"Superman: "Superman Goes to Prison"": Clark Kent is sent to meet up with a man who promises a hot story. The man tells him he is escaped criminal Walter Crane, and his story has to do with cruelties suffered by him and other inmates in the Coreytown jail: beatings with whips, starvation, sweat
Synopsis for Superman: "Superman Goes to Prison"
Clark Kent is sent to meet up with a man who promises a hot story. The man tells him he is escaped criminal Walter Crane, and his story has to do with cruelties suffered by him and other inmates in the Coreytown jail: beatings with whips, starvation, sweat boxes, and cramped living conditions.
Back at the prison, Superintendent Wyman is beating a prisoner when he receives word that Governor Bixby has arrived. He has read the article written by Clark Kent, and is investigating the allegations. The governor questions the prisoners, who all keep silent for fear of being tortured.
Superintendent Wyman makes his way to Metropolis, where he questions Clark Kent about where he got his information. He lets him know that harboring a fugitive makes a person an accessory to the crime. Kent, acting the coward as usual, tells the Superintendent where Walter Crane is staying. Wyman goes there and beats up Walter Crane. When Kent returns to the office, all the other reporters have shunned him. He tells the chief he did it so that they could gather more evidence against Superintendent Wyman.
In disguise and calling himself "Tom Daly", Superman makes his way to Coreytown, purchases a car, and crashes it into Wyman's car. He then beats Wyman up so that he will be arrested. He is sentenced to 6 months in jail. All attempts to punish him fail. At night he escapes out of the jail, gets a camera, put his Superman outfit on, and sneaks back in. He arrives just in time to see Walter Crane attempting to escape. He makes good progress until he gets stuck in quicksand in the swamp.
Superman walks into the quicksand and pulls Crane out. He returns Crane to the prison and takes pictures while Crane is whipped and put into the sweat box. Superman decides he's had enough, removing Crane from the sweat box and putting Wyman in instead. He runs off to the Governor's Mansion and drags the governor to the prison. He tells Wyman that he's going to kill him the same way Wyman killed the prisoners. Wyman promises to never torture the prisoners again. The governor hears his confession and Wyman's reign of terror comes to an end.
Appearing in Superman: "Superman Goes to Prison"
- Wyman (Single appearance)
- Governor Bixby (Single appearance)
- Walter Crane (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon, Five-Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang" (Part 2 of 2)
Scoop and Rusty have made themselves up to look like gangsters, and under the aliases of "One-Eye" and "Gimpy", they become the newest members of Lefty Laroway's gang. Rusty has his camera hidden beneath his "Gimpy" disguise, to document all the illegal activity. Scoop gets in good with Lefty over the next few days, while Rusty secretly snaps away at each stolen car they bring into the garage. Soon enough, they have enough evidence to convict Lefty ten times over. But Scoop wants more, it's not enough they bring the Laroway gang down. He tells Rusty they need evidence against the higher-ups, executives and politicians of the area who allow Lefty to operate in town. But he knew that Lefty kept a list of their names in his safe, along with a map of all the gang's garages and hideouts. With those in the hands of the court, they'd be ready to put a stop to the entire operation for good. Rusty agrees to do it while Scoop is out on a job with the guys tonight.
That night, Scoop joins Lefty and the boys as they go and "pick up" a few cars for refurbishing back at the garage. Every time they pass a potential car, Lefty assigns one of his gang to go get it, giving Scoop the job of delivering a Rolls-Royce. Meanwhile, Rusty sneaks into Lefty's office and begins cracking his safe. He manages to get it open, and finds the list and the map, just as Scoop said. He makes copies of each, then replaces the originals back in the safe. Sounds outside alert him that the gang is back! He quickly tries to hide the copies in his jacket as he makes for the door, but Lefty and one of his men walks in and bumps into him. Lefty sees the documents and realizes what Rusty has done. When Scoop returns to the garage with the Rolls, Lefty accuses him and Rusty of being cops! Since Scoop wants to convince him he isn't a badge, Lefty figures the only way to be sure is to have him kill Rusty.
Scoop and Rusty are driven out of town to a remote area located under a bridge. Rusty is pulled out of the vehicle by Lefty, and Scoop is given a gun. Standing before his friend, Scoop pulls the trigger, blasting Rusty in the chest! Rusty gasps, clutching his chest, and falls to the ground.
