"The Sandman: "Lady in Evening Clothes"": While investigating the murder of Anson Port, Wesley Dodds meets a young woman by the name of Diana Ware. She is being forced to work for the criminal, Black Bill Trent, because of her safe-cracking abilities, gained from being the adopted daughter o
Adventure Comics #47 is an issue of the series Adventure Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 1940.
Synopsis for The Sandman: "Lady in Evening Clothes"
While investigating the murder of Anson Port, Wesley Dodds meets a young woman by the name of Diana Ware. She is being forced to work for the criminal, Black Bill Trent, because of her safe-cracking abilities, gained from being the adopted daughter of a renowned safe-cracker. Trent claimed to know the name of her biological father, whom she had been seeking since a very young age. Diana revealed to Wesley that she knew of his costumed identity as The Sandman, and requested his assistance to help her find out who her real father was. Dodds agrees to help her if she'll assist him in rounding up Trent and his gang.
In District Attorney Belmont's office, the Sandman has Diana unlock a safe containing documented evidence of Anson's murder by Trent's orders. However a group of Black Bill's thugs, led by Trigger Hunt, burst into the room to try and retrieve the papers, making Wesley fill the room with his sleeping gas so that he and Diana can escape. Going over the papers proves that the bullet that killed Mr. Port was fired by Trigger, likely acting under Trent's orders. The Sandman and Diana drive up to the crime-lord's home, with her waiting in the car while he climbs up to the second story window to eavesdrop on a conversation between Trent and one of his men. Trent wants the thug to help Trigger Hunt escape from the police department's jail cell. Afterwards, he'll take him into a remote area and kill him, so that no one will ever link Trent to Anson Port's murder. But then, the Sandman climbs in through the window after hearing the confession and puts the two men to sleep! He takes a look inside Trent's desk for the paperwork revealing Diana's father, and glances over a document with surprise. From there, he exits the house and meets Diana back at the car, telling her to make a quick stop down at the police station.
Using his gas gun, the Sandman puts the officers to sleep so that he can free Trigger Hunt from his cell unhindered. The two of them returned to the car, where Trigger was held at gunpoint while they drove on to District Attorney Belmont's residence. The startled Belmont called the police, but first the Sandman forced Trigger to confess to Port's murder and reveal Black Bill Trent's involvement. Dodds also had one more piece of information to offer. Diana Ware's real name was Dian Belmont, long lost daughter of Larry Belmont, the district attorney! On this revelation, the father and daughter embrace, thanking Wesley for helping them find each other at last, and calling off the police to give him time to get away. Still, as Dodds races back to his mansion, he can't help but think that the young Miss Belmont will be causing him more trouble in the future.
Appearing in The Sandman: "Lady in Evening Clothes"
- Trigger Hunt (Single appearance)
- Black Bill Trent (Single appearance)
- Anson Port (Deceased)
- Dodds' Sedan
Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "The Phony LeGrand"
Barry O'Neill is tasked by the French Intelligence Department to deliver top secret military reports to a patrol in Veraux. His friend, Inspector LeGrand, is supposed to escort him in his car, but something is odd about the Inspector's behavior, and Barry becomes suspicious when he notices that they are driving in the wrong direction. LeGrand drives up to an old, desolate farmhouse, deep in the countryside, and parks by the front. When they walk up to the front door and knock, a strange man that Barry's never seen before answers and beckons him to enter. To his surprise, Barry feels the inspector press a gun barrel into his back. He isn't sure what is going on, but he is going to find out! With a knock of the elbow, LeGrand falls backward and then Barry delivers a quick strike to the man at the door to knock him out as well. His hunch is confirmed when he removes "LeGrand's" mask to reveal the imposter underneath! The spies must be holding the real inspector somewhere in the building, and after opening a suspicious, double-bolted door, Barry finds his friend tied up in the corner of the room.
