Action 41 – Superman and the saboteur, Pep Morgan ends, the Black Pirate chooses to forget, and Congo Bill battles for loyalty
Very nice cover for Action 41 (Oct. 41). I like the puff of steam at the side of the train, helps convey forward motion. I can’t draw for the life of me, and spotting those kind of “tricks” always impresses me.
Jerry Siegel and Paul Cassidy turn out another story about foreign saboteurs in this issue. The politics and motivation of those behind it are kept muddy, though.
Sergeant Casey is featured again. He is no longer hunting Superman, and they are buddies again. Casey tracks down the man who planted the bomb which began the tale, and Superman winds up having to protect him, while tracking down his boss, who is trying to have him killed.
Lois Lane gets captured, and must be saved, but the whole sequence is so quick it seems almost jammed in because it “had” to be there.
Pep Morgan’s series comes to a close with this issue, which follows from the previous story. Don Alvera brings him to his ranch in the country, where Pep is pitted against the local bandit king, Tuerto, whom he kills. Don Alvera seems to actively be trying to set up Pep with his daughter, though Pep’s first comments to her are about her father’s wealth.
The last we see of Pep he is embracing the prone Juanita, as her father Don Alversa looks on approvingly. After his failed gay relationship, his failed professional baseball career, and his many failed attempts at college, Pep settles down in Chileanos, becoming the muscle behind the powers the run the country. And after marrying Juanita, and becoming heir to Don Alvera, Pep was sure to rule like a warlord.
I imagine, in the end, Pep was unable to accept the frailties of age, and attempted some fight or daring act when his body was no longer capable of it, and died stupidly.
The Black Pirate is given a one-issue tale by Moldoff in this issue, which seems derived from Haggard’s novel She.
Jon docks the ship, and goes ashore, discovering an albino “goddess,” and her giant black slave. He doesn’t have time to do much more than break a jar and run back to his ship. He decides to forget about the adventure, and never tell anyone about it. If it wasn’t for Moldoff’s art, I probably would have forgotten about it, too.
I probably should have written about Congo Bill’s adventure in the previous issue, as it introduced Sheila Hanlen, who continues as a supporting character. The story was a silly one, though, about finding a valley of dinosaurs. I guarantee it is not going to be the only story in which Congo Bill finds dinosaurs, and I’m sure there are better versions than the one by Fred Ray. But Sheila is back in this story anyway, which deals with World War 2 again.
Congo Bill and Professor Kent, along with Sheila, return to a British fort, and discover that a German agent is trying to rouse the natives against the British. Bill goes out to fight the man, as apparently the natives will follow whoever wins. It’s kind of insulting, really, and ignores the huge reasons the Africans had for not siding with their alien overlords.