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Action Comics Vol 1 32

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"Superman: "The Preston Gambling Racket"": A suicide jumper is saved by Superman, explaining that he had lost all his life-savings at the Preston Club, a gambling den. Later, Clark Kent visits the establishment with the mayor and a small cadre of policemen to raid the ille



Appearing in Superman: "The Preston Gambling Racket"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Mr. Preston (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mayor Worth (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • Krypto-Ray Gun (First appearance)

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Superman: "The Preston Gambling Racket"

A suicide jumper is saved by Superman, explaining that he had lost all his life-savings at the Preston Club, a gambling den. Later, Clark Kent visits the establishment with the mayor and a small cadre of policemen to raid the illegal gambling joint. But once inside, there is no sign of any gambling going on, not even a single slot machine. Just a few couches and men enjoying a fine smoke. Could the jumper have lied to him? The mayor apologizes to Mr. Preston and Clark humbly leaves, suspicious that there was something strange going on. He secretly follows Mayor Worth back to his office, where he overhears a phone conversation between him and Preston. The mayor had warned him about the raid ahead of time, allowing the den to hide any illegal activity well before they showed up!

Lois Lane disguises herself as a wealthy socialite and visits the Preston Club. There are roulette tables and card sharps playing for real money this time. Unfortunately, Mr. Preston realizes her true identity as a reporter! Since he can no longer allow her to leave, he tries to force Lois to drink a strange liquid...

Meanwhile, Clark walks through an alley when he notices two tough guys around the corner, waiting to jump him. Donning his Superman getup, Clark drops down on them from above and knocks them out. He carries them with him back to the Club. Outside he sees Lois wandering, her eyes dilated like she is in a daze. Drugged. He tries using mental telepathy on Lois to bring her back to reality. To his relief, it works, though she can't remember what happened after she drank the liquid.

Hours later, Clark has completed construction of his Krypto-Ray gun in his lab which allows him to take photos that develop instantly inside the gun, and allows the picture to be screened on a wall. He uses it to snap photos of the gambling machines from outside the window. Now that he has the evidence, Superman crashes the party and breaks all the craps tables and slot machines. When Preston sees the Man of Steel, he flees into his car.

Lois is at the mayor's office, trying to convince him to shut Preston down. Mayor Worth tries explaining that Preston drugged his son with an unknown serum, and he'll only give him the antidote if he stays out of his business. But Lois is right, Worth admits, just as Preston desperately barges into the room with a gun. He take Lois and the mayor hostage, forcing them into his vehicle! Before Superman starts to pursue, he uses hypnosis on the mayor's boy to cure him. Then he gives chase to the speeding car. It's a simple matter for Superman to catch up to Preston and dump him out of the car, while at the same time rescuing Lois and Mayor Worth.

The police are shown the pictures Clark has taken of the gambling den and Preston is arrested. Clark and Lois also promise to speak on the Mayor's behalf, since he was only blackmailed with his son to cooperate with the criminal.

Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The Escaped Convicts"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Slim Pickens (First appearance)
  • George (Single appearance)

Villains:

  • Unnamed convicts (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Jock (Single appearance)
  • Unnamed doctor (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The Escaped Convicts"

Pep is invited to his uncle's cabin in the woods for the weekend. But when a radio broadcast reports on two escaped convicts in the vicinity, Pep's fun excursion soon turns into a fight for his life, when the criminals find the cabin and try to use it for a place to hide.

Appearing in The Black Pirate: "Single Combat"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Captain Treble (Final appearance)

Other Characters:

  • The Queen of the Seas (First appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Treble's ship (Becomes Valor's ship)

Synopsis for The Black Pirate: "Single Combat"

Jon Valor climbs aboard the fierce Captain Treble's ship. He knocks down the nearest crewman and steals his sword. A challenge is then issued to the captain, which tradition demands must be accepted. The slaves and crewmen form a circle around the two combatants as Treble rushes at Valor. Both are adept swordsmen, but Valor is also clever. By using a feint, he gains the upper hand and soon has the captain on the ground at sword point! Treble begs for mercy, so the noble Jon Valor gives it, having him put in irons.

Jon's first order of business as the new captain is having all the prisoners released. Taking command of Treble's vessel, Valor quickly becomes well-respected among his new crew. Days pass, and soon another ship is seen off in the distance. As he steers closer, Valor notices the vessel was flying a jolly roger flag. Curious, he orders his men to get alongside her while he jumps across to the other ship's deck to greet the fellow buccaneer. The captain of the vessel shows herself, to the black Pirate's shock. A woman! She introduces herself as the "Queen of the Seas", a title earned for her by her crew. Jon laughs, saying that he, as a man, could still fill his hold with more treasure in three days than she could in a week. The Queen of the Seas accepts this as a challenge, telling him to meet her again at the port of Calatao in one week's time.

