Action 40 – Superman digs a ditch, Pep Morgan looks for work, the Black Pirate duels, and a preview of the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey
Interesting markings on the tank on the cover of Action 40 (Sept. 41). They’re just crosses, but somehow manage to convey another symbol quite effectively.
Jerry Siegel and John Sikela contribute this little story, in which a millionaire enlists Superman’s help in reforming his party animal daughter. Lois has a small role, trying to lay in wait for Superman and find out what the secret meeting is all about. But she gets Clark to go with her, scuppering her own plans.
The story is pleasantly diverting, but with little to it. The girl appears to be a spoiled brat. Superman prevents a crooked casino from taking her money, and stops her from eloping with a young wastrel.
Towards the end of the story a dam bursts, for no particular reason. The girl winds up helping the victims of the flood, which makes her re-evaluate her life.
Pep Morgan is out of school, and looking for work, in this George Papp story. The text tells us that this is summer vacation, but Pep must have already had seven or eight summer vacations during his run. How many years has he spent in college?
Pep winds up taking another bodyguard job, this time for Don Alvera, from the South American country of Chileanos, who has come to the US to sell diamonds on behalf of the government. Impressed with Pep, Don Alvera beings him back to Chileanos, just in time for Pep to rescue the president of the country from being kidnapped.
Moldoff wraps up the Don De Avila storyline in this issue. Jon Valor waits until De Avila’s men have gone out hunting for him, then sneaks back into the castle and confronts his traitorous former friend.
They duel, though you get the feeling De Avila has given up before the swords are even raised. And he dies. The Black Pirate then frees Bonnie from the cell she had been imprisoned in.
This issue also includes a three page preview of the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, shortly to headline the forthcoming Star-Spangled Comics. The pair were created by Superman scribe Jerry Siegel (which explains why the preview was in this book), and Howard Sherman. This marks their debut, although they don’t do much other than introduce themselves, both in their heroic identities, and out of them, as wealthy young Sylvester Pemberton, and his chauffeur Pat Dugan. Neither had any powers. The unique thing about this team is that the boy was main hero, and the adult the sidekick.