A kind of lower key cover for Action 22 (March 1940), considering that Superman’s story in this issue puts him in the middle of a war.
Siegel, Shuster and Cassidy acknowledge that a war has broken out in Europe, as George Taylor, looking like he has some grey hair now, sends Lois and Clark across the ocean to report on the war for the Daily Star. Oddly, rather than deal with the real war, this story is about a war between Toran and Galonia, neither of which is made to seem like any specific, actual nation.
Shipboard, Lois and Clark see the famous “foreign” actress Lita Laverne. The second of the L.L.s in Superman, but the first indication that this might become a theme. Lita Laverne plays hot and cold with Clark, but does invite him and Lois to a party once they land.
It doesn’t take Clark very long to realize that Lita is a spy, and her party is simply a way for her to pump the guests for information.
Clark spends the rest of the story trying to enforce neutrality. He brings down a couple of bombers, and stop a submarine from torpedoing a ship. As he does this, he demonstrates another super-power. The ability to talk while underwater. There is no one for him to be talking to, but perhaps he is just testing this ability out for his own edification.
Lita Laverne gets exposed as a spy, and arrested. She never appears again. Firing squad for sure.
The story continues in the next issue.
Chuck Dawson’s bland western series comes to a bland finale in this issue. Chuck is still wearing that same red plaid shirt he has been wearing since his strip began. It must smell awful.
Instead, in his final outing, Chuck yet again comes across a dead body and is accused of the murder. The last time this happened (it happened a lot) Chuck simply proved himself innocent, and couldn’t be bothered to actually solve the crime. This time he actually tracks down and apprehends the killer, a hired gun working for the foreman of the Slash D Ranch, who killed the fiancee of Miss Parsons, the ranch’s owner, in hopes of marrying her and taking over the ranch.
I think poor hapless Chuck wound up sticking around after this case. Miss Parsons was now desperately in need of a ranch foreman and a boyfriend. I could have Chuck just continue wandering aimlessly, finding dead bodies left right and centre and always being accused of murder, but I would rather have him just settle down. Maybe Miss Parsons not only washed his shirt, she even bought him a new one!
The Tigress returns in this issue’s Zatara story, by Fred Guardineer.
She is working for a man called The Mask. When not wearing his head covering, he impersonates other people. In this case, a bank manager the Tigress was supposed to kill. Zatara saved the man’s life, ruining their plot, though the bad guys do not realize this at first.
The Mask is not, as one might think, some sort of disguise artist, or even shape changer. He is a man willing to undergo repeated surgeries to alter his face, for the impersonations.
The Mask has himself operated on again, to impersonate Zatara, and tests it on the Tigress.
Later, Zatara will turn the tables, pretending to be the Mask, and getting his plans out of the Tigress. During this sequence, the Tigress admits that she is now broke. In one year she somehow squandered her entire share of Genghis Khan’s treasure.
Zatara uses his magic to give the mask a horrendous, dog-like face that no surgery will remove. He lets the Tigress go, on her promise to leave the country and never return.
The Tigress returns next issue.