Posts tagged ‘Tex Thompson’

Action 43 – Superman and the plane crashes, Vigilante meets Billy Gunn, and Mr America fights giant puppets

act_43

Superman fights the Nazis on the cover of Action 43 (Dec. 41).  And though one might associate the cover date with the US entry into the war,in fact this book was printed and on sale in mid-October of the year.

act_43_001

The Superman story in this issue, by Jerry Siegel, Leo Nowak and Ed Dobrotka, is average.  Lois Lane is sent out to write a story about an airline whose planes keep crashing.  Superman follows, to rescue her periodically.

act_43_002

He gets into his Clark Kent clothes, claiming to have followed her.  This happens largely so that they can be captured and bound together, to make it difficult for Superman to get away.  But the scene ends in a lame cop-out, as Lois knocks herself out, banging her head while trying to escape.

act_43_003

The Vigilante story, by Mort and Mort (Weisinger and Meskin) is much more fun.  It introduces a villain, the Shade, who is not the same as the later, and more famous, Flash villain.  He does spend most of his time in the dark, and seems to have the power to disappear.

act_43_004

The Shade is pursuing an old man, Billy Gunn, although Gunn has no idea who the Shade is, or why he is after him.

act_43_005

Billy Gunn mets Greg Sanders while appearing on a gong show that he is hosting.  Gunn gets gonged fast, and Greg feels sorry for him.  That woman next to him is Betty Stuart, Greg’s girlfriend, who was actually introduced in his first story, but I forgot about her.

act_43_006

Although Billy Gunn dresses and talks like a cowboy, he is an easterner, who just admires the west.  Still, when Vigilante gets captured by the Shade, it’s Billy who comes to his rescue, and sticks around, becoming his sidekick.

Billy had inherited a mine, and the Shade had been out to kill him and get it.

The Shade returns in the next issue.

act_43_007

Mr. America and Fat Man fight giant puppets in this story by Fitch and Baily.  It’s actually quite a bit better than the previous sentence would imply.

act_43_008

Bob learn that Tex knows his identity in this story.  Which is good, because Tex is not a total idiot.  It is also the final appearance of the flying cape.  Tex uses it to escape from German agents who have been sabotaging factories, making it fly while it is still around his neck.  Although he does get away, I think it likely caused some major neck strain, probably why he retired it.

 

Action 42 – Superman and the city in the sky, the Vigilante debuts, the Black Pirate ends, and Fat Man joins Mr America

act_42

A fairly generic Superman cover for Action 42 (Nov. 41).

act_42_001

Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak provide a very non-generic story for Superman on the inside.  A number of prominent men go missing in Metropolis, which Clark covers for the Daily Planet.

act_42_002

Perry White approves of the series, and Jimmy Olsen makes a small cameo.  Superman has some theories as to who is behind the kidnappings, but the trail keeps ending when his suspects keep getting killed by beams coming down from the sky.  Sergeant Casey is also on the case, with no idea what is going on.

act_42_003

Things only start to move towards an explanation when Clark Kent gets grabbed, and taken up to a city floating high in the stratosphere, ruled by an alien, Zytal.  Clark’s articles made him worthy of being collected. Zytal’s intention of collecting people from different worlds in a search for knowledge vaguely resembles Brainiac’s motivation, many years down the road.

act_42_004

But Zytal is really Luthor in disguise.  He manages to use electricity to not only paralyze Superman, but also put him under Luthor’s mental control for a while.  This is when he puts Lois in danger.  Cause Lois always has to be in danger at some point in the tale.  Superman breaks free, and rescues the people from the city, although Luthor seemingly jumps to his death.

act_42_005

Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin introduce a really successful blend of the western and superhero genres in this issue, with the Vigilante.  A modern day cowboy who fights crime in the big city, his first case centres on a supposedly executed felon, whose death was faked.

act_42_006

Vigilante’s origin is covered briefly.  Greg Sanders was the soon of a sheriff, who taught him gunslinging and gave him his taste for justice.  After his father was murdered, Greg adopted the guise of the masked Vigilante.  In his everyday life, he is a country music singer.

