"Superman: "The Coal Mine Heiress"": Clark and Lois go out on assignment to the Laurey Mines, where Doris Laurey has taken over responsibilities after her father passed on. However, they are denied an interview by Doris' uncle Jim, who throws them
Action Comics #34 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 1941.
Synopsis for Superman: "The Coal Mine Heiress"
Clark and Lois go out on assignment to the Laurey Mines, where Doris Laurey has taken over responsibilities after her father passed on. However, they are denied an interview by Doris' uncle Jim, who throws them out just as he had every other reporter who came knocking. Clark is suspicious that they are trying to hide something. Once he is alone, mild-mannered Clark Kent removes his outer garb to reveal the "S" logo underneath, the symbol of Superman!
Jim Laurey is partially overheard by the Man of Steel's super-hearing, though he only catches the last part of his conversation with the foreman. Later, a runaway mine cart speeds down the shaft Doris is currently inspecting. Faster than the human eye can perceive, Superman rushes inside the tunnel and narrowly stops the cart before it can hit the young lady. Just then, a cave-in occurs behind them, blocking the way out. Doris panics, but Superman easily digs their way back out. Jim is relieved that his niece is okay, though Superman isn't so sure of the sincerity behind his words.
As her uncle brings her back up to his office, down below Clark keeps a close eye with his X-Ray vision. When Jim offers her a drink to calm her nerves, Superman notices something odd and leaps up and through the office window! He tells Doris the drink is poisoned! Jim denies it, but when Superman tries forcing him to drink it, he breaks down and confesses. He and the foreman have been plotting to kill Doris and make it look accidental, so Jim can take over ownership of the mines. While Superman is wrapping a lead pipe around Jim and the crooked foreman like a rope, Doris phones the police.
Hours later, Lois returns to the Daily Planet, despondent that she couldn't get anywhere with the mine story. So she was surprised to learn that Clark had already written up a full page report on the incident at the Laurel Mines, and that apparently he had help from Superman himself!
Appearing in Superman: "The Coal Mine Heiress"
- Jim Laurey (Single appearance)
- Manager Crawford (Single appearance)
- Doris Laurey (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Sailing Spies"
Pep's friend Slim bought a plane with his life savings, and he invited Pep along for its first flight out. A mysterious engine failure caused the plane to crash into the ocean. With no sign of Slim, Pep was found by a nearby schooner and hauled aboard. The captain of the vessel orders him thrown into the brig. Something sinister was happening aboard the ship, and Pep, always the curious one, was determined to find out what.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Sailing Spies"
- "Slim" Pickens
- Captain Wolf (Single appearance)
- Von Baden (Single appearance)
- Anti-Aircraft Ray
Synopsis for The Black Pirate: "Trapped on the Junk"
Jon Valor and his crew find the Chinese vessel that captured the lady who calls herself the Queen of the Seas. They board the junk and fight off its crew of maddened Chinese pirates. Jon grabs the wicked captain, Lu Chan, and makes him talk about where he was holding the girl. Tossing the Oriental aside, Valor enters the brig to find his Queen. But Lu Chan is still full of tricks, and while Jon and the Queen of the Seas are reunited, the door is slammed shut and locked behind them! To further complicate matters, Lu Chan has set his own ship on fire, planning to take Jon's vessel and escape!
Appearing in The Black Pirate: "Trapped on the Junk"
- Lu Chan
- Jon Valor's ship
- Chinese Junk
Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Treasure of Kublai Khan, Part 2"
The wife of a tyrant seeks the aid of the Three Aces. A terrifying shootout soon follows between the Aces and the bandits led by Chin Khan.
Appearing in Three Aces: "The Treasure of Kublai Khan, Part 2"
- Chin Khan (Only appearance; dies)
- Mongolian Bandits
- Pitou (Only appearance; dies)
- Aces' Planes
Synopsis for Mr. America: "The Munitions Magnate"
A munitions factory is hijacked and blown up by two crooks. Many lose their lives in the blast. Tex Thomson and his companion, Bob, look into matters, with Tex going in his new secret identity as "Mr. America".
