"Superman: "Superman Meets Susie"": Lois Lane's niece, Susie Tompkins, has come by for a visit. She meets Clark and Perry, who she talks to about a huge whale she caught down by the pier,
Action Comics #68 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1944.
Synopsis for Superman: "Superman Meets Susie"
Lois Lane's niece, Susie Tompkins, has come by for a visit. She meets Clark and Perry, who she talks to about a huge whale she caught down by the pier, and a large battleship that floated past after. Lois doesn't like Susie's tendency to tell tall tales, and punishes her by not taking her to the movies later. But Clark thinks Lois was being a little harsh. After all, an eight-year-old was bound to have an active imagination. He decided on teaching Lois a little lesson, as only Superman can. He tells Lois that before doling out any punishment, maybe she should go down to the docks to confirm if little Susie was telling a fib. Lois thinks it's silly, but just to put an end to it, she agrees. Once Lois and Susie are out of sight, Clark finds an empty office and removes his outer garments, revealing his Superman outfit underneath. Over the sea he flies, until he spots a Navy cruiser heading into port. Superman asks a favor of the captain, and gets the okay to return later to carry out the request. Now to find some whales; a large school moves through the waves, and Superman picks out the biggest of the lot and secures it with a cable. Back at the pier, Lois arrives with Susie to hear shouting from the dock workers about a large whale. Lois doesn't know what to think... could Susie have been telling the truth after all? Sure enough, the whale was left tied to a post, with a sign on it claiming it was Susie's catch. Then, as if that weren't unbelievable enough, a battleship suddenly flies through the air past Lois, with the sailors calling out to Susie asking if she's caught anymore whales since they last passed. Both Lois and Susie were dumbstruck. But all became clear when Superman showed up. Lois wasn't angry, admitting that she had been too harsh with Susie before. Besides, what a great scoop it would make! Lois heads to a phone to call in the story. Susie asks Superman what a "scoop" was. He explains that a scoop is an exciting story that you'd report to the newspaper before anyone else.
As Superman leaves, and Lois is still telling the story to her editors, Susie overhears a conversation between two surly looking men. To her, it sounds like they were planning a riot, with one man referred to as "Beaker", who talked about cutting loose to "kill 'em". Little Susie found a phone booth and called the Daily Planet's re-write desk, telling him all about the plot.
Later that same day, Lois gets the newest edition of the Daily Planet newspaper that features the story; The city's notorious crime boss, Beaker Beales, was plotting a riot of terror and murder. At the bottom of the page Lois saw the author's name: Lois Lane. But she had never reported any such thing! Her niece Susie comes clean, admitting it was her who called in the scoop. They must have used her aunt's name because she forgot to give them hers. Lois was mortified until Clark suggested they ask the men at the dock what they were planning, giving her some hope for redemption. The two men were still there when Lois, Clark, and Susie returned to the docks. Clark asked them if they had been talking about Beaker Beales. In answer, one of the men introduced himself as Hank Beaker, chairman of the entertainment committee for the Stevedores annual picnic. The other man told Clark he should come, there was going to be singing and dancing, and it was sure to be a riot. The crowd was going to die of laughter. With that, Lois hopes were completely dashed. She was ruined as soon as the Planet found out she had printed a false story. She sadly took Susie back to her apartment to start packing her bags. After what happened, no other newspaper in the city would dare give her a job. Clark wishes he could help, but Superman can't just go out causing a riot and getting people hurt just to save Lois' career...
Tug and Sparky, two of Beaker Beales' underworld goons, read the paper in shock. How did word get out of their boss's plan? They'll have to warn Beaker right away that the newspaper is on to them. Meanwhile, Clark's super-hearing lets him listen in during his walk home. Maybe Lois career can be saved after all. In a dingy apartment, while Superman watches from outside with his x-ray vision, Tug and Sparky show Beaker the headlines. Beaker decides to go ahead with the operation anyway. In Metropolis's financial district, the gang places tear gas bombs in strategic locations, setting the timers to go off at three-o-clock. While the mobs keep the police occupied, Beaker and his boys will rob the place dry! Amazingly, the plan matched Susie's story almost word-for-word. With one minute to spare, Superman is able to scoop up the bomb bags and let them explode harmlessly in the air. Then, he grabs Beaker and his thugs, depositing them in a police wagon for safe-keeping.
