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"Superman: "The Brentwood Rehabilitation Home"": Clark Kent is amazed when Lois Lane agrees to go on a date with him. As he calls at her apartment he finds her on the phone, pledging a donation to the Brentwood Rehabilitation Home for Wayward Boys. Clark says he's heard bad things about the home

Quote1.png Another debt I owe Miss X! Her shot hit my scalp and must have returned my senses to my paralyzed nerves! From then on I pretended to be a rat-man to find out the Gorrah's plans! He'll never bother us again! Quote2.png
Tex Thomson

Action Comics #27 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1940.

Synopsis for Superman: "The Brentwood Rehabilitation Home"

Clark Kent is amazed when Lois Lane agrees to go on a date with him. As he calls at her apartment he finds her on the phone, pledging a donation to the Brentwood Rehabilitation Home for Wayward Boys. Clark says he's heard bad things about the home, but Lois doesn't believe him, so instead of going on their date, they drive out to the home for a tour. The home's owners, Mr. and Mrs. Tweed, impress Clark and Lois with the facilities. But just as they are leaving, one of the boys, Davey Merrill, climbs over the wall to talk to them, cutting up his hands quite badly. Jagged hunks of broken glass line the top of the facility's tall brick fence, not visible from the street, reinforcing Lois' suspicions. Davey claims the Tweeds mistreat the boys and use them as slave labor to produce goods that they sell for profit in another state.

Lois wants to return to the home to gather evidence, but Clark feigns cowardice so he can slip away and change into Superman. As Lois and Davey re-enter the home, they narrowly escape an attack from Black Satan, the watchdog. Davey shows Lois the real barracks where the boys are berthed, very different from the tidy rooms she was shown on her tour. They separate and Davey is re-captured by the Tweeds, and put in a small locker as punishment. Lois snoops around and finds evidence supporting Davey's story, but then is also caught, gagged, and locked in a cell in the basement.

Superman returns to the home and, after freeing Davey and Lois, takes on Mr. Tweed. Tweed tries to defeat Superman with various improvised attacks but this is futile, so he uses some broken gas lines to set fire to the home, endangering all the inmates. This distraction fails, as Superman extinguishes the blaze with his bare hands. However Mrs. Tweed has knocked out and recaptured Lois, and together the Tweeds tie her to a table with a circular saw, threatening to cut her in half unless Superman leaves them alone. Superman shatters the saw and other workshop equipment, while the Tweeds grab their financial records and attempt to escape in an elevator. He grabs the cables and yanks the elevator back to the basement, grabs the set of books, for Lois to take to the Planet, and then uses the elevator to carry the Tweeds to a Police Station, where he directs them to go inside and confess everything.

Days later, another visit convinces Clark Kent that conditions at the Brentwood Home have improved considerably under the new superintendent.

Appearing in Superman: "The Brentwood Rehabilitation Home"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Mr. Tweed (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Tweed (Single appearance)
  • Black Satan, watchdog

Other Characters:

  • Davey Merrill (Single appearance)
  • other wayward boys (Mentioned only)
  • druggist
  • new Superintendent @ Brentwood

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Clark Kent's open-top roadster


Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Track Meet Fix"

At the end of Indoor Track Season, at Madden Circle Garden, Pep Morgan of Ardale College is the favored racer to win the annual quarter-mile run. In the locker room, he overhears some shady gamblers talking with one of the runners. They plan to place a bet against Pep, and to rig the race so that their guy wins. Before Pep can round the lockers to find out who is speaking, they are gone!

Pep takes his place on the track as the race starts. A rival runner, Cole, from State College, manages to beat Pep, after tackling every turn without "going wide," a feat that shouldn't be possible. After the race, Pep finds pock marks on Cole's side of the track, evidence that he was wearing illegal spikes. He talks to the coach about it, but when they ask Cole to see his shoes, they find nothing out of the ordinary. It is forgotten for now, with Pep promising to train even harder for the next race.

