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"Hour-Man: "The Kidnapping of a Minute-Man"": The parents of one Minute Man, young Rodney Morvan, force him to resign from the Minute Men of America. But the very next day, Rodney is kidnapped, by Ricky Maffiri's gang. Rod's pal Jimmy Martin calls on Hour-Man for help, so he drops a hit of Mirac

Quote1.png I think the jungle is the place for us, Chang -- At least you can tell who's a MAN and who ISN'T! Quote2.png
Steve Conrad

Adventure Comics #54 is an issue of the series Adventure Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of September, 1940.

Synopsis for Hour-Man: "The Kidnapping of a Minute-Man"

The parents of one Minute Man, young Rodney Morvan, force him to resign from the Minute Men of America. But the very next day, Rodney is kidnapped, by Ricky Maffiri's gang. Rod's pal Jimmy Martin calls on Hour-Man for help, so he drops a hit of Miraclo and sprints to the Morvan mansion, but makes a poor impression by vaulting over the estate's high wall, then gassing the security guard unconscious, and abducting the banker out of his own house. The masked adventurer leaps them both up to the mansion's roof, and tries to reason with Mr. Morvan, who has already refused to pay Rodney's ransom, and doesn't budge.

Hour-Man uses his short-wave radio to call in the help of his Minute Men, who help him track down the kidnappers. The gang, meanwhile, has reacted to Morvan's refusal to pay the ransom, by kidnapping him and locking him up with the boy. They are in the basement of Ricky Maffiri's Blue Goose Nite Club, but Rodney has brought along his own portable radio transmitter, so a few relayed radio calls later, Hour-Man finds them. Unfortunately, that's right about when his dose of Miraclo wears off. The gang surprises him, captures him, and tosses him into the same room with Rodney and his dad. The gang has found and taken Rodney's radio, but aren't quite smart enough to check Hour-Man for a similar device. He's got one, and uses it to contact Jimmy and the Minute Men, who bring him a new supply of Miraclo. Then he and the boys make short work of Maffiri's thugs, while Ricky himself tries to flee in a sedan. Hour-Man catches up to it, grabs it, pushes it even faster until it's out of the driver's control, and runs the car up the steps of the nearest police station and leaves it there.

After actually seeing Hour-Man and the Minute Men in action, Mr. Morvan is quite happy to allow Rodney to rejoin the club.

Appearing in Hour-Man: "The Kidnapping of a Minute-Man"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ricky Maffiri
    • his gang

Other Characters:

  • Mrs. Morvan
  • Mr. Morvan, Banker
  • Morvans' Chauffeur
  • G-Men, five

Locations:

  • Appleton City
    • Morvan mansion
    • Bannerman Chemical Co.
    • Public School
    • every Tire Store in town
    • Blue Goose Nite Club
    • Police Station

Items:


Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow's Challenge"

The search for Fang Gow and his minions goes on, and spreads throughout the countryside. Someplace far outside of Paris, Barry O'Neill and Inspector Le Grand find a young woman who's been beaten up and tossed into the road, Folette Fornet, who has an unsigned note for them. It's a warning for them to go no further in their search. They drive on, and soon the hillside beside them is blown up, and it shakes them up considerably, but O'Neill and Le Grand hastily search the vicinity, finding nothing, and return to the car. They proceed to a farmhouse, where they meet up with Agent Fornet. The situation: the Riveria Hotel in the town of Chauville has become an evacuation center, sheltering one thousand children, mostly military dependents. It has already been attacked at least once by Fang Gow's science, and most of the children are sick. Fang Gow's goal is to undermine the morale of the parents of the children, particularly that of the men in the trenches.

That moonlit night, Barry and the Inspector set out on foot to inspect the refugee shelter, taking a road through the woods. They hike along for a while, then Barry forms a hunch and doubles back to check on it. They find up a tied-up fake Agent Fornet, who tries to dupe them into thinking Folette is an enemy agent, but O'Neill sees through the ruse and shakes some quick straight truth out of him. But just as he is about to name his boss, a shot rings out and he falls down dead. Going thru the dead man's pockets, Le Grand finds another unsigned note, boasting that tonight at midnight the note-writer will show up in person and slaughter all the children.

