a criminal, and his previous captures were just to bolster Sapphire. Finally Clark ‘admits’ he is Sapphire and gathers a gang of his own, as he wants to catch them. The only one who doesn’t come is the Mask… Quickly he pieces together that the Mask is Sapphire and brings him in, saving his reputation in the process.

Green Arrow

This one cheats a bit about the archers never using guns. I’m not actually sure that they didn’t break it. I’ll let you decide. See Roy and Ollie were at sea, and their ship got attacked by pirates. We didn’t see much of the fight as Oliver was knocked out in the first minute, so I don’t know if they got away with anything. The thing is he was knocked out from behind, before he even drew his bow. Whatever, later they land and he and Roy are talking about all the things they’re gonna see and do. But they come across a group of men who were being attacked by raiders, who were also the pirates from earlier. They run in to help and chase the bandits off.

The men they fought with were members of the foreign legion, sent to take down the bandits, but they had been separated from their regiment by a sandstorm. Then they had been sabotaged, and had no ammunition, so their job looked hopeless. GA and Roy quickly make them bows and arrows at the oasis, and taught the men how to use them. Then they charged they hideout of the pirates. They fought valiantly, taking out cannons with their arrows, but a small accident left them with their bows incapacitated. So GA took one of the guns and used it to shoot his flaming arrow into the powder room. It probably killed several of the pirates… And it’s never found out who sabotaged the group, or hit Ollie before the battle started.

Tomahawk

The British capture a coastal town and force the men to work at making them new ships. It is no coincidence that the American’s best sea fighter came from that town, and that he was heading that way. Tom and Dan stepped in to free the town, but after they take down the leader back up comes, and he adds the frontiers men to his group of workers. It seemed hopeless to fight back. Even the man who fought back the hardest ended up offering to make them fine figureheads. Of course Tom and Dan were given the dangerous task of hitching the figureheads up. Once the ships left for battle though they were soon given away, as the figureheads called out warnings to the approaching Americans. Then using the surprise our heroes leap from their hiding places and team up to take down the enemy ships.

Batman

In this last story of the month a dangerous criminal was diagnosed with a rare heart disorder. Only four others in Gotham have it. Well obviously the crook cannot tell the doctor what he does, and so gets a list of restrictions that don’t really apply to him. A story in the newspaper gives him the idea that he should use the other men with the condition to see what he can and can’t do. Luckily for those men, Bruce’s name had been put in the folder by mistake, and so Batman knew about the kidnappings at once.

But Bruce couldn’t just sneak out the prisoners, as there was another hostage at a different location. He secretly contacted Robin, and put him on finding the woman. Meanwhile Batman had to keep the other men safe. He did this by slightly sabotaging each test, first turning off the power so the elevator wouldn’t work, and they didn’t want to walk 50 flights of stairs. Then he secretly took the place of the man sent underwater and cut the rope on barnacles. Finally he turned on the sprinkler system so there was no way the man could climb a slippery surface.

Seeing how everything went wrong the man figured someone was behind it, and so tried to flee. But he put too much faith in his human guinea pigs, and thinking he could swim because Bruce had done so, he tried to swim to his boat and perished.