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon, Five-Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang" (Part 2 of 2)
- Rusty James
- Lefty Laroway
- Lefty's Gang
- Editor of the Bulletin
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Intercity Basketball Tournament"
Pep Morgan is playing for his hometown, Ardale's, basketball team. There are only two more teams they have to beat before winning the championship. Pep and his friend and teammate, Charley Allen, talk in the locker room about the next game. They are set to play against Ironton, a team which Pep heard was known to be fierce on the court. On game day, the coach gives some last bits of advice: take advantage of the other team's knack for delivering foul plays.
Soon, it is clear that Pep was right about Ironton players. One of them deliberately pushes Pep down, earning Ardale a free throw, which Pep delivers and scores. Charley gets seriously injured during the next quarter, bumping his head on the floor and getting a concussion. Pep picks up the pace as he, and the rest of the team, step up their game for Charley's sake. Pep makes an effort to shoot one more basket, but is knocked to the ground just as the ball leaves his hands. Luckily the ball still makes it through the hoop, and only a few seconds later the buzzer sounds, letting Ardale defeat Ironton by a single point. However, Pep has pulled a muscle in his ankle when he fell, and the doctor says he can't play for two weeks. So the championship playoff against Devon will have to go on without him. Charley is to be released from the hospital just before the big game. Even though the doctor told him to stay off his feet, Pep promises that he'll be on the court with him.
The day has come for Ardale versus Devon, but since his leg still hasn't fully recovered, Pep is told by the coach that he'll have to sit on the bench for this one. The game is a disaster. Without Pep on court, Ardale can't seem to keep their game. The Devon team is leading by seven points by the time the first half ends. Charley is taken out on foul at the beginning of the second half, so the coach finally gives in and allows Pep to go in. Ardale's game is almost immediately changed. Pep scores basket after basket, until they're matched up with Devon. The timer is running down, only seconds left. Pep shoots one more from down court, his leg finally giving out on him in the process. But the ball still makes it through the hoop before time runs out, winning the game, and the championship, for Ardale!
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Intercity Basketball Tournament"
- Ardale Terriers, Basketball team (Single appearance)
- Charley Allen (Single appearance)
- Joe (Single appearance)
- Ironton Basketball team (Single appearance)
- Devon Basketball team (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part X of XVII)"
Marco and his family are attending the wedding of Marco's new friends Ishar and Shela. Before the ceremony, Ishar is attacked by a man with a dagger! Marco tackles the intruder and disarms him. Ishar recognizes the man as Gura Kwas, a former suitor that vied for Shela's affections. The guards take Gura away to the tower to be locked up. Ishtar is bleeding from his wound, but against Marco's advice, insists that the wedding not be postponed.
The ceremony goes on without further incident, and Ishar and Shela are made husband and wife. Ishar crumples to the ground right afterwards. The physician is called upon to check on him. There was some blood loss but, thankfully, it was nothing too serious. Ishar's friends and relatives grow angry, demanding to mete out justice on whoever attacked him. They storm up the tower to where Gura is being held. Marco attempts to quell the crowd, suggesting the only one who had a right to decide Gura's fate was Ishar.
Gura Kwas is brought down to the main hall to let Ishar name his fate. But to everyone's surprise, Ishar allows the man to go free. Gura had no more reason to attack, now that Ishar and Shela were married. Ishar claims that had Shela chosen Gura instead of him, he would feel just as jealous.
Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part X of XVII)"
- Ishar (Final appearance)
- Shela (Final appearance)
- Gura Kwas (Single appearance)
- Nicolo Polo (Marco's father)
- Maffeo Polo (Marco's uncle)
- Shela's mother (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "Queen of the Malays (Part 1 of 3)"
During their visit to an Oriental town, Tex Thomson and his pal Bob Daley head into the local pub for a drink. There, a drunk sailor is harassing a smaller man. Tex steps in to try and put a stop to it, but the drunkard attacks him instead. Soon, a fight breaks out across the bar as all the patrons start duking it out with each other. The bar quickly empties when the police arrive, and Tex and Bob are the only ones left to get arrested and locked up for disturbing the peace.
