"Superboy: "A Mask for a Hero!"": A raging fire threatens Smallville and Superboy is too distracted by another calamity to stop it. Instead, a brave man risks his life to stop the blaze and then runs off into the woods. Onlookers follow to figure out
Appearing in Superboy: "A Mask for a Hero!"
- Gaff Drake (Single appearance)
- Owley Manners (Single appearance)
- Jack C. Reavis (Single appearance)
- Spots (Single appearance)
- Mr. Aldo (Single appearance)
- George Binder (Mentioned only)
- Alice Carlton (Single appearance)
- Jim Carlton (Single appearance)
- Henry Darwin (Single appearance)
- Mayor Higgins
- Bill Wilder (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Superboy: "A Mask for a Hero!"
A raging fire threatens Smallville and Superboy is too distracted by another calamity to stop it. Instead, a brave man risks his life to stop the blaze and then runs off into the woods. Onlookers follow to figure out who he is but the man covers his head with a lead pipe and begs everyone to let him be. The mayor convinces him to let him throw a parade but only on the condition that his face be covered constantly.
A sculptor makes a handsome mask in the mold of several American presidents and the mystery hero makes his debut, taking the town by storm. He goes to fancy dinners, is on the cover of the newspaper, and has a bread named after him. Alice Carlton rushes from a crowd and claims to know him—the mystery man is her missing husband Jim. He denies it and Superboy has to figure out how to console the woman and also maintain the man's anonymity.
Based on a hunch, Superboy goes to Mexico, where he single-handedly digs up a huge Incan palace and brings it to Smallville: Jim Carlton was an archaeologist who suffered amnesia while doing fieldwork in Mexico. The fantastical event brings archaeologists from miles around and the site of the palace brings back his memory and the couple are happily reunited.
Unfortunately, the masked man was not Carlton and in the ruckus around the palace, a group of gangsters abduct him, thinking they know who he is. Superboy makes quick work of the kidnapping but reporter Bill Wilder of the Smallville Gazette is convinced that their hero is actually thief Gaff Drake and his old bosses are looking to get revenge. Superboy investigates and finds the real Drake but Wilder is insistent.
Elsewhere, a wealth criminal is suspicious that the masked man may be someone whom he wants killed. To be sure, he sends a group of thugs to Smallville. They stage a bank robbery and try to set up the masked man as the robber but it was Superboy in disguise and he brings them all to justice.
At the subsequent trial, the masked man reveals himself: he was who Reavis thought he was—the only witness to a murder that the mob leader orchestrated. Reavis attempts to kill him in the court but Superboy intervenes again. The masked hero is now safe.
Appearing in Aquaman: "The Evil King of the Sea!"
- Aquaman (Jim Hall) (Single appearance)
- Mike (Single appearance)
- Natives (Single appearance)
- United States National Guard (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for Aquaman: "The Evil King of the Sea!"
At a swimming championship, the extraordinary Jim Hall is spotted by some gangsters who give him a proposition to masquerade as Aquaman for a profit. The real hero is supposed to shepherd some villagers from one island to another and watch their valuables while they are in transit. With an underwater breathing suit and some jet propulsion to mimic the true sea king's powers, he easily convinces them. When the real article shows up, he has to convince the island nation that he is to be trusted. He fails to command nearby sea life who will only respond to Hall but they are actually very lifelike robots controlled by the gang.
They have actually polluted the water to drive away all sea life, leaving no genuine fish for him to command. Aquaman spots some nearby gulls and convinces them to fly into the water and lift out the tablets poisoning the ocean, allowing actual marine life to return. Swordfish puncture the side of their fake whale and an octopus ensnares the bad guys, showing who the true Aquaman is.
Appearing in Johnny Quick: "Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed!"
- Professor Gillquad (Single appearance)
- Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed (Single appearance)
- Professor Winklerod (Single appearance)
- Ring-Tailed Dove
- Speed Formula
Synopsis for Johnny Quick: "Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed!"