After Barry unties the inspector, the two of them make their escape back to the car just as the other spies come running down the stairs. Bullets fly, but thanks to an ammo crate that LeGrand always keeps in the trunk of his vehicle, Barry is able to quickly even the playing field, with a grenade tossed into the building. It explodes into ruins, sending the international criminals fleeing in their own car. A chase ensues! And after a radio broadcast to the military, a small armed plane is sent out to put a quick stop to the spies. The pilot opens fire, sending the car plummeting off the road to burst into flames on the rocks below.
Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "The Phony LeGrand"
- Spy Leader (Only appearance; dies)
- LeGrand Imposter (spy) (Only appearance; dies)
- Inspector's Squad Car
- French Police Airplane
Synopsis for Federal Men: "Anarchists at the Exposition"
Steve Carson is detailed to serve as bodyguard to the Commissioner of National Functions, for the duration of the Eastern Exposition, in Washington, D.C. The Bureau has received a call from an unknown informant saying that an attempt would be made on the Commissioner's life. The caller also gave an address, for them to send out an agent for further details. This might be a prank, but the Head of the Bureau doesn't want to take any chances, so he Steve out to investigate.
When Steve reaches the address, a normal-looking residence, he finds the door unlocked, and lets himself in. Before he can even take a good look around, something strikes him on the head! He awakens almost an hour later to find a wounded man attempting to drag himself over the the floor where Steve had laid. The man gasps for words, unable to speak in full sentences he only manages to mumble about the Commissioner, and to "beware of the Skytower." The man dies in Carson's arms. However, a search through the dresser of the slain man reveals documents of a subversive nature, meaning that the assassins could possibly be a group of anarchists. With the evidence suggesting danger, Steve races to the Commissioner's office in order to sway him from appearing at the Exposition opening, tomorrow. But this event is something the Commissioner is determined to see through, so the G-man has no alternative but to keep an extra good eye-out for any trouble the following day.
The next day, when the Commissioner's procession reaches the exposition grounds, he is brought up to a podium with a single red button. The engineer explains that the button will cause the skytower to light up in a brilliant sparkle, symbolizing progress. While the electrician fumbles around under the podium for the final preparations, Steve believes he hears a muffled cry for help, coming from the maintenance room of the tower. To his shock, when he opens the door, he finds a man dressed in an electrician's outfit, all tied up and gagged. Then the person fooling around with the podium outside is a fake! The soft click of a gun, followed by a gruff voice from behind him, makes Steve jump. The phony electrician has rigged the podium to send an electrical charge through the highest point of the skytower, fixing it so that it will crumble and fall on top of the Commissioner when he presses the button. But Steve is quick with his attack, knocking the gun out of the man's hand and then firing off a shot of his own into the air. The murderous anarchist dashes to a panel in the wall, where he pulls a lever, causing a light explosion from above! Angrily, Steve pummels the phony electrician until he's no longer conscious, then hurriedly drags his limp form out onto the main grounds, to see what damage has been done. Thankfully, the gunshot had served its purpose as a warning, and the Commissioner has gotten clear of the tower before the large slab from above could crush him! The real electrician is released, and the plot to ruin the Eastern Expo has been foiled.
Appearing in Federal Men: "Anarchists at the Exposition"
- Luigi (Only appearance; dies)
- Anarchists (Single appearance)
- Commissioner of National Functions
Synopsis for Socko Strong: "Hassle in Hollywood, Part 1 (of 2)"
Socko Strong, accompanied by his pal Jerry Indutch, is in Hollywood to play the lead role in a movie with a boxing theme. He works alongside the famous Monte Swift, who is very displeased at being the second string to a man who's never acted before. What's worse, the script calls for him to be knocked out during the boxing match. But that day in the cafeteria, Monte reveals to a friend that instead of going easy like the script says, he was going to knock out Strong when he didn't expect it. Jerry, who was ahead of the line, overhears this and sneaks onto the set, to warn his friend Socko about Swift's plot! When shooting begins, Socko and Monte face off in the ring. According to the script, Strong is supposed to allow Swift to get through his guard with a light punch. But the blow that came nearly sent Socko reeling back, indicating that Swift really meant it! In retaliation, Socko delivers a knock-out punch to the actor's face, sending him sprawling to the ground. The director likes the change, and decided to wrap up the scene as it is.
