Superman gets his second cover, in Action 7 (Dec. 39). It does not reflect the story in the issue, but it does somewhat resemble the opening scenes from the Superman story in issue 2.
Siegel and Shuster introduce another employee of the Daily Star, Curly. He is a prankster, and Clark Kent is the butt of his jokes. George Taylor tells Curly to lay off of Clark, and as editor, should have the power to stop, or fire, him. But when Curly makes Clark look foolish, Taylor just stands aside watching, with Lois and the rest.
Taylor sends Clark out to do a story on a circus that is failing. Because it is an amazingly slow news day. Not wanting to write a sad tale of bankruptcy, Clark gets into costume and joins the circus as its headliner.
This story is referenced, many years down the road, in the Time and Time Again story arc, which also sees Superman work as a circus strongman during the Depression. And the panel of him lifting an elephant will be duplicated on a cover of Action in 1989.
Once again, the action only kicks in on the last few pages, as Clark stops a rival from sabotaging the circus.
The story ends as Clark uses his powers to give Curly his comeuppance. Curly is never seen again, but in the 70s, Steve Lombard would be introduced, a very similar character, almost certainly inspired by Curly.
Gamblers once again prove a problem for Pep Morgan. This time he is playing football. Few stories mention a location, but this is one of those few, setting Pep’s activities in Ardale.
Despite getting kidnapped and drugged, Pep escapes and makes it back to the field in time to score the winning goal.
Bernard Bailey concludes Tex Thompson’s battle with Captain Diablo in this issue.
Bob Daley has been hunting for Tex since he disappeared. His identification backs up Tex’s story, and he is released from prison.
Tex joins the army of the foreign nation that Diablo is pestering. I don’t understand the logic behind this. It’s a “temporary” enlistment, lasting only the duration of this tale.
There isn’t as much confusion of identity in this one, which is unfortunate, especially when Tex and Diablo have their final battle.