"Superman: "Wanted: Superman"": Superman is still wanted by the police for destroying all those slum tenements, and the Police Chief is furious! He's hired Detective Captain "100%" Riley, from Chicago, to help apprehen
Action Comics #9 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 1939.
- 1 Synopsis for Superman: "Wanted: Superman"
- 2 Appearing in Superman: "Wanted: Superman"
- 3 Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang (Part I)"
- 4 Appearing in Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang (Part I)"
- 5 Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Ice Boat Race"
- 6 Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Ice Boat Race"
- 7 Synopsis for "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IX)"
- 8 Appearing in "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IX)"
- 9 Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part II)"
- 10 Appearing in Tex Thomson: "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part II)"
- 11 Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 9)"
- 12 Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 9)"
- 13 Synopsis for Zatara: "The Mad Lama"
- 14 Appearing in Zatara: "The Mad Lama"
- 15 Notes
- 16 Trivia
- 17 See Also
- 18 Recommended Reading
- 19 Links and References
Synopsis for Superman: "Wanted: Superman"
Superman is still wanted by the police for destroying all those slum tenements, and the Police Chief is furious! He's hired Detective Captain "100%" Riley, from Chicago, to help apprehend Superman.
Back at the Daily Star office, Clark Kent asks Lois Lane out on a date. She reminds him that she finds him contemptible. He tells her that he knows that she's got someone else she's thinking of, and she admits that she's in love with Superman.
Detective Captain Riley comes up with a plan to catch Superman: he promises a $5000 reward to whoever helps capture and arrest Superman. As Superman is helping to stop a mental patient named Saunders from committing suicide, he is noticed by Mortimer Snoop, a small-time crook who read about the reward for his capture. Snoop calls the police and tells them that he saw a man remove his clothes and then jump up into the sky. Detective Captain Riley hurries to the spot where the clothes are. He and Snoop wait in that spot for Superman to return so that they can catch him. Superman saves the mental patient, then returns to where he left his clothes. Snoop and Riley get into an argument and separate, giving Superman time to collect his clothes.
As Riley chases Snoop, Snoop hides in an alley and reads the memo he pulled out of Superman's coat. Snoop makes his way to the address listed on the memo, but is refused entry to the party happening there. He calls the Daily Star and asks to speak with the society editor, but instead is put on with Lois Lane. He tells her that he knows Superman is going to be at a party, and needs help getting inside.
Lois makes her way over to the party, but double-crosses Snoop so that he gets thrown out. In a last resort, Snoop calls Riley. Riley heads over to the party and he and Snoop start looking for Superman. In the meantime, Lois Lane asks Clark Kent to help her find Superman, so that she can warn him of the danger.
Riley decides to line everyone up against the wall and search them. Just as he is about to search Clark Kent, he lets it slip that he has no intention of giving Snoop any of the money. In anger, Snoop turns off the light. When Riley turns the light back on, he is face-to-face with Superman. Both Riley and Snoop jump on Superman to try to catch him, but they only succeed in injuring themselves. Disgraced, Riley returns to Chicago, as Lois Lane once again daydreams about Superman.
Appearing in Superman: "Wanted: Superman"
- Mortimer Snoop (Single appearance)
- Captain Riley (Single appearance)
- Chief Burke (Single appearance)
- Saunders (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang (Part I)"
A member of the gangster Lefty Laroway's crew is murdered in an alleyway by his peers for squealing to the police. The noise from the gunshot is heard by Scoop and Rusty as they drive past. They see two men run out of the alley and into a car, speeding off down the road. Scoop memorizes the vehicle's plate while Rusty checks the alley. He finds the body and runs back to tell Scoop. The duo get back in their car and begin searching for the gangsters, but a traffic jam forces them to stop. It wouldn't have done much good anyway, because the gangsters just pressed a button on their dashboard to make their license plate switch out for another. The thugs pull their car into a respectable-looking garage, the mechanical door closes behind them. Soon, a meeting of like-minded gangsters takes place in a room next door. The plan? To break their boss, Lefty, out of prison.