As their ships sail off away from each other, Jon Valor can't help but be fascinated by the female captain. He looks forward to seeing her again once their game is concluded.

Appearing in Three Aces: "The Dali Lama"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Unnamed Kidnappers (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • The Dalai Lama (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • The Aces Planes

Synopsis for Three Aces: "The Dali Lama"

The Three Aces are spending some free time in a pub in India, where they try to stop a kidnapping plot. The new Dalai Lama needs rescuing, and Fog, Will, and Bill are the only ones who can help!

Appearing in Tex Thompson: "The Ranch's Minerals"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Jasper Weston (Single appearance)
  • Willie (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Enid Okeley (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Okeley (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Tex Thompson: "The Ranch's Minerals"

Tex and Bob were enjoying a horseback ride through the old American outback, when a gunshot was heard in the distance. Tex went to check out the source, and saw a woman struggling to stay saddled on a horse gone wild! He urged his horse to catch up to the girl, got close, and grabbed the runaway's reins. Her horse calmed down enough that Tex could help her dismount, and she told him that her horse was shot at by an unseen gunner, though she may have an idea who it was. Enid Okeley was her name, daughter of the Circle-O ranch owner. As Tex and Bob escorted Ms. Okeley back home, she told them how bad things had been happening at the ranch lately. Ever since her father refused to sell the land to the banker and lawyer, Jasper Weston, they'd been having incidents like the sheep being slaughtered and the cattle being rustled. She suspected Weston may have been responsible for her horse going wild, too.

Over the horizon, Bob saw smoke rising in the distance. It was the Circle-O ranch, engulfed in flames! Enid screamed for her father, who was still trapped inside! While Bob scrambled for water, Tex braved the inferno to rescue Mr. Okeley. Tex carried him out just in time, but it was too late for the ranch. Mr. Okeley was about ready to give in and sell it all to Weston. However, Enid wasn't ready to give up yet, and Tex stood by her.

Later that night, Tex learned more about Mr. Weston. He had already bought up all the other ranches in the area, after cases of lost cattle and other occurrences forced the owners to sell. Tex then noticed someone skulking around near the Okeley corral. He rushed over to question the prowler, an Indian. Enid recognized him as Indian Willie, a former ranch hand that they fired for drinking on the job. He'd never come back unless somebody ordered him to. Tex picked him up over his shoulder and dropped Willie in the horse trough.

Tex and Bob paid Weston a visit at his office. They put on a façade of being interested land owners, asking to buy the Circle-O ranch. Weston became agitated, telling them that he only owned a mortgage on the ranch, but when he offered to make things easier, the owner wouldn't sell. He angrily kicked Tex and Bob out of his office. Bob slipped on the way out, knocking some papers off the desk. Outside, Bob noticed a paper stuck to his coat that must have come off of Weston's desk. There was no way he was going back in there now, so he would just mail it later. Back at the ranch, Enid ran up to the duo, crying that her father had been taken, along with the deeds to the land! Tex loaded his gun. He was ambushed by Willie, who had been waiting in the closet. Tex drew, and shot the Indian right in the chest. With his dying words, Willie told Tex he can find Mr. Okeley at "Apache Pass". Tex, Bob, and Enid rode to the Pass, where they were immediately shot at by a man keeping lookout on a ledge. Tex fired back, hitting enemy's chest. He picked up a paper that Bob dropped in the confusion, indeed the same paper he accidentally took from Weston's office. Tex looked it over, and became excited. It answered everything! But there wasn't time yet to explain, as long as Mr. Okeley was in trouble.

There was supposed to be a cave somewhere at the foot of the cliff. A man emerged from behind a waterfall, saw Tex, and shouted for his buddies that there were intruders. Leaving Enid behind, Tex and Bob rushed in, taking the guy out before he could draw his gun. Behind the waterfall was a cave, with more thugs for them to beat up. Okeley was tied up inside; he shouted for Tex to watch out! Behind him, Weston had grabbed Bob, and held him at gunpoint! But the foolish Jasper Weston had forgotten about Enid, who had gotten tired of waiting and had come into the cave behind him. She drew her own gun on him, forcing him to let Tex's pudgy friend go.

After Enid's father was safe and the thugs, including Weston, were all rounded up, Tex took the paper Bob found out of his pocket. It showed that the Circle-O ranch sat atop a cache of manganese, a valuable mineral that Mr. Weston wanted to sell to the government for a large profit.

