"Superman: "The Man Who Put Out the Sun"": Lois Lane awakens to find that the entire city block surrounding her apartment has been veiled in an unnatural darkness. She wanders onto the street and collides with a jewel thief. The thief gets away, but Lois suspects that t
Appearing in Superman: "The Man Who Put Out the Sun"
- Night-Owl (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Superman: "The Man Who Put Out the Sun"
Lois Lane awakens to find that the entire city block surrounding her apartment has been veiled in an unnatural darkness. She wanders onto the street and collides with a jewel thief. The thief gets away, but Lois suspects that the darkness was intentionally used to cover the robbery.
Soon, Lois's theory proves to be correct, as she, Clark Kent, and Sergeant Casey learn of another robbery being carried out under the cover of black light. Superman is able to penetrate the darkness and capture one of the crooks.
Unable to make the thug talk, Superman replaces him in prison and is broken out by the gang. Superman in disguise is taken back to the criminals' hide-out, stealthily followed by Lois. Superman apprehends the gang and their leader the Night Owl, protecting Lois from danger in the process.
Appearing in Vigilante: "The Blackout Blues"
- Rainbow Man
- Shakes (Rainbow Man henchman)
- "Jellybean" Jones (Rainbow Man henchman) (Single appearance)
- Esmerelda Greene (Single appearance)
- Prison Guards
- Mr. & Mrs. Winter (Party Guests) (Single appearance)
- Mrs. Greene's Butler (Single appearance)
- Vigilante's Lasso
Synopsis for Vigilante: "The Blackout Blues"
The Rainbow Man is broken out of prison, during a prisoner transfer, by his men. Soon after, Stuff, the Chinatown Kid observes the Rainbow Man's men robbing an exhibition of rare Oriental idols, and attempts to foil the theft by himself, but is knocked unconscious. After being informed of the clash, the Vigilante begins a hunt for the Rainbow Man. The Rainbow Man, however, sets up a trap and captures the Vigilante and Stuff, tying them up and slowly lowering them toward a vat of boiling tar.
Creating a pendulum swinging motion, Vigilante escapes the trap. He and Stuff then intercept the Rainbow gang attempting to rob a party where several emeralds are being displayed. After a brief fight the entire Rainbow gang is captured and taken into custody.
Appearing in Three Aces: "Wings Over the Pacific"
- U.S. Navy Admiral
- U.S. warship
- The Aces' Planes
- Japanese Bomber
Synopsis for Three Aces: "Wings Over the Pacific"
The security of a U.S. Navy unit in the Pacific is the the target of a a crafty Japanese scheme. The Three Aces foil the scheme.
Appearing in Mr. America: "Americommando and the Cinema Saboteur"
- Samuel Tilzer (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Mr. America: "Americommando and the Cinema Saboteur"
Tex and Bob find themselves in Hollywood on the set of Apex Movies Studios as they shoot an instructional film. Tex is manufacturing a new gunsight for use in the war, and the film would be sent overseas to show the troops how to assemble the valuable weapon.
That night, the gunsight film is stolen by a masked intruder. At the same time nearby, Bob Daley is taking a few night shots with his new camera. The intruder is suddenly startled by the flash of the camera as he accidentally walks through the frame, with his mask off. Bob is knocked unconscious, but before the mystery man can steal the camera, Tex comes running over. The stranger retreats while Tex looks after Bob. After Bob revives and tells Tex what happened, the duo return to their hotel room and don the guises of Fatman and the Americommando!
Crossing the studio lot, Americommando runs into Sam Tilzer, the owner of Apex Movies. Fatman needed a place to develop some pictures he took (including the shot of the intruder's face), so Tilzer gave him access to a private dark room. Moments later, when Bob is alone in the room, he is struck from behind! A shadowed figure orders him to follow. With no other choice but to obey, Bob does as he's told, sneakily leaving a clue behind for Tex. The Americommando returns to find his friend missing, and the sharp-eyed adventurer notices a trail of straw from Fatman's broom. Tex follows it to an abandoned studio. Inside, he sees Fatman, strapped to a table with the masked man hovering over him. The stranger turns when Tex shouts, grasping a sword in his hand! But the sword was just a prop; it bends when it is struck at the Americommando. The masked man curses and trades that prop weapon for a gun. The revolver, too, was a phony however, as a spray of water is all Fatman receives when the trigger is pulled.