act_42_007

Meskin’s art is extremely dynamic, and the story is fun to read.

act_42_008

Sheldon Moldoff ends the Black Pirate’s run in Action with a really quick, but mediocre tale.

act_42_009

Jon spots a man adrift, and takes him on board, though Bonnie harbours doubts about him.  Once again, Bonnie is dead on, as the man is working with others to take over Valor’s ship.  The Black Pirate defeats him. From here, the series moves over to join the starting line-up on the new Sensation Comics.

act_42_010

Sidekicks are popular, right?  So the Mr America series could only be improved by introducing a sidekick, right?

act_42_011

In this story, by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily,  Bob Daley decides to take on a masked identity of his own.  He puts on long red underwear and a lampshade on his head, and armed with a broom and a squirt gun of ink, takes to the streets as Fat Man.

act_42_012

Tex has no idea of Fat Man’s identity at first, he has been busy in his secret cabin/laboratory in the woods making his cape function as a flying carpet.  Together they face the Queen Bee, the first of many DC villainesses to use that name.  The Queen Bee returns later in the run.  So does Fat Man.  Sadly.

Action 38 – Superman gets arrested, Pep Morgan hunts down kidnappers, the Black Pirate runs into an old friend, the Three Aces loot Atlantis, and Mr America vs the Gorrah

act_38

Lots of stories to talk about in Action 38 (July 1941), so I’m not even going to banter about the cover.

act_38_001

Jerry Siegel, Leo Nowak and Ed Dobrotka dish out a Superman story that gives Sergeant Casey a run for his money.

act_38_002

People are committing crimes with no memory of having done so.  The police are run ragged, and have no idea what is behind the rash of thefts.  Sergeant Casey and Lois Lane get locked in a bank vault, and though Superman rescues them, his presence at so many crimes scenes prompts Casey to arrest him – or at least try to.

act_38_003

Superman gets away, but then Casey decides that Clark Kent must be behind it, following similar reasoning.  Although not named, Jimmy Olsen cameos in one panel, looking more like himself.

Both as Clark and Superman, our hero must evade the police, until he figures out that the man behind it all is using radio waves to take over people’s minds.

act_38_004

George Papp puts Pep Morgan through the ringer in this story, when Slim gets kidnapped. His wealthy uncle whines about not having the cash on hand to pay the ransom, so Pep decides to fake out the kidnappers and rescue his friend himself.

act_38_005

Pep succeeds, and is reunited with Slim. The final panel shows them back in their college dorm, happily bantering.  Aww.

act_38_006

After skipping last issue (because of a boring Atlantic crossing), Jon Valor lands to rest and restock before continuing on to Barcelona.  Docked alongside him is the ship of Don De Avila, an old friend of the Black Pirate, who has fallen out of favour with the crown.

act_38_007

Don and Jon are happy to run into each other, and De Avila invites his friend to a banquet that night. Bonnie has misgivings, fearing that De Avila intends to imprison the Black Pirate, and turn him over for the reward, but Jon trusts in his friend.

He shouldn’t.

Nicely ominous ending, the walls of the castle.  The story continues in the next issue.

act_38_008

The Three Aces continue their trip into Atlantis in this story.

act_38_009

It reminds me a bit of Jack and the Beanstalk. Our heroes steal radium from the underground city, attack its leaders and leave the palace in ruins.  Hurrah!  Some triumph.

act_38_010

Although the Mr America series pits Tex largely against spies and saboteurs right now, the Gorrah makes his final appearance in this issue, working with Nazi agents, in this story by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily. The Gorrah betrays them in the end, preferring to pursue his goal of vengeance over their plot against the army.

act_38_011

At first Gorrah believes Tex to have died, and is out to kill Bob, but he learns the truth, and the identity of Mr. America, just before perishing in the explosion intended for a educator’s convention.  It’s really odd to see the one-eyed character dressed in an ordinary suit.

