"Superman: "The Big Scoop"": News comes in to the Daily Star that the Valleyho Dam is collapsing. Editor-in-chief George Taylor wants Clark Kent to head there to write the story. He tells Lois Lane to find Clark Kent and tell him to head for Valleyho. Instead she tells him that a story is wa
Action Comics #5 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1938.
- 1 Synopsis for Superman: "The Big Scoop"
- 2 Appearing in Superman: "The Big Scoop"
- 3 Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 5)"
- 4 Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 5)"
- 5 Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Newport Silver Cup Races"
- 6 Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Newport Silver Cup Races"
- 7 Synopsis for "Phil the Floater"
- 8 Appearing in "Phil the Floater"
- 9 Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part V)"
- 10 Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part V)"
- 11 Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Nestralian Spy"
- 12 Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Nestralian Spy"
- 13 Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part I)"
- 14 Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part I)"
- 15 Synopsis for Zatara: "The Egyptian Wizard"
- 16 Appearing in Zatara: "The Egyptian Wizard"
- 17 Notes
- 18 Trivia
- 19 See Also
- 20 Recommended Reading
- 21 Links and References
Synopsis for Superman: "The Big Scoop"
News comes in to the Daily Star that the Valleyho Dam is collapsing. Editor-in-chief George Taylor wants Clark Kent to head there to write the story. He tells Lois Lane to find Clark Kent and tell him to head for Valleyho. Instead she tells him that a story is waiting for him at the hospital, and immediately boards a train. He discovers her double-cross, and heads back to the office. Taylor chides him for wasting time (missing the last train to Valleyho in the process), and tells him he's fired.
Instead, he runs towards Valleyho, passing the train on the way. He discovers a bridge with a support out. He grabs the support and holds it in place while the train goes over it. Lois Lane arrives in Valleyho and takes a cab to the dam.
But Superman is already at the dam, trying to keep it from collapsing. He holds it as long as he can, enabling most people to escape in time. When he lets go, Lois Lane gets caught up in the ensuing flood. He pulls her out of the car, then runs ahead of the flood to a high mountain, which he pushes over in order to divert the flood, keeping the water away from Valleyho.
Lois Lane thanks Superman and kisses him. Superman leaves her in Valleyho as he runs off. He changes out of his suit and calls George Taylor, telling him that he took a plane to Valleyho and he has a scoop, if Taylor will give him his job back. Taylor quickly agrees.
Clark Kent sees Lois Lane, and he chides her for lying to him. "That wasn't a nice stunt you pulled on me! But I still like you." Lois responds, "Who cares! The spineless worm! I can hardly bear looking at him, after having been in the arms of a real he-man!"
Appearing in Superman: "The Big Scoop"
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 5)"
The sheriff and the two gunmen, Trigger and Butch, spot the rope Chuck used to climb down on. They are too busy discussing what to do to notice Chuck pop out from behind a boulder behind them, with his gun drawn. He orders them to toss their guns, then tells the sheriff to stop tailing him, explaining Notch Logan's death was in self-defense. He leaves the trio shaken as he climbs back up the cliff. Chuck is shocked when he doesn't find his horse, Blacky, where he left him. A trail leads away from the area, likely leading to the horse-thief. Chuck follows the tracks up the mountain. He doesn't notice the gunman with the rifle until the shot is fired. Chuck falls forty feet into a small pond. Luckily the bullet only winged him. As the shooter rounds the bottom of the mountain path, he is ambushed and put at Chuck's mercy with his own six-shooter. Chuck tells him to lead him to his horse.
Meanwhile back up top, the sheriff returns to town to round up more men for help. Trigger and Butch decide to catch Chuck on their own, so they'll only have to split the reward money two ways, instead of three. Chuck emerges from the bushes with his captive. Butch and Trigger open fire. Chuck dodges and fires back. The captive is hit in the crossfire. Bullets continue to fly until Trigger whacks Chuck on the back of the head with the butt of his gun. Chuck's knocked out, putting him at the thugs' mercy.