Appearing in Clip Carson: "The Treacherous Foreman"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Doris Andrews (First appearance)

Villains:

  • Manuel (Only appearance; dies)
  • Headhunters

Other Characters:

  • Roland Andrews (First appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • River Steamer

Synopsis for Clip Carson: "The Treacherous Foreman"

Clip is asked by his friend Roland Andrews to come by his plantation. He suspects trouble when one of his employees tries to have him killed, for a valuable deposit he found in the mine. Clip teams up with Roland's sister Doris, to protect his friend until the mineral can be sold to the United States.

Appearing in Zatara: "The Antigravity Machine"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • K-9 (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Paul Palmer (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Riverboat

Synopsis for Zatara: "The Antigravity Machine"

Zatara and his servant Tong are enjoying a vacation with a cruise along the Mississippi River. When the boat reaches the St. Louis harbor, a well-dressed gentleman waits to board, when suddenly he is ambushed by a man with a knife! Zatara paralyzes both men temporarily with a spell, while Tong rushes the attacker. Tong easily overwhelms the knifeman and knocks him out. Stepping aboard the boat, Paul Palmer, scientist for the United Science Labs, thanks Zatara for his rescue, and invites the magician to his cabin. Once Palmer unpacks, he shows Zatara his invention: an anti-gravity machine that can change the gravity of any object charged by its coils. He recently quit his job at the Labs just as he finished the device, as he wanted to sell it to the U.S. government. But one guy from United Science isn't happy with that decision, wanting the machine for himself. He is the man known only as K-9, known for stealing other scientists' inventions and selfishly using them to increase his own power in the world. With Palmer's machine, he could equip airships that could never be brought down by weapons fire! He hires three of his best pilots to find the riverboat and kidnap Mr. Palmer and his invention.

Later that same day, Zatara watches from the deck as three planes come into view. Suddenly, their guns start firing at the ship! A message to the captain comes in, telling them to give up Paul Palmer and his machine, or everyone on board will die! Palmer is about to give himself up, but Zatara offers an alternative. Pointing at the planes and uttering the phrase "Esol Ruoy Srolleporp", he makes the propellers of each plane drop off, and the pilots can do nothing but crash into the river! Zatara pulls them out and causes the men to float in mid-air as his voice rings out. He warns them to never again try to attack Palmer, or he will come for them. Then the magician sends them away back where they came from! K-9 becomes very agitated at his men's failure. He decides to deal with Palmer and his mysterious bodyguard on his own.

Palmer has radioed for a seaplane to take him the rest of the way to where he needs to go. Nervous that another attempt on his life is imminent, he asks Zatara to go with him. The travelers arrive at a remote US Army airfield without incident and Palmer is greeted by officers on duty. A few minutes later, the anti-gravity device is ready to perform its test run. Palmer attaches it to a bomber plane that he'll control from inside with a skeleton crew. As Zatara and the army General watch, the plane rises vertically in the air, without using any fuel, and flies around for a bit. Just then, some other planes of unknown origin fly overhead. It is K-9 and those he could gather together, in an attempt to whisk Palmer and his machine away! The small bomber takes evasive maneuvers to no avail. But Zatara is quick to cast his magic upon this new threat. With a gesture and a phrase, the wings of all the enemy planes crumble off. K-9 makes a last ditch effort to jump out of his cockpit onto the government plane! He crawls inside and holds the crew at gunpoint. Zatara and the General are unaware at first that there is still danger. Their tipoff comes when the bomber doesn't land when it's supposed to, and keeps flying further away from the base. Zatara accepts the unheard challenge and flies after it. K-9 forces Palmer to jump with him. Once they pop their parachutes, though, Palmer makes a daring move and lets go of the anti-gravity device, letting it fall until it smashes on the ground. He could always make another, but he won't do it for K-9! Zatara catches up to them casts a spell on the plane to ensure it lands safely back on the airstrip with the crew unharmed. He does the same for Palmer and K-9, ensuring that they both follow him back down to the base where the General and his men were waiting. K-9 was arrested for stealing military secrets. Palmer thanks Zatara once again for saving his life. It was the least the great magician could do to help his country.

Notes

  • The Preston Gambling Racket is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 2 and Superman Chronicles Vol. 5.
    • Lois Lane is kidnapped for the ninth time in this issue's Superman story.
    • Superman uses mental telepathy to snap Lois out of a drug-induced trance.
    • Superman invents his Krypto-Ray Gun camera.
  • Aside from the stories above, this issue contains:
    • "Man of the Law" by Ted Miller (text story)

Trivia

  • Superman's Krypto-Ray Gun had a merchandising tie-in to Daisy's toy film projector of the same name.



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References

  • No external links.

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