Action 33 – Clark Kent becomes a lumberjack, Black Pirate has a drink, and Tex Thompson becomes Mr. America

act_33

The growing boom of super-heroes hits Action Comics with issue 33 (Feb. 41), as Superman is no longer the only masked hero in the book.

act_33_001

Siegel and Burnley open the issue with a story about a lumber millionaire, who intends to leave his fortune to fund a home for underprivileged youth.  He gets murdered, and though it is fairly simple to figure out that his assistant is behind it, the story carries itself along well.

act_33_002

Perry White makes his first appearance, although one might note that he looks very much like George Taylor has come to look.  And though both Taylor and the Daily Star had ceased to appear by the end of 1941, they would retroactively become defining features of the Earth-2 Superman, and return decades down the road.

act_33_003

Lois and Clark head out to the lumber camp to investigate the murder.  Clark takes on a job as a lumberjack, while Lois becomes a camp cook.  The camp is plagued by “accidents,” and while Clark easily survives these, Lois winds up once again in deadly danger, and must be rescued.

act_33_004

The Black Pirate gets a bit of a rest in this Moldoff story.  The Queen of the Seas stays in his mind, and he hopes to encounter her again.

act_33_005

He doesn’t put much effort into it, though, preferring to hang out at an inn with his men and drink.  Meanwhile, the Queen of the Seas takes on an Asian junk, and loses.  She gets captured.  And though Jon Valor cannot possibly know this, he sets out in search of her anyway as the story ends.

act_33_006

Tex Thomspn resigns from Maloney’s staff when he is given a special assignment by the war relief commission, to accompany a ship across the Atlantic, and prevent a plot to blow it up.  He fails at that, the ship gets sunk and Tex is believed dead.  Later, a black haired man wearing a red cape, white shirt and blue trousers, a domino mask and carrying a whip tracks down those behind the explosion and brings them to justice.  He calls himself Mr. America, but Bob almost immediately recognizes him as Tex.

act_33_007

Tex decides to maintain the Mr. America identity, for some reason feeling that it’s important that the world believe Tex Thomson to have died when the ship sunk.  In reality, of course, this simply reflects the growing popularity of costumed heroes.  And the change in Bernard Baily’s series is really just on the surface.  With no powers, there is little that makes a Mr. America story different than a Tex Thompson one.

Action 30 – Superman vs Zolar, Pep Morgan changes schools, the Black Pirate enslaved, Miss X dumps Tex Thompson, and Zatara hunts for a killer

act_30

Is he flying?  Sure looks like he’s flying on the cover of Action 30 (Nov. 40).

act_30_001

Jerry Siegel and Jack Burnley pits Superman against an evil genius, Zolar,  in this story.  Despite it being summer, Metropolis is stuck in a winter blizzard.

act_30_002

There are little floating balls of glowing heat – but those are more likely to incinerate you than warm you.

act_30_003

Some Arabs appear to be behind the weather madness, and Superman follows them.  He falls victim to the glowing balls, although they do not destroy him , simply render Superman unconscious.  I actually have my doubts that they even do that.  I suspect Superman is feigning, so that the bad guys will take him to their leader – which is exactly what happens.

act_30_004

Zolar looks an awful lot like the Ultra-Humanite – and of course, what Luthor would come to look like as well.  Bald geniuses seem to be the biggest threat to Superman.  He defeats Zolar, as well as his female accomplice, pretending to be one of his victims.  Zolar dies at the end of the story, but with Luthor around, he really was no loss.

act_30_005

There isn’t much to the Pep Morgan story in this issue, by George Papp, aside from the fact that he is now attending Midtown College, instead of Ardale.  The story itself deals with the fact that Pep always loses races to one guy, although he overcomes this “jinx” and wins by the end.

act_30_006

The fact that this story makes it clear that Pep has lost many races, in contradiction to what we have seen in his strip so far – backs up my contention that some of Pep’s stories are lies that he tells. I suspect that Pep’s battle with the Cambodian dinosaur last issue was a story he told upon enrolling at Midtown, trying to make himself look special.

act_30_007

Jon Valor is having a really rough time of it in Moldoff’s story this month.  The Black Pirate does manage to defeat the raiders who stole his ship last issue, but no longer has a crew to man it.

act_30_008

Jon winds up getting captured by Captain Treble, who makes the Pirate one of his slaves, sending him to work in a phosphate mine.