Two days later, Tex and Bob are released. They are discussing what to do next when the same sailor that Tex got in a fight with meets them on the street corner. He apologizes for causing them trouble. Just when Tex and Bob lower their guard, the man signals for his goons to grab them from behind. He has them taken aboard his ship as his reluctant new crewmen, where they'll be forced to work for him.
But Tex and Bob still refuse to work after being threatened with starvation. The captain takes Tex and Bob to see the owner of the ship, Chester Raynolds. Tex tries to explain himself to Raynolds, saying they were forced aboard against their will. But the owner doesn't buy their story, not until his niece, Deborah, enters the cabin and recognizes Tex. Tex greets her, and she explains to her uncle that she and Tex were old friends. Raynolds apologizes to Tex for not believing him, and invites him and Bob to stay on board as honored guests. As they make themselves comfortable, Chester tells them a story about the island the ship was heading for:
- Many years ago, a female baby was found floating in a small skiff by a fisherman on the island. The baby was the only surviving occupant, so the man took it to the High Priest. The High Priest named the baby a demonspawn and quickly took it to the sacrificial altar. He was about to plunge the ceremonial dagger into the child's chest, when Illyenna, the King's daughter, bade him to halt. She would raise the child as her own, despite the priest's protests.
Raynolds had discovered that story in his studies, but no one would believe him when he said it was true. The ship's mission now was to meet the girl, who would be a woman by now, and ruler of the island, so he could prove that he was right all along. Tex agrees that it's a noble goal, and volunteers to help.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "Queen of the Malays (Part 1 of 3)"
- Bob Daley
- Chester Raynolds (First appearance)
- Deborah (First appearance)
- Captain Devoe (First appearance)
- Honnong (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Illyenna (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Zatling (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Raynolds' ship
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang" (Part 10 of 14)
Chuck makes the disarmed gunman lead him to where Virginia was being held. He ends up following him down the ridge, where in the distance Chuck spots a cabin. Some of the other guns-for-hire from 4-G are seen roaming about the grounds. Chuck halts his guide while he comes up with a plan. He unties the gunman and gives him an unloaded gun to hold, Chuck will be playing the part of "hostage", with his hand staying near his own gun that's hidden under his shirt, to prevent any funny business.
The gunmen from 4-G see their buddy come down the range with Chuck Dawson seemingly at his mercy. They approach and, once their guard is down, Chuck pulls out his gun. He makes them unbuckle their gun belts. Too bad for Chuck, he doesn't see another member of the 4-G come up behind him, and he gets whapped in the head by the butt of the thug's gun, and knocked out. He's locked inside the cabin. He soon comes to, and listens through the wall as his captors talk. A guard is left outside while the others head to a separate hideout, likely the one where Virginia is being held. He takes a breather on a cot at one end of the room. The minute he sits down, however, a clicking noise is heard, and the cot disappears as a trapdoor opens in the floor! Luckily, Chuck has leapt to safety before falling in. The guard comes in to check on Chuck, and that's when he makes his move! He flips the guard onto his back, then kayos him with a single punch to the jaw. The man falls back, through the hole in the floor.
Outside, the drumming of hoof beats draw near. The rest of the gang is coming back, meaning that soon Chuck would be outnumbered!
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang" (Part 10 of 14)
- Blacky (Chuck's horse)
- 4-G gunmen
- Virginia (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for Zatara: "Treasure of Ghengis Khan"
Within the tomb of Genghis Khan was a vast fortune, amassed from Khan's looting of the richest cities in Asia. Or so the rumors say. Zatara intended to find the treasure of Genghis Khan, worth at least two kings' ransoms by now. With him, as always, is his faithful servant, Tong. A member of the Explorer's Club in Shanghai hands him an old map that supposedly leads right to Khan's tomb, in exchange for a percentage of whatever they find. They hire a guide for the journey through Inner Mongolia. Unbeknownst to them, the Tigress was listening in the whole time. She plans to follow Zatara and steal the treasure for herself.
