"Superman: "The Man Who Sold Superman"": At the Daily Star offices, Clark Kent is introduced to Nick Williams, who claims to be Superman's manager. He says Superman has given him all commercial rights to the Superman name, and if the paper agrees to keep mentioning Superman, he'll give them
Synopsis for Superman: "The Man Who Sold Superman"
At the Daily Star offices, Clark Kent is introduced to Nick Williams, who claims to be Superman's manager. He says Superman has given him all commercial rights to the Superman name, and if the paper agrees to keep mentioning Superman, he'll give them a share of the profits. Clark Kent doubts the authenticity of his words, so Williams invites Kent to meet Superman at his house tonight.
The Officeboy is listening outside the door, and he mentions what he heard to Lois Lane. She immediately goes up to Clark and asks him out on a date.
They go out to a nightclub and hear a singer singing her new song "You're A Superman". Lois slips a drug into Clark's drink that is supposed to make him fall asleep. She leaves to meet up with Williams and Superman. Clark Kent stops pretending to sleep, changes into Superman, and heads over to Williams's house.
The fake Superman comes in and performs some fake feats of strength. But Lois is not fooled. When she tries to leave, Williams grabs her and throws her out the window.
Luckily, Superman happens along at just that time, and he jumps in the air and catches her. Williams and the fake Superman see him and run away, but Superman catches up with them and carries them to the police station. Fake Superman admits guilt to the attempted murder charge, and both he and Williams go to jail.
Appearing in Superman: "The Man Who Sold Superman"
- Nick Williams (Single appearance)
- Jimmy Olsen (First appearance) (See Notes)
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 6 of 14)"
Chuck is tied up and dragged into a cave. Butch and Trigger plan a raid on the Diamond-H ranch, just the two of them. Trigger comes up with the idea to ride Chuck's horse and wear his shirt to fool the ranchers. While the two thugs are outside looking for his horse, Chuck frees himself from his bonds using shards from a broken bottle. He plays possum when Butch comes back in. When the gunman leans in to check on him, Chuck grabs him and chokes him until he passes out. Chuck heads outside, halting when he hears the stomping of hooves headed his way. He climbs up into a tree just as a small posse of Burwell's goons ride up. When they go into the cave, Chuck climbs back down and continues tracking his horse.
Trigger Holt rides up the trail to the cavern on Blacky, Chuck's horse, when Chuck pops out of a bush with his gun drawn. He orders the bandit off of Blacky and engages him in a fistfight. Trigger is soon beaten into submission. Chuck orders him to mount his own horse and take off in the opposite direction, threatening that if he tries to come back, he'll receive a bullet between the eye. Now that Blacky is his again, Chuck rides him off in the direction of the Diamond-H ranch, to warn them of the raid. But as is often his luck, Chuck's soon stopped by a bullet hitting the ground at his horse's feet. A rifle slinging gunman and his partner, Zebe, hold him up, recognizing his face from all the "Wanted" posters.
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 6 of 14)"
- Trigger Holt
- Zebe (First appearance)
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "Hunting Trip"
Pep Morgan is on a hunting trip in the Rockies with his friend and hunting guide, Joe Hunt. After a night of camping out in the wilderness, Pep violently wakes to the sound of their horses whinnying. A bobcat was stalking them from a nearby tree, poising to strike. Pep takes aim with his rifle and hits the cat before it can attack the horses. Its wounded form is trampled to death under the horses hooves.
Soon, Pep and Joe are back on the hunt. They come across a small campsite where a boy lays against a tree, bound and gagged. Joe reckons that it's the same boy who'd been reported missing days ago, Donald Rand. They untie the boy and offer him some water. Behind them, suddenly, a man appears wielding a rifle, poised and aimed right at them. Joe recognizes the man, Coyote Pete, a wanted fugitive who just escaped prison. Coyote Pete fires at Joe, winging him on the arm, then turns his aim at Pep. But they are all distracted, then, by a large black bear. Pete fires on the bear, but only hits its paw, making it angry. The bear charges Pete, knocking him to the ground. Pep picks up his rifle and aims for the bear's head. The beast falls to the ground, dead. Pep rushes Pete and takes him out with a strike to the jaw.
