"Hourman: "Presenting 'Tick-Tock' Tyler, the Hour-Man"": Young chemist Rex Tyler discovers a powerful chemical that can give a human increased strength, improved senses, and the ability to move faster than the speed of light, but only for an hour. He names the compound
- G-gosh it's dark here! I - I guess I'd better head for home!
- — Rex Tyler, as the Miraclo wears off
Synopsis for Hourman: "Presenting 'Tick-Tock' Tyler, the Hour-Man"
Young chemist Rex Tyler discovers a powerful chemical that can give a human increased strength, improved senses, and the ability to move faster than the speed of light, but only for an hour. He names the compound Miraclo, and uses it to help people as the Hourman! An ad is placed in the Metropolitan Daily offering help to the oppressed, with a mailing address provided.
Rex Tyler receives loads of mail from hundreds who have answered his ad. A particular letter catches his eye, written by Mary Kennedy, whose husband has fallen into a life of crime since losing his job. She begs for assistance in bringing him back to an honest living. He visits Mrs. Kennedy while incognito, and she tells him that her husband, John, was talking in his sleep about stealing Mrs. Van Shelton's pearls, during the Beaux Arts Ball that night. Later in his lab, Tyler prepares the Miraclo compound, as well as a tear gas concentrate in his ring. One minute before the start of the Ball, he drinks the chemical and dons the guise of the Hourman!
Just as Mrs. Kennedy suspected, her husband is at the ball with two other thugs. Their eyes are on the elegant Marcia Van Shelton, and the pearls she wears. They are about to put their plan into action, when suddenly a paper blows into Kennedy's hand. It is a warning, written by the Hourman, telling him to go home to his wife and kid before it is too late. Kennedy is spooked, but the other men convince him it is just some kind of gag. The attendees are about to begin the grand march when the room suddenly goes dark! The Hourman, with the power of Miraclo, is able to see in the dark and notices that Mrs. Van Shelton's pearls have been taken! The thieves have a car parked right outside, and make their getaway, but thanks to his boosted speed, Hourman is able to run them down!
When they arrive at their apartment hideout, he leaps onto the roof of the building, realizing that he only has 20 more minutes before his abilities fade. Hourman bursts through the gang's apartment window, and releases the tear gas in his ring onto the surprised thieves, distracting them as he turns toward John F. Kennedy. He grabs the frightened man and takes him to the roof to try and scare him straight by throwing him off the side! Before Kennedy hits the ground, Hourman quickly leaps to the ground and catches him in mid-air! Immediately, John F. Kennedy starts to beg and plead, promising to quit his life of crime and return to his family at home. The police show up, and Hourman makes himself scarce, just in time to return to his regular self.
The next morning, Mrs. Kennedy is happily welcoming her husband as he returns home, while at the same time, Mrs. Van Shelton finds her pearls enclosed in an envelope in her mailbox. Back at the lab, Rex Tyler is being lectured by his boss about how he could really go places if he wasn't so timid.
Appearing in Hourman: "Presenting 'Tick-Tock' Tyler, the Hour-Man"
- Hourman (First appearance)
- Mr. Bannerman, Rex's boss (not yet named)
- John F. Kennedy (reforms)
- Mary Kennedy (Single appearance)
- two small children
- Marcia Van Shelton (Single appearance)
- Appleton City
- Tyler's Apartment
- Bannerman Chemical
- Tear-gas Pen
Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "The Mind Slave of Fang Gow"
A call is made to Inspector LeGrand in the French Intelligence Office, informing him that his daughter, Jean, has been arrested as a spy! He and Barry O'Neill speed off to the military prison. They meet with Jean, who is acting very unlike herself, slapping her father and cursing them both, as she is dragged kicking and screaming back to her cell. Barry hypothesizes that someone had hypnotized her. One name comes to mind right away: Fang Gow, their lasting nemesis and the terror of France! But the Chief of Intelligence won't listen to them, forcing Barry to once again take matters into his own hands. He organizes a plan to break Jean out of jail, hoping in her hypnotized state that she will lead him straight to Fang Gow.
