"Superman: "Clark Kent, Police Commissioner"": Crime is running rampant in Metropolis, and the law is unable to stop it. Every time an arrest is made, the crook gets released a few hours later. Perry White of the Daily Planet gathers the editors of rival new
Action Comics #37 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1941.
- 1 Synopsis for Superman: "Clark Kent, Police Commissioner"
- 2 Appearing in Superman: "Clark Kent, Police Commissioner"
- 3 Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Playboy's Gambling Ring"
- 4 Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Playboy's Gambling Ring"
- 5 Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Lost City of Atlantis"
- 6 Appearing in Three Aces: "The Lost City of Atlantis"
- 7 Synopsis for Mr. America: "The Spy B-7"
- 8 Appearing in Mr. America: "The Spy B-7"
- 9 Synopsis for Congo Bill: "The Italian Officer"
- 10 Appearing in Congo Bill: "The Italian Officer"
- 11 Synopsis for Zatara: "The Baseball Fixers"
- 12 Appearing in Zatara: "The Baseball Fixers"
- 13 Notes
- 14 See Also
- 15 Links and References
Synopsis for Superman: "Clark Kent, Police Commissioner"
Crime is running rampant in Metropolis, and the law is unable to stop it. Every time an arrest is made, the crook gets released a few hours later. Perry White of the Daily Planet gathers the editors of rival newspapers, to form an alliance. Soon the front pages of every paper are full of mentions of the police commissioner's laziness in dealing with the crime wave. The mayor has no choice but to fire Commissioner Kennedy and put someone more competent in his place.
Clark and Lois are present when the new commissioner is sworn in. But later that evening, as the new commissioner heads home, he is gunned down by a man in a car. The next day, Larrimore, a man with a remarkable civic record, takes the place of the fallen commissioner. But when he enters his car after giving a public speech, it explodes into a horrible twisted wreck. The assassinations of each new man sworn in as police commissioner have got the mayor rattled. He meets with Clark and Lois, but they, too, are out of ideas. No one else would dare take the job, now. But the mayor suddenly gets an inspiration! He nominates Clark Kent as police commissioner. After all, it was Kent who had been leading the crusade for a better government. Though very reluctant, Clark accepts the title.
Lois sits with Clark in his new office in city hall, thinking of a way to build him up in the public eye. She calls up an old friend, Butch Moran, who owes her a favor. Butch would stage a mugging where he'd let Clark "beat him up". As dawn approaches, Clark and Lois leave city hall. A gun is shoved into Clark's back. Thinking it's part of the act, Clark plays along even as the gunman knocks Lois out, believing her to be "acting". The man fires a shot at Clark, which he dodges while chastising him to not be so rough. The attacker tackles Clark to the ground then, while Lois begins to come to. Clark easily takes the best of his opponent's punches, before Lois calls to him that the man wasn't Butch! That changes things. Clark delivers a stunning headbutt, knocking out the stranger. As he gets up, Clark hears a rough voice behind him and throws a punch directly towards the source. Butch Moran is nearly flattened. Why did Lois need him, he asked her angrily as he walks off in pain, when Clark can already handle himself? The police arrive and arrest the unknown assailant. Lois is excited to write up Clark as a hero. Clark doesn't seem as sure of himself, complaining he could have been killed, and telling her he wants to resign. Lois becomes furious at his lack of a spine, storming away from her too mild-mannered partner. Clark starts after her, but then he notices something odd about a couple of window washers working outside the mayor's office above. Their clothes and shoes didn't seem to be workmen issue. It looks suspicious enough for Clark to say goodbye to his weak-willed reporter identity, and get to work as Superman!
Superman flies up to meet the "window washers" just as they throw an incendiary bomb into the open window of the mayor's office! Superman collides their heads together, then leaps through the window to rescue those inside. The mayor and his aide are trapped behind a wall of flame. Superman exhales a great gust of air, blowing the fire out. Without even waiting for a 'thank you', Superman flies back out the window to a secluded spot, to resume his Clark Kent identity.
Returning to city hall, Clark tries to fight past the crowd to see the mayor, instead he is met by Sergeant Casey. Because he's the new commissioner, Casey reports to Clark that his source revealed there was a big jewelry heist going on that afternoon. It could be the same gang that's been killing off Clark's predecessors. Casey has officers posted at strategic points around the Jewelers' Exchange. Clark tells Casey he needs to make a phone call, which is actually an excuse so he can change to Superman.
Meanwhile, a speeding sedan crashes through the doors of the Jewelers' Exchange, taking the police by surprise! A heavy stream of anesthetic gas pours from the exhaust pipe, putting the officers to sleep. Superman appears just as the car is leaving, and he chases after it. He leaps in front of the vehicle and gets crashed into, crushing the sedan as though it hit a solid wall! The driver makes a getaway, but he can't outrun the Man of Steel. Superman takes a look at him, discovering it was the former commissioner, Kennedy, who was fired. As it turns out, he was also the head of the gang that had been terrorizing Metropolis! Sergeant Casey appears just in time to take Kennedy to jail, but not quite quick enough to catch Superman.
At the Daily Planet, Perry congratulates Clark and Lois on their story about Kennedy and his crooked connections. Perry asks Clark if he'd like to remain commissioner, since he'd done so well at it. But Clark would just rather stay a reporter.
Appearing in Superman: "Clark Kent, Police Commissioner"
- ex-Commissioner Kennedy (Single appearance)
- Phil Garson (Single appearance)
- Butch Moran (Single appearance)
- Officer Benchley (Single appearance)
- Melvin Larkins (Single appearance)
- Commissioner Larrimore (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Playboy's Gambling Ring"
Pep finds his friend Clarence with a gun to his head, about to pull the trigger. In a flash, Pep wrestles the firearm away from Clarence. He sits his distraught friend down, and asks him why he would do such a thing.
The other night, Clarence had visited Spinelli's Night Club, where he was invited to a round of gambling. At first, he was doing well, but then his luck changed, and Clarence lost two thousand dollars in tuition money that his father gave him. What was worse, they were coming by today to collect the remaining five hundred he still owed. Pep tells Clarence that he wasn't to blame. Spinelli's is only a front for an illegal gambling ring, meaning Clarence was probably cheated out of his money. There's a knock on the door. It's Spinelli's men, come to collect the five hundred dollars!
Pep puts on Clarence's glasses and tells him to go hide in the closet, then answers the door, and explains to the collectors that he doesn't have the money right now. They grab "Clarence" and force him in their car, taking him to their boss' hideout. Once there, Pep is confronted by a masked man. He repeats to the stranger that he doesn't have the money, so the masked man orders the others to rough Pep up. At that moment, Mr. Spinelli, the club owner, steps into the room. He had met Clarence the other night, and so he knows that Pep isn't him. The masked boss decides that Pep now knows too much, and had to be taken care of. Pep is taken to the dock out back by one of the thugs, to be shot and disposed of.
But Pep instead delivers a right hook, knocking the thug into the river! Stealing a motorboat, Pep heads back to the hideout, climbing up the coastline to the window of the boss' office above. He raps on the glass, and when the masked mobster opens it up to look, Pep grabs him and pulls him down onto the boat. He makes a getaway with the crooks' boss. It's not long before the others give chase in their own boat. They are gaining on Pep, so before they reach him, he decides to take a peek at the face of his hostage. It was Edgar Moran, a well known socialite and playboy. Edgar wrestles out of Pep's grasp and jumps into the river! Unfortunately, his men can't turn the boat in time, crashing into him and tipping the vessel over. Though he looks, Pep never sees them rise back up from the water.
He still had Moran's jacket, though. Searching the pockets, he finds Edgar's notebook, with all the names of the people he swindled out of their fortunes, including Clarence's. He also finds a billfold with five thousand dollars attached! He'll need to turn it in to the police... most of it, anyway.
Back at Clarence's dorm room, Pep tells him that the police found the fixed gambling tables in Edgar Moran's home. That was how he made all the money he would spend at night clubs. One other thing Pep does is give Clarence the two grand he lost. Pep felt it rightfully belonged to Clarence, since he had been cheated by a crooked game.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Playboy's Gambling Ring"
- Slim Pickens
- Edgar Moran (Only appearance; dies)
- Spinelli (Only appearance; dies)
- Joe (Only appearance; dies)
- Slug (Single appearance)
- Clarence Twiddle (Single appearance)
- Midwest College
Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Lost City of Atlantis"
Bill, Fog, and Will, the three ace pilots, receive a message from Ingrid Svenson, the woman they helped with her inheritance a few months back. They meet her at the Azore Islands, where she tells them she has found the lost city of Atlantis! She fell into a hole while exploring nearby, and accidentally found the caverns. Supposedly within, the fabled city was hidden. But while exploring the chambers, she came across a large ominous door that, when she opened it, disclosed a yawning chasm that seemed to go on forever! Ingrid explains that the cave was big enough to even fly a few planes through, which is how she knew the Aces would be perfect for the job.