The journey takes them through a remote village in the jungle. Zatara asks an old woman who approaches them if they are on the right path to the Khan's tomb. The old woman, believing the magician and Tong are trying to loot the treasure of their great Khan, summons the men of the village to attack them. Zatara's party flees the scene on their horses, the mounted villagers chase them. But Zatara's able to utter a spell that sends their rides galloping in the wrong direction. Now that they are safe, temporarily, the guide suggests they set up camp for the night. Meanwhile, the Tigress and her strong-armed guide reach the village shortly after Zatara left. The old woman senses that she is on a quest to stop Zatara. Still believing the magician to be nothing but a tomb robber, she gives an old charm to Tigress, claiming its powers will keep her safe. Onward the Tigress travels, until she spots Zatara's camp a few yards away, and makes camp of her own just out of sight. She then decides that instead of following Zatara, if she can steal the map from him, she can get to the tomb first and loot it.
The next morning, Zatara and Tong awake, but are unable to find their map to the Khan's tomb. Was it stolen by another treasure hunter? There are hoof prints left in the dirt. Zatara figures that by following the tracks, they may yet catch up to the thieves. They follow the trail to a pool of purple water, which Zatara remembers as being one of the landmarks mentioned on the map. With a wave of his hands, Zatara creates a typhoon out of the water, that they then can ride upon to more quickly travel across Mongolia. They come to a cliff; the tomb is supposedly hidden nearby. The typhoon dissipates by Zatara's command. As the party hikes down the path, they are suddenly beset by a troop of sword-wielding Mongolian warriors. But it's no matter for the magic of Zatara, making their weapons turn on them. He, Tong, and the guide are taken to the Mongol's village to meet their chief. The elder leader tells them that his family, throughout the years, have kept a promise to Ghengis Khan to guard his treasure with their lives. That means that the tomb is close! That night, Zatara again uses his powers to sneak himself and his companions out of the village. They split up to find the tomb.
Zatara is the one to find the old crypt, where the tomb was said to lie. To his surprise, the ghostly figure of a young woman beckons him to step inside. She leads him further down, into the catacombs beneath the tomb, until he is facing an incredibly large pile of gold and gemstones. The spirit explains that she is a genie summoned by Ghengis Khan to guard his hoard. Zatara would have to be put to the test to see if he was worthy. The first test is a jump across a wide chasm of steam. With a spell, Zatara creates a bridge from the surrounding stone, allowing easy crossing. The second test, to walk through a field of fire. Zatara manages this by encasing his body in a suit of ice. And then, the Jinn announces the final test. If he wants the treasure of Ghengis Khan, he would need to kill her! Zatara refuses to take a life in exchange for riches. Just then, a shot rings out and the Jinn falls dead to the ground, and is transformed into a very large diamond. It was the Tigress who fired the shot. She starts to have her hired goons pack the gold away, but Zatara offers to split it with her. Surely, there was more than enough for both of them? She agrees to this, and so, Zatara casts a spell to make the mountains of gold and jewels small enough to fit in a handbag, to be easier to carry home.
Back at the Explorers Club, Zatara offers to donate all but the diamond and a single chest of gold to the gentleman who gave him the map. The gold would keep him rich for years to come, and the diamond would serve as a fine souvenir of the adventure!
Appearing in Zatara: "Treasure of Ghengis Khan"
- Hordus Gan (Single appearance)
- Genghis Khan (Mentioned only)
- Gurra (Single appearance)
- Kyama (Single appearance)
- Genghis Khan's Treasure Map
- diamond, former genie
- Genghis Khan's Treasure Hoard
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Chuck Dawson gets head-konked unconscious yet again; this makes at least three concussions for him.
- "Superman Goes to Prison" is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1, from which it gets its title, and in Superman Chronicles Vol. 1.
- At the end of the 1930s and the beginning of the "golden age" of superheroes, as shown in several early Superman stories and at least one Green Lantern story, the municipal and state governments of Metropolis were riddled with corruption.
- This issue features the Tigress's 6th appearance, her 7th encounter with Zatara. At the end of this story, she is vastly wealthy and could easily retire from her globe-trotting career of crime. She'll be back in issue #22.
- In this chapter the antagonists discover, and split up, the fabled Treasure of Genghis Khan. But see also Adventure Comics #36.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:
- Superman appears on this issue's cover, for only the third time. This will soon change.
- Now You Know: "Franklin D. Roosevelt / During his broadcasts, the President can pull out a cigarette, light and smoke it, without missing a syllable of his talk or upsetting his timing ..."
- Zatara artist Fred Guardineer is also credited as "Gene Baxter" on his Pep Morgan story, in this issue.