Six months later, during Outdoor Track Season, on the night before the big race, Pep is visited by one of the gamblers. He offers Pep one thousand dollars to throw the race. Pep responds with a one-punch knockout. The next day, Cole from State is nowhere in sight. It's discovered that he was hurt in an accident, which made Pep the shoe-in to win. All the odds being in his favor explained why the gamblers were so desperate for him to lose. Apparently after last night, they had reported him to the police station for assault. Sheriff Blake arrives on the field with a warrant for Pep's arrest, but after hearing his side of the story, the sheriff teams up with Pep, and has a conveniently-timed fainting spell, just before he can serve Pep the warrant. Oh well, looks like Pep can still enter the race. The gamblers are furious when they see Pep running ahead of the others. But they don't get to see him win, because the sheriff arrests them for illegally gambling on a college sport.

After setting a new record for the state, Pep visits Cole in the hospital. The gamblers had threatened to kill his sister if he didn't comply, or he never would have cheated. But now that they are gone, he wants to run a good clean race when they meet again, next year.

Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Track Meet Fix"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Gang of Gamblers

Other Characters:

  • Cole, from State College (Single appearance)
  • Bill
  • Coach Jones
  • Sheriff Blake

Locations:

  • Ardale College
  • Maddon Circle Garden
    • Annual Foxx Quarter-Mile Race

Synopsis for The Black Pirate: "Fight to the Finish"

At the sound of Jeanne's scream, Jon Valor charges into the tavern, sword out. The bearded giant is the late Captain Ruff's brother, and he challenges the famous swordsman to wrestle instead, to the death. They fight until Valor clamps a headlock on him, and kills him with it. He and Jeanne flee to the pier, where he buys passage on a Captain Tavish's three-masted ship, to take them to Bristol.

Days later they reach the tiny island where Ruff left his fabulous fortune in gold and gems, and retrieve it. And when they reach Bristol, Valor buys, at sword-point, from a reluctant seller, for a small fortune in gems, the "Sea Queen," a ship that he's long had his eye on. But that evening, the ship merchant learns that the payment he received is the lost jewelry of Queen Maria, and that the man who bought the ship is a pirate with a price on his head!

Elsewhere in the same town, Jon Valor sleeps, little dreaming of the danger that lays ahead.

Appearing in The Black Pirate: "Fight to the Finish"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jeanne

Antagonists:

  • Captain Ruff's brother (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Captain Tavish (Single appearance)
  • Captain Andago (First appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • Ruff's Gold, formerly Queen Maria's

Vehicles:

  • Tavish's ship
  • "Sea Queen", Valor's new ship

Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Blue Raider"

In Arizona, passenger and mail airplanes flying over the Rockies are being forced down and robbed, by an unidentified pilot in a blue plane. Army pilots have been unable to find his hideout. The Three Aces find out about it and investigate. Over a particular part of the Rocky Mountains, all three of them get caught in an enormous "air pocket," several miles high, a natural vacuum, that sends their planes plummeting earthward. They almost crash but recover in time, and try again, and again, with the same result. On their fifth attempt, the Aces fly over the gigantic atmospheric void, at an altitude where their wings freeze over. This too forces them down but they finally hit some good air and recover control of their descents.

They spot the Blue Raider's hangar and cabin, and he spots them. His biplane is a fighter model, and he overtakes the Aces right away, then shoots down each of them. But they're only faking, and they've already located his airfield hideout, in fact two of them get there ahead of him, and ambush him in his own cabin. The boys receive a substantial reward from the Federal Airline Union, and they gladly accept it.

Appearing in Three Aces: "The Blue Raider"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Blackie Dawes, the Blue Raider (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Federal Airline Union
    • Bill, pilot

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • series of commercial airliners
  • "Hank", the Blue Raider's fighter biplane
  • The Aces' red dive bombers

Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Return of the Gorrah!!"