Later that afternoon, the cast and crew are outside where the director explains the next shot, a more dangerous scene. While driving his automobile, Socko has to speed over a drawbridge just as it is beginning to rise. While the scene was being set up, Monte Swift is in the bridge control room, bribing the engineer to raise the drawbridge earlier than was expected. When the director yells "Action", Socko begins driving down the road at 70 miles an hour. But as he reaches the bridge, he notices that it has risen higher than it was supposed to, and he is going too fast to stop in time! Instead, he stomps down on the gas, getting the car up to 85, then 90... As Monte and the director watch, Socko's car hurtles across the slowly expanding chasm, landing safely on the other side! Swift curses under his breath.
The evening after the filming had been completed, the director throws a cast party at his mansion. The home is designed to be an exact replica of a medieval castle, including suits of armor and torture chambers, and the director encourages his guests to take a look around for themselves. As Socko wanders around, he comes across a large stone pit, that he feels the need to explore. But when he climbs down the ladder, the hatch above him suddenly closes! Monte Swift grins to himself as he locks Strong inside the pit, and then turns a valve wheel. Water began to quickly fill the pit, and try as he might, Socko is unable to escape through the locked hatch!
Appearing in Socko Strong: "Hassle in Hollywood, Part 1 (of 2)"
- Jerry Indutch
- Monte Swift (First appearance)
- Joe (Single appearance)
- Solly Lloyd (First appearance)
Synopsis for Captain Desmo: "The Gold Plane Robberies, Part 2 (of 2)"
The East India Transport Company had lost several planes laden with gold and Captain Desmo and Gabby had offered their services to help solve the mystery. However, they were captured by the villain Vasili Gerke, who has a machine that causes passing planes to stall, and who thinks that Desmo is carrying more gold. The natives under his thrall hold the two men firm in their grip, as Vasili checks the contents of the plane. He is infuriated when he finds it to contain fool's gold! Realizing he had been tricked, he orders Desmo and Gabby to be killed at once! But they have managed to fight off the native guards, and escape by jumping into the river far below, allowing the swift current to carry them away from the madman's clutches.
The next morning, Captain Desmo and Gabby return to the village with a plan. They out a pair of guards, and steal their guns, and begin looking for the prisoner hut where the other pilots are being held. They soon find it, after hearing shouts of distress from within, and Desmo uses the machine gun to shoot the lock off. The bursts of gunfire are heard by Gerke, who sends out some of his men to investigate, while the now-freed pilots raid the munitions hut and arm themselves with heavy automatics, to aid their escape. An ancient gong is sounded, calling countless natives to take their positions. Machine guns blast forth, preventing escape through any exit. Desmo and Gabby are pinned down by the gunners, although luckily Gabby had the foresight to take a few sticks of dynamite from the hut. Each time one is lit, he flings it at the natives' positions. After a while this drives away the Natives, with the aviators firing shots after them until they are completely off the field.
But Vasili Gerke wasn't seen among them. Captain Desmo spots the coward fleeing in a separate direction, across a crude rope bridge, and he gives chase, at least as far as the end of the bridge. Desmo wisely stays off it, and sure enough, pretty soon, the ropes supporting the boards snap, and Gerke is sent plummeting to his death on the rocks below.
With the pilots now free, all that is left is to return the stolen gold to the transporting company, and hand the natives over to the British government to be tried for their crimes.
