"Superman: "Superman in the Slums"": At a session of juvenile court, Clark Kent watches the judge sentence Frankie Marello to two years in the boys' reformatory. He hears the members of Frankie's gang whispering to themselves that Gimpy is responsible. Soon, Superman finds
Action Comics #8 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1939.
- 1 Synopsis for Superman: "Superman in the Slums"
- 2 Appearing in Superman: "Superman in the Slums"
- 3 Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 8)"
- 4 Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 8)"
- 5 Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Inter-Ski Tournament"
- 6 Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Inter-Ski Tournament"
- 7 Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VIII)"
- 8 Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VIII)"
- 9 Synopsis for Tex Thomson : "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part 1 of 2)"
- 10 Appearing in Tex Thomson : "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part 1 of 2)"
- 11 Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "The Marijuana Farmers"
- 12 Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "The Marijuana Farmers"
- 13 Synopsis for Zatara: "The Indian Prince"
- 14 Appearing in Zatara: "The Indian Prince"
- 15 Notes
- 16 Trivia
- 17 See Also
- 18 Recommended Reading
- 19 Links and References
Synopsis for Superman: "Superman in the Slums"
At a session of juvenile court, Clark Kent watches the judge sentence Frankie Marello to two years in the boys' reformatory. He hears the members of Frankie's gang whispering to themselves that Gimpy is responsible. Soon, Superman finds them ready to confront Gimpy, and eavesdrops as Gimpy promises the boys plenty of money, if they will perform one more robbery. When they leave, he calls the police in order to get them all arrested, but is interrupted by Superman. He tells Gimpy that he's got one hour to leave town, or he'll have trouble.
Superman then heads over to where the boys are performing robberies, and intervenes to prevent each of them from getting arrested. He takes them all to the tenements, and tells them how Gimpy double-crossed them. But Superman is unaware that Gimpy is hiding in the shadows, listening, and has decided to shoot the boys. However, Superman is able to get in the way of the bullet. He grabs Gimpy and throws him into the river. One of the boys, Nick, takes this opportunity to hit Superman in the head with a wrench. Unharmed, Superman grabs the 4 boys and jumps up to a telephone wire, where he threatens to drop them. When he returns them to the ground, he discovers that his feats of strength have changed their opinion of him. They agree to start being clean and honest.
Superman decides that the reason the boys turned out like they did is because of the slums they live in. He reads a story about a cyclone in Florida that destroyed a bunch of houses. Apparently the government plans to replace them with modern housing. He tells the boys to tell everyone in the neighborhood to vacate their houses, with all their valuables. He breaks down all the houses in the slum area. National Guard troops arrive on the scene and start shooting at Superman. He jumps several city blocks away in order to elude them, but that just gets them to send bomber planes after him. All of this accelerates the demolition and wreckage.
During the next weeks, the wreckage is cleared. Emergency Squads commence erecting huge apartment projects, and the slums are replaced by new low-rent housing. Superman is meanwhile officially a wanted fugitive, although secretly admired by Chief Burke and many cops.
Appearing in Superman: "Superman in the Slums"
- Gimpy (Single appearance)
- Chief Burke (Single appearance)
- Frankie Marello (Single appearance)
- Mrs. Marello (Single appearance)
- Nick (Single appearance)
- Box-Ears (Single appearance)
- Pinky (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 8)"
Chuck has been thrown from his horse into a ditch. Luckily, a deep pile of leaves breaks his fall. The 4-G guns-for-hire can't see him from above through all the bushes, so Chuck uses that to his advantage. One of the gunmen comes down to try to surprise him, but Chuck pulls a reversal and has the man at gunpoint. After binding the gunman's hands with his own belt, Chuck rides out of the area atop Blacky.
