""Superman Battles Death Underground"": There is a cave-in in the Blakely coal mines, and a miner is trapped. Superman makes his way to the mine, and discovers that the rescue crew has been stopped by poison gas (by which he is unaffected). He rescues them, as well as the t
Action Comics #3 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1938.
- 1 Synopsis for "Superman Battles Death Underground"
- 2 Appearing in "Superman Battles Death Underground"
- 3 Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Murder at the Blue Bird Dance Palace"
- 4 Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Murder at the Blue Bird Dance Palace"
- 5 Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "Win a Doubleheader"
- 6 Appearing in Pep Morgan: "Win a Doubleheader"
- 7 Synopsis for "Shifty Simpson"
- 8 Appearing in "Shifty Simpson"
- 9 Synopsis for "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part III)"
- 10 Appearing in "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part III)"
- 11 Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Sealed City (Part II)"
- 12 Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Sealed City (Part II)"
- 13 Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: The 4-G Gang (Part 3)"
- 14 Appearing in Chuck Dawson: The 4-G Gang (Part 3)"
- 15 Synopsis for Zatara: "Death from the Air"
- 16 Appearing in Zatara: "Death from the Air"
- 17 Notes
- 18 Trivia
- 19 See Also
- 20 Recommended Reading
- 21 Links and References
Synopsis for "Superman Battles Death Underground"
There is a cave-in in the Blakely coal mines, and a miner is trapped. Superman makes his way to the mine, and discovers that the rescue crew has been stopped by poison gas (by which he is unaffected). He rescues them, as well as the trapped miner.
The next day, he asks the miner, Stanislaw Kober, what he thinks caused the mine collapse. Kober says that everyone knew the mine was unsafe, but management did nothing to prevent the collapse. Thornton Blakely, the mine owner, says otherwise, claiming that Kober's own carelessness caused the collapse.
Superman decides to sneak into the Blakely estate dressed as a miner. He finds a party going on and gets captured. Blakely lets him stay at the party because he's coming up with an idea: Superman will lead them all down into the mine, where they will continue their party.
Once they are all in the mine, Superman attacks the tunnel-supports, causing the entire party to be trapped under a cave-in. Blakely remembers the safety devices. He sets them off only to discover that they've rusted over. They attempt to dig their way out, but they soon get winded. Blakely curses himself for treating the miners so badly. With everyone else in the party collapsed, Superman tears down the barriers so that the rescue workers can save everyone. Several days later, Clark Kent once again interviews Thornton Blakely, who now reveals that he is going to start treating his workers better.
Appearing in "Superman Battles Death Underground"
- Thornton Blakely
- Stanislaw Kober
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Murder at the Blue Bird Dance Palace"
The murder of Bat Wilson, a rich socialite, sends Scoop and Rusty out to the Blue Bird Dance Palace, a place Wilson often frequented, to investigate. Once there, Rusty stands by to keep an eye out for suspicious characters, while Scoop plays the part of a young millionaire looking for a good time. Scoop eventually meets a woman who seems very interested in him, or more accurately, interested in the fortune he's claiming to have. Suspecting she may know something about Bat Wilson's death, he invites her for a romantic ride out on the town. Before leaving, Scoop tells Rusty he may have found a lead in the case. Scoop takes the girl to his car, and then she guides him to a spot that she says is good for moon-gazing.
A little after the car comes to a stop, a masked burglar approaches them holding a gun. He demands everything Scoop has on him. Quickly, Scoop leaps out of the car, rushing the crook and knocking his gun away. The struggle, but the crook gains the upper-hand and holds Scoop while the woman, who was in working in cahoots, retrieves the gun and points it at his chest. Fortunately, Rusty appears behind her, grabbing her and making her drop the weapon. Scoop delivers a hard punch to the crook, then he grabs the gun and uses it to force them back to Police HQ.
The woman and her partner would lure unsuspecting folk who looked like they were doing well for themselves out to a secluded spot where they'd proceed to rob them. It turns out that Bat Wilson fought back, and they were forced to kill him. Rusty tells Scoop he got enough pictures for the story.
