Jerry Siegel and John Sikela put Hocus and Pocus centre stage in Action 97 (June 1946).
Perry White assigns Clark to do a story on a Magician’s Convention, which seems kind of tame. But he does order Clark to find a better story there than any other paper. Hocus and Pocus also plan to attend, and Superman decides to once again make their magic come true.
Fortunately for Clark, there seem to be a lot of criminal magicians attending the convention, competing for the grand prize. He flies around at super-speed, making the spells of Hocus and Pocus come true as they round up their evil rivals.
Superman’s activities ensure that Hocus and Pocus win the big prize, which they then donate to charity. And as before, they remain completely ignorant of the fact that they do not have powers.
But you do have to feel sorry for the other, honest, magicians who lost out to them.
John Sikela brings Hocus and Pocus back for their second adventure with Superman, in Action 88 (Sept. 45).
Their detective agency has not been very successful, but they also have not, apparently, tried using their magic, as Hocus and Pocus still believe they have the powers. A man hires them to entertain at a party, and they accept. Superman decides to help them, as they are planning to spend the money they make on war bonds. I wonder how they are affording food and shelter.
At the party, a con man enlists their help in extorting contributions for a phoney youth centre. Superman continues to help them, putting their victims in deadly and terrifying situations. They gladly fork over huge sums to end the torment.
At the end, Superman exposes the con man, so the money really does get used for building the youth centre. But you can’t help but feel something is wrong. Superman willingly tortured those people, even if he was only fulfilling the “magic spells” of Hocus and Pocus. And this time Superman doesn’t even try to convince the two that they have no magic.
Hocus and Pocus return in the following year.
Siegel and Shuster are credited with the Superman story in Action 81 (April 1945), the first story by them in this book for quite a while. If the credit is correct.
The story introduces Hocus and Pocus, a pair of wanna-be magicians. A few random coincidences convince them that they really have acquired magical powers, but also draw Superman’s attention.
Hocus and Pocus wind up joining up with a gang of thieves, wanting to pull off one robbery for the thrill of it, and believing that they could use their magic to return the money afterwards. Superman winds up helping them along, sometimes unintentionally, as he pursues the actual thieves.
At no point during the course of the tale do Hocus and Pocus figure out that they do not actually have powers, and decide to open up a detective agency, to make a profit off of them. Superman attempts to set them straight, but they simply don’t listen.
Hocus and Pocus would return a few months down the road, and be frequent supporting characters over the next couple of years.