Chuck rides Blacky into a wooded area. An other of Burwell's gunman is riding in after him. Chuck dismounts his horse and climbs onto a high branch. When the rider gets underneath, Chuck drops down on top of him, knocking him off the horse. The 4-G man pulls out a knife and swipes it, but Chuck dodges it and lays out the man in a single punch. With the rest of Burwell's men distracted trying to catch the unconscious gunman's horse, Chuck doubles back to the Diamond-H ranch. The owner is in a fit. The raiders kidnapped his daughter, Virginia, and Zebe went out after them to try to bring her back!
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 8)"
- Blacky (Chuck's horse)
- 4-G Gunmen
- Rocky (Single appearance)
- Diamond-H owner
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Inter-Ski Tournament"
While Pep is playing in the snow with his dog, Ranger, a woman with a puppy walks past. Excited, Ranger runs up and causes her to trip, and the dogs continue to inspect each other playfully. She is enraged, yelling at Pep to keep his dangerous mutt on a leash. She walks away in a huff. But there's no time to worry about her, as Pep's friend, Dick, comes skiing over to remind him that they need to practice. Because today, it's time for the ski tournament between Pep's own Ardale versus Devon Campus. They go over to the hills to practice their jumps. Dick flubs up on his first one, while Pep masterfully flies over the jump. His landing, however, is intercepted by the same woman as before. He crashes into her, causing her to jab at him once again, despite the fact that she was at fault for skiing in front of the runway jump.
Pep and Dick meet their friendly competition, Ray Dene, professional skier. He introduces them to his sister, Joan, who is the same woman Pep ran into earlier! She makes some nasty remarks Pep's way, but is shushed by her brother. The competition begins, with the skiers first racing each other down a mountain. Pep knows the course well, but it looks like his opponent, Ray was about to go right into an open chasm. He shouts for him to watch out, but it's too late. Pep stops at the other side of the opening to help Ray, who was clinging on to the rocky side for dear life. Pep shouts at his partner Dick to keep going to the finish, while he uses his ski to pull Ray up out of the chasm. When the two reach the bottom, they learn that Dick won, awarding points for Ardale. Ray thanks Pep, who could have just gone ahead and ignored him. Pep didn't want to win that way.
It comes down to the last competition. Only Pep and Ray remain in the running. The challenge is a ski-jump, the one to travel the farthest and land without crashing is the winner. Each skier gets only three chances to succeed. Ray goes first and, like a pro, manages to land at a hundred and five feet. Pep is next, but while his jumps are okay, he messes up his first two landings. The third time's the charm, though, as Pep glides through the air, and makes a perfect landing at a hundred and fifty five feet. Ray congratulates him, and tells him his sister would like a chance to talk to him alone. Jean apologizes for the way she's acted towards him. Her brother told her how Pep saved his life, and she now feels foolish. But Pep just grins and says all is forgiven for a pretty face such as hers, and they ski off into the night.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Inter-Ski Tournament"
- Dick Faye (Single appearance)
- Ray Dene (Single appearance)
- Joan Dene (Single appearance)
- Ranger (Pep's dog) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VIII)"
The bandits have taken the inn. All inside are bound to be tortured and killed unless they make a stand. Meanwhile, Marco rides into the camp of Shela's father, Chief Siab. He informs him what has happened, and how the bandits have his family, along with the chief's daughter, hostage inside the inn.
Nicolo is bound above a boiling pot of oil when the sound of hoof beats reach from over the hills. Marco and the troop of Siab's men overtake the bandits and send them to flee. Marco cuts his father down, as Shela is reunited with hers. For the moment, all is well.
Appearing in "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VIII)"
- Nicolo Polo (Marco Polo's father)
- Maffeo Polo (Marco Polo's uncle)
- Kasan Bandits (Final appearance)
- Chief Siab (First appearance)
Synopsis for Tex Thomson : "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part 1 of 2)"
Tex and Bob check into a hotel during their stay in the oriental city of Sung-Wei. To their surprise, they are led to their room by an ape that walks and talks like a man! Later that night, they hear a cry for help coming from one of the adjacent rooms. Tex and Bob barge through the door and find a man lying on an operating table, with the hotel clerk standing over him. It appears the "hotel" is actually a secret laboratory, run by Dr. Kichung, who poses as its clerk. He explains to the two of them that he is experimenting with putting human brains into apes, the young man on the table being only his latest victim. And now that they know the truth, he'll have to use their bodies as experiments as well. He orders one of his ape-men to take Tex and Bob out to the private house in the back, which will serve as their cell until he's ready for them.
The ape-man forces the two adventurers along until Tex stops suddenly; he turns and attacks the ape, grabbing him in a headlock and snapping his neck! He and Bob then dash to the small house by the hill, where they were to be kept. A woman's voice cries out from inside. Tex unlocks the door, and a beautiful young woman steps out. She introduces herself as Alicia Stockton, missionary, who had been using the hotel as a base, until she was captured by the apes. Tex decides that they all need to get out of there fast. But before they can move, an ape shows up behind them holding a gun. He takes them back to Dr. Kichung.
Alicia is placed on the table, with Dr. Kichung gloating that Tex and Bob did his work for him in bringing her here. He is ready to experiment with a female brain. Unwilling to let this madness continue, Tex flings a vial of chemicals in one ape-man's face, then Bob crashes a chair over the other one. The doctor grabs a knife, but Tex kicks him in the chest, temporarily taking him out. He grabs Alicia, and with Bob, they escape the hotel and make a run for the river. A boat is waiting for them. They use it and complete their getaway.
Or so they think. Back in his lab, Dr. Kichung grins. He knows they haven't seen the last of him.
Appearing in Tex Thomson : "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part 1 of 2)"
- Doctor Kichung (First appearance)
- Yong the ape (First appearance)
- Koyto the ape (Dies)
- more altered apes
- Sung Wei soldier
- Alicia Stockton (First appearance)
- Kichung's Interspecies Brain Transplant Surgery
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "The Marijuana Farmers"
Scoop and his partner Rusty are driving down the road, in what Rusty calls "the sticks". Scoop got a hot tip from his friend, detective Bill Malone, telling him to come by as soon as he could, and Scoop always follows a good lead. Their tire suddenly has a blowout! Upon closer inspection, Scoop sees the flat was caused by a bullet. This is further proven by the shots being fired at them from a long distance rifle. Someone really didn't want them there. Scoop and Rusty keep their heads down until the firing ceases, but while they're unharmed, the car is riddled with bullet holes, and won't start. They'll have to find a phone somewhere and call in for a replacement. A farmhouse is found further up the road, though it looks a bit dilapidated. Scoop doesn't even knock when the door opens up to a thug holding a gun on them. He orders them inside and has his partner tie them up. The two toughs leave after Scoop and Rusty have been securely tied. Soon smoke begins filling the room. The house was on fire! Scoop backs up behind Rusty to try and undo his bonds. Once freed, Rusty begins to work on untying Scoop, but the smoke is too much for him and he passes out before finishing. Scoop manages to finish the job, freeing himself. He drags Rusty outside just as the flames begin licking at the wood framework. A bucket of water from the nearby pump revives his trusty pal and companion. Scoop and Rusty run from the burning farm house. That's when they notice the field they were in. It was all marijuana plants, freshly cut. That explains what's been going on here, why Bill called him down. But where was Bill? A shot rings out off in the distance. Rusty says it came from down in the thicket. He and Scoop run down through the bushes and foliage until they come across a man who's seriously wounded. The man recognizes Scoop, telling him through labored breaths, that Bill and Hank need his help up ahead, the marijuana farmers have them pinned down in an old shack. After passing the information along, the man dies from his injuries.
A shootout is currently happening between the marijuana farmers and Detectives Bill and Hank. The two men are running low on ammo, and one of the criminals has just set up a machine gun to finish them off. He never gets to fire it off, as Scoop delivers a kick from behind, knocking him unconscious. Scoop then turns the machine gun on the other crooks, giving them a warning to surrender. They ignore him, so Scoop opens fire, mowing several of the criminals down before they give up and surrender.