The story continues next issue.

act_30_009

Miss X makes her final appearance in the Tex Thompson series in this story by Bernard Baily.  The villain is a gangster named Dr. Mixxo, who is out to steal a fur shipment.

act_30_010

Tex winds up getting captured by Mixxo, and Bob Daley once again shows himself to be completely useless.  It’s Miss X who saves Tex, though she remains stand-offish towards him.  She never returns, and neither does Janice/Peggy Maloney.  Despite Tex’s comment last issue that he knows who Miss X is, there is never any reveal of her identity.  A poorly dropped plot thread.

act_30_011

The Tigress returns, working with another magician to commit a series of murders using a poisonous insect in this story, by Gardner Fox, with art by Joseph Sulman.

act_30_012

The Tigress’ new magician is never named.  He is clearly just some dupe she picked up along the way, probably hoping he would serve as a defense against Zatara.  There seems little of the comraderie that used to exist between Zatara and the Tigress in this issue.  Indeed, Zatara insists she be sent to prison at the end of the story, instead of letting her go, as he often did in the past.  Zatara claims that her crime of murder demands punishment, but he let her go once before after she was part of a murder scheme.  Nope,this is jealousy on Zatara’s part.  How dare the Tigress work with a rival magician?

 

Action 29 – Superman and the life insurance scam, Pep Morgan fights a dinosaur, the Black Pirate gets raided, and Tex Thompson takes the train

act_29_010

Another all-purpose Superman image on the cover of Action 29 (Oct. 40), but it is the first cover of this book to show Lois Lane.

act_29_009

Jerry Siegel scripts this tale, and Jack Burnley is on the art.  While in the last issue, Burnley seemed to be trying to make his work look as much like Shuster’s as he could, in this one he shows more of his own style.

act_29_001

The story deals with a life insurance “club,” whose members keep dying in accidents.  Lois and Clark and investigating this for the paper.

act_29_002

Sergeant Casey, a recurring friendly police officer from the pages of Superman, makes his first appearance in this book.  The scam is not really subtle enough to be effective. Not only do the ones behind it run down their clients, they even poison them!  Superman has little trouble with this case.

act_29_003

George Papp takes the reins of the Pep Morgan series with this issue.  The story has Pep heading to Cambodia on summer vacation from university.  Seems a little odd, considering that he just started up again at school.

act_29_004

But the story gets even weirder, as Pep finds and fights a dinosaur.  And after the earlier tales, which aroused my suspicions, I have a feeling that this is yet another of Pep’s tall tales.

act_29_005

Jon Valor is on the run in this issue, wanted for stealing the jewels that he used to purchase his ship.  He doesn’t even try to explain or defend himself, but I guess if one is nicknamed the Black Pirate, one is not likely to be believed.

act_29_006

He falls prey to the Red Raiders in this story, who take his ship and toss him into the sea.

The story continues in the next issue.

act_29_007

Tex Thompson and Bob Daley are taking the train back east as this Bernard Baily story begins.  On board, they run into Peggy Maloney, who I believe is the same person as the Janice Maloney introduced a few issues earlier.

act_29_008

The story is quite convoluted, with a bomb on the train, attempted murders, and a secret message transferred onto Bob’s skin by a sunlamp.  Miss X shows up once again to save Tex.  As the story ends, Tex announces that he suspects that he knows who Miss X really is.  And as there is only one recurring female in this series, even if her first name is given in a couple of different ways, it shouldn’t be hard for the reader to figure it out as well.

