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"Superman: "The Life Insurance Scam"": Lois Lane, along with Clark Kent, visits the home of Mrs. Davis, an elderly woman. Lois learns that another woman, Mrs. Bradford, has died recently. Clark discovers that the woman's aspirin has been poisoned and believes the death was done for the insurance

Quote1.png It would take a magician to get out of these knots. And this guy ain't no Zatara! Quote2.png
2nd thug, carrying Clip Carson

Action Comics #29 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1940.

Synopsis for Superman: "The Life Insurance Scam"

Lois Lane, along with Clark Kent, visits the home of Mrs. Davis, an elderly woman. Lois learns that another woman, Mrs. Bradford, has died recently. Clark discovers that the woman's aspirin has been poisoned and believes the death was done for the insurance money. Investigating, the reporters visit Gram's Drug Store, the source of the aspirin. They find no evidence, as they are thrown out of the store, and they witness a hit-and-run accident in the street which kills another woman. A mob then attacks the drug store, which forces Superman to intervene to stop the riot. Lois observes that Tom Bruce, Mrs. Davis' neighbor, is the initiator of the riot.

Later, Lois and Clark call on the insurance agent, Mr. Fullerton. He is angered by the allegations and throws them out. Lois returns however, breaks into Fullerton's office, and gets grabbed by Tom Bruce and one other hood, and tied to a chair. Superman shows up and rescues her. Superman trails the hoods, while Lois confronts Fullerton again. Fullerton forcibly brings Lois to his own Political Boss Martin, who is also the boss of the hoods. Martin reveals he is behind the insurance scam, and he was trying to pin it on Fullerton, on whom he had taken out a large life policy, and whom he now shoots dead. Superman arrives too late to save Fullerton, but he does save Lois and knocks out the crooks by pinching their nerves. He rips open Martin's huge floor safe, and predicts that a whole lot of evidence will be found inside it, then departs just before Sergeant Casey and his cops arrive.

Appearing in Superman: "The Life Insurance Scam"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Martin, political boss (Single appearance)
    • Tom Bruce, hood
    • other hood
  • Gram, pharmacist

Other Characters:

  • Mrs. Davis (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Fullerton, insurance agent (Only appearance; dies)
  • Mrs. Grady (Only appearance; dies)
  • Lizzie Bradford (Dead) (Mentioned only)

Locations:

  • Earth-Two
    • Metropolis
      • Parkview Apartments, #58 = Lois Lane's apartment
      • 1819 Chestnut Street, in the slums = Mrs. Davis' residence
      • Gram Drug Co. store
      • Fullerton's Insurance office
      • Daily Planet
      • Police Station
      • Boss Martin's Townhouse

Vehicles:

  • Clark Kent's open-top roadster


Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "Summer Vacation in Cambodia"

During his summer vacation from college, Pep goes on an expedition to the jungles of Cambodia, to seek out a legendary beast said to lurk there. He practices his javelin-throwing every day during the transit, and brings his javelins along when they travel inland. With him are Ted Rock, the expedition leader, and China Charlie, their guide. They are attacked by a tiger; Pep kills it with a native spear. They encounter a dinosaur. It almost eats China Charlie, but using a javelin and a rifle, Morgan kills it. Ted Rock captures this struggle on movie film.

Appearing in Pep Morgan: "Summer Vacation in Cambodia"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters: Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Ted Rock, safari organizer (Single appearance)
  • China Charlie, jungle guide (Single appearance)
    • Native Bearers

Animals:

  • Tiger (Dies)

Locations:

Items:

  • Morgan's bundle of javelins
  • Rock's movie camera

Vehicles:

  • Expedition's Steamship

Synopsis for The Black Pirate: "The Red Raiders"

After being battered in an Atlantic storm, and in need of repair, the Sea Queen sails into an uncharted cove, and up a narrow river between two towering cliffs. Upstream from there, the vessel is attacked by a horde of red-clad raiders. The greatly outnumbered Sea Queen crew inflict casualties, but are being shot down. Valor hacks his way to the side rail and goes over it, then dives, hides, and swims to shore. He stealthily tracks the red raiders to their stockade, then finds his men and sets them free. While they are setting up an ambush for the raiders, they are discovered and attacked!

Appearing in The Black Pirate: "The Red Raiders"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Red-Raiders, fully a hundred of them (First appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Black Pirate's crew (some die)

Locations:

Vessels:

  • The Sea Queen (Valor's ship)

Synopsis for The Three Aces: "The Missionary and the Cannibals"

The Aces are sent, from Arabia, to Africa, by the American Missions Committee, to find a missing missionary, Mr. Wilkin. Before they leave town, Fog buys a sound recording device, and brings it along.

They fly to the naval base at Uijiji, on Lake Tanganyika, and learn what they can from the local military and native people, but the info is sketchy, and they spend the next several days in the air searching the region. They finally find a trail, that leads to a village, where they land. A delegation of warlike Natives rush out to meet them, and they accompany them to their village. The Natives turn out to be cannibals, and stick the Aces in a prison hut, where they find the lost missionary, Wilkin. They use Fog's recording machine to play a trick on the Natives, and escape. They fly to safety in Egypt.