Appearing in Captain Desmo: "The Gold Plane Robberies, Part 2 (of 2)"
- Gabby Maguire
- Vasili Gerke (Final appearance; dies)
- Toku (Single appearance)
- East India
- Transport Planes
Synopsis for Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Revenge of the Drug Ring"
A huge liner arrives at New York, carrying among its departing passengers Steve Conrad, and his faithful servant, Chang. Steve muses that it feels good to be back in civilization after all the adventures they've had, while Chang responds cryptically that adventures often follow in the footsteps of adventurers. Steve only smiles at his friend as he hails a taxi, believing that no adventure could find them in the big city. Just as he gets the words out, however, Steve sees a young woman across the street being forced against her will into a car, that speeds off! He and Chang get into the cab and yell at the driver to follow the car! The chase leads them into Chinatown, where the car's occupants depart, with the girl in tow, disappearing down an alley. Steve and Chang run after them, but when they turn the corner into the alley, they find a group of toughs standing in front of them with scowls on their faces. They are told to leave, or bad things will happen to them.
At the Explorers Club, where adventurers gathered to share tales of their journeys, Steve ponders the problem of the kidnapped girl. Chang shows up holding a newspaper containing an article about the kidnapping. The woman was identified as the Police Commissioner's daughter, who was suspected to have been taken by a Chinese drug ring to keep the Commissioner off the case. But Steve knows the commissioner as a guy who never backed down, no matter what the situation, so they need to find out where the girl is being held, fast. Chang heads out to visit his uncle in Chinatown, to find out if he's heard anything. Soon after he has gone, Steve is startled by a rock crashing through the window, with an attached note warning him not to make any further attempts to rescue the girl! The man who threw the rock is seen dashing away down the street. Steve follows behind while taking care not to be seen. The figure heads into a small building in a dark alley, with Steve waiting a moment or two before following. The room inside is too dark to see anything. He has only taken a few steps in when something thumped him over the head and he falls to the ground unconscious.
Meanwhile, Chang is learning about the drug ring from his uncle, who has spies set out, around Chinatown, to bring him information. Even Steve Conrad's capture hasn't gone unnoticed, and Chang's uncle mentions an old woman in the area who makes dope deliveries to the criminals' hideout. Chang pays her a visit, and gets her to spill the location of the hideout by threatening to tell the police about her involvement.
It has been a few hours since Steve Conrad had revived inside a locked room with his hands tied behind his back. Beside him, with her hands bound as well, was the Commissioner's daughter. The two of them had been thinking of ways to escape, all the while knowing that their time was running out. And when the locked door began to open, Steve braced himself for a fight with one of the guards, but saw his loyal servant and faithful friend Chang standing in the doorway instead! He and the girl ere untied, and follow Chang back through the chambers, where they find the members of the drug ring all fast asleep, thanks to Chang's special "dream aroma". The police are called from a phone booth outside, and the sleepy criminals are rounded up with the drugs being taken in for evidence. The police Commissioner is reunited with his daughter, with no sign of Steve or Chang, which she explains is because they would rather not deal with the press coverage and questions asked. Steve Conrad had left his card with her, however, should she ever need to ask him and Chang for help again.
Appearing in Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Revenge of the Drug Ring"
- Chang (First appearance)
- Chinese Dope Ring (Single appearance)
- Commissioner's Daughter (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder, Part 2 (of 7)"
Rusty, Specs, and Tubby have just witnessed an old man having a heart attack after his bodyguard was killed. A loud knocking is heard at the door of the mansion, so Rusty leaves his friends to tend to the old man while he answers it. To his surprise, on the threshold stands a dwarfish man holding a gun, with an odd smile upon his face. At gunpoint, Rusty leads the dwarf to the old man, who had recovered from the heart attack only to panic at the sight of the dwarf, whom he calls "Tino." Tino demands that the old man should give "it" back to him, or he'll shoot. The boys are temporarily forgotten, Rusty grabs the spear being held by a nearby suit of armor, and hurls it at Tino, making him drop his gun, which Tubby retrieves. Now Rusty threatens the little man, telling him to leave or else he'll get a spear through the neck just like the old man's bodyguard got a dart through his. "Bolton dead from a dart?" Tino gasps, "Then the Natives are here!" The frightened dwarf scurries down the hallway in fear, crying out "the Natives" over and over again. Behind them, the old man starts suffering another heart attack! He gasps for them to go to the Wayside Inn and bring his nephew, Angus McHeather, back to the mansion. But he dies before he can finish, ending with only "look behind Stevenson...".
When the boys reach town, a fight has broken out at the Inn. A local tells them that Angus McHeather was getting rowdy with some of the townspeople, as was often the case. From the sound of things inside, Specs figured that Angus had to be a giant of a man in order to be causing such a ruckus! A minute later, the Inn quiets down and the door bursts open to reveal a man of about four feet tall. Rusty approaches him about his uncle's last words, and Angus agrees to go with the boys, even though he was never that close to the old man in life. But something fishy was happening at the mansion, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it.
Appearing in Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder, Part 2 (of 7)"
- Tino (First appearance)
- The Natives (Behind the scenes)
- John Rankin (Final appearance; dies)
- Angus McHeather (First appearance)
- Ramshackle House
- Wayside Inn
Synopsis for Anchors Aweigh: "Captain Skinner and the Gold Ship"
Don Kerry is in Jamaica to investigate the reported torpedoing of the U.S. Steamship, Anne, which was hauling a large shipment of gold to American shores. He starts off by questioning Captain Skinner in his home. He was the only one who saw the submarine before it attacked, and who ordered all hands into the lifeboats. As for the captain, he and two other crewmen, who were currently sitting in the room with him, were the last to leave. Being only sixty miles away from Jamaica, Skinner explains that in their haste to make it to shore they must have just missed the other crew, who were picked up within the hour. He becomes more defensive when Don asks about the gold the ship was carrying, and forces Don out of his house. Kerry is naturally suspicious of the sudden outburst.
That night LCDR Kerry visits Skinner's private wharf and finds the launch he used to escape the Anne. On the deck is a small metal tag belonging to one of the sacks of gold! Did Skinner sink his own ship to get his hands on the gold transport? Don isn't given much time to ponder before someone appears behind him and knocks him out cold.
In the home of Captain Skinner, Don is revived. Skinner apologizes for the rough nature of his cohorts, and then confirms Don's suspicions by showing him the bags of gold he had been hiding. The explosion of the Anne was not caused by a torpedo, but by a charge of nitro that was carefully placed so that there would be no casualties. Skinner explained he didn't like to bloody his hands unless he had to, and if Kerry dropped the investigation he'd cut him in on a share. But Don was too honorable a man to agree to such terms, so Skinner had his men take him to an offshore island in order to give the Navy man a taste of what could happen to him. A native witchdoctor was bribed with a promise of gold bars by the captain for his services. The native had a mixture of toxins known only to the tribe's other witch doctors, that when injected could put a man into a "zombie" state, paralyzing all mental functions and making them open to suggestion that would reduce them to unwavering slaves. The effect was permanent, and as the native injected the serum into Don's body, Skinner promised to return him to the Navy Department as a walking corpse. However, his greed may be what saves Kerry's life, for when the witch doctor asks Skinner for the gold he promised, he is told to forget about it. Angered, the shaman calls upon his tribe to teach the white men a lesson. The captain and his two cohorts are attacked in an ambush! The witch doctor, in the meantime, hurriedly works with an antidote to save Kerry's mind from the toxins. Then he walks over to where the tribe was keeping Captain Skinner in their grasp, and injects the toxin serum into him, despite his pleas.
Taking the launch back to Jamaican shores, Don Kerry is met by Detective Daniels of the insurance company. He has come with the police and discovered the gold hidden in Skinner's residence. Daniels notices the captain stepping out of the launch with the help of the witch doctor, wondering what was wrong with him. Kerry relates his experience to the detective, which ended with the thieving Skinner losing his sense of self and becoming just another poor zombie slave.
Appearing in Anchors Aweigh: "Captain Skinner and the Gold Ship"
- Captain Skinner (Single appearance)
- Detective Daniels (Single appearance)
- Witch doctor (Single appearance)
- nearby island
- S.S. Anne (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Cotton Carver: "The First Ones"
Returning to Barlunda after the raid on Sere's radium mines, Cotton Carver finds out that his beloved Deela, princess of the Barlundan pirates, had been abducted by the wicked First Ones. He has a flier prepared to go rescue her, even though King Marl tells him that going alone would be suicide. The flier shoots off at the speed of a bullet with Cotton at the controls. He flies over the boiling springs, in the mountainous country of the First Ones, and with his binoculars he spots Deela, below, in a thick jungle, being forced along by her captors!
These neanderthal-like First Ones see the flier as it drops towards them, and raise their spears to fight it. Cotton is really good at flying this ship, by this time, and he guides it perfectly through the horde and alongside Deela. She hops aboard, and they're off. But her added weight drops their altitude, too low to make it past the dangerous steam from the boiling springs! Cotton has to land.
He and Deela go on foot, with the flier set to hover behind them, to scout out a safe path out of the region. Behind them they hear the shouting of the First Ones, who have gathered a party together to kill the two escapees. Cotton sends Deela up in the flier, while he remains behind to fight these neanderthals. Deela finds that the lever for descending has been broken off, so she can't return to her beloved's side. Though he fights bravely against the odds, Cotton is overtaken by the men and hogtied to a post, and carried off to their home in the cavernous mountains. The First Ones wretched chief, Grook the Great, orders the puny white man to be thrown to the vultures.
Meanwhile, near the boiling hot springs, Deela works frantically to fix the flier, glad that her position as a pirate princess required her to know all about the mechanics of her airships. Finally, she's able to fly it back to the Lands of the First Ones, where she had left Carver. A large pack of vultures flying around a cliff in the mountains draws her attention. Down at the scene, Grook is growing impatient, the vultures weren't attacking Cotton as long as he is still alive, so the evil chieftain grabs a spear and throws it at Cotton. Just then a small flying vehicle comes between it and Cotton, and the weapon is deflected harmlessly off the craft's side. Deela lands the flier next to Cotton's bound form and helps him on board. Before leaving, they stop at the top of the cliff, so Cotton can give Grook a good right hook right in the jaw, knocking him off the edge into the vultures' den. However as he returns to Deela's side, he finds her struggling with the controls. Something is wrong with the craft's magneto-generator, and they are slowly dropping. Beyond the cliffs of the First Ones and into a valley, they dropped, and into unfamiliar territory.
Appearing in Cotton Carver: "The First Ones"
- Grook the Great (Only appearance; dies)
- The First Ones (Single appearance)
- King Marl
- Radium Ore
- Deela's Royal Pirate Airship
- Anchors Aweigh:
- For the first time in this series, Red Murphy doesn't appear and isn't mentioned
- Don Kerry gets knocked unconscious. This is at least his second cranial concussion.
- Following this issue, the Captain Desmo stories are moved to More Fun Comics, starting with #53, March 1940.
- In this issue's Federal Men story, Steve Carson gets knocked unconscious for at least the 6th time.
- This issue marks the final appearance of the "Professor Doolittle" strip by Bob Kane.
- Sandman: "Lady in Evening Clothes" is reprinted in the The Golden Age Sandman Archives Vol. 1
- The Lady in the title is Dian Belmont, who meets Wes Dodds for the first time in this story. Before it's over, she's also figured out who the Sandman really is.
- Steve Conrad last appeared two years earlier, in issue #25.
- Also appearing in this issue of Adventure Comics was:
- About Dogs
- "The Walking Ghost" (text story) by Rex Vance