 

 

Action 28 – Superman and the strongman, Black Pirate on the run, the Three Aces on Easter Island, and the Gorrah is the Eye

act_28

There is little point in repeating my flying comment in relation to the cover of Action 28 (Sept. 40).  Just give in and admit Superman can fly.

act_28_001

Jack Burnley does the art on this Jerry Siegel story, and would be one of the major Superman artists from this era.

act_28_002

George Taylor is looking mighty old now, as the editor of the Daily Planet. He sends Lois Lane and Clark Kent out on a story about a number of thefts committed by a someone dressed as a circus strongman.

act_28_003

They see a poster for a circus with a similarly dressed strongman, Herculo, and go to check it out.  Superman confronts Herculo in the ring, humiliating him.  Superman then does a page or two of circus tricks.  Just cause.

act_28_004

And poor Herculo isn’t even the guilty party.  He has been set up by the clown.  Nothing spectacular, but at least the bad guy was not as obvious as he night have been.

act_28_005

Jon Valor is being pursued in this Moldoff story, assumed to have stolen the jewels he purchased his ship with. And, you know, he did steal them.  Just from a pirate who had stolen them first.

act_28_006

The Black Pirate eludes his pursuers, and sends a note to Jeanne explaining the situation, and telling her he will return.  But we never see Jeanne again.  Love’em and leave’em.

act_28_007

The Three Aces stories have, up to now, been really kind of dull.  They completely ignore the war in Europe, which feels odd for a series about war pilots.  But this issue sparks up a bit, as they head to Easter Island.

act_28_008

TI’m not sure the artist ever saw any pictures of what the stone heads actually look like, but the story doesn’t really feature them much anyway.   The Three Aces discover an ancient city under the island, and discover that the original islanders were giants who became fossilized after a comet passed close to the earth thousands of years ago, and the mysterious heads on the island are the actual heads of the giants who lived there.

act_28_009

Tex Thompson and Bob Daley come to the aid of a blackmailed heiress in this Bernard Baily story.

act_28_010

They track down the Dawson gang, who are working for a mysterious leader known as the Eye.  Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be the Gorrah.  This must be the most roundabout revenge scheme possible, as there was really no way for the Gorrah to know that Tex would even be called in on this case.

 

 

 

Action 27 – Superman and the orphanage, Pep Morgan goes back to school, the Black Pirate buys a ship, more Gorrah, and Clip Carson goes Hollywood

act_27_012

A really good rendering of the 1940s version of the Superman chest emblem on the cover for Action 27 (Aug. 40), but you gotta feel sorry for the lion.

act_27

Although this story starts out with Lois accepting a date with Clark Kent, any hint of romance is quickly jettisoned as Siegel, Cassidy and Dennis Neville recount the horrors of an orphanage.  There had already been an orphanage story in the pages of Superman, but this seemed a frequent subject in the era.

act_27_001

After talking to a boy who escaped, Clark insists they contact the police, and leaves to do so, although of course he really just changes to Superman.  Lois accompanies the boy back into the home, where she runs afoul of the corrupt owners, and their nasty dog Black Satan.

act_27_002

Lois Lane’s soul searching while held captive is a bit difficult to judge. It seems wrong for her to think her “barging into” things is bad, as it is what gets her most of her stories.  On the other hand, contacting the police definitely would have been the wise move.

act_27_003

Once the action gets going, the story seems to really want to show off Superman’s invulnerability, as object after object shatters against him.

act_27_004

Pep Morgan is back in university in Ardale in this story by Fred Guardineer.  His pro career having gone nowhere, Pep seems to want more out of life than just being a hired goon, and so has returned to complete his education.

act_27_005

Perhaps he should have left the sports alone, as once again he gets all tangled up with gamblers trying to fix a track meet.

act_27_006

A great pose by the Black Pirate to open this chapter, by Sheldon Moldoff.  Captain Ruff’s brother was the mysterious man who entered the inn at the end of the previous issue, and he and Jon Valor fight.  Valor wins, of course.

act_27_007

The Black Pirate then sails back to Bristol, where he uses some of the treasure to buy himself a ship.  But the jewels he used for the purchase are recognized as belonging to a collection stolen from a queen.  Oh, oh!

act_27_008

The Gorrah returns, once again seeking vengeance on Tex Thompson in this Baily tale.  Maloney makes a brief appearance, and introduces his daughter, Janice.  This is almost certainly the same woman who returns as his daughter, Peggy.

act_27_009

The Gorrah manages to capture Tex, and get him under his spell.  Miss X shoots Tex to prevent him from becoming a murderer, and though it’s just a glancing wound, the shock breaks Tex out of the spell.

act_27_010

Clip Carson heads to Hollywood for four issues, in this Moldoff story, and begins work as a consultant on a movie called “Adventure Pictures,” which really sounds like a lame title for a movie.  Nonetheless, everyone seems to think it will be a massive success.

act_27_011

There is a rival film crew that sets up in hidden locales to film the same action, hoping to release their version first, and a foreign film company trying to delay the shooting so they can release theirs first.  Amidst this, actors keep getting murdered on set.