Appearing in The Three Aces: "The Missionary and the Cannibals"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Cannibal Chief
    • Cannibal Warriors

Other Characters:

  • representative from the American Missions Committee
  • airbase officer @ Uijiji
  • Mr. Wilkin, missionary (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • Fog's Recording Machine

Vehicles:

  • The Aces' red dive bombers

Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Washington Spy Ring"

The Secret Service contacts Tex Thomson and Bob Daley, via the D.A.'s office, about a top secret mission, so Tex and Bob take a train to Washington. Also aboard the train, to their surprise, is the district attorney's daughter, Peggy, on a fund-raising trip. At the other end of the car, two men watch Tex and Bob closely. They have a briefcase, which they leave behind when getting off the train at Baltimore. Five minutes later the train pulls out again. Peggy hears ticking, and none of them are wearing a watch. Tex spots the ticking briefcase and Bob opens a window; out it goes, just before exploding hard enough to shake the train. The Engineer stops the train to inspect it for damage, and at the impact point Tex finds a piece of metal, which he pockets.

Arriving in Washington, Tex and Bob say goodbye to Peggy, then take a car to the State Department. Their official contact has heard about the bombing, and is relieved to see them alive. He briefs them: confidential messages from operatives planted all over the world are being smuggled right out of the Service's own file room, so it's absolutely an inside job, calling for some outside investigators. So far, there haven't been any clues to who the culprit might be. Tex hands over the piece of metal for the lab boys to analyze, and the official hands them a set of sealed orders, then Tex and Bob retire to their hotel.

The next day, Tex and Bob spend some time in the Department's file room, playing the part of new hires. As the day closes, the file clerks have to strip down and have their clothes checked for smuggled messages. No trace is ever found, and they continue on this routine for several days. During one of these inspections, Bob accidentally bumps against the back of another file clerk, Borin, who becomes angry at the little man's clumsiness. Bob thinks it odd, but soon forgets about it as he and Tex are directed to head to the formal ball, being held that night at the Syronian Embassy.

Washington's social elite turns out for the ball, and to their surprise the boys again encounter Peggy Maloney, dancing with a Syronian diplomat. He's Senõr Janzes of the Syronian diplomatic staff, and he scowls as Peggy excuses herself, to talk with Tex out on the terrace. Once outside, in mid-conversation, Peggy yells and Tex dodges, as a thrown knife whizzes past him and sticks into the wall behind him. The thrower escapes out the front doors into his car, speeding away before Tex can identify him. He takes the knife back to his hotel, but is frustrated when there are no fingerprints on it. Nearby, Bob tries to relax with a "sun bath" under his UV lamp. A message is delivered to the room, from the State Department Lab, about the metal piece that Tex found. It was a foreign made briefcase buckle, from the country of Syronia. Bob gets up to look at the letter, and Tex sees something printed on his pal's back! It's a fragment of some kind of coded message, exposed on Bob's skin by the ultra-violet light! Something tells Tex that they need to return to the Syronian embassy.

They scale the wall, and inside the compound are braced at gunpoint by the mysterious Miss X. She tells Tex an address on K Street, and, after several wrong turns, Tex finally finds the place: it's the home of Syronian diplomat Janzes. The boys sneak in thru the top floor window, when a cry for help echoes through the house! Tex and Bob rush downstairs to find Peggy, being threatened by Senõr Janzes and Borin, the secret service file clerk. When Janzes spots Tex, he rushes him with a knife, but Bob conks him from behind with a lamp. Janzes falls to the ground, while Tex demolishes Borin.

After the foreign diplomat and his accomplice are taken away by the Secret Service, Tex explains how their operation worked. Borin had a prosthetic hand which concealed a miniature camera, and he would use it to print the encoded files on his own back, with special ink that only ultraviolet rays could expose. That's how he got them past security's daily strip search. Then he would meet with Janzes, to transcribe the message back onto paper, enabling the diplomat to decode it for his country's government. Thanks to Miss X, Tex and Bob were able to find them before the next exchange. Bob wonders who Miss X really is. Tex hints he may already have figured it out.

Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Washington Spy Ring"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Senõr Janzes, diplomat (Single appearance)
    • Borin, spy (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • State Department Official

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Streamlined Passenger Train
  • Taxi

Synopsis for Clip Carson: "The Crooked Cop"

Clip Carson goes on vacation to the trout streams outside of Carmos, a thriving city near the oilfields. There he gets recruited by the police commissioner and the mayor to help them out with a vicious crime wave. A corrupt cop, in a tuxedo and a domino mask, is behind it, with the real goal being to drive down real estate prices, so he can buy up much or all of the town, because there's oil underneath it. And this evening he plans a big messy bombing at Barker Square. He's got a big gang, and they capture Clip Carson, and throw him in the water, half a mile off shore, but Carson escapes and swims back to the docks. He visits Police HQ, warns them about the planned bombing, then hails a cab and quietly follows Chief Inspector Standish, to a small store on a side street. Inside it, Standish and one thug are changing their plans, to scram immediately and split their loot two ways (double-crossing their co-henchmen). Carson walks in gun first and busts them. Meanwhile and elsewhere, the Carmos PD interrupts the attempted bombing at Barker Square.

