"Superman vs. the Cab Protective League": Clark Kent is traveling in a cab which is hit by a rival company's cab driver. When he questions the driver, he says that the rival driver is a member of the Cab Protective League, an organization that victimizes independent cab com
Action Comics #13 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1939.
Synopsis for "Superman vs. the Cab Protective League"
Clark Kent is traveling in a cab which is hit by a rival company's cab driver. When he questions the driver, he says that the rival driver is a member of the Cab Protective League, an organization that victimizes independent cab companies.
Superman visits the independent Carlyle Cab Company. He discovers the boss being threatened by a member of the CPL. He reveals himself and beats up the racketeer, then picks him up and leaps into the air. The racketeer tries to stab him, causing Superman to crash into a building, leading the racketeer to fall to his death.
Mr. Reynolds, the boss of the CPL, calls Mr. Carlyle and asks whether he's going to pay for protection. Carlyle refuses, so Reynolds and his henchmen go to confront him. Superman destroys their car, and also makes them all destroy their own cabs. Superman also makes Reynolds confess to ordering the deaths of other drivers, and he gets arrested.
As the police drive him to the station, Reynolds lights a cigarette. The cops realize too late that the cigarette contains a poison gas. Superman finds an abandoned police car right where the police were last seen. He hurtles through the roof of the cabin, where he finds Reynolds, who now introduces him to his boss, the Ultra-Humanite, the most intelligent man on earth. Superman approaches the Ultra-Humanite and is caught in a wave of electricity that temporarily knocks him out. The Ultra-Humanite quickly has Superman tied to a board and fed into a sawmill.
But of course the saw blades have no effect on Superman. In fact, one of the blades breaks off and kills Mr. Reynolds. The Ultra-Humanite calls some henchman, who carry his paralyzed body away to a nearby special airplane, and then start the cabin on fire. Superman wakes up and escapes the cabin just before the fire can kill him. He super-leaps up and crashes into the Ultra-Humanite's plane, destroying it. However, the Ultra-Humanite's body is nowhere to be found.
Appearing in "Superman vs. the Cab Protective League"
- Ultra-Humanite (First appearance)
- Several henchmen
- Jackie Reynolds (Only appearance; dies)
- Cab Protective League (Single appearance)
- Pete (Only appearance; dies)
- Carlysle (Single appearance)
- Taxi Cabs (many destroyed)
- Supervillains (First appearance)
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "The Ibor Jewel Curse"
The city has been quiet lately, with no big stories for Scoop and Rusty to sink their teeth into. They are on their way to cover a society wedding, a new low for them in Rusty's opinion, when Scoop spots something suspicious lying on the front yard of a house. They get out of the car for a better look, and it turns out to be a body! Upon closer inspection, the corpse seems to have turned to stone. A man comes out of the house to see what was going on. He's shocked when spotting the body, identifying it as his old friend, George Hawkins. He laments the curse that has befallen his comrade, piquing Scoops curiosity. He and Rusty help the man take the body inside, so that they can find out more about this "curse". The man, William Davis, tells the story of how he, along with Hawkins, Andy Henshaw, and Marlin Rogers, went on an expedition in India to search for the famous Ibor Jewels. The natives warned them that any who touched the jewels would soon have their bodies turn to stone. They should have listened, Davis moaned. Andy Henshaw had become stone soon after coming back to the states. And now Jenkins, which only left Davis himself. Scoop asks about Rogers, and Davis replies that Marlin Rogers was lost in the jungle during the return trip, he was presumed dead. Scoop then wonders if he could see the jewels. Davis cashed in most of his share, only a single gem remained. Henshaw's share was never found after he died, but Hawkins share should still be in his safe at his home. Davis knew the combination, being his closest friend, so he takes Scoop and Rusty up to Hawkins home to check. But when they get there, the safe is empty! As if someone had already cleaned it out. Scoop is interested in solving this case, and he already has a good idea of who's behind it all.
After Scoop and Rusty send Davis off to a hotel room under an alias to keep him safe, they hide out in his study and wait. That night, just as Scoop suspected, Marlin Rogers himself, the man the expedition party left for dead, breaks into Davis' home and begins searching for the jewels. Cursing under his breath when he is unable to find them, Rogers leaves the residence and gets back in his car. Scoop and Rusty follow him back to his house. They wait outside until the lights all go out, indicating that Rogers went to bed. Then, while Rusty waits, Scoop sneaks in through a window and finds himself in a small laboratory setup. On the table he finds some prescriptions that he copies down in his notepad. He returns to Rusty, and they ride their car back to town. Scoop wanted to look up the effects those prescriptions would have.