The masked intruder retreats! Taking refuge in a storage room containing vaults full of raw film and developers' chemicals, the stranger uses a stage light to help him see in the dark. However, the heat from the light has a boiling effect on the sensitive chemicals, resulting in an explosion! Tex and Bob rush to the scene and unmask the injured saboteur. It was none other than Samuel Tilzer, the studios owner. He wanted to sell the secrets of the gunsights to the Axis powers for a lot of money. If he had been exposed by Bob's picture, his career would have been over. It was ironic, then, as Bob later discovered, he'd forgotten to put film in his camera.
Appearing in Congo Bill: "The Man Who Played King"
- Snake Eyes (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for Congo Bill: "The Man Who Played King"
A big city gangster called "Snake-Eyes" finally gets caught by the law. But his stint in prison is a short one, as his Tommy-gun-wielding gang helps bust him out. Because he's now a wanted man, Snake-Eyes leaves the country to hide out in the African jungles. With a Tommy-Gun all his own, he soon makes slaves of the natives, forcing them to dig for gold, and turn it into an armored suit fit for a king. Any who refuse are gunned down.
Congo Bill gets wind of the natives' troubles and rides out on horseback to help. During his first encounter with Snake-Eyes, he manages to disarm the gangster, but is thrown off a cliff into the croc-infested river below. Only his experience in fighting the threats of the jungle keep Bill from becoming a snack. The exhausted natives are finally allowed to rest for the night after Snake-Eyes is satisfied with his new golden armor.
Not far from the gangster's hut, Bill gathers a bunch of small firecrackers and lays them in a line on the ground. Lighting them, he rushes to the side of the hut and waits. The popping sound of the firecrackers sound just like machine gun fire to Snake-Eyes. He storms out with his Tommy and fires in he direction of the noise, while Bill creeps up behind him and delivers a good whollop to his startled target. Bill and Snake-Eyes wrestle for the Tommy gun, their struggle bringing them closer and closer to the cliff's edge. One misstep, and Snake-Eyes falls down into the river. Unfortunately, his gold armor makes swimming impossible, so the gangster sinks down to the bottom where he is food for the crocs.
Appearing in Zatara: "Crooks – Handle with Care"
- "Tough" Tony Trent (Single appearance)
- "Muscles" Mara (Single appearance)
- Archie Armbruster (Single appearance)
- Gotham College
- Gotham College
Synopsis for Zatara: "Crooks – Handle with Care"
Archie Armbruster has an idea for his college paper. What if all that was required to cure a criminal of their ways was to treat them with kindness? He heads out to the city to give his theory a try. At a rough bar, Archie finds two crooks planning to rob a bank. He kindly introduces himself to them and hands over his wallet full of cash, in the hopes that giving them what they want will curb their nefarious plan. The crooks grab his wallet and knock Archie to the ground, then continue on their way to plan for the bank heist. Feeling defeated, Archie stumbles out of the bar. The great magician Zatara encounters the downtrodden youth and, after hearing Archie's failed experiment, offers to help him.
They visit "Tough" Tony, one of the guys from the bar, and ask him why he wanted to rob the bank. Tony told them it was so he could afford the good life. Zatara casts a spell, and suddenly Tony finds himself in his own mansion, with servants and his own socialite circle. Now that he had all that, there was no need for him to be a criminal. Archie is glad of the results. Zatara lifts himself and Archie into the sky and flies back towards the bank, where Tony's pals have gotten tired of waiting around. The crooks are already well into stealing money from the bank vault by the time Zatara and Archie arrive. But it is no problem for the master magician; the crooks suddenly find their own shoes are attacking them! Tired of being tread on all these years, the now sentient footwear deliver payback in the form of a punch to their wearers faces. The police arrest them as soon as they run outside, shouting they can't take any more hi-jinks.
Meanwhile, "Tough" Tony Trent was starting to realize being rich wasn't at all like he'd thought it be. Having to learn which utensil to eat with, and never getting time to relax between social gatherings, Tony eventually calls it quits! Zatara and Archie meet him outside, the mansion disappearing at his request. Archie suggests to Tony that he try working an honest living, with a job that can help him find a regular place to call his own. Tony says he'll give it a try.
But pretty soon, "Tough" Tony is back at the crime racket, finding honest living not to his liking. Zatara leads the police to him, while Archie Armbruster feels the disappointment that his idea of kindness to criminals didn't pay off. However, he finds a way to turn it around to his favor with a tweaked theme for his college essay. Instead of being about criminals, it was now a theme on magic.
- The Man who Put Out the Sun is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 4 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 9.
- The Night Owl, introduced this issue (Oct 1942), has the same modus operandi as the Shade, introduced in Flash Comics #33 (Sep 1942), one month earlier. Both villains disappeared after their original appearances, with the Shade, only, reappearing many years later, in September 1961.
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Action Comics Vol 1 53 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Action Comics series
- Images from Action Comics Vol 1 53