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"The Three Kingpins of Crime": Clark and Lois are sent to interview Metropolis' own genius prosecuting attorney, George Lash. The two reporters aren't that thrilled with the assignment. Lash is known to be a bit too headstrong; the fame he's receiv

Superman #7 is an issue of the series Superman (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1940. It was published on September 6, 1940.

Synopsis for "The Three Kingpins of Crime"

Clark and Lois are sent to interview Metropolis' own genius prosecuting attorney, George Lash. The two reporters aren't that thrilled with the assignment. Lash is known to be a bit too headstrong; the fame he's received from his success gives him quite the ego. Once they get to meet him, his smugness rubs Lois the wrong way, with Clark trying to keep the peace. Lash gives them a quote for the paper, that he's going to take down the three biggest kingpins in Metropolis' criminal underworld, Mike Moran, Billings, and Nick Norton. This is something that no other prosecutor has managed.

Clark and Lois spend the afternoon at a restaurant. Clark glances past Lois at the table across the way, where three well dressed men grab a seat. He recognizes each of them as Moran, Billings, and Norton, the kingpins themselves. Lois becomes excited, forcing Clark to introduce her so she can get their reaction to Lash's claim. After rebuffing the boys' weak attempts at flirting, Lois asks them their opinion on what George Lash said. Mike Moran angrily tells her that Lash is "full of hot air."

After taking Lois home, Clark finds a secluded place to remove his outer garments to reveal his true identity as Superman! Prosecutor Lash may need some protection from those three thugs. While patrolling the city, Superman sees a figure being thrown out of a vehicle near the Metropolis Hotel. It's George Lash! He glides down to help, lifting Lash and taking him to his hotel room. At first glance, it looks like Lash has been drinking, but Superman notices little details that suggest he has been doped. But someone obviously wanted the public to think the prosecutor was a drunk. Superman goes to the police station, to pay Chief Watson a visit and report what happened. But before he enters, Superman hears the chief on the phone with Sergeant Casey. George Lash's wife is dead, and the murderer appears to be Lash himself! Changing tactics, Superman lightly lands on the squad car's roof, as it takes off for Lash's home. He learns through overhearing the officers' conversation that George Lash had been trying to get his wife to sign for a divorce, but neither of them could ever agree on a mutually satisfying property settlement. Her refusal could have been his motive.

Arriving at the house, Superman stays hidden outside, watching Casey and Watson through the wall with his x-ray vision. There is certainly enough evidence to suggest Lash had been there; recently smoked cigarettes in the ashtray folded twice, the way Lash was known to do, and a button, off the suit he commonly wears, was clutched in his dead wife's hand. Chief Watson tells Casey to go to Lash's hotel room and arrest him, before he has a chance to arrange an alibi! Superman notices something the police overlook; a small bit of wood left lying on the carpet. He swoops off back to the hotel where Lash has just started to stir. Upon learning of his wife's murder and that he was the prime suspect, he frantically explains that, yes, he had gone to see his wife today, but it was only to get her signature on the settlement that was finally agreeable. The last thing he remembers, he arrived at his wife's house, then felt a hard whack on his head. He finally became conscious again here in his hotel room. Superman says the signed paper could help absolve him. Lash searches his pockets, but the documents are gone! The police then knock on the door. Superman tells Lash to go with them willingly, or else it'll look bad. He leaps out the window before the cops enter.

The arrest of George Lash, right when he was about to take down Metropolis's biggest gangsters, seems a little too convenient. Superman scales the wall of the mobsters' headquarters, listening in on the conversation between Nick Norton and his boys. Norton spots the Kryptonian's fingers on the windowsill. He grabs a hammer and smashes it down, but Superman's indestructible fingers are left unharmed. The Man of Steel climbs into the room. Norton has his men fire their guns at his figure, to no avail. Plan B involves Nick and his goons running into the safety of a room he had specially prepared, built out of steel. A normal man would never be able to reach them, but for Superman and his super-strength, the steel walls crumble like tissue paper. Norton tries hiding something in a safe, which Superman easily rips open. It is the property settlement signed by the late Mrs. Lash! This document could only be in Norton's possession if he were at the scene of the crime! Of course, if that wasn't enough, Superman figured out the small bit of wood left at the Lash's residence was a toothpick, which Norton always liked to chew on. Holding the murderous criminal Nick under one arm, Superman zooms through the darkening sky, towards the police station!

