Posts tagged ‘Inspector Donald and Bobby’

Action 4 – Superman plays football, Tex Thompson and the Gorrah spirits, and Inspector Donald and Bobby ends

There’s a Mountie on the cover of Action 4 (Sept.38), so that must mean all the stories inside take place in Canada.  Or at least one takes place in Canada.  Or a Mountie is on vacation in the US?  Nope.  Just a Mountie on the cover.


Once again, Superman is not in his costume for the bulk of the story, by Siegel and Shuster.  He is at the beginning, as he prevents a train crash.


Superman overhears a football coach hire professional thugs as ringers for a big game.  But he does not use his super-hearing for this.  That is still in the future.  Superman ducks down behind a couch to listen in.  He decides the best course of action is to take the place of one of the players on the opposing team, and take down the thugs during the game itself.  Instead of just standing up and stopping them immediately after hearing their plan.


So Superman disguises himself as one of the players, drugging him and keeping him sedated in his room for “a few days.”  Wow.


He plays exceptionally well, better than the person he is pretending to be, and his actions win the love of a girl the player liked.  Superman takes down the thugs, and exposes the coach, but not as himself.


At the last minute, he switches places with the real player, who fumbles and gets mercilessly tackled.  But his new girlfriend demands he give up the game, and the fakery never gets known.

The embrace in the final panel is so very very similar to Bart and Sally’s embrace in the final panel in most of the first 24 installments of Spy.


Tex Thompson and Bob Daley finish their first story arc with the Gorrahs in this issue, by Bernard Bailey.


Although the fake Gorrah is supposedly dead, and the real Gorrah on the throne again, there are enough people confused about this that chaos is breaking out.  Tex basically wins by scaring the crap out of everyone, telling them to shut up and obey the guy on the throne.  He does this by pretending to be a Gorrah spirit, which not only looks nothing like either Gorrah, but just really goofy in and of itself.

Of all the Gorrahs in this storyline, only the fake, dead one would return repeatedly.  So who’s the real Gorrah, when it comes right down to it?


Inspector Donald and Bobby have their second and final outing in this issue.  A mob is running a protection scam, and the police apparently know nothing about this.  Bobby informs his father, after hearing about it from one of his friends.


Bobby thinks the shop owners should stand up for themselves.  Since they will not, he writes a letter, claiming to represent a union of the shop keepers.  This gets interpreted to mean one of the mob is out to take over from the big guy, and turns into a huge shoot out.  Inspector Donald shows up after most of the mob is dead, with his son in tow, and the boy winds up in the middle of a shoot out in the street.


The story ends with the father gently suggesting that Bobby should not have written the letter, but certain that everything will be fine.  Because the mob has no connections, and is not known to take any sort of reprisals after many of their members have been killed.

Inspector Donald and Bobby never appear again.  Their bodies remain undiscovered to this day.


Action 2 – Superman stops a war, Tex Thompson gets a friend, Inspector Donald and Bobby debuts, and Zatara grows a moustache


The degree to which DC was uncertain about Superman is reflected in the covers of this, and the next few issues of Action.  Despite appearing on the cover of the first issue, Superman was not featured, or mentioned on the cover of Action 2 (July 1938), which went for a generic image, not tied to any story.


Superman’s tale, by Siegel and Shuster, continues with Superman terrorizing the pro-war lobbyist.  His inability to fly is conveyed by his landing, which sends pavement flying in every direction.  There is no control to this landing at all.


Clark Kent and Lois Lane both sail to Europe to report on a war brewing between two (fictional) countries.  They arrive in San Mateo, after spies push Superman overboard, and he swims the rest of the way. Superman forces the man who had him tossed overboard to join the army, and then joins as well, to make sure he suffers through the life of a soldier in combat.


Clark sends his report back – but not to the Daily Star!  For this story only, Clark seems to be working for the Evening News, in Cleveland.


Lois Lane’s investigation of the munitions manufacturers promoting the war gets her arrested as a spy, and once again Superman swoops in to save her.


Tex Thompson returns, by Bernard Bailey, without his stetson, but with a new sidekick, Bob Daley.


They are hunting for the legendary “sealed city,”buried by a volcano, and manage to find it fairly quickly.  It is a ruled by the One-Eyed Gorrah, but there is also the “real”Gorrah, who he has overthrown.


Although Bob Daley is short, fat, bald and wears glasses, he is not overtly played for comic relief, as are many of the sidekicks in these days.

The story continues in the next issue.


Inspector Donald and Bobby begins in this issue.  This series would only appear in two, non-consecutive, issues of Action Comics.  Bobby is the son of Inspector Donald, who is in deep trouble with his superiors as the story begins, having been framed.


Bobby shows himself to be resourceful and fearless, helping his father fight the bad guys and clear his name.


Zatara gains a pencil moustache in his second outing, by Fred Guardineer.  This makes him all but identical in appearance to Mandrake.


Still, it’s a fun story, as hoods try to get a woman to sell her farm, making her think that it is haunted.  Zatara shows the men what real magic is, though it’s Tong, who disguises himself as a ghost, that really scares them away.

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