"Superman: "Fifth Columnists"": Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane is en route to the Gladstone Hall, where a meeting of the "Volunteers for Peace" is to take place, a group that petitions heavily against the United States's rearmament. Lo
- Something's wrong! The plane is acting queerly!
Synopsis for Superman: "Fifth Columnists"
Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane is en route to the Gladstone Hall, where a meeting of the "Volunteers for Peace" is to take place, a group that petitions heavily against the United States's rearmament. Lois is met at the door by Volunteers member Ted Allen, who reminds her to make sure she writes-up a favorable review of the proceedings. Lois retorts that she only writes what she pleases. The meeting begins, as the Volunteers for Peace leader, Stuart Pemberton, takes the stage. Unbeknownst to all below, Superman also has taken an interest in the gathering, watching from the roof with his x-ray vision. Pemberton rallies the crowd against rearmament. He even goes so far as to say the Metropolis newspapers are all pro-arms because they are secretly being paid off. This angers Lois. She stands up and declares Pemberton a liar. Some men grab her to toss her out. Just then, Superman bursts through the wall! The Man of Steel punches out Lois' man-handlers, then grabs Mr. Pemberton and tosses him into the crowd. With Lois under his arm, he rushes through three more burly toughs blocking the exit, and flies out the door! During their flight, Superman chastises Lois for her foolish behavior. Did she think she could go up against an entire mob? He leaves her on the roof of the Daily Planet to keep her out of further mischief.
Superman returns to the Gladstone Hall, but it's already been cleared out. However, he can hear voices emerging from the basement, so he steps below to investigate. In a dimly lit room, Ted Allen sits at a table with a few other members from the meeting. They are overheard talking about sabotaging major strategic centers. Superman eavesdrops, learning that Ted and the others were actually foreign spies from "Nation X". They had been fooling the members of Volunteers for Peace with anti-rearmament talk, attempting to get Americans all riled up. Ted goes on to say that Nation X will strike within the hour, so they had to help pave the way by sabotaging strategic locations. Ted leaves and goes to his car. Superman follows from above.
Ted Allen unknowingly leads the Man of Steel to a bridge, which has an explosive device attached. Ted calls over to his men to prepare to detonate! Superman commands them to stop. The saboteurs pull out their guns, though the bullets deflect harmlessly off Superman's chest. They are sent sprawling, getting knocked down again and again until they've had enough! The thugs are ready to confess everything to their unstoppable foe, but a bullet to the head silences each of them. Ted then turns the machine gun on the dynamite planted at the bridge's foundation and fires. The explosion temporarily knocks Superman back. When he recovers, Ted is nowhere to be seen, and the bridge could suffer a collapse at any moment. What's worse, Superman hears a train coming. Working desperately, he meets the front of the locomotive and pushes as hard as he can, forcing the train to a complete stop just before crossing the bridge! Not yet satisfied, he disconnects the locomotive from the rest of the train and turns it sideways before placing it across the track. There would be no chance of a wreck today!
At a water reservoir, a pair of Pemberton's henchmen are about to toss bottles full of narcotics into the water supply! Superman streaks down to stop them. Thinking fast, he tells them that they've been deceived, because the bottles only contain regular water. They don't believe him, calling his bluff. So he proves it by drinking the contents himself, his superior immune system rendering the narcotics harmless. After a few minutes of no ill effects, the confused thugs take a drink themselves, and topple over into unconsciousness seconds later.
Meanwhile, above Metropolis, a mass of planes converge on the city, dropping bombs as they pass over! The radio announcers have their hands full reporting on the destruction. Superman flies up and towards the deadly bombers! He collides with them in their V formation, knocking them around like bowling pins! He finds the commander of the airstrike and forces him to order a full retreat. When Superman turns his back, the commander fires his gun at him. It was his last mistake. The bullet ricochets off Superman's backside, striking the commander, killing him instantly.
Stuart Pemberton is no longer going to let others do his dirty work. He leads the raid on one of the radio stations, hijacking the microphone to denounce the United States. Lois hears the ranting on her car's radio, and she immediately starts driving towards the station to help. But as she enters, Lois is seized by Pemberton's thug. Superman also overhears the broadcast, flying towards the station at super speed. When he crashes through the roof, Pemberton grabs Lois and holds her in front of him, a gun at her temple! He keeps the man of steel at bay by threatening Lois's life, as he takes her with him into the elevator. Superman moves fast, dispatching the remaining thugs, then leaping out the window to the ground. Entering through the front, Superman waits by the elevator, then slugs the surprised Pemberton when he steps out!
Later, back to life in the Daily Planet, Lois tells Clark she has a huge article that she just dashed off to the editor. She becomes cold and annoyed when Clark replies that the presses are already printing his report, which covers the same story!
Appearing in Superman: "Fifth Columnists"
- Stuart Pemberton (Single appearance)
- Ted Allen (Single appearance)
- Bomber planes
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Fur Thieves"
Pep Morgan and his pal Slim are on the ice playing hockey against Tilson University. Pep scores a goal, winning the game for his team. Later, Pep and Slim drive home in Slim's car.
While driving down a country road, a brown delivery truck comes barreling towards Pep and Slim from the opposite direction. The truck swerves to one side at the last minute, dodging the boys' car with inches to spare, and continues down the road at high speed.
Further up the road, Pep and Slim see two unconscious men lying in the street. Their uniforms suggest they are the drivers of the truck that nearly hit Slim's car. Pep deduces that the truck was hijacked by crooks. On the way to the hospital with their unconscious passengers, Pep tells Slim to drop him off at the bridge over the highway. He had an idea. Slim does as he's asked, then continues to the hospital, leaving Pep behind. Pep's waiting pays off, as the truck from before passes beneath the bridge. He leaps over the bridge railing, onto the truck's roof as the drivers are unaware they gained a new passenger.
The stolen delivery truck pulls into an old barn. As the crooks step out, Pep hops down from the top of the vehicle and uses his boxing training to take them out. Peering through the window of a nearby farmhouse, Pep spies two other criminals going over the list of goods they've stolen. Creeping slowly, so he isn't heard, Pep comes up behind the low-lifes and slams their heads together, knocking them out cold! As he looks at the list, Pep is surprised by a voice behind him. It was a red-haired older woman, holding a gun on the young prep. She was the boss of the operation, and she is demanding that he hand over the list right now. Instead, Pep notices she's standing on a rug, and ducks down to pull it out from under her! As she topples over, her gun is sent flying right towards Pep, and naturally, he catches it. Now that he has her on the other side of the barrel, Pep forces the woman into the truck, so he can drive her straight to the police.
At the station, the police chief tells Pep how they've been looking for that gang of crooks for a long time, commending him on capturing the leader. Slim has also returned from the hospital with the good news that the drivers were going to make a full recovery. The two friends are ready to return home.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Fur Thieves"
- "Slim" Pickens
- Jake (Single appearance)
- Joe (Single appearance)
- Mike (Single appearance)
- Unnamed coach (Single appearance)
- Officer O'Toole (Single appearance)
- Slim's car
Synopsis for Black Pirate: "Return to Spain"
Jon Valor has regained control of his ship's wheel, and steers her back towards his waiting crew on the remains of Lu Chan's Junk. Night turns to day, Lu Chan and his crew waken from below deck and discover Valor just as he reaches his crew! The two crews begin the attack. Valor and Lu Chan match swords. But there can only be one victor, and a single mistake by the Chinese pirate results in his doom! Valor cleans the blood from his blade as the last of Chan's crew is removed from his ship.
Jon Valor discusses with his crew what should be done with Bonnie. He decides the sea is no place for a woman, and he is a part of the sea, so they will drop her off at Barcelona. In a tender moment, Jon tells Bonnie his plan. She only smiles, because she has made plans of her own. And so they set sail, to the port of Barcelona.
Appearing in Black Pirate: "Return to Spain"
- Lu Chan (Final appearance; dies)
- Valor's crew
- Jon Valor's ship
- Lu Chan's Junk (Remains)
Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Mountain of Gold"
The priestess, Thola, tells the Aces about a mountain covered in gold. The trio are determined to find it!
Appearing in Three Aces: "The Mountain of Gold"
- Thola (Final appearance)
- Wilkins (Final appearance)
- Ancient Mayan (Single appearance)
- The Aces' planes
Synopsis for Mister America: "Blackmail"
A company of guardsmen goes on a training exercise. Captain Charles Tracy is visibly nervous about something, but when his sister Diana tries to find out what's wrong, he brushes her off. He and the rest of the company load up into the trucks, and the army convoy heads off to the camp.
Eventually, the road becomes narrow, as it goes winding around a mountain. High up on the hills, sinister men watch for the army vehicles, with an explosive detonator at the ready. Inside the truck at the forefront, Charles becomes more and more uneasy. Finally, he grabs the wheel and forces the truck to turn sideways on the road, blocking the rest of the convoy. In front of them, an avalanche of dirt and rock cascades down the mountain, wiping out the road. Captain Charles Tracy is hailed as a hero!
The next day, Bob Daley and Tex Thomson read the newspaper, with the headlines being about the mountain sabotage. Tex is concerned that the ones who set the explosives were never found. Bob discovers a message to Mr. America in the ads, asking the masked vigilante for help. How could Tex refuse?
Mr. America meets with Diana Tracy, who is very concerned for her brother Charles. The night before he left, she says he made a mysterious phone call, and left the house all excited. She had followed him, and he had entered a dimly lit store. Inside there was a man she recognized as "Big Rocky", a notorious gambler. Rocky was demanding that Charles "do what he's supposed to do" about the soldiers. Diana saw her brother look very shaken. Tex promises Diana to look into things, and he'll start with Big Rocky.
At Rocky's hideout, Tex dispatches the guard outside with his whip. He listens in on a conversation between Rocky and his partners. The failed attempt on the soldier trucks is brought up, as well as a mysterious figure known as "The Reed", who Rocky says already has a new plan for the army camp. A red, white, and blue colored feather, the calling card of Mr. America, floats into the room. The man himself stands in the doorway, quickly drawing his bullwhip and snapping the guns out of the hands of Rocky and his guys. The others fall one by one to the masked adventurers blows. Fearing a beating, Rocky promises to tell Mr. America everything about the Reed's operation. But before he can talk, a poisoned dart hits him square in the chest, silencing Big Rocky forever. Tex chases the killer outside, where a car is waiting. Before he can reach the man, the car windows roll down, and a hail of bullets sends Mr. America diving for cover. The car, with the killer inside, escape while Tex catches his breath.
At his secret hideout, The Reed decides to move up his plans after Rocky's death. Tomorrow he and his men would strike at the camp, using a whispering campaign to break it up from within. Meanwhile, back in the apartment, Tex plans his next move. He and Bob decide to see Charles Tracy at the camp. If they leave now they'll make it by morning.
Back in his Mr. America garb, Tex sends Bob to find Tracy's tent, while he listens in on a pair of soldiers. One of them was trying to convince the other that staying in camp was crazy, that he'd never get out again to see his wife and children. From behind a tree, Tex listens, suspecting the "soldier" to be a spy trying to spread dissension among the ranks. Wherever he follows him, he sees the man talk of leaving camp to the other recruits, putting seeds of doubt in their minds. Not wanting to listen to anymore, Mr. America seizes the surprised man and exposes him as a lackey of the late Big Rocky. He leaves the distressed dissenter to the recruits, who feel dumb for listening to a pathetic spy.
Bob, in the meantime, has run into trouble of his own. Finding Tracy's tent, he walks in on The Reed and his goon trying to blackmail Captain Tracy. Bob is taken captive, while Tracy tries to save him, only to receive a hard whack for his trouble. Mr. America finds Tracy huddled over, and helps him to his feet. The captain knew where they took Bob, leading Tex to the cannon testing area. The Reed has sabotaged the cannons so they'll blow up after the sixth shot. Bob was meant to serve as the target, tied down to the bulls-eye board. Suddenly, The Reed spots Mr. America rushing towards him, and he and his henchman take off running. The Reed tries to make a getaway in his car, but this time, Tex is lucky enough to find an unmanned tank. At top speed, Tex rams into the Reed's vehicle, allowing the authorities to take it from there. Bob is freed, and more than happy to drive Tex back home where it's safe.
Appearing in Mister America: "Blackmail"
- The Reed (Single appearance)
- "Big" Rocky (Only appearance; dies)
- Charles Tracy(Single appearance)
- Diana Tracy (Single appearance)
- John (Single appearance)
- Mister America's Bullwhip
Synopsis for Clip Carson: "The Central American General"
An air clipper, whose passengers include the infamous General Pirano and the notorious American adventurer, Clip Carson, is forced to land in a Central American jungle, in or near Aculpec. Clip gets embroiled in a power struggle between the General and Aculpec's legitimate head of state, President Camazzo, who has been kidnapped and imprisoned in an alligator infested swamp. Carson teams up with the President's audacious daughter Corinne, who has infiltrated Pirano's army, to rescue Camazzo and take down Pirano.
