"Hour-Man: "The Dark Horse"": Nick Bates is extorting money from Kentucky Derby racehorse owner, James Carren. Carren's horse Blue Bell is a rising star on the racing circuit; Bates is demanding half of Carren's prize money. Carren writes to Tick Tock Tyler asking for help. Rex pays a visit t
- Racing when run honestly is truly the sport of kings! When run dishonestly it becomes a blemish on the face of all sports!
- 1 Synopsis for Hour-Man: "The Dark Horse"
- 2 Appearing in Hour-Man: "The Dark Horse"
- 3 Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow and the Stolen Planes"
- 4 Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow and the Stolen Planes"
- 5 Synopsis for Federal Men: "The Hot-Air Weapon"
- 6 Appearing in Federal Men: "The Hot-Air Weapon"
- 7 Synopsis for Sandman: "Tuffy and Limpy's Revenge Plot"
- 8 Appearing in Sandman: "Tuffy and Limpy's Revenge Plot"
- 9 Synopsis for Socko Strong: "Boxing Glove Versus Fiddle"
- 10 Appearing in Socko Strong: "Boxing Glove Versus Fiddle"
- 11 Synopsis for Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Spy of the South Seas"
- 12 Appearing in Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Spy of the South Seas"
- 13 Synopsis for Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder: Part 5 (of 7)"
- 14 Appearing in Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder: Part 5 (of 7)"
- 15 Synopsis for Anchors Aweigh: "Search For Captain Miles"
- 16 Appearing in Anchors Aweigh: "Search For Captain Miles"
- 17 Synopsis for Cotton Carver: "In the City of Glass"
- 18 Appearing in Cotton Carver: "In the City of Glass"
- 19 Notes
- 20 See Also
- 21 Links and References
Synopsis for Hour-Man: "The Dark Horse"
Nick Bates is extorting money from Kentucky Derby racehorse owner, James Carren. Carren's horse Blue Bell is a rising star on the racing circuit; Bates is demanding half of Carren's prize money. Carren writes to Tick Tock Tyler asking for help. Rex pays a visit to Carren at his hotel room, pretending to be an assistant of Tick Tock Tyler, and gets the basic facts, but then the hotel room door bursts open, and in walks Nick Bates and his slick-looking punks. Bates repeats his earlier demand, Carren repeats his earlier refusal, and Bates directs his thugs to beat James and his "meek little friend" Rex into unconsciousness. Rex protects his secret identity by just taking the beating, and requires hospitalization afterward, as does Carren. Feigning cowardice, Rex returns to his own laboratory and prepares a Miraclo Pill. But soon Hourman shows up and convinces Carren to take his story to the newspapers.
The gangsters meanwhile change plans, and now will bet heavily against Blue Bell in the latest race, then fix the race, so that Blue Bell loses. That evening at the racetrack, the Hour-Man shows up, and shakes some information out of two of Bates' men. They point out their boss, waiting by the side-rail of the track, with a rigged camera that's set to fire a single bullet at Blue Bell's jockey! Before he can confront Nick and stop the shooting, the Hour-Man is struck from behind and knocked out. Blue Bell gallops into the set-up, and a bullet catches her rider in the shoulder. The jockey pushes on, with gritted teeth, and crosses the finish line. The Hour-Man comes to, and finds the cops already in charge of the situation and sees that Nick and his gang are being taken away. His hour almost up, Rex sneaks off, while the rider is tended to by the doctors.
The next day at work, Rex's boss the lab chief finishes reading his newspaper, and asks Rex Tyler why he can't act as brave as this Hour-Man fellow. Rex just shrugs meekly.
Appearing in Hour-Man: "The Dark Horse"
- Lab Chief
- Nick Bates (Single appearance)
- his hoods
- James Carren (Single appearance)
- Appleton City
- Blue Bell
Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow and the Stolen Planes"
Barry O'Neill and Inspector LeGrand are assigned to safeguard the arrival of six imported American-built bomber planes, arriving by cargo ship. At the docks they meet up with some government men, and prepare to fly the planes out to the airbase in Vancey. Meanwhile, in a dark hideout below the streets, Fang Gow has also learned of the planes' arrival, and orders his men to intercept the delivery, by disguising themselves as the official government pilots. They then will fly the bombers across the border, to be sold to other countries. These villains arrive at the docks while the inspector and Barry are overseeing the fueling of the planes. Fooled by their disguises, Barry informs them of his plan to pair off two men per plane, with himself and LeGrand taking the last one. The spies make a quick change in plans, figuring it's better to bring in five bombers the easy way than to fight for the sixth.