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 5)"
- Trigger Holt
- Steve (Final appearance; dies)
- Sheriff of Red Gulch
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Newport Silver Cup Races"
Pep Morgan is invited by his two friends, Tommy and Billy Watkins, to a sailboat race. Once the race begins, their boat, the "Nancy II", glides smoothly to the front of the pack. The boys' friendly rival, aboard the "Ginger Snap", is right behind them. At the turn-around point, the Nancy is cut off by the Ginger Snap at the buoy, only barely avoiding a collision. Luckily, Pep ensures that they still get back in the lead. But a deadly storm starts brewing above. Lightning hits the Nancy's mast, sending the mainsail loose to fall to the deck! Tommy keeps the boat on course while Pep hurries to climb up the mast and reattach the sail. The Ginger Snap is gaining on them, and will soon pass by. Pep knows what must be done and, wishing Billy and Tommy luck, he dives into the water. With the sudden loss of weight, the Nancy II picks up speed. They've won! The race is over, the two boys win the trophy, and Pep tells them that with quick thinking in times of crisis, they can win many more trophies down the line.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Newport Silver Cup Races"
- Tommy Watkins (Single appearance)
- Billy Watkins (Single appearance)
- Jimmy Young (Single appearance)
- "Nancy II" (racing sailboat)
- "Ginger Snap" (racing sailboat)
Synopsis for "Phil the Floater"
Appearing in "Phil the Floater"
Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part V)"
The snake quickly strikes at Maffeo, binding him in its strong coils. Niccolo attempts to free his brother, but is tripped when the serpent wraps its tail around his leg. Marco draws his sword and rushes the beast, beheading it in one stroke! Maffeo has injured his leg while being constricted, so Marco and Niccolo prepared a makeshift stretcher and carry him back to camp. First aid is given and Maffeo is left to sleep until morning.
When the next day rolls around, the camp gets ready to head off. Maffeo, though still in pain, manages to mount his camel and ride with his brother and nephew. After many hours, the caravan comes upon the small town of Kerman. The group pays the local inn to let them rest for the night. Inside, the innkeeper offers the Polos a dinner of roasted fowl and wild game which they heartily accept, having not eaten a good meal in days. Another caravan arrives, travelling in from Tibet. The innkeeper offers to introduce the Polos to the caravan leader, Ahmed, to talk, and exchange information on the road ahead. Ahmed talks of the Great Salt Steppe, an arid, desolate area, where the water is undrinkable. Niccolo muses that they'll need to carry extra supplies to make it through. Ahmed is eager to learn of the Polos journey as well, but it is late, so both parties agree to retire for the night and meet again the next morning.
Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part V)"
- Nicolo Polo (Marco Polo's father)
- Maffeo Polo (Marco Polo's Uncle)
- constricting, fanged snake
- caravan camels
- Ahmed (First appearance)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "The Nestralian Spy"
Tex and Bob are staying at a hotel in a small town in Europe. That night, answering a knock on the door, Tex finds himself facing a woman holding a gun. She forces her way inside, instructing Tex to tell anyone who asks that she is his wife. Minutes later, another knock, this time it's a man, identifying himself as a police officer, and asking after a woman who has stolen sensitive information, and is on the run. Spotting the woman standing behind him, he asks Tex who she is. As instructed, Tex replies that she is his wife. The man thanks them for their time and leaves. Tex asks the woman if she's a spy, but the woman responds that she just overheard some men talking about starting a revolution. They've been trying to capture her ever since. Tex decides to help her escape the area. He takes her gun in hand, with Bob backing him up the whole way.
Outside, a beggar blocks their path, while another man ambushes them from behind. Both men have the trio at gunpoint. Tex, Bob, and the woman have no choice but to follow them, as the men lead them to the home of the revolutionist leader, Rowten. He puts on a polite front at first. But Tex sees through it, and asks Rowten what his plans for them are. Rowten responds, plainly, that they'll first be interrogated, and then he'll kill the lot of them. He has one of his guards escort Tex and Bob to the guardhouse, where they'll be kept until everything is ready. En route, Tex sucker punches and grabs the guard, making the man drop his gun. Bob runs off to find help while Tex beats the guard senseless.
After securing the woman in a room, Rowten returns to the foyer to find Tex standing there, taunting him. Enraged, he hands Tex a sword and challenges him to a duel. During the fight, each man attempts to intimidate the other with tales of their swordsmanship. Unfortunately, Rowten swings his sword down hard enough to break Tex's blade in two. But Tex's luck continues, as the woman appears behind Rowten with his own gun in her hand. Rowten just laughs as she pulls the trigger. The gun clicks, but does not fire. He always removes the bullets from that pistol when he isn't using it. Just then, in another burst of luck, the police, fetched by Bob, arrive through the front door. Rowten is arrested on the spot. The woman leans in and gives the blushing Bob a kiss on the cheek.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "The Nestralian Spy"
- Rowten (Single appearance)
- Zakap (Single appearance)
- Tex's "Wife" (a spy) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part I)"
A series of bank robberies, committed by "Gentleman Jack", are plaguing the city. The police are always one step behind the robber. One day at the Bulletin, they get a lead, that Gentleman Jack may be based in a small Kentucky town. Rusty even accidentally has a picture of him, taken while he was on vacation there! With enough to go on, Scoop takes Rusty along to get the story on the bandit.
