Posts tagged ‘Police Chief Burke’

Action 9 – Superman hunted, Scoop has a plan, and Zatara and the Tigress in Tibet

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Still no appearance of Superman on the cover of Action 9 (Feb. 39), but he does get mentioned, in red yet!  I would like to say that the cover depicts the Pep Morgan story in this issue, but it doesn’t.  Pep is racing sleds on ice.

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Siegel and Shuster continue the Superman story from last issue, although in a sort of weird way.  Police Chief Burke returns, but now he is completely against Superman. He brings in a detective, Captain Reilly, to track him down and catch him.  Reilly in turn offers a huge reward for information.

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Clark Kent asks Lois Lane for a date, and she rejects him, professing her love for Superman.  Clark has to leave the room before he laughs in her face.

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A man sees Superman change out of his clothes, which he leaves in a heap in an alley.  He tells Reilly, but gets no reward from him.  He decides to stake out the clothes himself, and he and Reilly spend so much time fighting with each other than this miss Superman retrieving Clark’s garb.  They almost track him again, through an invitation that was in Clark’s jacket, but again their rivalry gets him off the hook.

Captain Reilly is sent home in disgrace, and I expect Burke is forced out as well, as he never appears again.

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Scoop Scalon begins a four part story in this issue, his longest tale.  Scoop and Rusty come across the victim of a mob killing, after seeing two goons they recognized, Mace and Stoop, leaving an alley.

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Scoop decides to go undercover and join the Larrowman gang to catch the killers, rather than just writing a story about them, and Rusty tags along.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Zatara winds up in Tibet in this story, by Fred Guardineer, where he matches wits with a Lama with magical powers, who intends to take over the world.

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His plane crashes, but Zatara demonstrates a sort of long rage vision power, finding the nearest habitation.  He and Tong then fly there!  Presumably Zatara is making both of them able to fly.  Considering that he can do this, you have to wonder why he doesn’t do it more often.

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The Lama is having a big dinner party that night, for his lieutenants, who will work to help him conquer the world, in exchange for his vast wealth.  Among them is the Tigress.  Zatara casts a spell on Tong and himself, so that she will not recognize them, although it does not affect their appearance, only her memory.  So it’s kind of odd that the spell was not cast on her.

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Once the Tigress realizes how dangerous the Lama is, she joins Zatara’s side, again.  He destroys the Lama’s treasure, and restores the Tigress’ memory.

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Zatara’s battle with the Lama results in the villain’s death. The Lama evens begs for mercy, but Zatara still kills him. Zatara has no problems with this.  I guess not, considering he was fine with an entire town being wiped out a few issues ago.  He really mellowed with age.

Action 8 – faster than a speeding bullet, and Scoop Scanlon vs marihuana growers

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The two men are clearly fighting over which one gets to read Action 8 (Jan. 39) first.  While they’re distracted, grab the comic and read it yourself!

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Siegel and Shuster return to social commentary with this issue’s Superman story, which deals with delinquent youth.

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The kids are being used by adult gang members, more than willing to sacrifice them when things get hot.  Superman has no patience for the bad guys, but a lot for the kids.

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Protecting the boys from the murderous mobsters, Superman illustrates the saying “faster than a speeding bullet.”

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He attempts to scare the kids straight, taking them on one of his dangerous leaping excursions, but the boys enjoy it instead of being frightened.  So he does the reasonable thing, and destroys their homes.

What?

OK, it’s not entirely as insane as it sounds.  He sees news coverage of the government building new housing after a hurricane.  He blames slum life for the problems the kids have, and figures that if he destroys their buildings, the government will build them new ones.

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It works, I guess, but only after the army sends out planes to bomb Superman, and destroy even more of the slum.

And while his intention is good, it completely fails to address the poverty the boys live in.  And the fact that Superman would also have destroyed everyone’s furniture, clothing, mementos and such.

Oh, the final panel introduces Police Chief Burke, who will appear again, but never quite become a regular supporting cast member.

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A tip from federal agents sends Scoop, and his photographer Rusty, right into the hands of marihuana growers in this story.

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It’s always a bit of a surprise when these old stories mention the drug, which they insist on spelling with an h instead of a j.  But this issue pre-dates the Comics Code, when such things got banned.

Scoop and Rusty have their car shot at, but that doesn’t bother them much.  Scoop is eager to join in the gun play, as usual, and takes down the farmers before writing his story.

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