The next evening, Scoop, Rusty, and Davis wait until Rogers is out before entering his home, carrying a bundle wrapped in a blanket. They set everything up and then hide themselves before Rogers shows up. When Rogers enters and turns on the light, he is shocked to find the stone body of Hawkins sitting in his chair! Scoop, hiding behind the chair, speaks so that Rogers thinks the body is talking. He says that he came back to haunt Rogers for murdering him, and that if he didn't confess, he'd kill him. Rogers, in a panic, confesses everything, that he did it to steal the others' shares of the jewels. Davis appears holding a gun, Scoop and Rusty come out of hiding as well. Scoop does note that it was clever of Rogers to use a rare formula that turns the body to stone, but in the end it didn't work out so well for him. Rusty is eager to take Rogers to jail so they can get back to the Bulletin and report the story!
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "The Ibor Jewel Curse"
- Rusty James (Final appearance)
- Marlin Rogers (Single appearance)
- William Davis (Single appearance)
- Andy Henshaw (Mentioned only)
- George Hawkins (Appears only as a corpse)
- The Ibor Jewels
- a rare formula that turns the body to stone
- Scoop's automobile (Final appearance)
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Journey Home (Part I)"
Pep boards a steamer set to take him back to the U.S.A. after saying goodbye to President Don Luis. Meanwhile in a jail cell, Captain Sindra plots a way to escape his predicament and get on that ship. He fakes an illness, calling for the guard's assistance. The guard unlocks the cell door and leans in close to Sindra, who swiftly turns around and chokes the man to death! Later at the docks, Sindra spots his old first-mate, "Killer" Dunn, working as a lowly crewman for the tramp steamer. He approaches Dunn, who is surprised, but glad to see him. Sindra asks Dunn if he could get him aboard the ship. There were several of the old crew aboard already, Dunn mentions. He introduces Sindra, under the alias of Johnson, to the captain, who agrees to let him join the crew since they are short-handed.
By midnight, the ship is already far out to sea. Sindra gathers the old gang together in the crew quarters to tell them the story of how Pep Morgan got him locked up, and how he then escaped. Now he couldn't wait to get his hands on a ship again! Dunn informs him of the millions of dollars of cargo this ship was carrying, and how there were only a handful of officers and crew aboard, compared to them. And Dunn and the others managed to sneak weapons on board, so a takeover would be a cinch! Sindra says they should wait until the ship is well underway, then they'll begin the mutiny!
The next day, Pep has dinner with the officers and the captain in the dining room. Pep thanks the captain for bringing him along, he couldn't wait to get back home. The captain tells Pep that he, too, will be glad when they reach port. He didn't like the look of some of the new crew, and planned on dismissing the lot of them once they docked. Little did he realize on that night, Sindra and his mates are preparing their firearms for a takeover. In another minute, the mutiny starts, as they first capture the officers on deck! Some of the mutineers capture the men in the radio room before they can send out an S.O.S. Sindra and Dunn march the crew along to the brig. From his cabin window, Pep can see Captain Sindra as he seizes the ship. Luckily, he seems to have been forgotten for the moment. Pep carefully moves, dodging Sindra's gang, until he makes it to the radio room. Thankfully it's empty, so Pep can send out a distress call. As he heads back, he overhears Sindra tell Dunn to check on the prisoners, while he waits up on the bridge. Quickly hiding behind a corner, Pep waits until Dunn's close, then steps out and lays him flat with a punch! Pep hefts Dunn's unconscious figure down to the brig where the other crewmembers are locked up. He sets the captain and crew free, then puts Dunn inside and locks the door. He tells the captain that Sindra was up on the bridge alone. If they get him, the rest of the mutineers would be forced to quit.