Barry and Le Grand rush back to the farmhouse, but encounter a cloud of Fang Gow's powerful hypnotic Lethe Gas, then encounter Fang Gow himself, who has some commands for them. Leading O'Neill to a control panel, Fang Gow quickly explains his elaborate set-up for gassing the children and blaming it on Barry. Barry obediently turns on the deadly gas, but Le Grand yanks out a pistol and kills one of Fang's henchmen, then points it at Fang Gow. Le Grand has hay fever, which has kept him from smelling the Lethe Gas, and now he commands Fang Gow to command Barry to turn off the gas. But Barry is still under the Fang Gow's influence, and Fang Gow has on his person the antidote for the Lethe Gas; he trades this to Le Grand in return for a head start towards his getaway. Both sides honor the agreement, and Fang Gow escapes again.

Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "Fang Gow's Challenge"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Fang Gow
    • fake Agent Fornet
    • other thug (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Folette Fornet
  • Agent Fornet
  • 1,000 refugee children

Locations:

  • France
    • Agent Fornet's farmhouse
    • Chauville
      • Riviera Hotel

Items:

  • Fang Gow's Lethe Gas

Vehicles::

  • Le Grand's sedan

Synopsis for Mark Lansing: "The Dreaded Mokos"

Mark Lansing and his friends have arrived in Mikishawm, and right away are confronted and captured by a tribe of Mokos warriors. Mokos people are the tailed, yellow-skinned natives of Mikishawm, enemies of Jada's tribe of blue-skinned people. The Mokos march the five of them across the rocky terrain to a landing field, then load them into some small canoe-shaped aircraft, and fly them to one of their cities, Vanda. Tony and Kit are separated from the other prisoners, and flown to another city, Stal, the principal city. Mark, Koda, and Jada are locked in a dungeon. They escape, and fistfight their way thru the Great Hall of the Mokos King, Mokan the Monster. Jada splits, leaving Mark and Koda to battle on, but all told, they are punching a swath thru the Mokos men. Koda finds them an airship and Lansing takes out the guard, then gets the small sleek craft aloft. They fly along parallel to a broad highway, seeking the city of Stal. They find it and locate the main palace, where they land. Immediately they are attacked by a giant Moko man; Koda kills him, Goliath style, with a thrown chunk of granite. But a paralyzing ray is brought to bear on the two of them and they are captured.

Mark recovers consciousness, strapped to a torture device, and taunted by Mokan, who has followed them from Vanda to Stal. Mokan tells him about a big important tournament, happening the next day, and challenges Lansing to fight his strongest gladiator. If he wins, he and his friends can go free, but if he loses he dies! And unknown to Mark, his opponent will be a deadly Tradman. He is of course lying about the "go free" part, but an extra day is an extra day, so Mark takes the deal.

The Tournament of the Doomed begins. Lansing has a straight sword and a round shield; his unspeaking opponent has a curved sword and an oval shield. They face off.

Appearing in Mark Lansing: "The Dreaded Mokos"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Koda
  • Jada
  • Tony
  • Kit

Antagonists:

  • Mokan, the Monster, King of Vanda (First appearance)
    • Mokos Tribe, "Hounds of the Inner World" (First appearance)
  • The Trad Man (First appearance)

Locations:

Vessels:

  • Mokos flying canoes

Synopsis for Federal Men: "Death of a Borinquen Butler"

Investigating an alleged murder at the Borinquen embassy, Steve Carson finds that the supposedly murdered butler is still alive. Upon returning to Federal Men headquarters, Carson learns that a photographer, who's been seen outside, is actually an enemy agent, and so is the Borinquen butler. Carson handcuffs the photographer to a tree, then returns to the embassy, punches out the Ambassador, and arrests the butler.

Appearing in Federal Men: "Death of a Borinquen Butler"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Borinquen Ambassador (Single appearance)
  • Williams, butler (Single appearance)
  • photographer

Other Characters:

  • Tommy Watkins, reporter (Single appearance)
  • Ann Carr, undercover reporter, as "Miss Black," secretary (Single appearance)

Locations:

Synopsis for Cotton Carver: Cotton Carver and the Beast Men"

In the temple of the moon god, Cotton Carver and his two six-shooters are faced off against a dozen Amazon warriors and their spears. Right then Qwar and his crew of raiders charges into the temple, and the Amazons are just no match for them. Cotton and Lupa the wolf-woman rejoin Qwar's company, which now marches back to the shore, re-boards their galley, and sails for Ugar, the Marvel City. There they ride in a horse-drawn chariot to the Science Building, for registration. There they meet a scholar named Norlon, who uses his Histori-Visa to show Cotton and Lupa the destruction of Atlantis.

Thousands of years ago, Atlantis was a continent between America and Europe, and Atlantean civilization gave rise to those of Egypt, Sumeria, and South America. Then in one day and one night, a volcanic eruption and an enormous tidal wave coincided, explosively, and the continent sank into the ocean. A few of the people escaped by sea to the north, found an entrance to the underworld, and founded Ugar.

The city is attacked by the Beast Men of Boota, who break part of the outer wall and swarm in from the jungle. Cotton Carver runs to the fight, shooting his revolvers, the noise of which frightens the Beast Men. They all bow down before him, and while he's still startled by that, they spring upon him and take him away! They carry Carver back to their village and imprison him in a hut, unsupervised. There he meets two young Americans: Nora Blake and her boyfriend Jim Bent. When the villagers are sleeping, the three of them escape; one guard spots them and throws a club. Carver catches the club and throws it back at him, knocking him out without waking the others. They run away, into the jungle. Suddenly they are attacked by elephants!

Appearing in Cotton Carver: Cotton Carver and the Beast Men"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Amazon Moon Cult (Defeated)
  • Beast Men of Boota

Other Characters:

  • Lupa, Wolf Queen
  • Qwar, Admiral
    • his crew
  • Norlon
  • Nora Blake
  • Mr. Blake (Mentioned only)
  • Jim Bent

Locations:

Items:

  • Norlon's Histori-Visa

Vessels:

  • Qwar's Galley

Synopsis for Socko Strong: "The Great I: Part 3 of 3"

Having gone to great lengths to entrap the Great I, and unaware that his plans have been overheard by the villain, Socko Strong and Professor Watson prepare to turn in for the night. There is a knock at the door and Watson answers it but nobody is there, then The Great I grabs him by the throat and sticks a dagger in his chest. Socko rushes Watson to the hospital, and a doctor says it looks like he'll pull thru. Also Watson had a note in his hand, from The Great I, promising to blow up the Umpire State Building at 10 a.m. the next day.

Socko walks around for much of the night, racking his brains for a new plan, then he sits down on a freshly painted park bench, and this gives him an idea. First he does some research in an old chemistry book (ironically written by The Great I himself) and mixes up some special paint, made to conduct electricity. He loads this stuff into a paint sprayer.

Early the next morning, Socko and Jerry show up at the Umpire State Building, with a note from the Police Commissioner, to talk to the head of the maintenance department. According to their note, Strong is now a painter, and Indutch is now an electrician, and they need to make some important adjustments. Jerry turns a doorknob into a lethal booby trap by connecting it to the building's wiring. Meanwhile nearby, The Great I arranges to have the telegram company deliver a ticking box to the maintenance department at the Umpire State Building. Socko and Jerry meet the delivery kid in passing, and the ticking tips off Socko that the villain has arrived. But when they get to the store room where the box had been left, it's already gone. Socko figures that the bomber is headed into the power plant; he marches towards it, spraying paint ahead of himself, until a solid figure is seen to form. The dark figure flees, while Socko and Jerry search for the bomb, which is due to detonate very soon. Socko finds it and dunks it in some water, then they start looking for the now-visible villain. Hearing a horrible scream, they find The Great I dead on the floor, electrocuted. Socko explains that an innocent person touching that doorknob would have been safe, but the special chemically-treated paint had made the difference.