Later the six aircraft are nearing the Vancey base, when five of them suddenly veer off the course. Barry tries contacting them by radio, but meets only silence, as he and LeGrand now realize that they have been tricked! Barry lands, and telephones the local authorities. O'Neill knows that he bombers started their flight with only enough fuel to reach Vancey and had no chance to refuel en route, so he is able to estimate out an approximate location, which the police use, to find and apprehend the airplane thieves. But now the question comes up: what has happened to the real pilots?
Barry and LeGrand, in a car, retrace the route taken by the official pilots, back to a lonely road. An old house can be seen in the distance, and LeGrand spots a guard walking the grounds outside. They leave the car and sneak up behind the guard; Barry knocks him out with a pistol-butt. Meanwhile inside, the tied-up pilots, still defiant, are stood up against a wall while Fang Gow brandishes a large sword and gets ready to use it on them. Barry shoots the sword out of Fang's hand, but then must fight through a small group of thugs, as Fang Gow gets away. Leaving the Inspector to free the pilots and call for back-up, Barry chases their arch nemesis out into the yard and corners him there. There's a very short fistfight and the elderly Chinaman is knocked out and captured.
With international terrorist Fang Gow behind bars, awaiting the military tribunal that will most likely send him to his death, the French Intelligence Agency gives Barry an official commendation for his services. But as Fang Gow sits in his cell, they wonder if it's all really over.
Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow and the Stolen Planes"
- Fang Gow
- Spy Pilots (Single appearance)
- Chinese thugs
- French Pilots
- Vancey air base
- 6 Bomber Planes
Synopsis for Federal Men: "The Hot-Air Weapon"
Aeronautic expert Don Grey calls in Federal Man Steve Carson to investigate a strange series of plane crashes, at Drake Field. Steve observes as a plane gets ready to land on the runway, when all of a sudden the nose rears back up into the air violently, only to point back down onto the gravel, causing a fiery crash! Steve arrives on the scene just ahead of the ambulance, and observes one young man in the crowd who seems to be acting pleased at the sight of the crashed remains. This creep gets into his truck and drives off, Steve follows, but when the truck turns onto a side road, it stops. Steve stops, and checks the truck, the driver is missing! The click of a gun alerts him, too late, that the young man has creeped up behind him with a revolver. Turns out he had recognized Carson right off the bat, and allowed him to follow so he would fall into his trap!
Steve is cuffed and forced into the truck, and taken to an old factory just off the edge of Drake Field. The young man leads him inside, where a great many airplane parts lay scattered about, abandoned when their models became obsolete. Steve point blank asks if he was the one responsible for the plane crashes, and he is. He's invented a device that manipulates the air currents underneath a flying plane, causing it to go in odd directions, as the pilot loses control. He failed to sell this machine to the U.S. military, but now he has another buyer. This series of crashes has been the proof that his buyer requires.
Just then the buyer appears, brandishing a pistol. He's a representative of a foreign government, named Nitoff. He's changing their deal, taking the invention, leaving no payment, and laughing at the inventor. Steve Carson meanwhile is slowly working loose from his bonds. The young inventor flips a switch on the device, triggering an explosion! Flames engulf the building, while Steve still struggles to get free. He gets free, grabs as many documents as he can, and retreats out of the fire.
Later it is concluded that both the inventor and the foreign agent had died in the fire. The Federal Chief tells Steve how lucky he is to have escaped with his life. Steve holds up the papers he'd rescued, saying it was luck indeed that he escaped with the inventor's plans for the wind machine. The United States would be able to make use of them.
Appearing in Federal Men: "The Hot-Air Weapon"
- Federal Chief
- Nitkoff (Only appearance; dies)
- Inventor (Only appearance; dies)
- Don Grey (Single appearance)
- F.B.I. Offices
- Drake Field Airport
Synopsis for Sandman: "Tuffy and Limpy's Revenge Plot"
Driving his car down a country road one late evening, The Sandman observes a hit and run of a pedestrian, and pursues the homicidal driver, until his automobile swerves and crashes into a tree. Stopping his car, the Sandman walks over to the driver side door of the busted vehicle and pulls the driver out with the intent to show him what his neglect has caused. But to his surprise, the driver had already died, from a bullet to the head. Even stranger, a quick examination of the man in the street revealed that he also had died of a gunshot. Sandman makes a call to the police department, tipping them off about the murder, before returning to his home to do some thinking.