The following day at the county prison, gang-leader Lefty Laroway is working the harvesting fields with his fellow prisoners, always under the watchful eyes of the guards. Lefty whispers a message to the other convicts, passing it through the convict grapevine that it was nearly time to put their plan into motion. A car begins cruising by, on the road next to the prison work area. Lefty removes his cap and wipes his brow, a signal to the others to begin the plan. A guard nearest Lefty is knocked out, his gun taken. Another inmate drives a tractor through the fence. The car slows to a crawl, allowing the prisoners, with Lefty, to get inside. They wind up having to hijack a second car, though, when in their excitement, they crash off the road. The gang makes it away from the prison and back into the city, miraculously evading the police the whole way.
At the Bulletin office, Scoop and Rusty hear about the jailbreak on the radio. No longer able to be on the sidelines as the murderers keep getting away, Scoop decides he's going to go undercover and join the Laroway gang!
Appearing in Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter: "The Lefty Laroway Gang (Part I)"
- Rusty James
- Lefty Laroway (First appearance)
- The Laroway Gang (First appearance)
- Logan (Only appearance; dies)
- Lefty's getaway car
Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Ice Boat Race"
On a winter's day, Pep, and his pal Dick, are having fun skating over the frozen lake. A shout for help interrupts their fun, and they see that Professor Jones, their algebra teacher, has fallen through the ice and can't climb back out. If he doesn't get help soon, he may die of hypothermia, but no one can get near him without the ice breaking beneath their feet. Pep has the other skaters lie on their stomachs and holding onto the feet of the person in front of them, forming a line up to the Professor, with Pep at the front. He grabs Jones, telling the others to pull with all they've got. It works! The Professor is safe, if a little cold. He wraps up in blankets, and Pep helps him home.
The next day, Pep and Dick enter the iceboat race. The boats slide off, Dick manning the till that keeps the sails pointed in the direction of the wind. Their boat seems to be moving at a slower pace than their rival's, but then Pep turns the sails slightly, and their speed increases. They pass by their opponent's boat and head to the finish line. A young boy skates unknowingly in front of Pep and Dick's path. Pep weaves the boat out of the way, just missing the boy by a hair! Pep wins the race, his opponent congratulates him. Pep suggests next year they open the race at night, when there won't be any skaters in harm's way.
Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Ice Boat Race"
- Dick (Single appearance)
- Jack (Single appearance)
- Tommy Atkins (Single appearance)
- Professor Jones (Single appearance)
- Dick's ice Boat
Synopsis for "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IX)"
After beating back the Kasan bandits and rescuing his family, Marco takes time out for some fun with his new friends. Shela introduces him to her fiancé, Ishar. Ishar and Marco hit it off like old friends, with him even showing Marco a few new fighting moves passed down from his tribe.
The tribe invite Marco to watch their tournament, which they take their finest warriors an put them in an arena against each other. Though it certainly looks dangerous, using real weapons, it is all in good fun. The warriors ride around on their horses trying to knock each other off and steal their opposing team's pennant, and the crowd loves it. Not content to simply sit idle, Marco sneaks off to grab a steed and enter the tournament himself. He rides into the fray, sword in hand, and fights off all attackers as he grabs the pennant. Marco makes it back to his team's corner, the cheers and applause of the crowd echoing his name in the stands. He rides over to Shela and passes the pennant to her, naming it as a trophy for the "fairest of the fair".
Appearing in "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IX)"
- Ishar (First appearance)
- Shela's tribesman
Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part II)"
The trio of Tex, Bob, and Alicia have just escaped the mad Doctor Kichung's clutches by fleeing in a small boat. They row across the great river, towards the foreign beach on the other side. A path leads Tex and gang further inland, where a dense jungle forbiddingly awaits. They don't want to enter it, until Tex points out the figures of a family of great apes glaring at them menacingly through the trees. It is impossible to know how many more of the beasts there are hiding in the foliage, Tex and Bob decide to take their chances back on the opposite shore, with Alicia in agreement. Tex gambles on being able to sneak away, off Kichung's property, without being noticed. Unfortunately, the good doctor has been waiting for our adventurers to return from their failed escape. His ape-man assistant takes Tex and Bob away, while Kichung brings Alicia back to his laboratory.
Tex and Bob take a moment to assess their predicament while locked in the guardhouse. At the lab, Doctor Kichung tells his ape-man, Kyoto, that he will soon have a mate, referring to the girl. Back in the guardhouse currently serving as a prison, Tex notices how the door is made of a hard wood. Using two plain sticks, Tex rubs them together until a fire sparks forth. He lets the flames lick at the exit. Soon he and Bob are able to barrel through the door, after it has been weakened by fire. Now to save Miss Alicia and escape once and for all.