Appearing in Socko Strong: "The Great I: Part 3 of 3"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jerry Indutch

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Professor Watson
  • hospital doctor
  • park cop
  • Umpire State receptionist
  • Umpire State maintenance manager
  • telegraph office manager
  • telegram messenger boy

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Colentria University
      • Watson's quarters
    • hospital
    • telegraph office
    • Umpire State Building

Synopsis for Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Adventure of the French Agent"

Steve and Chang get embroiled in an espionage plot, and get played by a lady spy, who herself is outwitted by an undercover Gendarme officer. Steve runs his mouth the whole while, about how girls are too dumb to be spies and so on and so forth, but then the boss Gendarme officer turns out to also be a lady. Steve's chagrin is momentary but acute.

Appearing in Steve Conrad, Adventurer: "Adventure of the French Agent"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Chang

Antagonists:

  • Pierre (Single appearance)
  • Fifi (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Gendarme Officer (Single appearance)
    • Gendarmes

Locations:

Synopsis for The Sandman: "Case of the Kidnapped Heiress"

Heiress Nana Martin is kidnapped by a man seeking to marry her and gain her inheritance. Sandman and Dian Belmont rescue her, but while Sandman battles the original kidnapper, two more kidnappers show up, and abduct Dian and Nana. Sandman contacts Dian's father the D.A., who allows him to help get Dian back. Working with officer Jim Holt, the Sandman apprehends the kidnappers and forces them to reveal where the girls are held. Holt is an old friend of Nana, from school, and the two of them then get married.

Appearing in The Sandman: "Case of the Kidnapped Heiress"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • three kidnappers:
    • one in tuxedo
    • two in bad suits

Other Characters:

  • Nana Martin
  • Jim Holt,
  • NYPD
  • Jeffers, Belmont's Butler

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Manhattan
      • Miss Martin's apartment, on Park Avenue
      • Mr. Belmont's mansion
    • Coleton Cemetery
    • kidnap hideout

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Dodds' Red Roadster
  • Kidnappers' Black Coupe (damaged)

Notes

  • Published monthly by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • Barry O'Neill's hair, which was red in Adventure Comics #51, then black in #52, then red in #53, is back to being black.
  • In Cotton Carver the spelling of some names is still changing. 1/ The Ugaran admiral is called "Quar" in the story's first panel and "Qwar" in the second. 2/ "Ugor" is back to being called "Ugar."
  • Federal Men: It's not clear, at the end, whether Carson intends to also arrest the Ambassador, but the butler and photographer are busted. The butler's nationality is not identified any more explicitly than "enemy agent," but he was apparently not Borinquen.
  • Hour-Man:
    • Per page 3 panel 7, in addition to his tear-gas-squirting ring,[1] Hour-Man wears a sleep-gas-squirting ring.
    • Hour-Man keeps a stash of Miraclo pills in a small tin can in his desk.
  • Sandman:
    • Dian Belmont is kidnapped for the 2nd time in this issue's story. Her first abduction was in New York World's Fair Comics #2.
    • Effective this issue, Sandman is now no longer hunted by the police.
    • The introductory caption in next issue's Sandman story includes: "The police are after him (though he never committed a crime)." And in that story, the police make sure to promise "police protection" when advertising for the Sandman's help.
    • "Case of the Kidnapped Heiress" is reprinted in the The Golden Age Sandman Archives Vol. 1
  • Socko Strong sets up a death-trap in which the villain is electrocuted, in downtown New York City.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Adventure Comics were:
    • Oskar Scatterbrain by Hal Sherman
    • Nothin' Serious by Russell Cole
    • "Too Clever" (text story) by Clem Gordon
    • Sports Close-Ups!: "Hard to Discourage!"
    • Fantastic Facts
    • "Superman is on the Radio!" (1/2 page ad for The Adventures of Superman (radio series))
    • "The BIG SIX comic magazines still lead the field!" (3/4 page ad for the current issues of Action, Adventure, Detective, All-American, More Fun, and Flash Comics)



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