A light is on upstairs, in Wesley Dodds' bedroom, alerting him to a probable break in. Gas gun out, he sprints quietly up the steps and into the room, while spraying the intruder who falls down asleep. But oops, this intruder is his girlfriend, Dian Belmont. So minutes later, after she awakens, Dian tells Wes that her father, District Attorney Larry Belmont, is in danger. Two convicted felons, "Toughy" Tonger and his partner "Limpy", had escaped from prison last night, and both had long sworn to kill the D.A. And also she had heard over the radio earlier that two of the jurors from Tonger's trial had been found dead in what was made to look like a hit-and-run. It was the very same accident that the Sandman had witnessed earlier!
Sandman and Dian hasten back to the scene of the crime, to look for clues. From there, they track the killers to an old shack by the waterfront. Inside there is only a waning candle, so whoever was here is already gone. But it's not hard to guess where they were headed, so the Sandman and Dian Belmont go at top speed to Belmont's office, which draws the attention of a motorcycle cop, to whom they explain about D.A. Belmont's danger. The officer buys their story and calls in for a police escort to help them out.
In his office, Larry Belmont gets taken by surprise by the gun-wielding thug Toughy Tonger, who was supposed to be serving a life sentence. Before Tonger can fire, the Sandman bursts through the door, with the police right behind him! He fires a shot of his gas gun, but not before Tonger get off a shot, into Sandman's left shoulder. "Toughy" faints, and falls out of the window, to be caught by his partner, Limpy. Though badly injured, the Sandman continues the pursuit, but collapses just as the two thugs drive off in their getaway vehicle! Meanwhile, Dian argues with her father, mad that he wouldn't send his men to protect the Sandman even though his life was just saved. She hurries off after them despite her father's protests. Finding him crumpled in the street, Dian lifts the Sandman up, and wants to take him to a hospital, but no, he tells her that they must hurry after the criminals. She goes along with that, and resumes the pursuit.
The Sandman directs them to a Chinese restaurant, Ching Fu's, that the two men were known to frequent. Dian reluctantly waits outside as he heads into the building. Tonger is waiting for him there, and seeing that the vigilante is wounded, he believes that he has the upper hand. Before firing the fatal shot, "Toughy" reaches for Dodds' gas mask, intending to reveal his identity, but before he can even touch the thing, the Sandman lands a left hook. There is extreme pain in his shoulder, but the punch knocks Toughy Tonger to the ground. Limpy and the restaurant owner, Ching Fu, rush in to help Tonger, but they get gassed unconscious. Dian calls in the police, loads Sandman back into his car, drives him home, and dresses his bullet wound.
The next day in the morning paper, Wesley reads that the D.A. was ready to call a truce with the Sandman, if he was willing to reveal his identity. Dodds calmly sets the paper down and chuckles. The day he revealed his identity to anyone besides Dian, would be the day the criminal underworld would be knocking on his door.
Appearing in Sandman: "Tuffy and Limpy's Revenge Plot"
- Toughy Tonger (Single appearance)
- Limpy (Single appearance)
- Sandman's Automobile
Synopsis for Socko Strong: "Boxing Glove Versus Fiddle"
Socko and Jerry are having dinner in Papa Manetta's Italian Restaurant as soft, beautiful music from upstairs is heard. Mr. Manetta, the owner, tells them that his son, Joe, is practicing the violin. He has gotten really good over the years, even daring to dream that he may make it big as a soloist someday. But Papa Manetta is afraid for his son's future, ever since he took up boxing as a side-job to make some money. The problem is that Joe's heart simply wasn't set on being a boxer, making it more likely that he'll sustain an injury that will permanently disable him from his music. While Socko and Jerry are listening to the story, Joe comes downstairs and tells his father that he is leaving for the gym. Mr. Manetta pleads with his son not to go, and worries that Joe's new coach doesn't have his best interests in mind, but Joe just shrugs him off, replying that it is the best way he could make any money right now. Angry words are said; these two have had this same argument many times before. Socko decides to help by keeping an eye on Joe today and see if he can't talk some sense into the young man...
At the Hillman's Gym, Socko casually stands at the side and watches Joe step into the ring. It's obvious to Socko's experienced eyes that the lad is barely an amateur in the ring, and lacks real focus, however he does beat his opponent in this bout. It all becomes even worse when this "coach", slick Eddie Garr, walks up with a proposition to Joe, to continue fighting for even more money. By the sound of it, though, Eddie was short-changing Joe by offering him only 20 percent of the profit. Socko has heard enough! He goes over to tell Joe that putting his career on the line for a few measly dollars isn't worth it, but the manager pulls him away telling Socko to mind his own business.
