Posts tagged ‘Three Aces’

Action 19 – Superman and the purple plague, Pep Morgan goes home, Clip Carson goes to Africa, Tex Thompson vs the Zombies, and the Three Aces solve a friend’s murder

act_19

Superman is back on the cover of Action 19 (Dec. 39), and will stay there from now on.

act_19_001

A purple plague hits Metropolis.  The doctors are baffled, and the death toll keeps on rising.

act_19_002

Clark Kent is shown to be immune to the plague, because of his “super-resistance” to disease, another new attribute of his powers.  Though what really strikes me about this page is the horse drawn cart full of rotting bodies.  This seems anachronistic, but I expect that it is not.  Movies from the time period show horses and carriages in towns, so perhaps they were still used this way.

act_19_003

The Ultra-Humanite is behind the plague, and makes an appearance relatively early in the story, rather than being saved for the last few pages.

act_19_004

The Ultra-Humanite is trying to kill the doctor researching a cure for the plague, but Superman rescues the man, falling into the hands of the Ultra-Humanite himself.  An electric gun is capable of knocking Superman out, though not seriously wounding him.  The villain attempts to use a mind-control device on Superman, but it fails.

act_19_005

The Ultra-Humanite really seems to be dead at the end of this story.  Is he?

act_19_006

Pep Morgan, back in the US, heads home to Ardale in this story by Fred Guardineer.  But nothing seems to go smoothly for Pep anymore.

act_19_007

Escaping thieves hop the train he is taking, though Pep alerts the police, who are there and ready to capture them when the train pulls into town.

We briefly get to meet his parents, and another boy, who seems to be his younger brother.

act_19_008

The gang the thieves belong to try to take vengeance on Pep, but he evades that, and the gang gets captured.

act_19_009

Clip Carson heads to Kenya (spelled Kenye) in this Bob Kane story.  He gets hired to protect a shipment of ivory from a notorious raider, Wolf Lupo.

act_19_010

Clip must be considered quite a threat, as Lupo’s men try to kill him the first night, putting a cobra in his tent.  Clip falls into the hands of some cannibals, but manages to win them over by playing a harmonica.

The story continues in the next issue.

act_19_011

Bernard Baily also sends his hero to Africa, with Bob Daley and Gargantua T Potts tagging along.  There was just no space for Ali Baba.

act_19_012

Tex is asked to help find a missing son, who left behind a note announcing that he has been attacked by zombies.  Now, zombies in the 1940s were not exactly the way we envision them now.  The whole brain eating thing was not a part of the concept.  Zombies were slaves, unable to act of their own volition.

act_19_013

There is an appallingly awful sequence with Gargantua befriending a monkey, which I am not even going to show.

The story continues in the next issue.

act_19_014

The Three Aces return.  They are flying in formation with their fellow reservists, when one dies mid-flight.  They discover his widow in the arms of one of their buddies, and fake them out into confessing murder.

act_19_015

Although there is some aerial action at the start of the story, the rest of it reads like any other mystery.

Action 18 – X-ray vision!, Pep uses his throwing arm, the Gorrah controls Tex Thompson, Three Aces debuts, and Zatara visits Atlantis

act_18

An unusual air battle on the cover of Action 18 (Nov. 39), with Superman firmly ensconced in the corner of the page.

act_18_001
A rival newspaper, the Morning Herald, is introduced in this Siegel and Shuster story.

act_18_002

While Clark Kent, and to a lesser degree Lois Lane, are always shown to be respectful of those they interview for the Daily Star, the Herald reporter is quickly shown to exploitative.

act_18_003

Worse than that, the reporter featured also uses the information he gets to set up a politician to be blackmailed.  Clark learns about by using his x-ray vision, and “super-sensitive” hearing, for the first time.  Indeed, it’s curious to see how slow and detailed the first use of the x-ray vision is, explaining how the wall melts away and allows him to see what is going on inside.

act_18_004

When the editor of the Morning Herald insists on printing the story and pictures, despite evidence of then being faked, Superman takes extreme action,  First he destroys the paper’s entire delivery fleet, including all the paper already printed, and then demolishes their printing press!

I certainly hope Clark got a raise for wiping out the competition.

act_18_005

Pep Morgan continues to hang out at Mr. Smith’s ranch in this Guardineer story.  It begins with he and Mary taking a ride together, and could easily go towards romance.

act_18_006

But Pep is far more interested in a local dispute over a watering hole, and an attempt to frame an old loner for murder, to acquire his land rights.

act_18_007

Pep saves the day, even using his pitching skills to knock out a man escaping on horseback.  I really like that his athletic abilities are actually used in this story.

act_18_008

Tex Thompson remains a prisoner of the Gorrah, as Baily continues this storyline.

act_18_009

The Gorrah has constructed obedient robots, which Tex calls “things.”  The Gorrah seems impressed by this clever word, and takes to calling them “things” himself, showing that he has the same lack of creativity as Tex.  On the other hand, his scientific skills seem impressive, as he forces Tex into a mind-control machine, making the hero his slave.

act_18_010

Tex heads back to the Prime Minister, getting a map of all the ships in the harbour, and then goes around planting bombs on all of them.  Bob Daley and Gargantua T Potts both notice how odd Tex is acting.  Their attempt to follow him simply winds up putting them into the Gorrah’s hands.

act_18_011

Tex is ordered to kill them, and only then does he reveal he is not really under the Gorrah’s power.  You might have thought he would reveal that before planting dozens of bombs, but no.  The Gorrah appears to kill himself, but will return.  Ali Baba is barely seen in this part.  Three sidekicks are just too many to fit in the story.

act_18_012

The Three Aces are Fog Fortune, Gunman Bill and Whistler Will,all pilots who bonded while fighting in the Spanish Civil War (which side is not mentioned). They are now US navy reservists, travelling the world in their biplanes, seeking out adventure.

act_18_013

The first story sees them in Baghdad, where they learn of a number of planes that have gone missing while flying over the desert.  A distraught young woman enlists them in flying over the desert in search of her father, Inspector Higgins of Scotland Yard, who had gone missing while looking into the case.  They fly out, and spot a lost caravan, land, and are ambushed.  Gunner manages to get back in the air, calls for the British airforce, and circles until they arrive to rescue his comrades and the inspector.

act_18_014

Zatara has barely left Ophir when Sepat materializes on his ship in this Guardineer story.

act_18_015

They head down to find the lost city of Atlantis.  At first Sepat stays on deck, but pirates threaten her, and Zatara heads back up to save her, and take her with him.  They also bring along Barnacle Bill, who proves more of a menace than a help, as he wants to steal some Atlantean treasure.

act_18_017

In fact, there is almost just too much going on in this tale.  A giant bizarre looking octopus attacks, giving some focus to the conclusion.  Sepat decides to stay in Atlantis, obviously hoping for a romance with their leader.  It’s a bit surprising how content Zatara is to work with this woman, who was trying to kill him only one issue ago. But he was also content to work with the Tigress, so I guess one shouldn’t judge him too harshly.

 

Tag Cloud