Afterward Carson resumes his trout fishing vacation.

Appearing in Clip Carson: "The Crooked Cop"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Chief Inspector Standish (Single appearance)
    • his gang

Other Characters:

  • Mayor of Carmos (Single appearance)
  • Police Commissioner John (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • Carmos
    • Mayor's Office
    • waterfront
      • warehouse
    • Barker Square
    • Police Headquarters
  • nearby trout streams

Vehicles:

  • Standish's yacht
  • taxi

Synopsis for Zatara: "Captain Kidd's Treasure"

While walking along the Brooklyn Bridge, Zatara comes across a suicide jumper. He quickly utters a spell to make the man stop in midair, then brings him floating back up to the bridge. He offers to help the man with whatever was bothering him. The distraught young man, John, tells Zatara that he recently went to see his girl, Betty, but found only a tomb. John believes Betty is dead, which makes his life is meaningless. Zatara senses there is more to the story than is being told. He asks John to take him to Betty's place to look around for himself, to which John reluctantly agrees, not seeing what good it would do.

As John and Zatara walk through the city, they near a tenement building, occupied by a woman named Tala, and her henchmen. Seeing John with the famous magician, she orders her thugs to drop a couch out the window, as soon as they pass underneath. Before they can get hit, Zatara turns the falling couch into a penny, and places it in his pocket for good luck. He then summons the entire room of couch-dropping culprits down to street level. He questions the woman about her relationship with John. She reveals that he is an explorer who found Captain Kidd's famous treasure, which she wants for herself. If John gives it to her, she will bring his beloved Betty back from the dead. Him trying to commit suicide was an unexpected move. Zatara sends their room back up to where it belongs and takes John around the block. He tells John that Betty is likely being held captive, and they would need to follow Tala and her goons if he wanted to find her. He turns John into a taxi cab and, disguising himself as a common cab driver, drives up to Tala's building.

Tala takes the bait, and has Zatara drive them down to the docks, talking about getting to "the cellar" the whole time. On arrival, Zatara waits until Tala leaves with her henchmen, then turns John back to normal. He makes John wait outside while he enters the cellar as a sunbeam, all the better to scout the place with. Tala and the others are interrogating a young woman about the treasure John found. Just as Zatara had thought, Betty is alive after all! He casts a spell to transform her into a metal bar. Then, changing a horseshoe he found hanging on the wall into a magnet, Zatara whisks Betty away from her captors, and back to John. The three escape in a car they found, an angry Tala watching them go.

So now it's time to teach Tala a lesson. Zatara tells John and Betty that he will help them get Captain Kidd's treasure. They hire a boat from a captain who takes them out to a small island off the coast of Carolina. Once on the island, John concentrates on remembering the directions from the map. They follow all the paces John recites, until they come to the spot the treasure lies. Zatara summons up some self-digging spades to do the work for them. Meanwhile, another boat pulls up to the island. Tala and her men step off, having followed Zatara, John, and Betty from a distance. Tracks in the sand lead them on the same path their quarry took, more determined than ever to steal the gold for themselves!

Hours later, the digging stops. Kidd's treasure has been unearthed! There's hardly time to celebrate, however, when Tala's group arrives, guns drawn. Zatara and the two young lovers are forced back, so Tala herself can get a look at the treasure inside the chests. A whispered spell brings the infamous pirate, Captain Kidd, back to life! And he and his crew aren't happy about Tala's unworthy hands touching his gold. He shoots the guns out of their hands, then knocks out the two thugs, letting his "friend" Zatara decide Tala's fate. Being a man of mercy, Zatara thinks jail would be the best thing for such a wicked woman. The resurrected pirates help carry the treasure chests back to the boat. Zatara stops them before they reach the beach, though, as pirates carrying chests full of gold might startle the sailors. He turns the pirates and the treasure into individual seashells, which he ties into a necklace for Betty to wear.

A few days later, after everyone is safe back home and Tala is placed in jail, John and Betty get married. As a wedding gift,Zatara surrenders his share of the treasure, feeling the adventure itself was payment enough for himself.

Appearing in Zatara: "Captain Kidd's Treasure"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • John (Single appearance)
  • Betty (Single appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Tala (Single appearance)
  • Tala's henchmen (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • ship captain (Single appearance)
  • Captain Kidd (Resurrected)

Locations:

Items:

  • Captain Kidd's Treasure

Notes

Trivia

  • Clip Carson smokes a pipe.
  • That streamlined passenger train on the first page of the Tex Thomson story is apparently based on the then-revolutionary Union Pacific M-10000, which ran between Chicago and the West Coast from 1934 until 1941.


See Also


Links and References

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