With a rope tied from the window of Jean's cell to the back of his car, Barry steps down on the gas pedal and pulls out an entire section of the wall! Upon being freed, Jean Legrand escapes into the darkness, with Barry stealthily following her. She walks out to the dock section, by the river Seine, and vanishes down a flight of stairs. Barry searches the area beneath the dock and finds a hidden door, leading to a spiral stone staircase. Near the bottom he pauses and listens, voices can be heard nearby, one is Jean's, while the other has a deep, sinister tone. Peering cautiously beyond the stone wall, Barry sees his old nemesis, Fang Gow, conversing with the inspector's hypnotized daughter. He issues her a command, to secretly place some stolen defense plans into her father's bag, during his diplomatic trip to Romania, where another spy will then steal the documents back.
Barry draws his gun, steps out, and confronts them, demanding that Fang Gow release Jean from his spell! As the two shout at each other, Jean finds herself coming to her senses, as the sound of Barry's voice slowly began to take effect. She is finally able to regain her own thoughts, right as Fang Gow hits a secret button, to summon a gang of hired goons to help. Barry yells for Jean to run back up, and bring help, while firing his gun into the group to hold their attention on himself.
Reaching the dock, Jean LeGrand races frantically to find a phone. In a very short time, police officers arrive with Inspector LeGrand, who learns about Barry's situation, and leads the officers charging down into the underground chamber. There they find Barry standing over a pile of downed thugs, all unconscious and bleeding! He waves to his friends and informs them that Fang Gow has made another escape, but not before he was able to grab the Defense plans.
Jean is released from custody, and three of enemy agents have been captured, but the deadly and unpredictable Fang Gow remains at large.
Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "The Mind Slave of Fang Gow"
- Chief of Intelligence
- Parisian Gendarmes
- Fang Gow
- three minions
- Stolen French Defense Plans
- O'Neill's car
Synopsis for Federal Men: "Professor Dirk's Crime School"
After watching the trial of counterfeiter "Plates" Chase, Steve Carson and the Chief of the FBI are left puzzled. Chase was known to be an amateur at best, and yet his latest counterfeiting job was nearly perfect. It was like he had changed his methods overnight! When they returned to headquarters, the chief found an envelope from an anonymous sender lying on his desk. Inside was a $1000 bill! He had it analyzed by the boys in the lab, and found it to be a very well-made counterfeit. Could it be a tip-off? The return address on the envelope said it came from Northville, so Steve Carson was sent to find out more.
Steve found notorious criminals roaming the streets of Northville, seeming unconcerned by being out in the open. Up ahead was the ex-con Blimp Carlyle coming out of a house. Steve waited until he had left the area, then picked the lock on the door and let himself in. Text books and study materials on Criminology were scattered across the upstairs desk, which Steve found odd, as Carlyle was always more of a small time thug that wasn't educated. He heard the front door open and footsteps came up the stairs! He quickly hid in the closet, as Blimp and his associate stepped inside and conversed. That's how Steve learned about Professor Dirk and his Crime School, where many criminals were going, to learn how to better cover up their crimes. When the two men departed, Steve trailed them.
That evening, he disguised himself as a tough character, and tried to enroll in Professor Dirk's class. However, during the fingerprint process all new pupils must go through, Steve was identified as a Federal Man! Rather than kill him right away, Dirk decided to use him as a guinea-pig in a class demonstration that day.
In a room full of onlooking criminals, Professor Dirk was explaining how to kill someone without the authorities suspecting murder. Beside him was a large machine with clamps on the side controlled by a lever. Thugs held Steve Carson in place as the switch was pulled, fastening his limbs in place. A gun had been fastened into his hand that had been specially modified to go off in five minutes, and Dirk had positioned it to point at the Federal Man's head. This way, with only Steve's fingerprints on the weapon it would just look like a suicide! As Dirk started his lecture, Steve recognized one of the onlookers as Bennie Mason, for whom he once did a favor, and now was his last hope. Mason slowly inched his way over to the machine, closer and closer, until he could almost reach the lever. And then Dirk turned. In one swift motion, Mason pulled the lever, releasing Steve who ducked just as the gun discharged, hitting Professor Dirk directly in the chest, killing him. The rest of the class surrendered easily, and Steve thanked Bennie for his help. It turned out he was the one who sent the anonymous $1000 bill. He wanted to get revenge on Dirk, for suspending him just because he hadn't done his homework!