With Pete tied up and being led by horse, Joe, Pep, and young Donald return to his family's cabin. Mr. Rand is happy to have his son back and even offers Pep a reward of fifty thousand, but Pep turns it down, instead suggesting he donate that money to the orphaned children who could use new bats and gloves to play.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "Hunting Trip"
- Joe Hunt (Single appearance)
- Coyote Pete (Single appearance)
- Donald Rand (Single appearance)
- Mr. Rand (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Pilferin' Pete: "Gone Straight"
Pilferin' Pete pretends to have gone straight but hasn't. He steals some stuff and flees but is caught.
Appearing in Pilferin' Pete: "Gone Straight"
- Pilferin' Pete (Single appearance)
- purse-owning lady
- rowboat-owning man
- city park
Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VI of XVII)"
A troop of riders ride into the town of Kerman in the dead of night. The Polos watch from their inn room window as the troop fight off a rival tribe in the courtyard. The Bandits quickly overwhelm the other riders, and they are forced to retreat. Soon after, the bandit group decides to celebrate their victory at the inn. The innkeeper later appears to the Polos and explains that the men are of the tribe of Kasan, a bandit troop situated to the north of the town. They shouldn't bother them while they remain at the inn, though the innkeeper mentions he would have to pay a large tribute to make it so. It would be best if the Polos remained in their rooms, out of sight of the bandits until they leave. Nicolo agrees, and he and Maffeo retire to their rooms.
Marco remains restless throughout the night until he hears a woman screaming from down the hall. He goes to investigate, and sees one of the larger bandits manhandling a girl. Sword in hand, Marco runs to the rescue, engaging the brute in a swordfight that lasts for only seconds. The large man falls over in a pool of blood, the sight of which makes the girl faint. Marco tenderly carries her over to the couch. When she revives he is at her side, feeling in awe of her beauty as she thanks him.
Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VI of XVII)"
- Maffeo Polo, Marco Polo's uncle
- Nicolo Polo, Marco Polo's father
- Kasan Bandits (First appearance)
- Bandit leader (Only appearance; dies)
- Shela (First appearance; unnamed)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "Double Trouble, Part 1 (of 2)"
Tex spends some of his sojourn in Europe in the skies, flying his biplane over the great land. On one such day, he is flying over the Trysolian Mountains when suddenly another plane approaches his from behind and begins firing warning shots. Tex lands in an open field, followed by the other pilot. The pilot tells him that Captain Diablo has ordered him to be brought in, so the man pulls a gun on Tex. Tex responds with a quick left to the jaw. He runs back to his cockpit, but is halted by more guards, ordering him, at gunpoint, to comply to his own capture. With no choice, Tex allows himself to be marched off to Diablo's headquarters.
The guards lead Tex to a secret airstrip, hidden by mountains on either side. He is shown into Captain Diablo's office. Tex starts to demand answers, but as soon as he sees the captain, the words die in his throat. As he looks at Captain Diablo, it's like looking at his own reflection in a mirror. The captain, himself, is awestruck. He makes Tex perform a test, by having him sit in his chair and calling his orderly. The captain hides behind a curtain as the orderly enters the room. The man doesn't even flinch when he sees Tex, treating him just like Captain Diablo. Tex dismisses the orderly just like Diablo told him to. Amazed that even his loyal orderly couldn't tell them apart, Diablo insists that Tex join his army. Their similar likenesses could confuse the entire continent, making it easier to take over. But if he refuses, he'll be killed. Tex takes the third option, knocking the captain out and stealing his clothes. Now dressed for the part, Tex easily strolls past the guards and walks out onto the tarmac. The man in charge of guarding the planes mistakes Tex for Diablo and fetches the captain's personal plane. Just as Tex has taken off in the plane, the real captain Diablo regains consciousness and races toward the guard. The guard, confused, fetches another plane for Diablo to give chase in. Tex pilots the captain's plane out of the mountains, but he is soon followed by Diablo. The two engage in a sky-high battle, with each firing on the other. Eventually, Diablo parachutes out of his plane as it crashes to the ground. As Tex flies off above him, Diablo promises they will meet again soon.