The F.B.I are covering the site of the explosion. Tex dodges them for the time being, finding some footprints leading into the marshlands nearby. A rustling sound causes him to take cover behind a tree as a pair of thugs pass by. They are apparently searching around for a lost cuff link. After several minutes of no luck, the duo's search is interrupted by Mister America. Tex tries beating some information out of them, but they refuse to talk, firing their guns in vain. The noise alerts the FBI, as several agents come over to investigate. Tex takes to the treetops, remaining unseen as the two thugs are gunned down. Luckily, he overhears his next lead when one of the FBI agents mention Harben Munitions as the next likely target.
The next day, Bob drives Tex, in Mr. America garb, to the office of Mr. Harben, to warn him of the possible sabotage. But Harben refuses to listen, and orders Tex out. Thinking it odd that he should have no fear of sabotage, Tex tells Bob to follow Harben's car when it leaves. Soon after, a strange coupe pulls up alongside Harben and orders him to stop the car. The driver gets out and confronts Harben with as gun The tough guy orders him to pay up now, because he lost two guys on the job. Bob's car rolling up distracts the gunman long enough for Harben to run him through with the sharp point of his cane. Harben speeds off in his car as Bob and Tex check on the dying man. With his vague last words, the thug reveals that Harben may have had something to do with the explosion.
The fence around Harben's factory is electrified, as Bob quickly discovers. Tex manages to vault over to the other side. A discarded note catches his eye. Mister America climbs through the Harben Munition Factory window, landing in the head office where Mr. Harben reels back in shock. Harben pulls out his sword cane, threatening to kill Tex the same way he did the thug. Tex flips forward so that his feet meet Harben's head, knocking the magnate backwards. A cuff link falls out of Harben's trousers, like the one the guys in the marshes were searching for. It was enough evidence for Tex to conclude that Harben was the one who ordered the explosion on his competitor's business. But because he didn't pay off the thugs that did the job, they were now planning to blow up his factory too. Mister America shows Harben the note he found, which is a message to someone inside, ordering them to sabotage the factory! All the employees are rounded up, as Harben briefs them on the situation. Tex notices out of the corner of his eye that the janitor is placing something in the water cooler! Before anyone can move, Billz, the foreman, draws a gun. Mister America snaps his whip at Billz's feet, throwing him on his back. The other employees find and disarm the bomb, but when they look around for their savior, Mister America has vanished.
Harben, Billz, and his men are all arrested by the FBI, while the government takes over ownership of the plant. Back in their apartment, Tex and Bob relax after another solved case.
Appearing in Mr. America: "The Munitions Magnate"
- Harben (Single appearance)
- Billz (Single appearance)
- FBI Agents
Synopsis for Clip Carson: "The Giant of the Lumberjacks"
Clip Carson visits his friend Ted at his northern lumber camp. After dinner, Ted and his daughter, Rose, introduce Clip to Pierre, a towering man who helped raise Rose. Though he looks tough, he has a reputation around the camp for having a heart of gold.
Pierre and the other lumberjacks engage in a bit of wrestling, to unwind from the long workday. As usual, Pierre overpowers each of his coworkers in these friendly bouts. Pierre invites Clip to have a go, and Clip accepts. To everyone's surprise, Clip goes in low and tosses the giant over his shoulder. Pierre hits his head on a steel-toed boot, as the crowd applauds Clip. A change occurs in Pierre, and he grabs his logger's ax and rushes toward Clip in a furious rage. Clip's quick reflexes allow him to knock Pierre out before he can bring his ax down. The others take Pierre to bed while Ted and Rose remain puzzled. They have never known Pierre to act that way before. Clip shrugs it off as just a spoiled sports reaction to losing the fight, and they all head off to bed themselves.
Ted wakes Clip up in a panic. Pierre has kidnapped Rose! They were last seen heading towards Cave Mountain, through a blizzard. Ted believes Pierre is taking her to one of the tool sheds in the area, which is where the other lumberjacks are going to search. Clip has other ideas, though. He doesn't believe Pierre would go someplace so obviously known to everyone. Instead, Clip searched the mountain for a cave or hollow. After all they wouldn't name it "Cave Mountain" for nothing.
Carson's hunch proves true, when he comes across an opening in the rock wall. Rose is inside, bound to a chair and gagged. When Clip releases her, she tells him that Pierre has gone mad! He thinks Rose is his wife, Mimi, who had died ten years ago. As they are about to make their escape, Pierre comes back. Seeing Clip with Rose, his warped mind thinks that the adventurer is trying to kidnap his wife, and so Pierre charges. Clip rolls on his back and flips Pierre over with his feet, sending him flying into the side of the cave.