Action 26 – Superman and the Cobalt Clinic, Pep Morgan in Canada, the Black Pirate tells his story, Tex Thompson meets Miss X, Clip Carson in Canada, and Zatara in Alaska

act_26

If Superman still can’t fly, then he has leaped higher than skyscrapers with the two thugs on the cover of Action 26 (July 1940).  No wonder they look so scared.

act_26_001

The story is by Jerry Siegel, but the art is by Paul Cassidy and Paul Lauretta.  The story deals with a phony doctor and his Cobalt Clinic. promising a cure for infantile paralysis.

act_26_002

Much of this story has Superman frantically going from place to place.  He has been captured as Clark Kent, and keeps heading back to maintain that fiction.  Between those times, he frees Lois Lane from Cobalt, takes down the quack and his men, get help for some of his patients, and keeps checking in with George Taylor at the Daily Planet.

act_26_003

Superman also displays a new ability – speed reading, and memorization of what he reads.

act_26_004

Fred Guardineer sends Pep Morgan into “the Saskatchewan district” of Canada for this story.  It’s all the same things one sees in Canada stories. Snow, trees, polar bears, guys named Pierre.  No Mounties though.

act_26_005

Pep fights off a bear, and performs other heroic acts, but I have deep suspicions about this story.  I think it might just be another lie to explain his time in Florida.  Aside from the reference to the Saskatchewan district, which makes me think that he has not really been to Saskatchewan, the fact that the story just shakes out all the old expected stereotypes makes it sound even more like something Pep made up.

But there is a reference to a red flag on a cabin signalling a plague.  It’s not so much that that adds realism, as that it will pop up again, in this very issue!

act_26_006

Moldoff gives a happy ending to the first adventure of the Black Pirate. The mystery ship is on Jon Valor’s side, and he returns to Savannah.

act_26_007

Jon rides to a small inland town, and stops at an inn.  There he finds Jeanne, his love, and friend since childhood.  He regales her with his battle against Captain Ruff, and neither sees a cloaked figure enter the inn.

act_26_008

As od this issue, Gargantua is gone.  We learn that he has enlisted with the French army as a cook, and that he is of Senegalese descent (meant to explain why he did such a thing).  While I was glad to see the last of him, this story was cover-dated July of 1940, meaning Gargantua joined the French army just in time for the Nazi invasion of France.

In this issue Bailey also introduces Special Prosecutor Maloney, who swears Tex and Bob in as agents reporting directly to him, needing their skills to help fight a crime wave.  Tex infiltrates the main gang, discovering that their leader is the supposedly honourable Vander Wallace.  Tex winds up shooting and killing Vander Wallace as he gives a public address, the audience completely unaware of Wallace’s criminal ties.  One would expect this to have some major repercussions, but Maloney is content to keep Tex and Bob as his staff.

act_26_009

This story also introduces Miss X, a woman with knowledge of the mob, who sometimes seems to be working with them, but who also acts to protect or aid Tex.  Both Maloney and Miss X will return for the next few issues.

act_26_010

Clip heads to New York City in this Moldoff story, and from there to Canada to help Miss Trent find her missing father.  The man had discovered a mine in “Hudson Bay country,” but been captured by evil Metis claim jumper Jacques Frontenac.

act_26_011

Oh, look.  Snow, trees, french people and wild animals.  It must be Canada.  But “Hudson’s Bay country?”  In the same issue with “the Saskatchewan district,” nonetheless.  Do they actually have any real maps of Canada in the US?

act_26_012

By the time one reaches the Zatara story by Gardner Fox and Fred Guardineer, one has to wonder if there was an attempt by the editor to create a theme issue.  Cause Zatara is surrounded by snow, trees, and french people.  There’s even a red plague flag on a cabin!  But a mention towards the end of the story of the city of Nome makes it clear this gold mine story takes place in Alaska.

act_26_013

It stands above the other two, simply because Zatara turns his own airplane into a battling, flying robot to stop the claim jumpers.