Appearing in Federal Men: "Professor Dirk's Crime School"
- Professor Dirk (Only appearance; dies)
- "Blimp" Carlyle (Single appearance)
- Bennie Mason (Single appearance)
Synopsis for The Sandman: "Death to the D.A."
Appearing in The Sandman: "Death to the D.A."
- Doctor Fulton (Single appearance)
- Mae Trust (Single appearance)
- Mrs. Holt (Single appearance)
- Judge Quick (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Socko Strong: "Hassle in Hollywood, Part 2 (of 2)"
While looking around director Solly Lloyd's estate, built to resemble a medieval castle, Socko Strong is trapped by Monte Swift, his movie rival, in a stone pit which is rapidly filling with water! But Socko suddenly gets an idea. He dives for the bottom and finds the outlet that drains the water, currently covered by a heavy lid. Straining with his last ounce of strength, his lungs about to burst, Socko succeeds in opening the drain! The water quickly rushes out, pulling Socko along with it through a subterranean channel that opens out under the bank of a river near Solly's estate. He pauses on the bank to gather his breath, then headed back up to the house to find out who tried to kill him! Meanwhile, Monte Swift is smoking a cigar out on the veranda when he decides to head back to the pit and find out if Socko is dead yet. Opening the hatch, he finds the water level was getting lower, and Strong was nowhere in sight! Hearing a voice behind him, he whirls around to see Socko standing there with an angry look. Monte is pushed into the draining pool, being warned to stop his mad attacks or else.
Next day, at the studio, Socko and Jerry are standing by chatting about Swift's dirty attacks. When Socko and Monte are called on to pose for some movie stills, the studio electrician's little daughter watches with interest from the sidelines. Overhead, the guide-wire supporting a heavy arc light suddenly snaps, causing the massive lamp to plummet down towards the child! The entire crew stand frozen in horror, except for Socko, who rushes forward at great speed! With one arm, he swings the child out of danger, the light crashing to the floor where she stood a second later! After holding his daughter tight, the electrician takes Socko off to one side to tell him something. Monte Swift had paid him a large fee to cut the strings on the parachute he was supposed to use in the next scene. But after Socko had just saved his daughter, the electrician felt inclined to warn him. Socko tells him to make sure that both parachutes are in perfect condition for the next scene, as he just now has figured out how to pay Monte Swift back.
Later that same day, the film crew go out to the airport where two planes are being prepped for the scene, one for the actors, the other for the camera crew. The scene is explained, the plane would catch fire and Socko and Monte were supposed to struggle on the wing until Monte was pushed off. Director Lloyd reminds each of the men to count to ten before pulling the ripcord on their parachutes. The plane carrying Socko and Monte takes off, followed closely by the plane carrying the camera crew. When they fly up to an acceptable height, Solly tells Socko via headset to pull the lever that activates the fire. Following the script, the actors struggle on the wing of their plane while smoke spirals upward! Socko sets up his bluff by informing Monte that he switched parachutes with him. This causes Monte to go into a panic. He clings to Socko, begging to let him use his parachute, not realizing that both chutes are actually in working order. But Socko just smiles and says that he was supposed to push him off, and seconds later Swift finds himself hurtling to the ground! Panic-stricken, he pulls his rip cord almost without any hope, and to his surprise, it opens without complication! Socko passes him by in his own chute, and when they reach the ground, he tells him that he learned about the cut cord earlier and thought that invoking a little fear in Swift would do him good. Then with one mighty punch, he sends Monte sprawling into the mud where a family of pigs are lying.