Superman and Norton land just through the open window to the chief's office. Superman hands Chief Watson the settlement document, and explains that Norton was the killer of Mrs. Lash, not George. The chief arrests the gangster and lets Lash go free, to continue his crusade against racketeering!

Appearing in "The Three Kingpins of Crime"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Mike Moran (Single appearance)
  • Billings (Single appearance)
  • Nick Norton (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • George Lash (Single appearance)
  • Chief Watson (Single appearance)


Synopsis for "The Gay City Plague"

People are literally falling apart in Gay City! Whether it be from a slight bump, or a full on collision, citizens are disintegrating on impact, leaving them afraid to even leave their homes. At Metropolis' Daily Planet, Clark Kent is sent by his editor to cover the story in Gay. Not to be outdone, Lois secretly follows.

As Superman, Clark meets with Commissioner Jim Stanley, who tells the man of steel that a tip led him to believe the cause of the city's malady lies within the Gargoyle Towers. Once Superman flies over to investigate, however, the building is blown up, catching him in its blast. Clark is unharmed, even managing to collect all the falling debris before it can hurt any innocent bystanders. A quick sweep with his x-ray vision reveals a peculiar set of invisible-to-the-naked-eye rays, emanating from a distant tower at the lake's edge.

Meanwhile, Lois disembarks after the plane touches down at Gay City Airport. She is warned to turn back, but Lois stubbornly refuses to listen. But as she accidentally bumps her hand against the side of the door, she hears a crackling of glass. Looking down, she is terrified to discover that her hand was starting to crack like glass. Rushing back into the terminal, Lois sits absolutely still, for she's afraid if she moves a muscle she'll break.

Superman lands on the roof of the tower with the emanating lights. Hearing voices beneath his feet, Clark rips an opening in the roof and leaps inside. A scientist is within, working on a strange formula. His tongue has been removed, but Superman recognizes him as the long-missing scientist Kotzoff. Kotzoff pulls out a ray gun, but Superman grabs it from his hand and crushes the weapon with his fist! Kotzoff then finds himself being carried as the man of steel flies out the opening he made and lands near the lake. Storage tanks are hidden along the lakeside, containing the gas which makes people so brittle. After tying him up, Superman makes the scientist give up the antidote, then, once he has it in hand, he heads back to City Hall to "thank" the commissioner for sending him to a death-trap. The commissioner isn't in his office, but he is well known for being an aviation enthusiast, so Clark's next stop is the airport. When he arrives, he notices Lois sitting still in the airport terminal. Moving carefully so she doesn't see him, he sprays some of the antidote on her so she can feel safe to move again. Pinching the nerves on her neck to knock her unconscious, Superman deposits the reporter in the cockpit of an empty plane where she'll be kept out of trouble. Jim Stanley tries to escape, unsuccessfully, in a plane, but Superman pulls it back down to the ground by the tail. Stanley runs through a crowd of people, where Superman refuses to follow, on the risk he might accidentally "bump" someone and shatter them.

Back at the police station, the commissioner tells his men it was Superman who spread the calamity among the populace. So when Superman bursts through the wall, the police open fire on him! Of course the bullets only bounce off him, but then, Stanley hits him with a blast of knockout gas, which brings the Kryptonian to his knees. Stanley has Superman thrown in the strongest cell. The gas effects soon wear off, and Clark snaps his bonds as easy as if they were plastic. He streaks back to Kotzoff's laboratory, to find the scientist and the commissioner preparing to leave town. Superman forces Kotzoff to release the antidote into the air, to cure the city. After it's done, Superman grabs both Kotzoff and Stanley, and flies with them to the state capital, where they are told to confess to their crimes.

Awhile later, Clark returns to his mild mannered reporter guise and goes to retrieve Lois from the airport. He tells her that Superman had freed the city of its malady. Lois is naturally upset that she missed all of the action again!