In a far-off corner of the globe, the Gorrah reads a newspaper story about Tex Thomson's exploits, and resolves to visit Tex's home city to settle an old score, and possibly take over the city. One evening soon after that, Tex and Bob are attending a boxing match, where they meet D.A. Maloney and his daughter Janice. Meanwhile from behind the scenes, the Gorrah is responsible for the murder of Tiger Dixon, the boxing champ. Tiger was dosed with nepthogas, causing him to suffocate, but it looked as if he was punched to death by the challenger, Bomber Brennen. Tex figures this out right away, in the champ's dressing room and confronts Tiger's manager, Reb Horton, who quickly squeals on Joey Gonomi, Bomber's manager. Suddenly the lights go out, two shots ring out, the lights go back on, and Dixon's manager is gone. Instead of pursuing, Thomson (who is still attached to the D.A.'s office) goes out and questions some stool pigeons, but gets no information.

The next morning, a box of lilies and a threatening note are left at Tex's front door; he and Bob drive to the florist's shop in check it out, and they're run off the street by Miss X, driving a bigger car; she tosses something into Thomson's car; it's a note, alerting them to a hidden door in the back of the shop. The florist proves uninformative but sure enough there is a secret door behind the flower case. The florist tries to run past Bob, who knocks him unconscious. Bob and Tex find a wide winding staircase around a stone column in the back, and then are knocked out with gas. Two weird yellow Rat-Men with pointed ears drag them away, and throw them into a room with another man, who turns out to be Joey Gonomi, and claims to have been kidnapped out of his own house. He also claims not to have murdered Tiger Dixon, but admits that he was planning to do so after the fight. Then the Gorrah appears, screened on the wall by his teleprojecto, to gloat and exposit most of the plot, and display the missing Reb Horton, who now has also been turned into a rat-man.

He challenges Thomson to step into the next room and fight him, but before that can even start to happen a rat-man throws a gas grenade into the prisoner-holding room; all three men are knocked out, and taken to an operating room, where Tex and Bob are shot up with a strange fluid, which puts them under the Gorrah's mental control, and soon will turn them into rat-men. Then all three prisoners are dragged outside and almost are put into the Gorrah's car, when a shot rings out. Thomson is hit! The Gorrah sends two rat-men to pursue the shooter, a fleet-footed girl, who gets away by running past a policeman. Thomson's wound is superficial; his scalp has been grazed, the group gets in the car and drives to the waterfront.

The Gorrah's plan is for Thomson to distract the guards at Pier 12, while he and his rat-men sneak past and plant some bombs amongst a secret shipment of military dive-bombers; Thomson complies. Police sirens approach, and it's time to flee the scene, but Thomson covers the Gorrah with a pistol; he's been faking the mental domination! The Gorrah flees, taking Bob with him; Tex shoots but misses; Harbor Police and Miss X soon join the chase, with a speedboat. A deck-mounted cannon disables the Gorrah's boat, and Bob is rescued, along with three rat-men and the Gorrah. Tex grabs some rat-man antidote from the Gorrah and shoots up Bob with it. Miss X slips away.

As things wind down, the Gorrah is in police custody, and Tex reveals to Bob that he got his wits back because of the scalp-grazing pistol shot from Miss X.

Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Return of the Gorrah!!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • One-Eyed Gorrah
    • Bonno (Single appearance)
    • several Rat-Men (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Tiger Dixon, boxer (Only appearance; dies)
  • Reb Horton, his manager (Single appearance)
  • Bomber Brennen, boxer (Single appearance)
  • Joey Gonomi, his manager (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • a far-off corner of the globe
  • Brooklyn
    • Thomson's apartment
    • boxing arena
    • florist shop
    • Gorrah's hideout
    • waterfront
      • Pier 12

Items:

  • The Gorrah's Teleprojecto
  • The Gorrah's rat-man formula

Vehicles:

  • Thomson's limousine
  • Miss X's limousine
  • The Gorrah's sedan
  • Police speedboat

Synopsis for Clip Carson: "Hollywood Advisor"

Clip Carson flies to Hollywood to serve as advisor for an adventure film, and on the flight he meets his old pal Buzz Bailey, from whom he learns about a shady producer, to watch out for, named Snyder. This jerk liked to send his cameramen out to secretly film other movies, in production, so he could distribute them himself without spending a dime.