Outside, the blizzard has subsided enough for Clip and Rose to slowly start down the mountain. Unknown to either of them, the jolt to his head from the rocks clears Pierre's mind. He is himself again, and doesn't remember what has happened or how he got there. As Pierre leaves the cave, he noticeds a mountain lion on the prowl, its hungry eyes stalking Clip and Rose. Ax in hand, Pierre takes aim and tosses, the blade embedding itself in the lion's chest just as it lunges toward its prey. Clip and Rose were stunned. When Pierre goes down to meet them, they realize what had happened; the blow to Pierre's head, back during the wrestling match, must have jumbled his thoughts, just as the jolt from the rocks helped regain his senses.
Back at camp, Clip explains everything to Ted. Not wanting to condemn the man who had been like family to them all these years, nor wanting to jog his memory of the awful acts he had committed, Ted and Rose decide to let Pierre continue working, while making the rest of the employees swear never to reveal what happened that day. Clip is ready to leave, wanting to catch the next adventure that comes his way.
Appearing in Clip Carson: "The Giant of the Lumberjacks"
- Pierre (Single appearance)
- Ted Reed (Single appearance)
- Rose Reed (Single appearance)
- Cave Mountain
Synopsis for Zatara: "Get Zatara"
A gang of mobsters, led by Scarface, gather around a table in a dimly lit room. Scarface tells the boys how Zatara has been messing with their plans for long enough. Just a day or two ago, Scarface and his thugs had grabbed Zatara, put a hood over his head, and thrown him in their car. The plan was to take the magician to the woods and "rub 'im out" with their Tommy guns. But after they set him up against a tree and began firing, they discovered that he had disappeared out of his clothes! Back in the car, they heard a voice, and in the back seat, a cigarette was being lit by an invisible man! Scarface and his guys were so spooked that they took off running, but Zatara had other plans. He turned Scarface's two thugs, Slugger and Butch, into stone statues!
Presently, back in the hideout, Zatara reveals himself, having been disguised as one of the gangsters. He disappears before shots can be fired, which spooks Scarface even more. The magician was everywhere, what were they supposed to do?
Later, members of Scarface's gang are robbing a bank. Zatara's instincts lead him to the scene, where a magic spell causes the crooks' guns to turn against them. The now-living weapons "escort" their owners to the police station. But Zatara's day isn't over yet. Word reaches him that the Foxx Hotel was being robbed by Scarface and his men! Upon reaching the building, Zatara casts another spell to ensure that no one inside can escape, by levitating the whole hotel hundreds of feet off the ground! A young bellhop comes out to greet the magician. He panics when he sees the city below, and Zatara has to save him with a spell when he falls. Zatara asks the boy about Scarface's gang. The bellhop explains that his older brother is a member of the gang, and he was helping them bring people in so they can knock them out and rob them. Inside one of the hotel rooms, a thug waits with a baseball bat for anyone to enter. What he, and the others, don't expect is Zatara, smoothly dodging the thug's swing as he comes in. A spell is spoken, and the furniture in the hotel suddenly comes to life! The dresser, beds, and lamps all grab hold of the gang and throw the bad men out. Zatara slows their fall with an utterance, and ensures they end up crashing through the roof of the police station. He then replaces the hotel in the ground where it was, and goes after the head honcho, Scarface himself.
Scarface is making a getaway in his car. He decides to try heading to Chicago, to start a new gang. He never makes it there. Zatara levitates Scarface's car and leads it back to the police. With all of the gang now captured, Zatara can rest easy again until his next adventure.
Appearing in Zatara: "Get Zatara"
- Zatara (Flashback and main story)
- Scarface (Flashback and main story) (Single appearance)
- Scarface's gang (Flashback and main story) (Single appearance)
- Butch (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
- Slugger (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
- Published monthly by Detective Comics, Inc.
- This issue's Black Pirate episode is continued from last issue and continues into next issue.
- Superman: The Coal Mine Heiress is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 2 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 5.
- Aside from the stories above, this issue contains:
- "Safe Passage" by John Hilton (text story)
- "Peter and His Pup" by Ray McGill
- "Danny Dubb"