Bill, Will, and Fog fly their planes down, down into the chasm, going deep below the surface. Oddly, there is a landing field at the bottom, that is even lit up for them. When they step out, they find the field is covered in radium, which is what made it glow. Just a handful of the stuff could make them millionaires. Will hears a sound like an engine, and it comes closer. The trio looks up as a strange rocket-like ship zooms by them! It could only mean that people still existed in Atlantis! They excitedly return to their planes to follow the weird ship. They soar into the abyss, keeping the ship in sight. Soon, they reach a huge underworld that's bathed in light! Down below sits a house that the Aces feel they must investigate.
A young woman named Sasha greets the Three Aces when they step inside the small home. She even speaks their language due to reading their thoughts. Tens of thousands of years had passed since Atlantis sank beneath the waves. Her people knew of the disaster ahead of time and took cover deep in the abyss, within which that they now stood. But now Sasha was in trouble. She was being hunted by bad men and needed to escape. Gunner Bill, who found himself blushing at her feminine charm, offers to take her to the surface. Just as they are prepping their planes, the strange rocket comes back! Will and Fog take off, with Bill and his passenger Sasha behind them. Using their planes' guns, Will and Fog fire at the ship, their bullets igniting chemical fuel within the rocket, causing the men inside to land for quick repairs. Up, higher and higher, the Aces fly. Finally they reach the surface, where the waiting Ingrid wonders what they have found.
To be continued.
Appearing in Three Aces: "The Lost City of Atlantis"
- The Normen (First appearance)
- Ingrid Svensen
- Sasha (First appearance)
- The Aces' Planes
Synopsis for Mr. America: "The Spy B-7"
Professor Dowd, the inventor of a new coastal artillery gun for the Army, is kidnapped by spies. When he reads about it in the paper, Tex Thomson knows he has to do what he can to help. Disguised as his alter-ego Mr. America, Tex pays a visit to the home of the professor's daughter. However it appears that someone is already there, as cries for help ring from Inez Dowd's house. Mr. America comes to her rescue, fighting off the spies with his trusty bullwhip. The Dowds' house servant, Winters, arrives on the scene just as Tex is about to make the men talk. To both Tex and Inez's surprise, Winters pulls a gun and fires a gas pellet! Mr. America is knocked out by the fumes, while Winters, revealing himself to be "B-7", the head of the spy ring, commands his men to kidnap Inez.
Outside in his car, Bob Daley still waits for Tex, but then he sees the three men escaping out the back with Inez. Bob runs out and tries to stop them, but they knock him to the ground as they continue to run. At the same time, Tex revives and rushes out. He has slightly better luck than Bob, tackling one of the kidnappers while the others make their getaway. At least now Mr. America had someone who could tell where the professor was being held.
That evening, Professor Dowd gets a shock when his daughter Inez walks through the door, as a hostage. B-7 asks the professor if he'll change his tune about drawing a diagram of the secret gunsights. Inez's plea to her father not to give in annoys the spy leader. So be it. He'll take her with him to the Army post, where she'll gain him admittance, so he can snap photos of the gunsight himself. If Inez fails her part, Winters will kill both her and her father.
Suddenly, the shadowy silhouette of Mr. America falls over the room. He leaps from the window above, as a thug steps between him and Winters, who gets away with Inez! The thug out cold, Tex unties the Professor, after which they take the car to the Army camp, hoping to stop B-7 before it's too late! Winters is allowed near the professor's new gun, but when the Major notices a tiny camera in the palm of his hand, the spy leader shoots him! Inez is used as a human shield, a gun held at her temple as other soldiers converge in on them.
Winters doesn't see the car, but he feels the whip wrap around his waist. As Dowd drives, Mr. America holds on to the whip as Winters is dragged along the ground. Soon enough, he is pleading for mercy. Tex obliges him, and leaves Winters for the army to deal with.
Back in Bob's apartment, Tex finishes telling his faithful companion the story, then heads to bed. He knows that another adventure will likely await them in the morning.
Appearing in Mr. America: "The Spy B-7"
- Winters (aka B-7; leader of a spy ring) (Single appearance)
- Several spies (Juan named) (Single appearance)
- Professor Dowd (a scientist) (Single appearance)
- Inez Dowd (the Professor's daughter) (Single appearance)
- Mister America's bullwhip
- secret plans for new artillery
Synopsis for Congo Bill: "The Italian Officer"
On board a steamer boat, cruising down an African river, ride famed adventurer Congo Bill and his friend Professor Kent. The professor wants to take Bill to an Army camp, to meet an old friend who is in command there. So a day later, Bill is introduced to Major Stirling and his young daughter Syble. Unfortunately, the meeting couldn't have come at a worse time. Over half of the Askari natives that make up Stirling's troop have died in an epidemic. The camp was only holding half its manpower now, and they hadn't been able to get in touch with reinforcements. The situation was dangerous, since there was an enemy outpost just ten miles from them, that could take advantage of their weakness should they find out. Unknown to all inside, an Askari tribesmen was listening in on the conversation.