The next day at the gym, Socko approaches Joe with an offer to fight him in the ring to see if he's really got what it takes. Eddie Garr starts to protest, but cowers when Socko motions to him with his glove. In the ring, Joe takes swing-after-swing, continuously missing Socko. During a clinch, Socko asks Joe if he really wants to be a fighter, to which Joe responds that though he'd rather play the violin, fighting was a faster way to make money. With a sigh, Socko realizes there is only one way to get him to come to his senses, so BOOM, Socko flattens Joe out onto the canvas. Eddie the manager shouts in rage at Socko's interference, but suddenly Joe silences him. Having come to his senses at last, after feeling the raw power behind a star Boxer's punch, Joe agrees that he needs to quit fighting and work more on his music. Eddie is not too happy with his decision and tries to stop him with petty threats, and soon Socko has had enough of that, and lands a jab on the crooked manager's jaw!
Later, at the restaurant, Papa Manetta is very happy that his son has quit fighting and started practicing again. Socko tells Mr. Manetta that he has a surprise, telling him to have Joe meet him at Music City that night, and to bring his violin. Several weeks pass, and then one day Socko invites Papa Manetta to a concert at Carnegie Hall. The two grab their seats just as the curtains pull back, and to Manetta's surprise and jubilation, Joe and his violin are there on stage playing in front of a large audience at last! Socko had taken Joe to the Auditioning Office where his playing had impressed them so much, they offered him a concert! At the end of the solo, they met Joe backstage where he had just been given his check. Papa says how proud he is of his son and thanks Socko for helping out.
Appearing in Socko Strong: "Boxing Glove Versus Fiddle"
- Jerry Indutch
- Eddie Garr
- Papa Manetta
- Joe Manetta
- New York City
- Hillman's Gym
- Carnegie Hall
Synopsis for Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Spy of the South Seas"
Steve Conrad, renowned adventurer, is asked by the Admiral's Office to do a favor. An island that serves as a refueling and restocking base for Navy ships is having some trouble with the natives. There are two tribes on the island, and normally they're too busy fighting one-another to give a care about the base, but recent intelligence has discovered that an enemy spy has been working on uniting the two tribes in a peace treaty, so that together they can attack the base. The island has been a crucial fueling station for many years, and its loss would be devastating, giving a rival or potential enemy nation an advantage. The admiral knows it is a dangerous mission, but feels that Conrad is the only one who could pull it off. Steve agrees to take the job, and soon he, and his faithful ally Chang, fly across the ocean aboard a clipper plane, to the remote island base.
Steve has Chang take their luggage to the hotel and get settled, while he grills the locals for information. That evening, Steve returns to the room with a load of intel on the rival nation's spy. Tomorrow night, it seems, the secret agent will be holding a meeting between the two tribes for a "pep talk" on how to run the White Man off their land. And Steve also learns something the natives do not know: that as soon as they had run the Americans out, the agent would call in his own countrymen, to occupy the island and wipe out the tribes. Outside their hotel room window, a native is eavesdropping on the conversation, and quickly runs off into the jungle, towards the spy's hut. Mori, the native, relays what he has heard to the foreign agent, letting him know that the white-man was onto his plan. The spy gives Mori new orders, to kidnap Conrad and drag him into the jungle, and to hold him until the agent gets there.
Back at the hotel, Steve decides to take a stroll through the village before dinner, and maybe come up with a plan of attack between now and then. But once he is out away from the hotel and alone, Steve is grabbed by a group of natives and dragged through the brush! Steve is tied up inside an empty hut, where soon he is face-to-face with a man who is most likely the foreign agent they were sent out to find. The spy laughs at Conrad's predicament, letting him know that his death will be a long and torturous one, after the meeting tomorrow!
Dawn of the next morning, a figure of a short old woman draped in blankets makes her way towards Steve Conrad's hut. The guards outside stop her, saying that they were holding a man prisoner and she couldn't go past. To their surprise, the old woman removes her sheets revealing Chang, who immediately grabs one of the guards' spears and strikes them each in the face with the blunt end of it. They fall over unconscious, and Chang proceeds inside to the rescue, then they both make haste in the direction of the big tribal meeting site. With the guard's spear still in hand, Steve has a plan that will ruin the peace talks and take care of the spy all at once. The two adventurers duck down behind some bushes as they arrive at the gathering, and observe as the spy is giving out a speech, with a representative of each tribe on either side of him. The crowd of natives is massive enough that no one notices where the thrown spear suddenly comes from, but everybody sees where it strikes. Steve ducks back down as the chaos begins. The spear embeds itself into a post, just inches away from one of the tribal chiefs, who notices that the markings on it are those of the rival tribe. Accusations and denials and shouting and threats follow, until one of the tribesmen angrily points to the foreign agent, and both sides turn against this guy, chasing him with spears and torches, deep into the jungle. Watching from afar, Steve comments that at least this way the base won't be threatened. The two tribes won't be getting along any time soon.
Appearing in Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Spy of the South Seas"
- unnamed enemy agent
- remote island
Synopsis for Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder: Part 5 (of 7)"
Natives have begun climbing through the windows of the mansion as Rusty and the others were packing their things! One of them raises a blowpipe to his lips and shoots a deadly poison-tipped dart at Angus McHeather, who very narrowly avoids it. He launches himself at the native in retaliation, dodging striking and grappling-down, as the boys watch in wide-eyed astonishment, until all of them are dealt with. With that obstacle overcome, Angus, Rusty, Tubby, and Specs finish packing their clothes and scrounging up food for the getaway voyage. Then at last, the four adventuring companions set sail for the place mentioned in Rankin's journal, the island of Malay.
Malay's jungle looms ahead of a small village by the dock, daring any foolish explorer to enter her depths. Specs has a bad feeling about it, and so Angus decides to hire a guide who could help them through the dense trees. Meanwhile a native who has been watching from nearby, rushes to tell the tribe elder that the ones from the mansion had come to their island.
Inside the little inn, which had the sign "J. Hosmer's Guides for Tourists", Angus speaks to a lean gentleman about hiring someone to help them along their way. The man, Hosmer, promises that he'll have someone set up for him in an hour, so Angus goes back outside to wait with the boys. Three men creep into the hut after McHeather has left, asking Hosmer if he understood the plan. Hosmer nods, replying that the "guide" would lead them right past the buried treasure and straight into their trap. The three men, Tino, Zoroff, and Karl, of the "Unholy Four" all laugh wickedly.
Later, Hosmer goes up to a native, Turo, and tells him exactly where he wants him to lead the boys. But it turns out that Turo's tribe has plans of their own, of what to do with these adventurers. Turo resolves that he is going to get the location of the idol, that was stolen from his tribe, one way or another!
Story continues next issue.
Appearing in Rusty and His Pals: "Mansion of Murder: Part 5 (of 7)"
- Angus McHeather
- J. Hosmer
- remote island of Malay
- stolen idol of Turo's tribe (mentioned)
Synopsis for Anchors Aweigh: "Search For Captain Miles"
The U.S. Navy has sent Don Kerry and Red Murphy to a remote island in the Philippines, to seek out a missing officer, Captain Miles, who disappeared several years ago while hunting there. Don contacts a brain-afflicting tropical fever, goes crazy, and rides wildly away. He gets embroiled with a lot of political prisoners, and finds a map of an escape route, but loses it when another prisoner knocks him out and steals it. Red finds Don and brings him back to the ship. Captain Miles is found dead.
Appearing in Anchors Aweigh: "Search For Captain Miles"
- Don Kerry
- Red Murphy
- unnamed prisoner (Single appearance)
- Captain Miles (Appears only as a corpse)
- other political prisoners
- a remote island
- a remote island
Synopsis for Cotton Carver: "In the City of Glass"
Cotton Carver and his companions have fallen down a crevasse, and now arrive in another strange land. This one is a city, under a glass dome, occupied by descendants of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. King John Croatan takes aliking to Princess Deela.
Appearing in Cotton Carver: "In the City of Glass"
- Red Mike
- King John Croatan
- Henry Smith
- The Giant Borer
- Barry O'Neill:
- Barry's stories seem to be set several years earlier than the real-time France of 1940. No explicit mention of the ongoing World War is made in these stories, yet France is importing modern bomber planes.
- "The Dark Horse" is reprinted in The JSA All Stars Archive #1.
- Splash page of this story shows Hourman pointing a pistol at an unseen target. This doesn't actually happen in the story.
- According to the caption in the opening panel, "Already the name 'Tick Tock Tyler, the Hour Man' has become for the lawless a name to fear; for the law-abiding, a name to be loved and respected." So his double identity was not really a secret in the early part of Hourman's career.
- Hourman's concussion tally = 1.
- Also appearing in this issue of Adventure Comics was:
- "Dead Reckoning" (text story, featuring Jeff Tyler), by Tex Horton