A few hours after Clip arrives in Hollywood, the director of the film, Mr. Dennis, introduces Clip to Archie and Jean Norton, married Hollywood actors, and the stars of his picture. The Nortons argue with each other during the whole drive down to the location of the shoot, with Clip having to suffer listening to them the whole way.

After ending a big noisy battle scene, some of the extras notice Archie Norton lying very still on the ground. Thinking he has fainted, Clip checks on Mr. Norton, discovering that he is dead, and from a gunshot wound! But what who how? At first he suspects the victim's wife, Jean, who showed little grief for the loss of her husband. But when confronted, she denies any wrongdoing, claiming she'd never risk her life or career on murder. Clip's friend Buzz catches him on the way out of the trailer, and the two of them seek out Mr. Dennis, to report that they have hit a dead end. Clip notices Dennis fidgets with something that he wears around his neck. But when he reaches out to get a closer look at it, Dennis recoils, hastily explaining it's just an instrument for showing the scene the way it appears to the cameras.

Later that night, Clip heads back to the site for another look at the body. Someone else is already there when he arrives, and as Clip calls out, a second intruder hits him from behind, knocking him out! When consciousness is restored, Clip meets Buzz and is told Snyder's men were seen filming in the area, stealing scenes. That information suddenly gives Clip clarity on the situation. He knows what to do! With Buzz phoning the police, Clip Carson seeks out Director Dennis. He tells the director that he's under arrest, since a secretly filming camera of Snyder's caught him murdering Archie Norton. Desperate, Dennis pulls out a gun and fires, but Clip's draw is quicker! The truth was they didn't have footage of the murder, but Dennis's reaction proved he did it. He was in love with Jean Norton, and would do anything, even murder, to have her.

Appearing in Clip Carson: "Hollywood Advisor"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Buzz Bailey (First appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Mr. Dennis (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Archie Norton, movie star (Only appearance; dies)
  • Jean Norton, movie star (Single appearance)
  • Mike, property man (Single appearance)
  • Snyder, cinema plagiarist (Single appearance)
  • actors & extras
  • filming crew
  • police detective

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • passenger airliner
  • Cavalcade: a long string of trailers

Synopsis for Zatara: "The Vanished Explorer"

Spending the day at the Adventurer's Club, Zatara is told about the French explorer Raoul D'Armand, who has disappeared somewhere in the African wilds. D'Armand was searching for the "missing link," the lost species that connects humanity's evolution from the ape. Always up for a good adventure, and genuinely wanting to help, Zatara announces his intent to find D'Armand and bring him safely home.

Zatara and Tong reach the dock, and an assassin tries to kill them before they can board the ship. Zatara quickly turns the gun into a balloon, then questions his would-be murderer. The man exclaims he was paid by someone at the Adventurer's Club who overheard Zatara's plan to rescue Raoul, and wanted it to fail.

In Cairo, Zatara hires a caravan for the trip through the desert, but unknown to him, he is being followed by two enemies, Frank and his partner, Shrimp. Frank wants Raoul D'Armand dead, and had sent the failed gunman after them back at the docks. Now he was here to finish the job himself. If he pulled this off, Frank could become known as the top researcher in the field, and Zatara was looking pretty likely to actually find the missing explorer, so Frank would let him do that, then kill them both.

That night, the expedition's Arab guides steal all their supplies, food, and guns, and try to escape into the desert. A spell causes the supplies to jump out of the thieves' hands and berate them, before flying off back to Zatara and Tong, who then continue on their way without further help, except for that of Zatara's magic. Frank has also brought along his own hired band of Arab mercenaries, and they quietly continue to follow, although they have a harder time getting through the brush.