At night fall, the Askari man cuts the radio wire and begins making a run toward the enemy camp. He intended to gain a reward from their captain for reporting on Stirling's current situation. Back at the hut, Syble awakens Congo Bill, alerting him to the traitor. She was going to go ahead and follow him while Bill got his gear together. Moments later, Bill is on his horse and following after Syble's trail.
Bill makes it to the enemy camp, but doesn't see a sign of Syble. He vaults over the barbed wire fence, and stealthily heads toward the captain's cabin. Syble is being held inside, but there is only one guard, which Bill easily takes out. There is a plane on the river they hope to use, but before they can leave the cabin, the captain returns! Of course, since Bill holds the gun, there isn't much the enemy leader can do but go along with them as a hostage. The natives try to stop them, but Bill peppers the ground with lead from a machine gun, keeping them at bay. Syble takes the plane controls, and once Bill is aboard, the three of them lift off, and fly back to Major Stirling.
The enemy captain salutes his rival respectfully, remarking that he's glad at least that their fight is over.
Appearing in Congo Bill: "The Italian Officer"
- Professor Joe Kent
- Mungo (a native spy)
- unnamed Italian officer
- his men
- Major Stirling (Single appearance)
- Syble Stirling (Single appearance)
- River Steamer
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Baseball Fixers"
The great magician Zatara passes by a couple arguing outside the baseball stadium. Never one to ignore somebody in need, Zatara asks them what was wrong. The young man, Johnny, explains that he plays on the team owned by the girl's father, but it's been found out that one of the players is purposefully throwing the game. His girlfriend, Lucy, is upset at him for not revealing the cheater to her dad. Zatara offers to help them by watching the game, if the two lovers would quit arguing and make up.
Seated in the audience, Zatara watches the game progress. It's once "Husky" Hal Hicks steps up to the plate that Zatara gets a strong mental reading from the pitcher. Reading his mind, Zatara discovers that he pitcher was ordered by someone to give Hicks an easy home run. And sure enough, he throws a soft pitch, making it easy for Hicks to connect. However, the ball begins acting on its own, circling and spiraling out of reach of the outfielders, then one-by-one it tags each base-runner, totaling three outs, before stopping at the feet of the pitcher. It was Zatara's doing of course, though no one but him knew it. The game carries on like normal, with no more cheap pitches being tossed. After the Beavers win, Zatara invites Lucy and Johnny to dinner, hoping he can coax more information out of Johnny.
Later that night, while finding a table in a diner, Lucy, Johnny, and Zatara notice a group of men, who walk into the diner carrying violin cases. But it wasn't a concert they were about to put on, as their cases open and reveal Tommy-guns! Zatara speaks quickly, turning their guns into rotten eggs. After putting the assassins into a trance, he asks Lucy if her father had any enemies. She explains that her dad is always nervous, which is why he locks himself in his office, and only she, or his personal secretary, Mr. Kelvin, are allowed inside. That gives Zatara an idea.
The next day at the stadium, Zatara sits with Lucy and Mr. Bradburn, her father, during the game. Zatara excuses himself to place a bet with a bookie seated nearby. Ten-thousand dollars on the home team, the Beavers. Soon after, the crooked players start to make their move. But with Zatara watching, their attempts to throw the game fail at every turn. After the home team wins, Zatara tells Mr. Bradburn that he'd better collect the winnings before the bookie scrams. Kelvin overhears this. He secretly follows his boss as he meets the bookie, and continues to follow him back to the office. Viciously, Kelvin knocks Bradburn out. Zatara and Lucy catch him, however, when the "Bradburn" Mr. Kelvin hit turned out to be a magical illusion that the magician had conjured up. The real Bradburn was still at their side, only invisible. With Kelvin caught, the other cheating players are soon named and fired from the team.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Baseball Fixers"
- Mr. Kelvin (Single appearance)
- Lucy Bradburn (Single appearance)
- Johnny Welch (Single appearance)
- Mr. Bradburn (Single appearance)
- Husky Hal Hicks (Single appearance)
- Clark Kent, Police Commissioner is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 3 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 6.
- At the end of the 1930s and the beginning of the "golden age" of superheroes, as shown in several early Superman stories and at least one Green Lantern story, the municipal and state governments of Metropolis were riddled with corruption.
- Congo Bill's feature appears in Action Comics starting with this issue, with a new writer and artist. Previously this feature ran in More Fun Comics with art by George Papp.
- Clip Carson's feature, starting this month, is gone from Action Comics and runs in More Fun Comics.
- Aside from the stories above, this issue contains:
- "In the Nick of Time" (text) by Edgar Weston