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Action Comics Vol 1 42
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Quote1 With this I'll defy any crime or criminals, any sabotage or saboteurs to best me! I hereby dedicate you to the service of making democracy safe! Quote2
-- Tex Thomson, now dba "Mr. America"

Appearing in Superman: "The Empire in the Sky"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Adversaries:

  • Previous Luthor Next
  • Jake Mobray
  • Dirk Chadwick

Other Characters:

  • Carl Bransom
  • Nick Flaherty
  • John Standing
  • Freeman Chase

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Luthor's stratospheric city

Synopsis for Superman: "The Empire in the Sky"Edit

Four influential men, science lecturer Carl Bransom, writer Nick Flaherty, politician John Standing and industrialist Freeman Chase, all vanish mysteriously. Clark Kent contends that these are no ordinary kidnappings, as all four have been missing for weeks without a ransom demand. Just then, Bransom's family receive a ransom demand for $50,000. Clark goes to report on it. Although the press are being kept out, he hears that Mrs. Bransom wants to pay the ransom. Changing to Superman, he stakes out the drop location. When a man picks up the ransom, Superman stops his car and interrogates him. He finds out that the man, Jake Mobray, works for the Dirk Chadwick mob, and he doesn't know where Bransom is. Just then, a ray of light comes down from above and blows up Mobray. Superman visits Chadwick, and finds that he didn't kidnap Bransom, just tried to extort the money. The ray comes back and blows up the building. Failing to find the source of the ray, Superman goes home, and goes to bed. That night, he is kidnapped and taken to a vast city in the sky. He meets the other kidnapped men, and finds that they don't want to leave. He is brought before the leader, Zytal, who tells him that he is an interplanetary explorer who is gathering the brightest men to assist in his quest for knowledge, including Clark. Not satisfied with this explanation, he changes to Superman, once alone, and investigates. He sees Zytal ripping away a face mask, revealing himself to be Luthor. He attacks Luthor, who uses a device to hypnotise him. Luthor sends him out to cause chaos. But when he sees Lois Lane being kidnapped by Luthor's hirelings, he rescues her. However, he delivers her to Luthor himself. When Lois and Luthor mention Clark, Superman changes back. Luthor dumps them both into a pit with a strange beast, knocking out Lois. Superman defeats the beast and confronts Luthor, the hypnosis having worn off. Luthor shoots out the city-supporting anti-gravity device, and jumps off. Superman catches the city before it hits the ground, and beats Lois to getting the story written up. Luthor escapes.

Appearing in Vigilante: "The Origin of the Vigilante"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Betty Stuart, blues singer

Adversaries:

  • Killer Kelly
    • and his gang, "Slats" et. al.

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Van Ardsley
  • Sheriff Sanders (Greg’s father)
  • Greg's unnamed grandfather
  • unnamed prison doctor

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:



Synopsis for Vigilante: "The Origin of the Vigilante"Edit

In the death house at State Prison, a tense assortment of officials and reporters, and the Vigilante, all bear witness to the electrocution of Killer Kelly. Before he’s put in the chair, Killer Kelly vows to return from the grave and get revenge on the Vigilante. Soon he is pronounced dead. But Kelly and his gang have rigged the system; the doctor who administered the “fatal” jolt sent only 200 volts to the chair, then faked the death report, and soon would fake the cremation report too, due to being extorted by threats from Kelly’s gang against the doctor’s wife and children.

In Preston City, Killer Kelly and his gang and their tommy guns go right back into the bank-robbing business, and they gun down whoever gets in their way. Meanwhile Vigilante has resumed his ordinary identity as Greg Sanders, singing cowboy. One day at a rodeo a dangerous steer gets loose, and Greg deftly brings down the charging beast with a lariat, then claims that he’d only gotten lucky. Sanders has his own radio show and seems to be dating blues singer Betty Stuart. She of course thinks he’s a big phony and wishes he could be more like the Vigilante.

Sanders learns that Kelly is mysteriously back in the robbery racket, and gets a hunch. That night, in that town, the very wealthy Van Ardsley family will be holding a costume ball; this would be a likely robbery target for Killer Kelly’s gang. The Vigilante shows up at the ball, disguised as the Vigilante. Killer and his gang show up, disguised as pirates. Lariat mayhem ensues. Betty Stuart has also shown up, mostly as her own gorgeous self in a domino mask, and she gets grabbed by Kelly as a hostage, to cover his escape. He makes it to his convertible, punches Betty hard, and peels out. Vigilante pursues, on the running board of a commandeered taxi, and leaps onto Kelly’s open car, but Kelly’s still packing a pirate cutlass, and repels this boarder with a knockout smack to the head.

Vigilante recovers consciousness, tied up, in a basement, while Kelly explains how he survived his “execution,” then exposits about how the room will soon flood with deadly gas. Then Kelly leaves. But luckily a bucket of water is nearby, and luckily Vig is tied up with rawhide thongs which, as all westerners know, expands and softens when soaked in water. So Vigilante gets himself untied, and the gas turns out to be flammable, so he applies a match to it and neutralizes that threat. Then “Slats,” one of Kelly’s hoods, shows up to make sure that Vigilante is dead; down goes Slats. Then the phone rings, and it’s Kelly, telling Slats to hurry up and get to their next crime scene, a safe-cracking at J. R. Rockrich’s office. So Vigilante hurries over to that address, and climbs in through an upstairs window, engages the gang, lassos Kelly and flings him out the window, followed by two more thugs, all of whom land on some telephone wires, many feet above the street. Vigilante calls the police to come collect them.

The next day Greg Sanders is back at the radio studio signing autographs, while Betty Stuart looks on in mild disgust, wishing again that this drugstore cowboy could be more like the Vigilante.

Appearing in Black Pirate: "The Ship Spies"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bonnie

Adversaries:

  • two cutthroats and their crew (Final appearance)
  • spy

Other Characters:

  • Black Pirate's crew (Final appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Jon Valor's ship

Synopsis for Black Pirate: "The Ship Spies"Edit

  • Synopsis not yet written.

    Appearing in Mr. America: "A Modern Flying Carpet"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Adversaries:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Mr. America's flying carpet (First appearance)

Synopsis for Mr. America: "A Modern Flying Carpet"Edit

The Queen Bee organizes a large number of gangsters for a massive radium theft, which has the side-effect of greatly reducing the city's crime rate. Mr. America takes advantage of this lull by spending time in his secret laboratory, in a shack in the woods, perfecting a working flying carpet. Meanwhile, Bob Daley is bored and grumpy, so he creates his own costumed identity, as Fat Man, and soon stumbles upon a secret criminal lair, where the Queen Bee is putting the finishing touches on her big plan. Bob gets into trouble, but he is soon aided by Mr. America and his flying carpet, and working together they are able to stop a radium robbery. But the Queen Bee escapes.

Appearing in Congo Bill: "The Jungle Film"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Professor Kent
  • Sheila Hanlen

Adversaries:

  • Tomkins, an actor
  • group of natives

Other Characters:

  • Hugo Von Eller, a movie director
  • Winters, a move crew member

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:



Synopsis for Congo Bill: "The Jungle Film"Edit

  • Synopsis not yet written.

    Appearing in Zatara: "The Man Who Could Control Minds"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Adversaries:

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Baker (bank manager)
  • two scientists

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:



Synopsis for Zatara: "The Man Who Could Control Minds"Edit

  • Synopsis not yet written.



NotesEdit

  • The Empire in the Sky is reprinted in Action Comics Archives, Volume 3 and in Superman Chronicles, Volume 7.
    • In this story, Lois Lane is kidnapped for the 15th time.
  • Origin of the Vigilante is reprinted in Secret Origins v.1 #4.
    • Prior to his introductory story, the Vigilante has apparently already had enough adventures to be recognizable to the general public, and he had definitely played a role in bringing Killer Kelly to justice the first time.
    • In this story, the Vigilante gets knocked unconscious and falls off a speeding car, when Killer Kelly smacks him in the face with the hilt of a cutlass. That = 1 concussion.
    • Coal gas is flammable, and many early 20th-century houses, especially in old, eastern cities, had pipes connecting them to a commercial or municipal coal-gas supply. It was an incredible fire hazard, and was phased out very quickly when electricity became widely available. Coal gas is also deadly to anybody who breathes enough of it for long enough. So at least that part of Vigilante’s escape wasn’t just some incredible fluke.
  • At the end of "The Jungle Film," Congo Bill, Professor Kent, Sheila Hanlen, and all the members of Hugo Von Eller's movie crew know the secret location of a sealed-off, massive, ivory-rich "elephants' graveyard."
  • In "The Man Who Could Control Minds," Tigress' bank-robber partner Frosty Parke briefly gains control of a device that is the functional equivalent of "the Anti-Life Equation."
  • Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics are:
    • Three Aces: (Revolution in Central America), by Chad Grothkopf


TriviaEdit

  • In this issue's Congo Bill story, Professor Kent is introduced as "James Kent," which contradicts Action Comics #37 which gave his first name as "Joe."

See Also


  • None.


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