The local sheriff at first doesn't believe that the gentleman who makes hefty donations to the town's charity every year can be a crook. But Scoop persists, showing the evidence, until the sheriff agrees to bring Jack in. According to the radio, the police have Jack and his fellow robbers inside the town's bank. The robbers manage to shoot their way out before the sheriff, Scoop, and Rusty can get there. They follow the bandits car up into the hills until they lose its trail. The hills are home to the poorer folk that Jack has been donating to. They revere him as their own savior, so the sheriff tells Scoop it's unlikely they'll give him up.
The next day, the sheriff and his men get word of another bank robbery, so they drive out. On the way, the sheriff spots the bandits' car, stopped on the side of the road. He orders his men to approach, carefully. But it's an ambush. Jack and his goons spring out of the bushes and gun the sheriff and his boys down in cold blood.
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part I)"
- Rusty James
- "Gentleman Jack" (First appearance)
- his gangsters
- Chief of the Bulletin
- Sheriff of Red Rock (Only appearance; dies)
- Officer Johnson (Only appearance; dies)
- Amos Perkins (First appearance)
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Egyptian Wizard"
Zatara and Tong are visiting Egypt, when a dying man with unusual marks on his body collapses in front of them. The crowd blocks their escape, so Zatara makes them invisible and gets the man to a doctor. The marks appear to be made by swords, and an old man enters the room to identify the injured person. The man reveals that he sent an expedition to the Temple of Philae to investigate the ruins. Zatara reads the wounded man's mind to discover that evil had befallen the expedition in the ruins. He and the old man, Professor Dunn, resolve to work together to solve the mystery and rescue the archaeologists.
As the rescue caravan gets underway, Zatara astrally projects himself into the ruins and meets with the ancient priest of Bubastis, challenging him to a battle of wits. Returning to his body, Zatara causes the camels to sprout wings, speeding them to the temple ruins. Zatara convinces the professor to wait until he has secured the temple and defeated the evil priest. Turning Tong into a flower and turning himself invisible, the magician enters the interior of the temple through a statue of Bubastis. The men cross a river and force open a sealed door, only to reveal some of the temple's guardians. Zatara easily dispatches them, and they continue on to find themselves before another door. The sticks leaning against the wall come to life and bind the two men, who are quickly captured by the temple's human protectors.
Zatara, who has projected himself, sees Tong and his body made to be sacrifices to Isis. The priest, revealed to be Amen-Hotep, believes he is victorious. Zatara tricks the priestess into freeing his body and Tong. He also pressures her into taking him to the missing expedition. The master magician transforms the men into birds and flies them back to safety. He resolves to defeat Amen-Hotep so the evil priest's power cannot take over the world.
Stymied by an invisible barrier, Zatara reenters the temple by force of will alone and begins to do battle with the priest. Professor Dunn and the rest of the expedition also break into the temple to help Zatara in his battle. The master magician and Amen-Hotep are equally matched, but the priest calls upon the goddess Isis for aid. Isis' statue begins to come to life but is melted by Zatara's magic. Amen-Hotep attempts to escape under cover of a smokescreen but is met by Tong. The wicked priest attempts to turn the faithful servant into dust, but Zatara forces the spell to bounce back onto Amen-Hotep. With the end of Amen-Hotep, the Temple of Philae is now safe to explore.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Egyptian Wizard"
- Amen-Hotep, "an ancient wizard" (Single appearance)
- Priestess of Isis (Single appearance)
- Professor Dunn (Single appearance)
- George (Single appearance)
- Priestess (Single appearance)
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Superman: "The Big Scoop" is reprinted in Superman (Volume 1) #3, The Superman Archives Vol. 1 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 1. The title for this story however is provided in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1. Originally this story, like most of these stories, was not titled. The Grand Comic Book Database credits this story as "Superman and the Dam".
- Zatara's villain, Amen-Hotep, is next seen in Justice League of America #51 (Feb 1967).
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:
- 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.
- Zatara speaks gibberish when casting spells in this adventure, instead of speaking in reverse as usual.
- Russell Cole is credited as Edwin Alger in this issue.