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"Hercules: "A Dream of Riverboats"": With the river risen to flood stage, six Mississippi River flatboat pirates attack the houseboat of two trappers, throw them overboard, and steal a cargo of pelts. From a nearby levee, Joe Hercules spots this, dives in, and swims underwater to the houseboat,


Quote1 In case you don't know, gents, this is called an Irish Whip! Quote2
Joe Hercules

Hit Comics #13 is an issue of the series Hit Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1941.

Appearing in Hercules: "A Dream of Riverboats"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:

  • Cottonmouth Smith
    • his gang
  • Bill Sedley (In dream sequence only)
    • his gang (In dream sequence only)
  • many gangs of unnamed river pirates (In dream sequence only)

Other Characters:

  • fur traders and freight handlers

Locations:

Items:


Vehicles:

  • 1840s-style keelboats

Synopsis for Hercules: "A Dream of Riverboats"

With the river risen to flood stage, six Mississippi River flatboat pirates attack the houseboat of two trappers, throw them overboard, and steal a cargo of pelts. From a nearby levee, Joe Hercules spots this, dives in, and swims underwater to the houseboat, grabs the trappers, leaps out of the river and lands on the houseboat, then flings each and all of the pirates back onto their own scow, then with a 40-foot pole he works the houseboat from there to New Orleans, at motorboat speeds. Joe's big question for the trappers is: why is the river running so high, when there has been no rain? They don't know either, but aren't worried about it.

On the roof of the houseboat moored at New Orleans, Joe naps, and dreams of life on the river "in the old days."

Joe now has a cap and wears a red turkey feather in it, to signify that he's the Kingpin of the River. He commands a pole-powered flatboat, and has an extremely aggressive and delusional rival, Bill Sedley, who challenges Joe to a wrestling match. Bill of course does a lot of cheating but Joe defeats him plus his whole crew, using an "Irish Whip" technique. Then Joe just goes back to work with his own crew, drifting their flatboat of goods down to New Orleans.
Joe single-handedly unloads all the cargo, which enrages the local dockworkers, and a swarm of them (eight or more) pick up sticks and knives to attack him. Some of them are flung into the rigging of a nearby schooner, very high up, and the rest are routed too.
That night (still in his dream) Joe has trouble sleeping; the river is inexplicably rising, and pirate activity is also rising, nobody knows why and everybody is worried. Next morning Joe works his way upriver, single-handedly towing a flatboat, and finding evidence of murderous pirate activity all along the way. Eventually he spots one pirate crew (at least six) on a boat in mid-stream, so Joe uses a folded-down birch tree to catapult himself onto their flatboat, where he quickly beats them down. Joe grabs the pirate chief and leaps to the shore, then tosses him around until he squeals. This pirate's gang had indeed caused the flooding, by destroying a large number of beaver dams in the tributary rivers, in order to strand the local water-borne fur traders upstream, for easier robbery. Now the wider, deeper main river also made life easier for pirates.
Hercules marches the captured pirates up all of the tributaries and sets them to work rebuilding all of the beaver dams. Word gets around about this and Hercules is widely hailed as a big hero of the …

Abruptly Joe is awakened. The river is past flood stage! Cottonmouth Smith and his pirate gang have blown up a local dam, and now are holed up at the Creole Hotel! Joe goes there, flings Smith into a wall, and beats up his gang (four) then dunks them in the river, then marches them to the busted dam and puts them to work, filling sandbags and patching the dam. Word gets around about this, far and wide, but Joe Hercules is ill at ease with fame.

Appearing in Betty Bates: "Guilty!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • District Attorney

Antagonists:

  • Jake Rilling
  • Joe Rilling
    • their gang: "Sam," et. al.

Other Characters:

  • Jake's lawyer (Dies)

Locations:

  • Kenwater Dam

Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for Betty Bates: "Guilty!"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in The Strange Twins: "The Revenge of Limehouse Lew"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Wing Low

Antagonists:

  • Limehouse Lew
    • his gang: "Will the Wasp," et. al.

Other Characters:


Locations:

Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for The Strange Twins: "The Revenge of Limehouse Lew"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in Bob and Swab: "The Foreign Recruiters"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:

Other Characters:


Locations:

  • Atlantic Coast of South America
    • unnamed neutral country

Items:


Vehicles:

  • USS Scarab

Synopsis for Bob and Swab: "The Foreign Recruiters"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in Lion Boy: "The Poisoners"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:

  • Biff
  • Mac

Other Characters:


Locations:


Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for Lion Boy: "The Poisoners"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in the Red Bee: "Hammond's Milk Racket"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • District Attorney Hawkes
  • Michael (the Red Bee's bee)

Antagonists:

  • D.J. Hammond
  • Hammond's gang

Locations:

Synopsis for the Red Bee: "Hammond's Milk Racket"

D.J. Hammond, president of Dairyton Milk, has been wrecking milk trains and milk trucks, and blaming it on racketeers, planning all along to start selling fake milk as soon as all his competitors have been driven out of business. The Red Bee fights back, and his trained bee Michael leads a large swarm of bees to attack the gangsters. Hammond is exposed and arrested.