Appearing in "The Gay City Plague"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Jim Stanley (Single appearance)
  • Kotzoff (Single appearance)

Other Characters:


Synopsis for "Bert Runyan's Campaign"

A patrolman walking the streets hears a gunshot go off nearby! Red Tyler is found holding a gun while standing over a body, and is arrested for murder. At the trial, however, Tyler is acquitted due to prosecutor Ralph Dale asking all the wrong questions, almost as if he was helping the defense. After the trial, Clark Kent is back at the Daily Planet, with a suspicion that Prosecutor Dale is really working hand-in-hand with the criminal underworld. An election is coming up, and if things don't change soon, Dale will get to continue letting killers like Red Tyler off the hook. With Lois's help, Clark convinces editor Perry White to use the paper to elect their own candidate. Someone who is honest, brave, and willing to bring justice back to the courtrooms. Clark has an idea who'd be a perfect fit for the job. He pays a visit to Bert Runyan, a brilliant young lawyer with whom Clark is acquainted. After hearing the idea, Bert agrees to run as Dale's opponent for head prosecutor. Soon, the news is abuzz with Runyan's campaign plan to oppose the crooked prosecutor. As for Dale, he talks to Nat Burly, a crook with a lot of money, about taking Runyan out of the race.

Superman watches from the rooftop as Burly pays the upstanding lawyer a visit. The talk is short, nothing from a standard bribe to threats against his well-being can convince Bert Runyan to quit his campaign. Burly angrily walks out, promising Runyan that he'll be sorry! From above, Superman follows Burly as he heads to an old building where he meets with two gangsters. They are then paid to rub Runyan out.

The two hit-men enter their car and head towards the law office of Bert Runyan. It's a trip the man of steel interrupts without grace. The criminals are helplessly dumped out of the car as it is tossed aside. Held tight in Superman's strong grip as he instills a sense of terror in them by running at super fast speeds, and barely missing an oncoming train. He says he'll let them go only if they promise never to return to Metropolis! After all that, the thugs were all too ready to accept his condition. And now there is only the big man, Nat Burly himself, to deal with.

Superman phones Burly, warning him that his boys have left town, and he'll be joining them if he doesn't behave himself. Spooked, Burly calls Ralph Dale and tells him to come up to the office, and to bring hisastooge" Captain McDay with him. Later, unaware that Superman is listening from the next room over, Burly, Dale, and McDay discuss matters. They were going to frame Bert Runyan for driving under the influence of alcohol, forcing him to quit the election due to public shame. Superman hears every word.

Bert Runyan soon finds himself pulled over by captain McDay. The corrupt officer yells that he's under arrest for DUI, no matter how much Runyan argues that he's sober, he finds himself in the back of the squad car. After the police take Bert away, McDay steps behind the wheel of his car and looks for a pedestrian that he can use to add hit-and-run to Runyan's rap sheet. Superman swoops down and lifts the back of the sedan to make it stop, then opening the passenger side door, he sits down next to McDay. The captain pulls out a gun that the man of steel quickly twists around with his bare hands. The demonstration of his power complete, Superman frightens McDay into quitting the force and leaving town. Now Dale would have extra trouble winning the ballot.

Though thugs try to strong-arm folks into voting for Dale, Clark Kent, in his reporter clothes, easily dispatches them by making himself look clumsy. When the ballots are counted, however, to Clark's surprise, Runyan loses by a landslide. Something wasn't right. Once again going out as Superman, Clark listens outside Burly's window. Apparently, he had rigged the election by having the ballot box at 43rd Ward, Metropolis's largest district, stuffed full of Dale's name. Moments later, Morgan, the vote counter at the 43rd Ward voting booth gets an unexpected visitor; Superman! During the broadcast where Ralph Dale is giving his acceptance speech, Superman flies through the recording studio's window with Morgan in tow. He grabs the microphone away from Dale and gives it to Morgan, to confess that he stuffed the ballot box, under Burly's orders. In a panic, Dale tries blaming the entire thing on Burly, who retorts that it was Dale who gave him orders. The police arrive quickly to arrest all three men. In a voting recount, Bert Runyan wins the position of Metropolis' new prosecutor!

Appearing in "Bert Runyan's Campaign"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Nat Burly (Single appearance)
  • "Gyp" (Single appearance)
  • Ralph Dale (Single appearance)
  • Captain McDay (Single appearance)
  • Morgan (Single appearance)
  • Lou (Single appearance)
  • "Red" Tyler (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Bert Runyan (Single appearance)


Synopsis for "The Black Gang"

Black Gang Strikes Again!! The Morning Pictorial's headlines stare Perry White in the face. Somehow, the Daily Planet's competitor newspaper always gets the story first when it comes to the Black Gang. Perry sends Clark and Lois to get a story on the Black Gang before the Pictorial's next edition! Lois suggests they check the night clubs.

When Clark arrives at Lois' apartment to pick her up, he finds that she bleached her hair blond so no one would recognize her. She insists Clark take off his glasses too. Though he's worried that seeing him with his glasses off will cause Lois to recognize him as Superman, Clark nevertheless does as she asks. Seeing his face without the glasses, Lois is shocked at how handsome he is. Nothing more is made of it, and the two reporters head out to the club. Clark notes that Lois is loaded with jewelry She explains that it's fake, used to get the attention of the Black Gang.

Later, at the Green Hat nightclub, Lois and Clark start acting the part of high rollers. Clark tips everyone who'll take it, so much so that he worries he'll be in the poor-house by the end of the night. Their picture is taken by a reporter from the Morning Pictorial, Peter Peeker, who then sits with them to talk for awhile. Lois tells Peeker that Clark is an oil magnate named Ralph Carlson, and that she is 'Kay Andrews', a leading socialite. After a few minutes more as Lois lays out her fake cover story, Peter excuses himself and leaves for the evening.

The night continues for Lois when she is asked for a dance by a suspicious gentleman named Frank Jordan. Clark watches jealously nearby, until he is approached by a young woman who seemed utterly fascinated by his "oil business." She is Jane Day, an acquaintance of Mr. Jordan. Jane asks Clark to take her home, while Lois and Frank continue their chat. Lois insists she'll be alright, so Clark begrudgingly escorts Miss Day to a cab.

Jane tries her best to get Clark's attention, but his mind is still on Lois with that other man. The cab they are riding in suddenly gets hijacked by masked men with guns, demanding Clark hand over his wallet! The Black Gang! They fire at Clark but he runs off into the woods, quickly changing into his Superman duds once out of sight. His super-hearing tells him that Jane Day was working as a decoy for the gang. Meanwhile, Lois finds herself being kidnapped by her "gentleman friend", Frank. Tied up, she is driven into the garage of an old building where the rest of the Black Gang await. Luckily, Superman isn't far behind, as he follows Jane's car as it parks in the same garage. From outside, Clark watches as the reporter from earlier, Peter Peeker, enters the hideout. Peeker is working with the gang to get the first scoop on all their activities. He also spots Lois tied up in the corner of the room, but when he gets a closer look at her jewels, he discovers they're fake! The thugs search her purse, and find a reporter's I.D. identifying her as Lois Lane! Superman bursts through the wall before the gang can eliminate Lois. They shoot, Superman catches the bullets in his hands! The defeated gang are tied up to wait for the police to arrive. Superman departs so he can return as Clark.

The next day, the Daily Planet gets to print the first story of the Black Gang's capture. Perry White is thrilled, sorry he ever doubted his two best reporters in Metropolis!

Appearing in "The Black Gang"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • The Black Gang (Single appearance)
    • Peter Peeker (Single appearance)
    • Frank Jordan (Single appearance)
    • Jane Day (Single appearance)

Other Characters:



  • Published bi-monthly by Superman, Inc.
  • Perry White makes his first appearance in Three Kingpins of Crime, and appears in all four of this issue's stories.
  • On Earth-Two Clark Kent worked at the Daily Star under George Taylor while Perry White remained a reporter and Superman fought a red haired Luthor. However, there was a close hypertime reality (Earth-Two-A) which regularly interacted with Earth-Two resulting in distortions such as (but not limited to) Clark Kent working for the Daily Planet under editor Perry White and/or Superman fighting a bald Luthor.
  • As seen in Bert Runyan's Campaign:
  • As seen in The Black Gang, Lois Lane is kidnapped for the 8th time.[1]
  • This issue is reprinted in The Superman Archives Vol. 2.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Superman were:
    • "World's Greatest Adventure Character" (Frontispiece) by Joe Shuster and Paul Cassidy
    • "Supermen of America" (text advertisement for the fan club)
    • Fantastic Facts: "The Loudest Noise on Earth!" by George Papp
    • "Superman is on the radio!" (1/2-page ad for "The Adventures of Superman")
    • "Rinaldo's Revenge" (text story) by G.B. Armbruster
    • "Superman Plus" (full-page ad for Action Comics)
    • "The Adventures of Superman" (full-page ad for the Superman radio show)
    • "Shorty" by Fred Schwab
    • "Here It Is - Better Than Ever!" (full-page ad for the current issue of All-Star Quarterly No. 2)
    • "Announcing the New Superman Krypto-Raygun" (full page ad for licensed toy from Daisy Manufacturing)


  • According to "The Black Gang" story, Clark Kent's favorite song is "Star Dust"

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References