Action Comics 189
Superman “Clark Kent’s New Mother and Father”
Superman is out flying around and he sees a cruise-liner that is on fire. Before he swoops down to help he notes that Lois Lane somehow found out before him and was on a small boat next to the liner. He dunks the liner, and decides to do something about Lois’s scoop crazy stunts. So he goes to Perry and requests that she be given less dangerous assignments.
So her next task is to interview the Vanderviers about their missing son. Their son was a pilot who happened to be the spitting image of Clark (another one, what are the odds.) Due to the fact Clark is an orphan, the elderly couple wish to adopt him. At first Clark was going to refuse but once hearing that any great disappointment or shock would finish Mrs Vandervier Clark agrees. He then reminds us that this is his third set of parents, which makes him seem rather unlucky to me.
Clark then moves in with the Vanderviers which strikes me as odd. I know a bunch of people live with their parents for a multitude of reasons (working to get out of debt, or to look after them to name a few) but Clark doesn’t even question it. The Vanderviers then find out about Clark’s timid facade and tell him their son is brave, and they are sure he’s just like him. Lois doesn’t want them to be disappointed so she tells them that Clark takes great risks as a newspaper man (god does Lois look pretty in this panel. Actually I really like the art in this story.) He asks Lois why she did that and she just tells him to chill, that she would ask Superman to watch over him.
So he changes clothes and lets her ask him to guard himself. And so Clark begins to ask for the most dangerous jobs. He begins to act a bit cocky, and Lois is not pleased. Clark records a confession of his identity to his parents, and when hearing about a robbery on the radio he plans to face them as Clark to help Lois’s story. He walks in to their midst and becomes a hostage. Clark ‘passes out’ and he switches places with a dummy when the robber’s backs are turned.
He shakes the building to make the robbers flee, and Lois sends the pictures to Clark’s new home (instead of destroying them like she had all the the others. Even if she was mad and wanted to expose him, Superman saves people, the picture wouldn’t prove anything). Thinking the envelope was for them, Clark’s new parents open it and are shocked and hurt he has lied to them. He resolves to just tell them he’s Superman. He overhears them talking though, and Mr. Vandervier says their own son was too brave, and will stand by Clark. He also mentions how the son went missing, and so Clark went to look for him.
Through a method that really wouldn’t work Clark finds the real son. He retrieves the tape he made and then gets unadopted I guess? Is that even possible?
Congo Bill “The Mail Order Hunter”
Congo Bill is asked to a camp run by a friend of his because he wants Bill to go along on a safari that his son is going on. The father wants him to go into business with him, but the son (Dick) has taken a mail course on big game hunting and is too stubborn (and stupid) to realize he is not an expert. The man asks Bill to please protect his son.
Things go well at first, with Dick listening as Bill explains how he can tell elephants had been in the area. But the boy refuses to move when a killer elephant appears, and he tries to take it out with an entirely too small gun. But to everyone’s wonder Dick actually takes out the beast with a single shot. Even cockier now Bill refuses to let Dick take a shot at an approaching lion, as he knows how dangerous it’ll be is he misses. Like Bill does five seconds later. Dick makes the feline flee by hitting it with a rock though, and like that the dynamic of the group changes.
Next the come across a river full of crocs and a rhino. Bill steps into the spotlight here as the weapons the team has could not breach the protection of the rhino’s skull, and he is able to teach the others to zigzag to avoid the powerful horns. Dick falls though, but as he yells at it the rhino runs away. Now thinking big game hunting dull Dick decides to return to business, and Bill explains how he made the truly dangerous sport seem harmless. He shot the elephant at the same time as Dick, and another member of the party had brought a zebra close enough that the lion went for it instead. The rhino left because it was scared by the flashlight shone in it’s eyes.
Tommy Tomorrow “The Forbidden World”
A scientist has created a few powerful devices he says will help rid the universe of crime much faster. The leader of the planeteers plans to test them in the hands of the accomplished Tommy Tomorrow. Because the devices are secret Tommy heads to the forbidden world to test them safely in that area. On their way (shit I forgot Tommy’s friend’s name again… oh well) they come across a small ship in the restricted area and warn them off. The ship claims they are space prospectors who lost their way and will leave at once.
On the “prospectors” ship one of the others is warning the pilot that the warning systems on the forbidden planet will alert anyone of their approach. But the pilot has a plan. He sends out radio signals to the Forbidden planet, telling them they have been shipwrecked (space shipwrecked). In the smaller ‘life boat’ they are allowed to land on the planet. They say that they are going to get the powerful weapon that is on the planet and as soon as they land the shoot the planeteers who are there. One of the planeteers gets a warning off before he is shot down, and the leader shows his gang to the asteroid destroying machine that they came here for.
Meanwhile Tommy has hear the warning, and he and a bunch of other planeteers race to stop the murderers. But when the ships arrive the criminals already have full control of the machine, and Tommy orders a retreat so they aren’t blown to bits. Leaving the rest of the planeteers behind Tommy and Captain Wood, take the Space Ace in alone. They turn on the camouflage device they had been sent to test (it makes them look like a comet on the radar). Once they get closer they switch to looking like a ringed asteroid. Then they are able to turn invisible for just enough time to land.
The radar still picked them up though, and they had to land quite a distance from the lab to aviod the bolt shot at them. Still Tommy doesn’t give up and he attaches another one of the new devices and the two drill into the world. Now close enough they activate a giant magnet and pull the whole tower where the asteroid destroying machine is into the air. Then they skip forward to Tommy talking to his commander, telling him everything is now safe, and the new devices have been put in a safe place to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Vigilante “The One-Armed Bandit”
Vig and Stuff ride into town, having tracked the villainous One-Armed Bandit there. But we only see that for a single panel before we jump over to the man in question. He has been cornered by the sheriff, who tells him to raise his hand, but when the Bandit does so I’m sure the sheriff regrets it a tad as he is shot down. We should note he has two arms, one is just tucked against his body like it is hurt. Vig appears then and while he would like to go after him, he has to stop, or run over the sheriff and the other injured with his motorcycle.
While helping one of the men to his feet he mentions that he should have shot the Bandit when he had a chance a year before. It turns out he was the one to teach the Bandit his current skills. His real name is Sam, and he had been a horse riding accident which caused the injury to his arm. He was too stubborn to go to the hospital even though his arm may not be a lost cause, and the old man helped him adjust to it’s loss. Hearing the story Vig and Stuff head out to find him, but there are no tracks and Sam is smart enough to not start a fire. While searching they talk about the guys low tactics where he goes after folks who haven’t heard of him and so think him harmless. When they hesitate to strike a handicapped person he kills them.
Since they couldn’t find Sam Greg writes a song making fun of of the Bandit, and telling saying that Vigilante will take him down. Having heard of this song Sam goes to one of Greg’s concerts and tries to shoot him. Neatly ducking backstage (though being grazed on one arm) he changes clothes and jumps on his bike to follow the gunman. He jumps off the vehicle to attack, and while Sam’s companion gets Vig at gun point Stuff has him in the same situation. So to break the standoff a one armed Vig must fight the On-Armed Bandit. The fist fight begins and Vig has him on the ropes til Sam brings his other arm into play. But our boy is able to bring him down, and Sam goes to prison.