Eventually, the magician and his assistant come to a high plateau towering above them. A simple spell carries the two to the top, where they are surprised to find that this plateau is really more of a big mesa, which has a vast grassy field as far as the eye can see. Zatara turns himself and Tong as light as feathers, and from the air they get a better view. Soon they come across an ancient walled-in city. Amazingly, several ape-men can be seen wandering within its walls! Can this be a lost city of the "missing links" that Raoul D'Armand had been seeking? Perhaps the missing explorer was already inside? Zatara and Tong sneak into the central chambers of the city, where they meet Kara, a young woman claiming to be the leader of the "link-men." She is troubled that she is expected to sacrifice a man who came to their city, like Zatara. Zatara asks Kara to take them to the man of whom she speaks, and in the dungeon, they finally meet Raoul D'Armand. He was taken captive by the ape-men months ago, and has spent much of his time since then teaching Kara English. She had tried to help him escape, but her people would always stop her. Still, now that Zatara's here they may have a chance, and sure enough, the magician has already put together a plan.

Outside the walls, Frank and the Arabs have armed themselves, and now wait for Zatara to reappear. If he brings out Raoul, this is his chance to kill them both, but either way it's almost showtime.

Inside, Kara announces to her ape-men that the sacrifice will proceed at noon, if the sun god wills it so. Zatara bides his time atop one of the outer walls. He doesn't notice the gunman from Frank's group below take aim, the bullet hitting him in the shoulder! Tong helps his master get below, just in time for the sacrifice ritual. With one word of magic, Zatara darkens the sunlit room. For a moment, the link-men believe their god is displeased with the chosen sacrifice. Zatara, Tong, and Kara use that time to untie Raoul and escape down the corridor. The link-men soon catch on and give chase! Once the group reaches the exit, they notice the armed Arabs waiting for them. Trapped between angry ape-men and a hail of gunfire, Zatara speaks fast! First a spell to make the Arabs run backwards, then another to turn the apes into stone statues.

Minutes later, Frank and Shrimp are gunned down by their own Arab mercenaries. Two weeks later, Zatara's shoulder has recovered, and he and Tong bid the newly wedded Raoul and Kara farewell, then head back to New York city and another adventure!

Appearing in Zatara: "The Vanished Explorer"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Frank (Only appearance; dies)
  • Shrimp (Only appearance; dies)
    • gang of Arab mercenaries
    • Ahmed "the Great" (Only appearance; dies)
  • tribe of Link Men (Single appearance) (Petrified)

Other Characters:

  • Raoul D'Armand (Single appearance)
  • Kara (Single appearance)

Locations:

Notes

  • This issue's Black Pirate episode is continued from last issue and continues into next issue.
  • Clip Carson:
    • Clip gets head-konked unconscious, with a blunt instrument.
    • Clip closes the story by whipping out a revolver and shooting at the villain, who is off-panel, making his fate ambiguous.
  • Pep Morgan: Six months go by between the two track meets in this story.
  • Superman:
  • Tex Thomson:
    • The Gorrah was last seen in Action Comics #18. He'll be back next issue, then again in Action Comics #38.
    • First appearance of Janice Maloney in her civilian identity.
    • In the 7th panel of the 6th page, and again in the 4th panel of the 2nd page, the Gorrah pronounces Tex's name as "Thompson," and then in the very next panel, pronounces it (correctly) as "Thomson." He's probably being annoying on purpose, as a supervillain would.
  • Three Aces:
    • The captions claim that gigantic mid-air miles-tall vacuum pockets are a naturally occurring phenomenon, but make no explanation of how this happens and offers no examples. Science on Earth-Two was very different from what we're accustomed to here.
    • Just last issue the Aces turned down a sizeable reward from heiress Ingrid Svenson. This time they accept a check from the Federal Airline Union.
  • Zatara is very rarely shot, headkonked, or otherwise injured, but this makes two issues in a row in which he gets a bullet wound.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:



See Also


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