While packing, Lois answers a knock at her door. It was Clark, holding the latest edition; "Superman Stops Riot, Traps Terrorists" by Lois Lane. He explains that because it was technically her story, he figured she should get the credit. Lois was so relieved, she gave Susie a kiss on the cheek... after administering several spankings, of course.
Appearing in Superman: "Superman Meets Susie"
- Beaker Beales (Single appearance)
- Sparky Hahn (Single appearance)
- Tug Graff (Single appearance)
- Hank Beaker (Single appearance)
- Pete (Single appearance)
- U.S. Battleship
Synopsis for Vigilante: "The Duke Goes to the Dogs"
The notorious gangster Duke Daggett has his eyes on a ten thousand dollar prize at the annual dog show. He wants his mutt to win the competition, not just for the money, but to prove that he always had the best of everything, including best dog. He tells his boys not to pull any jobs until after he gets the blue ribbon. But later, the temptation is just too great, as one of the dogs owners, Mr. Pierrepont Vanderhof, heads home for the evening with a wad of bills in his pocket. The boys figure if they follow him home before robbing him, it won't interfere with the boss's plan. On the other side of the kennel, Stuff, the Chinatown Kid, with his own dog "Whitey", hears everything and goes to warn Greg.
Inside the luxurious Vanderhof estate, Daggett's gang have their guns drawn on Mr. Vanderhof, demanding his money. A lasso yanks the weapon out of one thug's hand, followed by a righteous punch to the jaw from the Vigilante. Vig and Stuff chase the gang out of the house. Instead of any kind of thanks, however, the rich couple stick their noses up at the two crimefighters and simply ask them to leave at once. The Vanderhofs don't care to hear any excuses; to them, the Vigilante was just another hoodlum making trouble.
The dog show is closed for the night, which doesn't stop Duke Daggett and his gang from breaking in. Duke is willing to forgive his boys for going against his orders, if they help him give the other dogs a quick trim. By the time Vigilante and Stuff drop in, Vanderhof's prized hound has already been trimmed naked. The scissors are shot out of Duke's hand. Another gangster gets his suspenders cut by Stuff, putting the thug out of the fight due to having to hold his pants up. Duke gets knocked to the ground by a swift right hook. Just when it looks like victory is around the corner for Vig, one of the dogs gets anxious from all the excitement and runs between his legs, tripping the hero up. The gang surrounds him in an instant, and beats him unconscious! Stuff receives a less severe but equally effective knock on the head!
The next time Greg and Stuff open their eyes, they are hanging high above the ground by a rope. Down below, Duke secures the end of the rope to a dog bone, which is itself tied to a stake. He isn't about to kill them on his own, but if they feel like committing suicide, who is he to stop them? That's what it will look like, once the dogs chew through the bone, snapping the line, which then sends them plummeting to the ground in a splat! Duke and the gang leave as the dogs begin to feast. Stuff spots his dog Whitey in the group, calling to him to chase the other hounds off. Whitey obeys his master, but the bone has already been chewed too thin. It is going to crack! Stuff tells Whitey to grab the bone just as it breaks in two, and goes up with the rope. The dog's added weight slows the duo's descent to a speed where they can land safely.
The next day is the final judgement for Best Dog. The vote has come down to two, Duke's mutt, and Stuff's hound Whitey. The final test is obedience; a cat is let loose to see if the dogs can resist giving chase. To Duke's dismay, only Whitey manages to stay put. When Stuff and Whitey are declared the winners, Duke angrily pulls out his gun, only to have the Vigilante jump out of the crowd and punch him in the face again! The police soon arrive to take the Daggett gang away. Stuff swells with pride at his dog's win. Greg reminds him to donate his ten-thousand dollar winnings to the allied war chest, so it can be swollen too.
Appearing in Vigilante: "The Duke Goes to the Dogs"
- Duke Daggett (Single appearance)
- Whitey (A dog) (Single appearance)
- Pierrepont Vanderhof (Single appearance)
- Earl of Bullingthrow (Single appearance)
- Vigilante's Lasso
Synopsis for Congo Bill: "The Ancient Incas"
Somewhere in Peru, a procession of mysterious robed figures hike up a mountain trail in the Andes. At the top, in front of an old temple, a masked high priest greets them. He tells them, the descendants of the Incas, the the ancient one had spoken to him about having need of the gold that their ancestors buried long ago. The robed figures obey, they will return with the ingots for their ancient one...
Congo Bill, along with an army Lieutenant, explore the mountains. A day ago, their ship came across a Nazi agent in a picket boat, sunning himself on a pile of gold ingots while waiting fora submarine to pick him up. The army wanted to find out where the gold came from, and by asking a few nearby locals, they learned of a legendary Incan treasure, still buried somewhere in the mountains, guarded by a cult of warriors...
Wearily, the two men reach the snowline where they discover an ancient temple. Closer inspection reveals an opening down below. A heart-chilling sight below, as Bill watches a Peruvian man being whipped by Nazi officers! From what was being said, Bill figures out the man was the high priest of some tribe descended from Incas, and the Nazis had secretly taken his place, fooling his followers into giving away their ancestors gold. Bill is about to go down to help, but they are ambushed from behind by more Nazi scum. Bill and the lieutenant put up a valiant fight, but there were just too many. They are brought before the commander, who orders them tied up to a post outside, along with the priest. Once the tribe returns with the gold, the Nazis would head back to Germany, leaving the three captives to slowly die of starvation on the mountain with no one to find them.
As soon as they are alone, the high priest breaks into an unearthly chant. To Bill's surprise, the ropes around their wrists start to burn from the sunlight. Every noon, the priest explains, the sun rises just right in the sky, to hit a lens installed at the top of the temple which concentrates it's rays into a single beam of hot light. It was a simple trick he used to fool his followers. Bill, the lieutenant, and their new ally the high priest were now free! Now, the high priest leads them to a chamber beneath the temple, where masks worn by the Old Ones hung in safe keeping. Bill understood his plan.
The robed tribesmen return up the mountain trail, carrying the wealth of their ancestors to be given to the false high priest. The Nazis watch in anticipation through a slit in the temple wall. Their commander dons his mask and goes up to once again play the role of "High Priest". Things quickly go awry when the "old ones" themselves step forward; in actuality, the Lieutenant and the High Priest led by Bill, wearing gowns and masks. Bill plays his part well, as in a deep voice he proclaims the man on the temple dais to be a false priest putting words into the mouths of the old ones. He was after their gold, nothing more. The tribe is enraged at the Nazis deception. The Third Reich makes an attempt to escape, but Bill doesn't make it easy. The commander is knocked down off the temple dais, and the other Nazis are chased up a cliff until they reached the edge. With nowhere else to go, the cowards draw their guns. Fate intervenes in the tribes favor, then, as the cliffside crumbles with the Nazis added weight, sending them falling to their deaths.
Later that day, the priest thanks Bill and the lieutenant, proclaiming his and the tribes eternal friendship. Bill promises to keep the High Priests secret and says his people can keep their gold. After all, America just wanted to be sure it was well guarded from the Axis.
Appearing in Congo Bill: "The Ancient Incas"
- Unnamed Lieutenant (Single appearance)
- Peruvian High Priest (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Americommando: "Between Dishonor and Death"
A U.S. Navy convoy, carrying men and munitions through the South Pacific is attacked by Japanese warships. The convoy's destroyers rush to defend their cargo, but the Japanese have brought along a battleship. One by one, the U.S. destroyers are sunk, yet when only one remains and all seems lost, the battleship is suddenly incapacitated by an explosion from within! The survivors are taken aboard, and then the Captain gives orders to chase down the retreating Japanese warships. It's reported that one of the survivors is American. Curious, the captain has him brought to the bridge, and is surprised to see none other than the Americommando! The masked hero tells the captain to return to the convoy, because the Japanese already know its position, and are sure to send subs to attack it. The Captain would like to know how they found out about the convoy in the first place. Americommando shamefully admits that he was the one who told them about it; an act of treason. He explains:
- A convoy of reinforcements has been sent to reinforce some Marines that are holding an island. The Marines have been heavily shelled by the Japanese, and their rations and ammunition are running out. Their radio is also smashed, so they don't even know that help was even coming, and were likely to give up the beach-head and retreat further inland. And if that happens, the convoy won't be able to unload its supplies and troops.
- So Americommando was sent out, in a fighter plane, to let the unit know they had to hold the beach for only a little longer. But en route to the island, Tex was shot down by a Japanese battleship's anti-aircraft guns. The battleship crew had rescued him from the sea and brought him before the Captain, who found Americommando's written orders on his person. Thus he had found out about the convoy. Americommando was tossed in the brig. He managed to escape, though, during the battle. When he saw the American destroyers being sunk, he knew he had to do something! He had rushed past a startled crew, towards the munitions storage. With a match and some oil, he starts a fire, then escaped before the resulting explosion!
The Captain of the U.S. destroyer considers Americommando's story. He decides that single-handedly destroying a Japanese battleship made up for his mistake, and drops the treason charge. He then ordered the ship to come about, and return to defend the convoy! Eventually, after a fighting its way past a wolfpack of enemy subs, the convoy makes it safely to the Marines at the beach.
Appearing in Americommando: "Between Dishonor and Death"
- Destroyer Captain
- American Destroyers (several are destroyed)
- American Freighters and Troopships
- Japanese Battleship, Submarines, and other Warships (several are destroyed)
- Japanese Fighter Planes (several are destroyed)
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Picture That Walked"
The great magician Zatara performs at the city art museum rally, selling war bonds to the guests by dazzling them with magic. The curator thanks him after the show. They stand by a painting of Gainsboroughs The Blue Boy, which Zatara complements as an amazing copy. The curator is confused, saying it was actually the original. Zatara shows him by bringing the figure in the painting to life, who then confirms that he was just an imitation. The real painting was in the process of being stolen by a pair of art thieves that Zatara deals with by bringing that Blue Boy to life as well. The painting fights itself free and the museum security holds the men while the curator phones the police. Zatara inspects the other paintings in the gallery, finding multiple forgeries. His magic brings the figures in those paintings to life as well, learning from them that they were painted by Arthur Arton, a famous art collector.
An odd march downtown proceeds, as Zatara leads the painted copies to Arton's mansion. Arthur Arton was in the midst of painting another fake to replace the original, when Zatara comes knocking. To say the least, Arton is caught completely off guard by the entourage of false paintings barging into his home and attacking him. But he struggles free and reaches a bottle of paint remover. He sprays the contents on the mob of angry figures, which melts them into colorful puddles. Zatara responds by casting another spell, this time at the pictures that Arthur stole. The centuries old paintings grab Arton and don't let go, carrying him back to the museum where the police were already arresting the other thieves.
The paintings are placed back on the walls, and the curator expects he'll be rubbing his eyes for weeks after today.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Picture That Walked"
- Arthur Arton (Single appearance)
- Mr. Standish (Single appearance)
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Superman Meets Susie is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 4.
- Vigilante and Stuff both get knocked unconcious.
- Also in this issue:
- "Romeo the Robot" a 4-page humor story by Jack Farr.