Rusty takes photos as the farmers are arrested. Scoop helps Bill and Hank round the crooks up, as it'll be the chair for all of them for murdering an officer of the law. Scoop makes sure to thank Bill for the exclusive.
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "The Marijuana Farmers"
- Rusty James
- several other marijuana farmers
- Bill Malone (Single appearance)
- Hank (Single appearance)
- unnamed man (Only appearance; dies)
- New York City area countryside
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Indian Prince"
While aboard a ship bound for a South Asian country, Zatara and Tong meet the Maharajah and his son, Prince Ahdar. Zatara enjoys performing his magic for the boy during dinner. Meanwhile, the captain gets a radiogram, telling him to be on the lookout for a lost seaplane along the ship's route. Zatara offers to assist in searching for the plane by using his astral form to soar above the sea. He spots the downed plane and its two pilots, who are laughing suspiciously. Zatara returns to his corporeal body and informs the captain of the plane's position, whispering to Tong to keep an eye out for trouble. The plane is found and the pilots are brought aboard. The ship's crew helps by lending them the tools they need to fix their engine. In thanks, the pilots offer to take the young Prince up for a quick ride. The Maharajah agrees, and so up they go. Everyone knows something is amiss when the plane gets further and further away with no sign of turning around. Zatara watches through binoculars until the plane is just a spec on the horizon. Later that night, another message comes through to the captain. It's a ransom note for the prince's safe return!
The ship reaches the city of Ceylon, where Zatara makes a promise to find the Maharajah's son. As he and Tong hike through the jungle outskirts, they are approached by a band of rebels. Using his magic, Zatara creates an illusion around himself and his servant, making them appear to be local natives of the area. The rebels ride off on their horses towards the city, with Zatara and Tong following. the rebels enter the poor section of town, and from there to their secret hideout. Zatara waits until nightfall before turning invisible and eavesdropping on the rebel leaders conversation. They intend to hold the prince as a hostage when they take control of the city away from the Maharajah using their recently gained machine guns. Zatara appears in front of them and delivers a warning; Either deliver the Prince or face the consequences. Then he disappears again, without a trace.
At the Maharajah's palace, Zatara briefs him about the planned attack, and tells him not to worry. Leave everything to him. Still, the Maharajah gathers his army together anyway to help on the front lines. An hour later, the soldiers are in formation before the city, while the rebels have the machine guns set up in a line. Against Zatara's advice, the Maharajah sends his troops forward in a charge. Many of them are gunned down before they even reach the opposing army. Zatara counters with a spell causing it to rain bullets on the rebel's heads. The rebel leader comes out of hiding and tries to attack Zatara, but the magician grows to giant size and picks up the leader in his hand. He demands to know where they were keeping the prince. The leader buckles in fear, agreeing at last to show where the boy was being held.
The Maharajah is reunited with his son, and the rebellion is quelled. Zatara casts a spell to turn the rebel leader into a poor old beggar, to repent for his crimes.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Indian Prince"
- Rebels (Single appearance)
- Ahdar Singh (Single appearance)
- Rajput Singh (Single appearance)
- Ship Captain (Single appearance)
- Ocean Liner
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Scoop Scanlon killed several dope farmers with a machine gun in this issue.
- Superman leveled several city blocks of slum housing, leaving dozens or hundreds of poor people homeless, in this issue.
- "Superman in the Slums" is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 1. The story was not originally titled; this title is first provided in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1.
- "Superman in the Slums" features the first appearance of Superman's super-hearing, or as he calls it, "sensitive ears."
- Tex Thomson killed a guy in this issue. The guy was an ape, but he had a human brain.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics were:
- This early issue of Action Comics has a rare non-Superman front cover. At this point, only two out of eight covers have actually featured Superman.
- Zatara writer/artist Fred Guardineer is also credited as "Gene Baxter" on his Pep Morgan story, in this issue.