Appearing in Socko Strong: "Hassle in Hollywood, Part 2 (of 2)"
- Jerry Indutch
- Monte Swift
- Solly Lloyd
- Stunt Airplane
- Cambera Airplane
Synopsis for Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Singapore Sal"
Steve Conrad and his assistant Chang are guests on a ship bound for Singapore. They stand by the railing enjoying the cool sea breeze, when Steve notices a woman near the bow of the ship, who looka remarkably like the notorious jewel thief, Singapore Sal. A gentleman is standing beside her, and they seem to be chatting up another couple, though at that distance Steve can't catch the words. Sal and her companion disappear into the Salon, leaving Steve and Chang to wonder at what she wanted of the couple. For now, they return to their cabin and get ready for dinner. In the dining room, Steve and Chang sit at a table where they can keep a watchful eye on Singapore Sal, who is dining with the couple Steve saw earlier. The man wears a monocle, and looks considerably older than the woman, who wears many diamonds around her neck. Sal's motives became more clear to Steve, now. If he and Chang don't do something soon, it's pretty sure that the jewels will find their way into Sal's possession. When the dancing begins, Steve takes Chang aside and hands him a note to slip into Singapore Sal's state-room, and wait around for her reaction. If they are lucky, it will scare her away from whatever she was scheming. Chang does as he's told, and then waits inconspicuously for Sal to return.
As day turns to evening, Chang pretends to be watching the sunset as Sal and her partner, answering to "Slick," part for the night. She enters her stateroom and seconds later, Chang hears her scream. 'Slick' comes running back across the deck to her aid. Inside the room, she shows him the note. It is a warning to her, not to pull any jobs on this ship, reminding her about an event that happened "last time" on the China Sea. Sal's attitude changes into despair when she read the initials at the bottom, S.C. Steve Conrad. She tells Slick that they had better give up on the entire plan, but he only gets angry at her, calling her a coward. He doesn't know or care who this "Steve Conrad" is, but Colonel Bradford's daughter's jewels are worth at least 50 grand, and he wants them! Chang hears all of this, and tells it to Steve.
The ship sails onward. Steve and Chang are outside, keeping watch over the Bradfords' cabin. Suddenly, a shadowy figure is seen rushing out the door, carrying a bag. They move in to intercept the thief, but he surprises them with a swift strike, knocking Steve to the ground, then running up the steps to the upper deck! Though the crook was able to get away, Steve has managed to rip a piece of fabric from his lapel, along with a strange piece of cord. But when Steve and Chang go back to question Singapore Sal, she informed them that she has been spending the entire time convincing Slick, who sits right there with her, not to continue on the heist. Steve noticed that Slick's lapels were intact, proving he was not the man they had just encountered. But then who was the mysterious thief?
Early the next day, the crew gathers around Miss Bradford's cabin, as she screams that her jewels are missing. The ship's captain comforts her by reminding her that the diamonds are insured, though he also announces there would be a reward for anyone who found the thief. And then, Steve Conrad suddenly knows who the thief is, and if he is right, the culprit will return later today, to retrieve the jewels from their hiding place! He waits around on the upper deck.
Hours pass, but he Steve is absolutely certain about this, and sure enough, eventually, a skulking figure makes a move for one of the life-boats, recovering a bag that was hidden inside. Steve leaps out of hiding and tackles the jewel thief! This time, the element of surprise gave him the advantage, and the man is easily subdued. The captain soon finds Colonel Bradford, all tied up in front of the wheel-house, with a note pinned to him saying it was he who stole the jewels.
At their cabin, Chang asks Steve how he knew it was the Colonel. Steve showed him the cord he had ripped off the thief the night before, explaining that morning when everyone was standing around the Colonel's cabin, he noticed that Colonel Bradford wasn't wearing his monocle. How could he, when the cord was in Steve's possession? The Bradfords were working an insurance fraud racket. The diamond necklaces and rings were all insured for a large sum of money, and the Colonel and his daughter put on an act in order to collect... But now they would have to work it all off instead behind bars.