Appearing in The Old Witch: "The Ghost of the Clipper Ship"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:


Other Characters:


Locations:


Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for The Old Witch: "The Ghost of the Clipper Ship"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in Neon the Unknown: "Is This Sabotage?"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:

  • Dr. Marko
    • two thug pilots (one dies)
    • six or more thug riflemen

Other Characters:

  • Dr. Enfield
    • squad of rifle-packing uniformed estate guards

Locations:

Items:


Vehicles:

  • hybrid autogyro/fixed-wing airplane

Synopsis for Neon the Unknown: "Is This Sabotage?"

A number of U.S. scientists and inventors go missing, from university laboratories and the War Department. At his estate in Knightville, surrounded by armed guards, Dr. Enfield the famed physicist is arguing with his colleague Dr. Marko about what the disappearances might mean. Marko pooh-poohs the matter as a meaningless triviality.

Some time later, Enfield himself vanishes, and shortly later Neon the Unknown arrives to investigate. The guards mill about cluelessly; how did this happen? Zooming aloft, Neon finds a large balloon, but as he approaches it, it bursts into flame and drops to the ground, and Neon believes Enfield to have perished. But then a unique-looking autogyro arrives overhead, and Neon rethinks his idea about Enfield's fate. He catches up to the plane and surfs atop the fuselage for a moment, until a guy in pilot-goggles climbs out onto the fuselage to fight him, hand to hand. That guy falls off, and is seen no more. Neon boards the plane, which somebody is still flying, and inside he finds the tied-up Dr. Enfield. Neon hides in a compartment, to observe where the plane is going.

The plane flies across the Rockies from east to west, then reaches the Grand Canyon, descends, and lands at a secret base on an island in the Colorado River. Dr. Marko and another goggled airman bring Dr. Enfield out of the plane, but instead of going to any of the base's buildings, they enter a concealed tunnel. Neon stealthily observes all this, then sneaks into the tunnel. Three Indian riflemen are guarding it; Neon jumps them and punches them out with his Neonic fists. He races onward thru the tunnels until he reaches a large modern laboratory, punches out another guy, then barges inside, where he finds all of the missing scientists and inventors, slave-laboring away on sinister new inventions. Two armed guards confront Neon; he flings a flask of acid into their faces. While he is freeing the scientists, Dr. Marko in an adjacent room opens a valve to flood the main room with sleeping gas. Before it can really take effect, Neon charges the electrons of the wall with a Neonic Ray, which disintegrates it, and the scientists flee thru the opening. Neon captures Marko, and one henchman, and flies him back to the East, to turn them over to the FBI.

Appearing in G-5 Super Agent: "Assignment: Lisbon"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • six Axis infiltrators
    • four of them have monocles and mustaches.

Other Characters:

  • American Attache

Locations:

Synopsis for G-5 Super Agent: "Assignment: Lisbon"

Refugees from all across Europe have converged on Lisbon, Portugal, the sole remaining war-neutral seaport on the continent, all of them frantic to obtain American visas. Meanwhile G-5 has flown into Lisbon on a clipper plane, hunting six Axis agents who do have American visas. The famed international agent is posing as a news photographer, and manages to photograph two of the suspected agents, in Lisbon Square. They rush him and try to get his camera but he pounds them both onto the sidewalk, then photographs them some more. G-5 then goes to the casino, and seeks out four monocled, mustached, tuxedo-wearing villains, and he photographs them. They all try to get rough with him, and get the same results as before, including the extra photography afterward. By this time the crowd of ordinary gamblers has turned against the disruptive G-5, and he hastens out of the casino, to meet the American Attache at a garden, and hand off his photo film. Two of the Axis agents catch up to him, then, and get themselves another beat-down. These two are handed over to the Lisbon Gendarmes, the photos confirm the identities of the six Axis agents, and G-5 leaves the country.

Appearing in Blaze Barton: "Mission To Uranex"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Prof. Solis (Final appearance)
  • Pat (Final appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Chief Areu, on Uranex (Single appearance)
  • a conspiracy of dictators, on Earth

Other Characters:


Locations:

  • Uranex, a distant planet

Items:

  • giant toad-wolves

Vehicles:



Synopsis for Blaze Barton: "Mission To Uranex"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in Don Glory: "The Yellow Shirts"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:

Other Characters:


Locations:

  • Springchester Arms factory

Items:


Vehicles:

  • the Glory Car

Synopsis for Don Glory: "The Yellow Shirts"

  • Synopsis not yet written.



Notes

  • Blaze Barton makes his final appearance in this issue of Hit Comics.
  • Hercules:
    • That first gang of pirates are alive, conscious, and still free, at the end of their encounter with Hercules.
    • The rivalry of Joe Hercules versus Bill Sedley is seemingly modeled on Davy Crockett's legendary encounter with Mike Fink, "King of the River", in American folklore.
    • "Irish Whip" = Swing the boss villain by his ankles like a baseball bat and mow down most or all of his gang with one big swing. This was a very popular fighting technique in 1940s comic books. Joe calls it the "Irish Whip".
  • Starting in this issue's Red Bee story, District Attorney Hawkes's hair is white. For the first 12 issues it was black (and for the first 7 issues his name was Tom Darrow). In all other respects he's still the same stuffy, pompous, bespectacled, mustachioed, middle-aged authority figure that he's always been.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Hit Comics were:

Trivia

  • G-5 Super Agent in the opening caption is called "G-5, famed international agent".
  • George Appel signed his G-5, Super Agent feature as "Cary Weyt".



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Superboy Vol 4 69
DC Rebirth Logo

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