All is quiet at the house, no sign of the ape-guards anywhere. Bob is boosted into the second floor window, keeping a lookout while Tex follows. They hurry towards the lab, but find it empty, no hint of Alicia anywhere. Another door attracts their attention, but before they can open it, Doctor Kichung appears from behind a curtain, holding a gun. He offers to show them what's behind the door, pressing a button on the wall. The door swings open, revealing Alicia strapped to the wall, blindfolded and gagged. Tex threatens that if he hurts her in any way, there'll be trouble. The madman doctor is about to begin his experiment on Alicia, when a loud howl, that of a primate, echoes from outside the window. The yell is followed by others, each varying slightly in pitch, but all sounding as though they are coming closer. Tex makes a move during the distraction, delivering a haymaker on Kichung. The doctor is out cold. The two men find the hidden compartment where Alicia is held and set her free. The three of them make a run for it, to the beach, where the boat was left.
Tex and Bob gape at the remarkable sight that passes them, a troop of apes, howling as they head towards the house. They pay no mind to Tex, Bob, or Alicia; the apes' only goal is Doctor Kichung. Meanwhile back at the house, Kyoto, the doctor's loyal ape-guard, tries halting the group of primates, but the sight of one of their own wearing clothes and speaking in a foreign manner enrages them. The apes tear Kyoto apart, then continue inside to the laboratory where the doctor has just awakened. He looks in sheer terror as the creatures advance on him. Kichung looks around but sees no escape, the apes have him. With one last motion, he ties flinging a vial of chemicals. The reaction causes a devastating explosion! Tex and his friends look back to see the house of Doctor Kichung blow sky high. They're not going to have any more trouble from him.
Appearing in Tex Thomson: "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part II)"
- Doctor Kichung (Final appearance; dies)
- Koyto the ape (Final appearance; dies)
- troop of apes
- Alicia Stockton (Final appearance)
- Kichung's Interspecies Brain Transplant Surgery
Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 9)"
Chuck has managed to lead the 4-G gunmen away from the Diamond-H Ranch, but upon returning, he learns that the owner's daughter Virginia has been abducted. Her brother, Zebe, went out to look for her awhile back and hasn't returned. Chuck promises the owner that he'll find them both and bring them back home safely.
A trail of footprints were left behind by the kidnappers, so Chuck follows them as they lead over the canyon trail. In the distance, partially hidden on the ridge, Chuck spots the glint of steel reflected from the sunlight. He races the gunman to the head of the canyon so he can capture him before getting cut off. A bullet whizzes past him from behind, throwing Dawson off his steed. They think they've got him pinned in, but he's more resourceful than they know. Using the crystal face of his pocket watch to reflect the sunlight, Chuck creates a fire in the dry grass nearby. The smoke provides perfect cover for him to escape up the rim of the canyon. The smoke works in distracting the two gunslingers behind Chuck, but the gunman on the ridge has a better view of the action, and he goes around the ridge to meet Chuck when he makes it up top. The man catches Chuck's horse around the hooves with a lasso, send Blacky and Chuck sprawling to the ground. He approaches and pulls out his gun. Chuck grabs a nice-sized pebble and flings it, knocking the gun out of his attacker's hand. Now that he has the advantage, he pounces, knocking the kidnapping scoundrel on his back. Chuck grabs him by the collar and asks where he's keeping the girl.
Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 9)"
- Blacky (Chuck's horse)
- 4-G gunmen
- Slug Rhodes
- Diamond-H owner
- his daughter Virginia
- his son Zebe
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Mad Lama"
The Grande Lama Jerbel, a great and wicked monk with strong mental powers, has plans to take over the world. He is currently awaiting the arrival of his lieutenants who will help keep control over his new world. Elsewhere, in the skies above, a passenger plane carries Zatara and his manservant Tong to their next adventure. Jerbel, in a test of his powers, causes the plane's occupants to fall under a deep sleep, and brings the plane into a steep descent. The passengers are all unaware of their predicament, all but Zatara, who manages to block the effects of the spell from his mind. He's able to land the plane on a bare plateau without it sustaining any damage. He then goes and wakes up Tong, so together they can investigate who or what caused the accident. Zatara strains his mind's eye to scan out across the land, looking for the source of the hypnotic spell. A monastery lies to the north, and whatever caused everyone to sleep was inside. Walking take too long, so Zatara transforms himself and Tong into birds, which fly over the mountain path to the monastery.
Oddly, it would seem their arrival was expected. A servant calls out to them, and escorts them to his master, Lama Jerbel. Things begin to make sense when Zatara and Jerbel meet, as the master of mental powers mistakes the magician for a high-ranking Major in the English army, one of his expected guests. Zatara decides it's best to play along for now, asking the Lama what he needed of him. Jerbel explains his plan of world takeover, boasting that his power and wealth combined will allow him to rule over all. But, he needed lieutenants of particular talent to help in the maintaining of his world order. Zatara and Tong are shown to their room, where they'll be staying. Once they're alone, Tong expresses his concern for their host's power. Zatara agrees, he felt a very strong will emanating off him. Jerbel may truly have the power to conquer, and Zatara isn't sure if he is strong enough to stop him. Some time later, a servant enters their room to announce that dinner is ready.
Downstairs, in the monastery's grand dining hall, several VIPs from all across the world are gathered together. Tong notices a familiar face in the crowd. The Tigress is here, mingling with the other guests. Zatara casts a spell on himself and his manservant, so that the Tigress will not recognize them and blow their cover. She sees him and approaches, swearing that he looked familiar to her. Jerbel happily introduces them to each other, calling her "Madame La France", an alias she is apparently using. The Lama Jerbel then bids everyone to take a seat and let dinner be served. He starts with a toast to himself and his oncoming rule. Then he goes around the table, making the introductions of his chosen lieutenants, hypnotists all. He starts with a patron of India, Lalla Gor, who will enslave all of India's residents by making them fall in fear at his phantom armies, which he can summon from his mind. Next up, Monsieur Henri, of France, who can trick people into believing they are succumbing to poison gas in the air. And now, it was time for Zatara, or "Major Lee", to show what he can do. The magician "demonstrates" by growing to giant-size and acting to crush the others beneath his boot. He intercepts a mental command from the Lama to make him stop, so Zatara pretends to yield, and shrinks back down to normal. Jerbel is displeased by the realization that Zatara was able to hypnotize him as well, something the other guests couldn't manage, and decides to have him killed rather than allow him to threaten his reign.
Zatara and Tong are thrown in the dungeon. But they're easily able to escape thanks to Zatara's astral projection form. On the way out, Zatara and Tong run into the Tigress. Zatara no longer wears the illusion spell, so she immediately recognizes him. To his surprise, she is begging him for help! Lama Jerbel blames her for bringing the magician here, and he has sent his guards to scour the monastery looking for her. So Zatara and Tong bring her with them as they sabotage Jerbel's plan. First, Zatara hits the mad monk's treasure room, and with a spell, turns all his wealth to ash. Now it's on to the Lama himself, dispatching a bevy of guards, and magically disposing of the Lama's trusted lieutenants. The last obstacle in their path is a mental force field. Zatara can't break it on his own, but when Tong and Tigress join hands with his, together they give off enough mental energy to burst through. Lama Jerbel awaits in his study. It comes down to a battle of minds between the Lama and the magician. They stand before one-another, each straining their minds to breach the will of the other. Soon, Jerbel falters and begs for mercy. Zatara can not allow him to live and try again with his plan, so he destroys the Lama in fire.
The threat of the Lama Jerbel has been neutralized, and so Zatara, Tong, and Tigress leave the monastery, heading back to the plane.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Mad Lama"
- Mad Lama Jerbel (Only appearance; dies)
- many henchmen
- Henri, French hypnotist (Single appearance)
- Lala Gor, Indian hypnotist (Single appearance)
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
- Superman: "$5,000 Reward for Superman" is reprinted in Superman Chronicles Vol. 1 and Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1, which also provided the title for this story.
- Zatara flat out kills his villain, the Mad Lama Jerbel, by incinerating him after he begs for mercy.
- Also appearing in this issue of Action Comics was:
- The Diddle Family by Paul Gustavson.
- 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.