Action 25 – Superman vs a hypnotist, Pep Morgan at sea, the Black Pirate captured, Tex Thompson and the amnesiac, Clip Carson defeats the rebels and Zatara vs Asmodeus

act_25

Once again, the cover of Action 25 (June 1940) appears to show Superman in flight, before the stories themselves acknowledge this ability.

act_25_001

Jerry Siegel and Paul Cassidy helm this tale, which begins with a bank robbery by thieves with no recollection of the events.

act_25_002

Lois Lane mentions a psychic and hypnotist to Clark, Medini, whom she is going to consult, in order to find out Superman’s secret identity.  Ironically, that’s the same information Medini is trying to extract from her.

act_25_003

Superman confronts Medini, who uses hypnosis to paralyze him.  Once Medini has gone, Superman’s powers begin to return, but he lacks complete control over his abilities until he jumps high into the stratosphere, which removes the effects of the hypnosis.  Pondering this sequence, it would seem that Medini must actually possess some degree of mystical powers, as only magic would be able to have such an extended effect on the hero.

Once his powers are back, Superman quickly dispenses of this one-shot villain.

act_25_004

With this issue, Guradineer has Pep travelling to England as a war correspondent, despite having no experience or training in this field whatsoever.  But that is only the first odd thing about this tale.

After not only the ship Pep is on gets torpedoed, but the rescue ship as well, the lifeboat capsizes.  Pep swims around tirelessly saving people until the sub surfaces and they are brought on board.  Despite being an American kid and not in the military, Pep is brought before the sub`s commander, and manages to get his gun from him and single-handedly take over the sub.

act_25_005

The commander of the sub wears a white uniform, which I thought was odd.  As they are showing England at war, why would they not depict the Nazis as they appeared?

Then it become clear.  The art “error” is our clue to confirm that this story is a preposterous tale – this is the story Pep told people to explain why he left for a while, rather than telling them the truth about his dismal Florida tryout.

act_25_006

Sheldon Moldoff continues the Black Pirate’s adventures, as he falls into the hands of the angry Captain Ruff, who demands to know where Jon Valor hid his treasure.

act_25_007

The Black Pirate breaks free, and sets fire to Captain Ruff’s ship.  Everyone winds up in shark-infested waters, ass the Black Pirate heads for a mysterious ship he saw on the horizon.

act_25_008

Gargantua T. Potts makes his final appearance in this Baily story, spending some time with Tex and Bob Daley at Tex’s camp in Maine, Golden Gates.

act_25_009

They encounter a mysterious amnesiac, being pursued by gangsters.  For a few panels it looks like Gargantua will be the one to save the day, but again he is reduced to racist comic relief.  I’m just so glad this character is being dropped, it’s worth mentioning his final tale.

act_25_010

Moldoff winds up Clip Carson’s Verdania adventure in this issue.

act_25_011

Surprisingly, for the era, the rebels turn out to be financed by an American oil man, trying to manipulate the situation in the country for his own benefit.

act_25_012

The final panel, the hanging of the revolutionaries, is coloured so darkly, it’s almost in silhouette.  But it does add a very somber tone.

act_25_013

Zatara faces off against Asmodeus, a powerful villain who uses science and magic against the hero, in this story by Gardner Fox and Fred Guardineer.

act_25_014

The Tigress also returns in this story.  She is working for Asmodeus, but winds up being of very little assistance, as Zatara draws the villain’s plans and location from her mind, before shrinking her to doll size to keep her out of trouble.

act_25_015

Asmodeus makes a really good villain for Zatara, and the battle between them easily carries the few pages that it lasts.  It’s a shame this villain never made a return.

Tag Cloud