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Murder at the Blue Bird Dance Palace"
- Rusty James
- Female Crook (Single appearance)
- Butch (Single appearance)
- Scoop's boss
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "Win a Doubleheader"
On the night before his big race, Pep Morgan is visited by two rough looking gentlemen. They try to persuade him to throw the race tomorrow for a percentage of the gamblers winnings. In anger, Pep throws them out, saying he intends to win the race. The roughnecks warn him that he'll be sorry.
The next morning, Pep is at the track in his racing duds. He spots a suspicious stranger messing around near his racecar. When Pep approaches the man gets spooked and runs off. There isn't enough time to deal with him right now, so Pep gets into his car and drives up to the starting line. The flag is wove, and Pep speeds down the track! But something goes wrong quick, as his front tire blows out, forcing him into the pit stop. Luckily, it doesn't take very long for the tire to be replaced, so Pep is soon able to reclaim his lead. In another attempt to make Pep lose, one of the thugs fires a shot from the side of the track, trying to hit the car's fuel tank, but the bullet hits Morgan in the arm instead. Even still, Pep is able to drive his car past the finish line and win the race.
Pep offers assistance to a policeman chasing down the two thugs, giving him a lift in his winning racer. The thugs getaway car eventually crashes off the road, knocking them unconscious. They are taken into police custody, and Pep gets to enjoy his newest prize trophy.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "Win a Doubleheader"
- Blackie (a mob thug) (Single appearance)
- Davis (a rival race car driver) (Single appearance)
- Pep's Red Racer
Synopsis for "Shifty Simpson"
An unlucky purse-snatcher has a difficult day.
Appearing in "Shifty Simpson"
- Shifty Simpson
Synopsis for "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part III)"
After the expedition has pitched camp, a cry of a wild animal breaks through the darkness. A tiger leaps from the rocks, attacking the Barrari prince. Marco awakens and races to the scene, equipping his sword and spear. He spears the cat and deals the finishing blow with his sword. Marco's father checks on Marco; the pair then inquire after their captive, who, while a little worse for wear, has come through the ordeal almost unscathed. The next day, the expedition sets out with Marco, Niku, and the Barrari prince in the lead. Over several days, Marco learns the native language, and, by the team the party reaches Iran, the young man has gained a steadfast new friend. Their former captive departs, and the journey continues. Later, Niku and Marco are hunting for food to supply their caravan. A sandstorm comes out nowhere, and manage to reach the edge of their camp just before the cyclone reaches its peak.
Appearing in "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part III)"
- Niccolò Polo (Marco's father)
- Maffeo Polo (Marco's uncle)
- a tiger (Dies)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Sealed City (Part II)"
After dining, the Gorrah asks Tex and Bob for their firearms. The men question this demand, but the Gorrah shows them that their guns are useless in the Sealed City by shooting the servant Daroka five times around the heart. While at first he seems dead, Daroka walks away, apparently unfazed by the attack. The Gorrah leads them across a drawbridge to his laboratories to demonstrate how his people are invulnerable to bullets. Crossing the bridge, they are confronted by two giant men. These giants are more of the Gorrah's servants, Scharem and Hawntem, and they will obey his every command. On the Gorrah's orders, Scharem picks up Bob. Tex swings into action and punches Hawntem in the face. Hawntem begins to draw his sword, but the Gorrah orders Scharem to let go of Bob. Backed against the wall, Tex and Bob fall into the Gorrah's trap. He presses a button, sending them through a trapdoor and into an underground river to drown. Fortunately for them, the river is shallow, and the duo swim to safety on a distant shore. They find a man buried up to his neck in the dirt with ants swarming him. They rescue the man, who reveals himself to be the real Gorrah and the other Gorrah to be an imposter. The fake Gorrah is watching their every move and summons his giant servants to finish the job of killing the trio. They spot Scharem and Hawntem first, and Bob acts as a decoy, leading them into an ambush. Tex, Bob, and the real Gorrah make it to the palace and confront the imposter. The Gorrahs fight each other, and the fake Gorrah throws a knife at the real one. Instead of hitting its target, the knife hits a hidden switch, throwing the imposter into a pit. Tex and Bob have helped return the Sealed City back to its rightful ruler.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Sealed City (Part II)"