Tex finally lands at a friendly army's airfield. He quickly heads for the administration office, but he's stopped by two soldiers. They just received an anonymous tip that the international terrorist, Captain Diablo, was sighted in the skies and that he may attempt to land here. The chief of staff has Tex, whom he believes without a doubt is the infamous criminal, locked up in a cell until his trial. Back at the hidden mountain airstrip, Diablo laughs at the predicament he put Tex in. After he made that anonymous call to the airbase, he knew Tex would soon need his help to get free.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "Double Trouble, Part 1 (of 2)"
- Captain Diablo (First appearance)
- his troops
- Chief of Staff (First appearance)
- Trysolian Mountains
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part 2 of 2)"
A car arrives at the police station where Scoop and Rusty wait for the Sheriff with the desk sergeant. A man steps out of the car and comes running in. He tells them he found the sheriff and officer Johnson's bodies lying out on a side road. Not knowing what else to do, he brought them back to the station. Scoop asks the man to show them to the location where the bodies were found.
The site of the murder is still fresh with tracks left behind by the killer. Scoop and Rusty follow the prints into the woods, towards where the hill folk live. He didn't have much luck with them last time, but when Scoop tells them about the murder of the sheriff, a well liked individual, they rally together. Armed and ready, Scoop follows the hill folk to the cabin where Gentleman Jack and his gang hang out. After a short shootout that claims the lives of two of his men, Jack surrenders himself to the authorities.
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Gentleman Jack, the Bank Robber (Part 2 of 2)"
- Rusty James
- Gentleman Jack (Final appearance)
- two robbers (Dies)
- Amos Perkins (Final appearance)
- Zeke Perkins (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Emerald of Cheops"
While Zatara is vacationing in Egypt, the Tigress sails into the Mediterranean, searching for a huge emerald. Heading out for Arabia, the master magician receives a telegram detailing the Tigress' plan to steal the great emerald at the pyramid of Cheops. Suddenly, a gang of thugs captures the master magician and his servant Tong. They are brought before the Tigress, but Zatara escapes her clutches by casting a spell that turns her old.
Later that night, the Tigress leaves for the pyramid with duo following in disguise as clouds. Reaching the great pyramid and abandoning their disguise, Zatara and Tong are waylaid by desert raiders intent on stoppping the theft of the emerald. Zatara redirects their efforts to the Tigress' camp. The next day, they find evidence that the Tigress has entered the pyramid. When they reach the burial chamber, they find that she has stolen the emerald.
After finding her in spirit form, Zatara causes two horses to grow wings and the pair fly across the desert. Meanwhile, the Tigress bribes the desert tribes into aiding her in stopping Zatara. This effort works and the Bedouin tribesmen attempt to stop the magician's pursuit. Ultimately, they are unsuccessful and decide to accept Zatara's offer to recover the emerald. The tribesmen capture the Tigress and bring her before Zatara at the great pyramid. She attempts to seduce Zatara into joining her, but she is too evil for him. Returning the emerald, the mummy of Cheops thanks them for their efforts. However, the Bedouin sheik betrays the two archrivals, kidnapping the Tigress to sell into slavery, stealing the emerald, and knocking out Tong and Zatara.
With the armies of Cheops following, Zatara and Tong head to Akka in hot pursuit. Disguising himself, Zatara enters the city and buys the Tigress at the slave market while Cheops' armies raze the city. Together again, Zatara and the Tigress return the emerald to the pharoah's tomb.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Emerald of Cheops"
- Sheik Abdul (Only appearance; dies)
- Cheops (Single appearance)
- Emerald of Cheops
- Ocean Steamer
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- The Man Who Sold Superman is reprinted in Superman Chronicles Vol. 1, Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1 and Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- Jimmy Olsen is not identified by name in this issue, but is only seen as an office boy. He is not addressed as Jimmy until Superman #13. The last name Olsen is provided in Superman #15. Jimmy next appears in Action Comics #10.
- The earliest Superman stories, including this one, were set in Cleveland. Later, without explanation, the setting would change to Metropolis.
- Journalistic Ethics 1938: Lois Lane goes out on a date with Clark Kent and slips him a knock-out drug.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:
- This early issue of Action Comics has a rare non-Superman front cover.
- Pilferin' Pete writer/artist Russell Cole is credited as "Alger."
- Zatara writer/artist Fred Guardineer is also credited as "Gene Baxter" on his Pep Morgan story, in this issue.