Appearing in Clip Carson: "The Central American General"
- General Pirano (Apparent Death)
- his soldiers
- Rex Bates, oil man
- Corinne Camazzo
- President Camazzo (Single appearance)
- Joe, pilot
- Air Clipper (sabotaged, stolen, recaptured)
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Dude Ranch Kidnappers"
On a farm out in Arizona, a father and his daughter are in dire straits. With money being tight, Mr. Nelson won't be able to send Sally off to college. Sally suggests they turn the farm into a Dude ranch, thereby making some extra cash. But the farm only had one horse, and no extra farmhands. Nelson admitted that if his old friend Zatara were here, he'd help them come up with some ideas. Late that night in her room, Sally pens a letter to the magician, asking for his help.
A few days later, Zatara receives the letter. He thinks the Dude ranch is a wonderful idea, and because he's been in need of some fresh air and sunshine, decides to help the Nelsons out. Tong packs his master's bags, and once Zatara chants "Eb Degniw", they both fly off atop their newly winged suitcases.
Sally is the first to spot the magician and his servant flying over the ranch. She and her father become more hopeful now that Zatara is here to help. First order of business is to remodel the old farmhouse. With a backwards chant, the house becomes new, even flower beds bloomed around its edge. Zatara offers to handle the advertising himself, while Papa Nelson just goes about hiring a cook and some farmhands. Flying into town, Zatara and Tong land atop a roof, and the magician casts a spell to make it rain gold coins! The townsfolk begin to gather together to catch the rich rainfall, but the coins strangely take on a new direction and begin to roll just out of reach. The people follow the money until it winds up leading them to the Nelson Ranch, now improved for tourists and locals. Father and daughter are overjoyed when the guests start adding their names to the registry, paying in advance for a room. Zatara, too, decides to spend a week or two at the ranch as a guest.
A pair of hustling crooks visit Mr. Nelson late that night. They want him to pay up for "protection" of his new business. The outraged farmer throws them out. But they soon return, carrying cans of kerosene! Soon the ranch is aflame! Zatara is woken by the noise, and seeing the flames, he shouts "Erif eb erif-srethgif", turning the flames into fiery figures of firemen who put out the fire with water buckets! Outside, the crooks are disappointed about the fire going out... until they notice Sally Nelson standing outside alone. They grab miss Nelson and ride off with her on horseback! She screams for help, but Zatara is too tired to hear it. It's her father who awakens him, frantically reporting that his daughter's been nabbed!
The kidnapping criminals find a cave they can hide in. As a precaution, they tie Sally up and dangle her over a chasm by a rope. If anyone tries to capture them, they'll shoot the rope, sending the girl to her death.
By communicating with a few animals, Zatara learns about the cave, pressing onward. As soon as he enters, the crooks fire their guns at him, but Zatara forces the bullets to turn around and chase the crooks instead! One of the crooks manages to get one more shot off, though, severing the rope that holds Sally. She begins to fall fast! Zatara creates more ropes out of thin-air and sends them down for Sally to grab hold of. She's pulled back up safely, and very thankful to be alive. One last spell is cast, to levitate the criminals responsible for this mess and carry them to the police.
The next day at the ranch, after all the trouble last night, Mr. Nelson is happy to be getting back to work. The money he made from all the incoming reservations was more than enough to send his daughter off to a good college. Zatara is just looking forward to a nice relaxing time on the ranch, free from adventure for awhile.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Dude Ranch Kidnappers"
- Sally Nelson (Single appearance)
- Mr. Nelson (Single appearance)
- Published monthly by Detective Comics, Inc.
- This issue's Black Pirate episode is continued from last issue. Next issue has no Black Pirate episode but the feature returns in Action Comics #38.
- Superman: Fifth Columnists is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 2 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 5.
- Last Action Comics issue for Clip Carson. Starting next month, in the June 1941 issues of "Action" and "More Fun", Congo Bill and Clip Carson will swap places, with Fred Ray taking over the art on Congo Bill, and George Papp continuing with the art on Clip Carson.
- Carson's villain, General Pirano, was last seen running out of a building, onto which Clip Carson was dropping a bomb, and is almost certainly dead.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics was:
- "Tale of a Mule" by John Hilton (text story)