- One-Eyed Gorrah (Apparent Death)
- Daroka (Gorrah's servant)
- Scharem (Gorrah's servant) (First appearance)
- Hawntem (Gorrah's servant) (First appearance)
- The True Gorrah of the Sealed City (First appearance)
- Yukatrama Volcanic Area
- The Sealed City
- The Sealed City
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: The 4-G Gang (Part 3)"
Butch and Trigger have Chuck Dawson at gunpoint. They move in to search him, which is just what Chuck has been waiting for. He moves fast and grabs the gun from Trigger, then delivers a haymaker punch to Butch behind him. He runs off down the alley, climbing up a nearby roof where he won't be seen. Watching from above, Chuck spies the town sheriff put up a poster with his face on it: Wanted For Murder, an obvious frame-up. Now he'll have to clear his name before he can move on out. Looking down on the other side of the roof, Chuck spots Butch lurking around looking for him. He dives on Butch and, after a brief scuffle, Chuck guides him into the barn at gunpoint. Tying up the gun-toting thug with a lasso, Chuck questions him about his horse's whereabouts. Butch responds that his boss had the horse hidden by a creek behind the dance hall. Right when Chuck is about to leave, Butch's partner Trigger enters. Chuck quickly delivers a jab to the jaw before Trigger can fire his pistol. Leaving the two men hog-tied, Chuck exits the barn.
Hearing the approaching sound of footsteps, Chuck climbs up a nearby tree where he overhears two ne'er-do-wells talking. They plan on using Chuck's horse to frame him for a job. Chuck intends to stop them.
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: The 4-G Gang (Part 3)"
- John Burwell
- Steve (Burwell's hired gun) (First appearance)
- Trigger Holt
- Sheriff of Red Gulch
Synopsis for Zatara: "Death from the Air"
The police commissioner and Zatara are discussing a recent string of murders with the same MO: several wealthy men have been killed by assassins piloting airplanes. While at his hotel, Zatara hears of another attack over the radio and sends an astral projection of himself to the scene. He sees his rival the Tigress and decides to follow her. The Tigress enters a law office, revealing that the recently deceased man had included her in his will. She feels Zatara's presence, but the magician quickly leaves. Zatara fills in the police commissioner and volunteers to collect the evidence to take down the Tigress. He takes his servant Tong to the airfield to get flying lessons. Returning to the city, Zatara hires an escort to bring along to various dances around town. At a club, he sees the Tigress who is already seducing another wealthy old man. Zatara confronts this latest target the next day and rescues him from another air attack. The Tigress is exposed in the newspapers, and the Tigress plots to take down Zatara. Zatara sneaks himself and Tong past two thugs outside and makes his way to the airfield. He casts a spell on Tong to help his flying abilities and the two zoom away to the Tigress' hideout. Tong and Zatara engage in a dogfight with two criminals, but Zatara transforms them into an eagle. The duo reach the hideout and take down the thug guarding it. The Tigress and her lawyer speed to the cabin, while Zatara finds the evidence he needs to bring down the racket. The Tigress escapes in an airplane, but the master magician succeeds in subduing the other criminals.
Appearing in Zatara: "Death from the Air"
- Bill (a member of The Tigress' gang) (Single appearance)
- Mike (a member of The Tigress' gang) (Single appearance)
- Police Commissioner
- Daniel Fellen (Mentioned)
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Superman Battles Death Underground was reprinted in Superman #1, Famous First Edition #C-61, The Superman Archives Vol. 1, Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1, Millennium Edition: Superman #1, Superman Chronicles Vol. 1 and Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus, Volume 1.
- The A-Gang (Part III) is presented entirely in black and white.
- Although the first part of "The A-Gang (Part III)" (in Action Comics #1) has been designated "The A-G Gang" by several sources (most notably the Grand Comic Book Database), but the name of the gang is the 4-G Gang, according to this story.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:
- "Sports at Sea" (text story), by Dick Lawlor
- This early issue of Action Comics has a rare non-Superman front cover.
- Zatara writer/artist Fred Guardineer is also credited as "Gene Baxter" on his Pep Morgan story, in this issue.
- Russell Cole is credited as Edwin Alger in this issue.