Appearing in Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Singapore Sal"
- Lucy Bradford (Single appearance)
- Colonel Bradford, (wears a monocle) (Single appearance)
- Singapore Sal (First appearance)
- Slick (Single appearance)
- Cruise Ship Captain
- Cruise Ship Crew
- Singapore (destination only)
- Cruise Ship
Synopsis for Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder, Part 3 (of 7)"
The dead old man's nephew, Angus McHeather, has turned out to be a small but ferocious brawler. He goes along with Rusty and the gang, back to the old mansion to try to decipher his uncle's dying message, "Behind Stevenson." Along the way, Rusty tells of the murder of the bodyguard by the poisoned dart, and the strange appearance of the dwarf, Tino. Angus has no explanation for the odd events; his uncle never told him much about his dealings.
Once they arrive at the mansion, the boys notice that the lights are on. Someone has gotten inside while they were out! A glance through the window reveals the figure of Tino the dwarf and two men, trashing the study as though they are looking for something. The boys wonder what to do, but Angus speaks up and tells them that they are going to go inside and kick the intruders out! Following Angus, Specs and Tubby grab a pair of lances from the suits of armor in the entrance hall to protect themselves. The four of them burst through the door of the study! Surprised, Tino and the larger man yank out their guns, but Specs and Tubby hurl the lances and knock the firearms out of their hands! The third, a well-dressed gentleman addressed as Zoroff, vows as he flees, that they haven't seen the last of him!
The enemy gone, Angus and the boys quickly bar the doors and windows! Rusty then brings their attention back to the puzzle at hand, namely the last words of the old man, "Behind Stevenson." Looking at the bookshelf, Specs suddenly figures it out! What if the old man was talking about a book? "Stevenson" could refer to an author, and if they looked behind the book, they might find something. A search through the shelves and Rusty finds what they may have been looking for, "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson. When he pulls it out, he sees a small button hidden at the back of the shelf. He pushes it and at first nothing happens, but then a section of the wall behind them slides to one side, revealing a secret passage!
The boys follow Angus down the long dark passage, and they discover a desk, with a small chest, out in the open as though it were calling out to them. Opening it, Angus finds an old leather diary that his uncle had once used. In his excitement, Angus's grip slips, and the delicate chest falls to the floor, breaking off a piece of it, which had covered a hidden compartment, with a paper inside! What do the journal and paper contain? Why was Zoroff so eager to find it?
Appearing in Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder, Part 3 (of 7)"
- Zoroff (First appearance)
- Karl (First appearance)
- Angus McHeather
- Rankin's Mansion
Synopsis for Anchors Aweigh: "The Dope Smuggler's Double"
The Coast Guard, in their efforts to smash a clever dope ring, enlist the help of Lieutenant Commander Don Kerry, due to his resemblance to one of the smugglers, Joe Madson, whom they've just apprehended. A make-up artist fixes Kerry's face with a false nose and mustache. The idea is to have him pose as Madson and find out who is heading the dope operation, then gather as much information as possible about how they were sneaking the dope past customs officials.
The word has been passed along to the press that Joe Madson was released from jail, and then Don was sent off to Madson's apartment to await a call from the boss. To keep up the charade, Don is very careful who he talks to. Several times, he has to send someone away, or cancel an appointment with one of Madson's lackeys. When Joe's wife comes bursting into the room to see him, Kerry has to resort to kicking her out before she notices anything strange. It all pays off when he receives the visit he has been hoping for. A lackey has been sent over to take "Joe Madson," to see the Boss.
Don is taken to a nearby Post Office and up a freight elevator to a room where a shady-looking businessman sits behind a large oak desk. He tells Kerry that the usual mail plane is delivering the drugs, that afternoon, but someone else would be temporarily filling in for him, and that he should lay low for awhile, until things cool off. With a sly grin, Kerry leaves. Now he knows how the smugglers are getting their stuff past customs unnoticed!