Student-secretary Joanie Swift is typing a list of time-space equations for physics Professor Winklerod when she stumbles across the Speed Formula. Realizing she has the same powers as Johnny Quick, she creates a similar costume and proposes they form a team. The hero is afraid that she'll be ineffective in the field as a vigilante and possibly hurt so he stages a series of events to convince her that super speed is a burden. She enjoys them all and Quick is despairing that she'll never give up the life of action until she faints at the sight of a mouse. While she's out, he rearranges the formulae in her notes so that she cannot find the Speed Formula again.
Appearing in Green Arrow: "The Crime Platoon!"
- The Crime Platoon (Single appearance)
- Corporal B
- Private X
- Sargent Z
- Commissioner Raymond
Synopsis for Green Arrow: "The Crime Platoon!"
A group of bank robbers dressed as a military platoon robs the Star City National Bank. Green Arrow and Speedy narrowly miss them but as they escape, they drop a field manual with clues to their future planned heists. The villains confer at an abandoned army camp on the outskirts of town and plan another hit with a tank. GA raids their compound before they can execute the plan but several criminals escape. Police interrogation only reveals their names, ranks, and serial numbers but Arrow finds a piece of paper with a code on it. He cracks it and realizes they are planning an aquatic attack. Putting the Arrowcar into hydro mode, the heroes save a yacht from being torched and capture the rest of the platoon.
- "Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed!" was reprinted in World's Finest #198.
- A half-page Little Pete gag story involves the boy wishing he could turn into a goblin who could convert all the world into cake and then change into an elephant who could eat it all.
- A second half-page gag has the absent-minded Professor Eureka followed by a mystery man in public. When the professor asks him why he's following him, he says it's because he took the man's umbrella.
- Henry Boltinoff provides a one-page Shorty scene where he joins the United States Navy and is excited to see the ocean.
- A two-page text piece by Jason Mallory describes the Japanese Kempei Tai police force.
- A one-page Varsity Vic story has him using a professor's telescope to see if his girlfriend is cheating on him.
- No trivia.
- Discuss Adventure Comics Vol 1 181 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Adventure Comics series
- Images from Adventure Comics Vol 1 181
- Superboy Recommended Reading
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- Superboy (Volume 1)
- Superboy (Volume 2)
- Superboy (Volume 4)
- Superboy (Volume 5)
- Superboy (Volume 6)
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 1)
- Superboy and the Ravers (Volume 1)
- Young Justice (Volume 1)
- Young Justice (Volume 3)
- Teen Titans (Volume 3)
- Teen Titans (Volume 4)
- Aquaman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- Aquaman (Volume 1)
- Aquaman (Volume 2)
- Aquaman (Volume 3)
- Aquaman (Volume 4)
- Aquaman (Volume 5)
- Aquaman (Volume 6)
- Aquaman (Volume 7)
- Aquaman (Volume 8)
- Aquaman and the Others (Volume 1)
- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis (Volume 1)
- Aquaman: Time and Tide (Volume 1)
- Atlantis Chronicles (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Green Arrow Recommended Reading
- More Fun Comics (Volume 1): More Fun Comics #73–107
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1): Adventure Comics #246–269
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1): Detective Comics #521–567
- Green Lantern (Volume 2): Green Lantern (Volume 2) #76–124
- The Flash (Volume 1): The Flash #217–219
- Green Arrow (Volume 1)
- Green Arrow (Volume 2)
- Green Arrow (Volume 3)
- Green Arrow (Volume 4)
- Green Arrow (Volume 5)
- Green Arrow (Volume 6)
- Green Arrow and Black Canary (Volume 1)
- Green Arrow: The Wonder Year (Volume 1)
- Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (Volume 1)
- Green Arrow: Year One (Volume 1)
- Connor Hawke: Dragon's Blood (Volume 1)
- Black Canary (Volume 1)
- Black Canary (Volume 2)
- Black Canary (Volume 3)