In the wheelhouse, silently steering the ship, Sindra is unaware that he's about to be overcome. Pep tackles him from behind, and the captain holds his gun on him steady, promising him severe prison time when they reach port. Looking out across the water, Pep spots an American destroyer, bound their way, having received Pep's distress call. Sindra takes advantage of their distraction to try to get away. The captain orders him to halt, but Sindra doesn't heed, yelling back that they won't be putting him in jail again. With no other choice available, the captain fires his gun and Sindra goes down. He was still alive, but injured. Pep says how it'll be much more difficult for him to break out of an American prison. Their voyage continues.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Journey Home (Part I)"
- Captain Sindra (Final appearance)
- Gang of mutineers (Single appearance)
- Killer Dunn (Single appearance)
- Captain Johnson (First appearance; unnamed)
- Don Luis Ramos (Final appearance)
- Tramp Steamer
Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part XIII of XVII)"
Marco is subdued by the bandits as his pet cheetah fights against the snares they carry against it. But even the cheetah is soon caged. The Polos are bound and forced to ride along with their slaver captors. For weeks, they trudge along with the group, receiving only leftovers of food and water. Then, finally, they reach a thriving city. They pass through the streets and come to a high-walled courtyard, where the group separates. One of the bandits then marches the Polos forward. They are kicked, one-by-one, down a deep stairwell into a poorly lit dungeon. Marco, the last to go, grabs his captors leg as he falls, pulling the man down with him. The bandit falls unconscious when he hits the bottom, but unfortunately, the door still closes before they can escape. The Polos tie up and gag the bandit, feeling his comrades probably won't feel a need to look for him right away. They also arm themselves with his weapons, two knives and a sword, tucked beneath their clothes. The door above opens right at that moment, and a voice summons them in Chinese. Maffeo says it would be best to obey right now, as they are still in the bandits' city and are outnumbered.
The slave auction has begun. Marco is summoned up to the block first, as the auctioneer starts the bidding at five hundred yen for the strapping youth. In a moment of anger, Marco charges the auctioneer, and is whipped for his insolence. Non of the bidders seem interested in buying him now, for they want a slave who is obedient. Finally, a bid is offered for fifty yen. Having no other bidders, and wanting to get rid of the troublesome boy, the auctioneer makes the sale. As he is led away, Marco hears as a man buys the cheetah cub for the same amount. He makes note of the man's name, Abu El-Kaf, of Siddrah. Marco's father and uncle tell him to have courage, they'll beat these brutes and be together again soon! For now, Marco is forced to go with his new master to his home on the outskirts. Riding in the man's wagon, he tries to mention what a decent sort he seems, not like the others. But the man seems to only speak Chinese, so there isn't much Marco can do communication-wise. He pulls a pouch out of his shirt and offers it to the man, it was full of coins, more than triple what he paid for Marco, in a bid for his freedom.
Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part XIII of XVII)"
- Nicolo Polo (Marco's father)
- Maffeo Polo (Marco's uncle)
- Bandit Slavers (Final appearance)
- Abu El-Kaf of Siddrah (First appearance)
- Unnamed Farmer (First appearance)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Ace of Spades"
Colonel Rushmore, a fellow explorer, has invited Tex and Bob to stay in his home as his guests, where they are more than eager to enjoy some peaceful down time. When the colonel's servant, Ling, hands him a message, Tex and Bob knew their quick rest is over, by the way their host turns pale. The message is a picture of an ace of spades playing card, with the word "Tonight" written underneath! It is the symbol of the Ace of Spades, a notorious assassin. Rushmore asks Tex and Bob to accompany him to the Constable's office. They oblige, and once there, the Colonel shows the Constable the note, who then calls ahead to give the Colonel the best in police protection.
Before heading home, Rushmore makes a stop at his friend Lord Cliverook's place, in the woods. Tex waits outside with Bob while the Colonel heads in. Some time passes, and Tex begins to worry. They're about to head towards the house, when a figure, cloaked in a blue robe, with a white spade on his chest, pops out from behind a tree. It's the Ace of Spades himself! With a gun pointed at the duo, the Ace leads Bob and Tex further into the forest. He then binds them together with rope so they can't interfere, before taking off towards Cliverook's house. They are later found by Colonel Rushmore. He unties them as they explain what happened. But the Colonel didn't see the Ace of Spades, when he left Cliverook's. When they reach the house they see the mark of the Ace of Spades, stuck right on the front door with a knife! No one answers when Tex knocks, so he busts down the door! Inside, sitting in his chair, was the body of Lord Cliverook, shot with the Ace's gun. The Constable is called down. Everyone is interviewed, Colonel Rushmore vouches for Tex and Bob. There is no sign of the Ace now, so the constable sends the Colonel home, saying he has already arranged for his men to keep an eye on all the entrances and exits of his house. There was no way any assassin was getting past his watch.
That night, Tex and Bob talk about the Ace of Spades. Bob moans that he'd rather be back home in Brooklyn right about now. As they are getting ready for bed, a dagger with a note attached is thrown from the window into the wall! The mark of the Ace of Spades! And it was meant for them! They alert the constable, who repeats that no one was getting into the house tonight while he was on duty, so they didn't have to worry. But just to be safe, Tex tells Bob to fluff up his blankets so it looks like someone is sleeping there. They'll be sleeping under the beds tonight. Sure enough, two shots are fired, with bullets hitting Tex and Bob's 'stand-ins'. Now they could rest easy, since the killer thinks they're dead.