That afternoon, the mail truck that meets the plane is followed back to the Post Office by Don and the Coast Guard. They notice that the carrier only took three bags into the post office, when he actually unloaded five off the plane. As Don continues to watch, the man carries the other two bags up the very same freight elevator he rode, earlier that day. When the truck driver descends on the elevator, he finds a surprise waiting for him, as the Coast Guard officials grab him and tie him up on the floor, then they take the elevator back up. The doors open and they swarm the area, Don finds the dope ring boss attempting to make a run for it, while firing his gun. He keeps Kerry in his sights as he backs up towards the elevator doors. But what he doesn't see is the empty shaft beyond, the elevator operator having manipulated the elevator lever with his feet, thinking he could get away. Kerry tries to warn the boss but the enraged kingpin refuses to listen, and steps backward right into the empty elevator shaft, and screams all the way down. The Coast Guard captain remarks that it wasn't a pretty sight, but it did mean the end of one of the most vicious and cleverly concealed dope rings of all time.
Appearing in Anchors Aweigh: "The Dope Smuggler's Double"
- Joe Madson (Single appearance)
- Admiral Adams (Single appearance)
- Captain Wells (Single appearance)
- his crewmen
- Franchot (Single appearance)
- Mail Plane
- Mail Truck
Synopsis for Cotton Carver: "The Earth Passage"
After escaping from the Land of the First Ones, Cotton guides their flier over Vulture Mountain, into a strange valley. The small craft's motor begins to emit a long hiss as it starts to drop rapidly, its two passengers clung onto the steering wheel in their attempt to guide it into a soft landing. This valley was not well known to Deela's people, but it was rumored to have a path to the upper world, somewhere within it. Upon closer inspection they discover that everything, from the trees to the soil, is completely petrified, so there will be no food or water anywhere to be found! But since it was too risky to go back through the land of the First Ones, Cotton and Deela must continue forward. The day grows short as they trek onward until Deela gets weary and falls to the ground, so Cotton set up camp for the night.
They sit together by a fire and talk. Cotton realizes that he isn't as anxious to go back to his own world as he once was. But Deela was eager to see the fantastic land above, and she wants Cotton to show it all to her.
Eventually, Cotton and Deela came into a lush, fertile wilderness. A sense of great joy and relief comes upon them as they pick a bunch of berries from the bushes, and hunt a good-sized animal to cook. Cotton builds himself a bow from a stout branch a piece of the animal's gut, and the two of them journey further across the valley's ever-changing landscape. Up ahead they see a great chasm billowing puffs of steam from the hot geysers down within. Getting across this will be tricky. Just then, Deela is attacked from behind, by an ape-man with a club! Cotton whirls around in shock just in time to get clunked on the head by another ape creature's club!
Carrying their captured quarry over their shoulders, the ape-men acrobatically descend thousands of feet of sheer rock face, into the crevice where they make their territory. The bouncing from rock to rock jolts Cotton awake, but he plays possum and stays limp. Once they reach the ground and are released from the ape-men's grip, Cotton fires his last round of ammunition at their backs! They disperse. He takes Deela in his arms and escapes to a spring, where she is revived by a sip of cool water. They make their way, very rapidly, to a stairwell, carved into the side of a huge mountain, rising into the clouds! They begin to climb it.
The stairwell leads them into a cave, emitting intense heat, from a pool of glowing magma below. This is bad; they're inside a gigantic volcano! Deela wants to turn back, but Cotton continues up the rocky stairway and she goes along. The heat and the noxious fumes are exhausting, and the climb is very long, but eventually they reach an opening at the top. Cotton takes a look around, at the bleak, snow-swept landscape and the open sky above. It IS the surface world! He is home! His last thoughts are of great relief, just before he collapses onto the snow-covered ground alongside Deela.
Appearing in Cotton Carver: "The Earth Passage"
- Air Flier (abandoned)
- First issue for Chad Grothkopf art on Federal Men, replacing Mart Bailey.
- First issue for Hourman.
- Sandman: "Death to the D.A." is reprinted in The Golden Age Sandman Archives Vol. 1.
- Also appearing in this issue of Adventure Comics were: