"Superman: "The Case of the Crime Crusade"": Clark Kent offers Lois Lane a lift to work, only to remember he left his car in the garage for repairs, and instead takes her on a street car. The transit company is earning the large revenues, but the c
World's Finest #4 is an issue of the series World's Finest (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1941.
Synopsis for Superman: "The Case of the Crime Crusade"
Clark Kent offers Lois Lane a lift to work, only to remember he left his car in the garage for repairs, and instead takes her on a street car. The transit company is earning the large revenues, but the company has not replaced or upgraded its equipment for some time, and the trolleys are worn out. The street car derails, and Clark surreptitiously prevents the crash from being much worse, by reaching out a window and gently lowering the car onto the street. The police say the accident wouldn't have occurred if the car wasn't so old. Clark writes an article exposing the problems with the street cars and calling for reform. The president of the Metropolis Railway Company, Hugh Manton, accuses the Planet of libel. Clark and Lois set out to prove Clark's charges correct. They photograph a street car under repair, but they are attacked by the workers. Clark steps out then steps in as Superman, and takes Lois, and the camera, back to the Planet. They run another article in the same vein, using the pictures as evidence.
Civic reformer Dan Bransom asks to see Clark, and offers his support. They and Lois visit the mayor, who promises to bring the matter to the city council. The council and the Railway Company's representatives argue for days with no agreement. Back at the office, Clark gets a phone call telling him of an imminent street car accident. Changing to Superman, he catches and rights the car before it can smash, and finds evidence of sabotage. He is accused of derailing the car and flies off. Later, Clark gets another phone call from the same man offering to tell all. He meets the man as Superman, but before the informant can tell what he knows, he is blown up. Later, Clark tells Lois that he's learned one of the street cars was sabotaged. They tell Bransom, who blames it on someone with a grudge against the company.
When Clark gets his car back from the garage, he and Lois take it out to check out its condition, and someone forces it off the side of a mountain road. Clark catches the car, and tells Lois it was Superman. They deduce that the attempted murderer was someone who wanted to stop them investigating the sabotage. Meanwhile, the president of Railway Company refuses to do anything about the street cars. Superman pays him a visit, and shows him that, even though his company can provide financial compensation, lives are being wrecked by his unsafe street cars. At the council, he announces that he will replace the street cars with buses as quickly as he can. But Bransom demands he does so immediately. Suspicious as to why the reformer would hinder the proceedings, Superman follows and overhears him ordering a mass sabotage. He stops the defective street cars from leaving the depot, and captures the saboteur. He takes him to a radio interviewer and forces him to confess, naming Bransom as his employer. Bransom flees, meeting Lois. He takes her hostage in her own car and drives off. Superman follows, stops Bransom from murdering Lois and takes her and Bransom to the police.
Appearing in Superman: "The Case of the Crime Crusade"
- Dan Bransom
- Bransom's men
- Hugh Manton
- his employees
Synopsis for Zatara: "The Pageant of Plunder"
In New Orleans, right in front of a crowded Mardi Gras parade, boss desperado Frenchy Paul and two of his hit men gun down the District Attorney, and everybody standing near him, then escape the scene. District Attorney Barker barely survives, and his doctor calls in Zatara, to become the acting D.A. Another doctor scurries away and reports this to Frenchy Paul. Paul sends a hit team with a submachinegun to ambush Zatara right out in public, on the city sidewalk. For a moment it looks as though they've succeeded but Zatara animates the sidewalk, which talks to the gunmen as it lifts them high above the ground and drops them. Zatara relieves them of their weapons and sends them fleeing, then becomes invisible and follows them, directly to Frenchy. He eavesdrops as Paul instructs them how to place some crooked bets, then sets off to deal with Zatara himself, or so he thinks. Zatara gets some information from a talking parade float which enables him to magically run a bluff on the crime boss, by bringing a mirage of the injured D.A. Barker onto the scene. Frenchy panics and almost flees the area, but one of his gunsels rallies him back into action with some new info; he knows where they can ambush Zatara.
The gangsters get lucky and jump the magician, throwing a bag over his head and knocking him out with a blackjack. They tie him up, drive him out into the country, and drop him off a bridge into the river. Then Paul and his hoods race to D.A. Barker's house and invade it, beating up the staff and heading upstairs to finish off Frenchy's long-time enemy. He's still bed-ridden when they burst into his room and open fire.
Zatara meanwhile has unlimbered the handgun he earlier took from the first hit team; he fires it against the palm of his hand and uses the jagged edge of the bullet casing to cut his bonds, then swims to the surface. He flies to Barker's house and freezes time in the room where the shooting is taking place. He sends the bullets back into their guns, then punches out Frenchy. The two henchmen drop their rods and give up. Cops arrive and take them away while Barker and his doctor and Zatara exchange congratulations.
Appearing in Zatara: "The Pageant of Plunder"
- Frenchy Paul
- his gang
- corrupt doctor (wears pince-nez spectacles)
- District Attorney Barker
- two other dignitaries (Both die.)