In the study, the Ace of Spades removes his hood, revealing the face of Colonel Rushmore! Now that the final ones who could identify him were gone, there is one last thing to do. He has to get rid of the Ace of Spades persona for good. And he knows just how to do that. He calls to his servant, Ling, to fetch him his newspaper. Once his back is turned, Colonel Rushmore smashes Ling in the back of the head with the butt of his gun, killing him. He dresses the body up in his Ace of Spades outfit, then cries out for help, bringing both the constable, and the not-quite dead Tex and Bob running. Rushmore exclaims that he had caught the Ace before he could be killed. On inspecting the body and finding it was Ling, the constable decides to close the case. But Tex knows better, having already put the pieces in place. The real identity of the Ace of Spades is colonel Rushmore himself! The tip-off came back on Cliverook's land, when he noticed the Colonel wearing gloves. A curious thing indeed considering he was otherwise dressed in a lounging robe, hardly an outfit that goes with gloves. But then Tex noticed the Ace of Spades wore the same kind of gloves when they first saw him. And what was the Colonel wearing right now, that was absent on the Ace's body? The gloves! Colonel Rushmore whips out his gun and begins backing away from the group. But he forgets to watch his step and trips over Ling's corpse, dropping his firearm and giving Tex a chance to rush him! The Constable isn't happy about having to arrest his own friend for murder, not comforted by the Colonel's response that he's glad it was a friend who was arresting him, at least. Tex says to Bob that maybe now they can go vacation in "that Brooklyn place" he was talking about.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Ace of Spades"
- Colonel Rushmore, as the Ace of Spades (Single appearance)
- Constable (Single appearance)
- Ling (Only appearance; dies)
- Lord Cliverook (Only appearance; dies)
- Brooklyn (Mentioned only)
- Colonel Rushmore's car
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 13 of 14)"
Chuck finds Miss Virginia in the rustlers' cave, but because of the mask he is wearing, she thinks him another of the Cougar's hired guns. Chuck removes the mask so she can see it's him. Together, they plan to fool the guard outside, little knowing that he is eavesdropping on their conversation. Pedro, the guard, waits for them to emerge from the mouth of the cave with his gun drawn. As soon as Chuck and Virginia step outside, Pedro forces them to put up their hands! He moves them to his horse, making Chuck mount first. Using quick reflexes, Chuck draws his own gun, turns and fires on Pedro, hitting the thug on the hand and making him drop the gun. In a rage, Pedro rushes Chuck, sending them both sprawling. He pulls out his knife and makes to stab Dawson to death, but Chuck hits him hard, tackles him, and then uses his own lasso to tie the fiend up. After dragging Pedro into the brush, Chuck and Virginia take his horse and ride down the trail.
Meanwhile Wolf, who Chuck had left bound, down below earlier, manages to free himself. While heading for his horse, Wolf spots Chuck coming down the trail with the girl, and decides to get his revenge. Rifle in hand, Wolf climbs to a higher vantage point where he can snipe Dawson. Further up on the bluff, Zebe has tracked Virginia's kidnappers all the way here. Below him, he spots Wolf taking aim. A little ways off, Zebe makes out Chuck and Virginia riding a horse down the trail. He can't let Wolf kill them! Zebe starts to climb down the cliff face, but drops his gun out of its holster. He tries grabbing for it, slips, and falls on top of Wolf.
Chuck and Virginia round the bend to see Wolf and Zebe struggling, until Wolf lays Zebe on his back and begins pummeling him! Chuck leaps off the horse, running forward to help Zebe! Seeing Dawson coming for him, Wolf reaches for the pistol that fell out of Zebe's holster. He turns to fire, but his arm is grabbed and straightened up, shooting the bullet into the sky. Chuck finishes by delivering an uppercut to his jaw!
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 13 of 14)"
- 4-G gunmen
- Cougar (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for Zatara: "Swamp of Satan"
Zatara is called to Carolina by Fred Hodges, who's the last surviving male member of his family. On their way, Zatara and Tong hear the faint sound of a woman's scream. Turning himself and his servant into a gust of wind for faster travel, Zatara heads in the direction the scream came from. They come across an old crone and a large brutish figure (Martha and Jon) carrying an unconscious young woman in his arms. After reverting back to their human forms, Tong attacks the brute, while Zatara rescues the girl. The brute matches Tong in strength, and begins to strangle him. Zatara uses his magic to shrink the brute to be knee-high in size. He and Tong take the girl back to the car and drive out to Fred Hodges' estate. The young woman turns out to be Fred Hodges' sister, Elanor, who disappeared on her way home from their uncle Karl's place. Zatara presses them for information on the ugly old hag and the brutish fellow they met in the swamp, but the Hodges clan suddenly seem to become gripped in fear, and Neither Fred nor Elanor will tell Zatara why the witch kidnapped her.
Even the next morning, while Fred is giving Zatara a tour of his cotton plantation, the magician is still unable to get him to talk about the mysterious swampland figures. That night, a scream sounds from Eleanor's room! Zatara and Tong race to the scene, finding Eleanor lying on her bed, under a deep hex, and nothing they do wakes her. It's time for a straight answer, so Zatara places Fred under hypnosis, and soon learns through Fred's subconscious speech, what was really happening around here. His Uncle Karl had warned the Hodges siblings to leave the old hag and the brute alone, as they were related to his family through the old blood, from the "evil bloodline" that their family was cursed with for generations! Fred was afraid they were after his riches and his plantation, yet he dared not do anything, lest the embarrassing truth get out, of his family's bloodline.
Zatara believes Fred's story to be ridiculous, but it has Fred and Elanor scared enough. Zatara changes his and Tong's forms into shadows, and they swiftly visit the home of Karl, the Hodges' uncle. The old hag and her brutish son are already there, with Karl, who mentions the hex he put on Eleanor should be working soon, sending her sleepwalking through the dangerous Swamp of Satan, where she'll surely meet her doom! Leaving Tong at the Hodges' house (for which he is glad, being eager for another chance to prove himself against the brute), Zatara flies out to verify Karl's words. He eventually spots Elanor, and she is indeed sleepwalking, through the swamp towards a deadly pit of quicksand. Zatara magically creates a safe path for her to follow, then manages to safely guide her past the dangers of the swamp, until they are safely back at her brother's estate. Karl is already there, delivering the tragic news of Elanor's death, when she suddenly walks through the door with Zatara, looking healthy as ever, much to his surprise. Outside the window, the old crone watches with wicked glee as the brute pulls out a gun and shoots Zatara and Tong! The bullets pass through them without doing any major damage, but when they finally come around, they are alone in the house. Fred and Elanor were gone, likely abducted by Karl and the "evil blood family".
The Hodges siblings are led to a small cottage in the center of the Swamp of Satan, where they are tied up. Karl demands the deed to the plantation, threatening to make it worse for them the longer they hold out. Zatara's astral form observes this, and Zatara teleports himself, and Tong, to the cottage for the rescue. Tong bursts through the door, and this time he's ready for the brute's strength! He throws punches at the brute, beating him back. Karl pulls out a pistol and prepares to fire on Tong, but then Zatara appears, turning Karl's gun into a snake! The crone tries to run, but Zatara melts her with a curse, letting her essence seep into the slimy waters of the marsh! The brute runs from Tong, who gives chase, wanting to finish their fight. But the swamp ends the battle for him, as the brute falls into the quicksand and continues sinking until he is completely buried. When the duo return to the cottage, they find that Karl has died from heart failure. Zatara frees the Hodges, and together, they all set off back to the estate. Leaving the evil Swamp of Satan behind.
Appearing in Zatara: "Swamp of Satan"
- Jon (Single appearance) (Dies)
- Karl (Single appearance) (Dies)
- Martha (Single appearance) (Dies)
- Elanor Hodges (First appearance)
- Fred Hodges (First appearance)
- Zatara's car
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- "Superman vs. the Cab Protective League" is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 1.
- Superman appeared last in New York World's Fair Comics #1. He appears next in Action Comics #14.
- First appearance of the Ultra-Humanite. The Ultra-Humanite will go through many permutations and become a recurring foe of the Justice Society of America. He appears next in Action Comics #14.
- Final Scoop Scanlon story:
- Scoop Scanlon moved from Detective Comics, Inc. to Holyoke Publishing after this issue.
- In 2010, Scanlon appeared in DC Universe Legacies, which re-established him as a DC character.
- Beginning with Issue #14, Scoop Scanlon by Will Ely is replaced in Action Comics with Clip Carson by Bob Kane.
- Scoop's adversary in this story, Roger Marlin, has a rare formula for turning people to stone. The formula itself is not named, nor is its inventor.
- Tex Thomson and Bob Daley live in Brooklyn.
- Eleanor and Fred Hodges appear next in Action Comics #14.
- Zatara writer/artist Fred Guardineer is also credited as "Gene Baxter" on his Pep Morgan story, in this issue.