- Mardi Gras, 25 Feb 1941
Synopsis for Red, White, and Blue: "The Skies Scream Murder"
At a U.S. Army test flight, the experimental pursuit plane is destroyed, and the pilot is killed, by colliding with an explosive-laden, suicidal, giant buzzard. This makes six crashes in two weeks! The test observer parachutes out but is badly wounded. Red, White, Blue, and Doris are at the airfield when the test observer staggers in, but they don't get much info from him before he dies too. To get to the bottom of this, Red volunteers to pilot the next text flight, and Blooey goes along, packing a rifle. When a giant buzzard appears and charges at them, Blooey shoots it dead; when it hits the ground it explodes. One airfield mechanic reacts oddly at this, and runs away from the plane parking area. Whitey pursues him on foot, but he gets away. Doris and Whitey pursue him in a roadster, with Doris driving and using the car's roadlight to send a morse code message to Red and Blooey in the experimental plane. Red and Blooey have meanwhile killed two more giant buzzards. They detect the message and follow the roadster down a lonely road into a private estate. There, Whitey and Doris get ambushed and captured by the enemy agents, and their leader takes the time to demonstrate for them his method of training the giant buzzards to crash themselves into the propellers of fighter planes. And now that they know too much, he prepares to shoot them, but just then Red swoops down in the new pursuit plane and Blooey nails him with a rifle shot. The mechanic returns fire with a submachine gun, but Blooey shoots him too.
Appearing in Red, White, and Blue: "The Skies Scream Murder"
- Doris West, G2
- Enemy Agent, airfield mechanic (Dies)
- Enemy Agent, his leader (wears a monocle) (Dies)
- giant buzzards
- Army Test Pilot (Dies)
- Army Test Observer (Dies)
- U.S. Army experimental airfield
- Remote Private Estate
- New Army Pursuit Planes (Some are destroyed.)
Synopsis for Crimson Avenger: "The Mystery of the Modern Methuselah"
Appearing in Crimson Avenger: "The Mystery of the Modern Methuselah"
- Kent Carver, as Methuselah
- Phineas Carver, wealthy senior citizen
- Lon Larrimore, movie star
- Cyrus Tuttle, broker
- Carver's Temporary Youth Restoration Device
Synopsis for Young Doc Davis: "The Conjurer's Case"
Appearing in Young Doc Davis: "The Conjurer's Case"
- Young Doc Davis
Synopsis for Hop Harrigan: "Adventure of the Torpedoed Trawler"
Appearing in Hop Harrigan: "Adventure of the Torpedoed Trawler"
- Ikky Tinker
- Miss Snap
Synopsis for Sandman: "The Story of the Secret Six"
Appearing in Sandman: "The Story of the Secret Six"
- Society of Six
- Peter Dewint
Synopsis for The King: "The Perfect Impersonation"
Appearing in The King: "The Perfect Impersonation"
- The Witch
- her gang
- Perc's aunt
- Ken Stillsen
Synopsis for Lando, Man of Magic: "The Radium Treasure Hunt"
Appearing in Lando, Man of Magic: "The Radium Treasure Hunt"
Synopsis for Batman: "The Ghost Gang Goes West"
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are on their way to visit a ranch in the West when their train is suddenly attacked by bandits. The criminals steal the valuables from the people and they ride their horses away from the train. After asking about the bandits, the locals inform Bruce that they are the Ghost Gang, because they can commit crimes in places very far apart at the same time.
When the Ghost Gang strike at the town where Bruce and Dick are staying, they change into Batman and Robin and try to stop the bandits. However, the villagers mistake them for criminals and they start chasing the duo, while the real criminals escape. After a long chase, Batman knocks Robin unconscious and he allows the villagers to capture him. Batman is about to be hanged when he manages to make the people stop and think for a while, forcing them to realize that he is in fact a good person. Batman is freed and he is invited to stay at the ranch of Lafe Brunt.
Batman goes to meet Robin and together they go to Brunt's ranch, where they spend the night. While they are sleeping, someone places a snake in their bedroom and Robin manages to charm the animal using an old harmonica until Batman takes the reptile out of the room. More attempts to kill Batman and Robin take place in the next few days, but all of them fail.
After a quick encounter with some members of the Ghost Gang, Batman gets the help of the Sheriff and later, Batman discovers that Brunt is the leader of the Ghost Gang and that he is responsible for the several murder attempts. Batman learns that the gangs has been painting their horses white to make them look ghostly and also that they've been using a big gyro-plane to get from one place to another in no time. Batman fights Brunt and he captures the whole gang.
Appearing in Batman: "The Ghost Gang Goes West"
- Lafe Brunt (Single appearance)
- The Ghost Gang
- Batman: "The Ghost Gang Goes West!" is reprinted in Batman: The World's Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1.
- "The Case of the Crime Crusade" is reprinted in Superman: The World's Finest Comics Archives, Volume 1 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 7.
- Lois Lane is kidnapped for the 16th time in this story. Her most recent prior kidnapping was in Action Comics #43, Dec 1941, published that same month. Prior to that was the kidnap appearing in Action Comics #42, Nov 1941.
- Story takes place during Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, which in 1941 fell on 25 February.
- Zatara's assistant Tong is absent from this story.
- Again the magician gets head-konked unconscious with a blackjack.
- Also appearing in this issue of World's Finest Comics were: