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"Superman: "Superman, Gridiron Hero"": Superman chases after a car that had committed a hit-and-run. The car stalls on some train tracks. Superman is barely able to get the driver out of the car in time. Unfortunately, the driver has suffered a heart attack. He sneaks into



Appearing in Superman: "Superman, Gridiron Hero"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Tommy Burke (a backup on the Cordell University team)

Villains:

  • Coach Randall (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mary (Tommy Burke's girlfriend)
  • Oliver Stanley (coach of the Cordell University team)
  • Wallace Dodd (Cordell University tennis champion)
  • Ray Martin (a player on the Cordell University team)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Superman: "Superman, Gridiron Hero"

Superman chases after a car that had committed a hit-and-run. The car stalls on some train tracks. Superman is barely able to get the driver out of the car in time. Unfortunately, the driver has suffered a heart attack. He sneaks into the car, where he hears Coach Randall, the football coach of Dale University is hiring two ringers to play in a game against Cordell University and rough up the star player, thereby giving Dale University the win, and allowing the coach to keep his job.

Superman decides to pose as Tommy Burke, a perennial backup on Cordell University's team. Tommy Burke's girlfriend, meanwhile, tells Burke that she's broken up with him, and is dating the tennis champion, Wallace Dodd, instead. As Burke is taking a walk to cool down, he comes across Superman, who has made himself to look like Burke. He stabs Burke with a hypodermic needle that makes him lose consciousness. When Burke wakes up, Superman explains that he's going to steal his identity for a few days.

Superman heads to the football locker room, but doesn't know which locker is his. He opens a locker at random, and ends up wearing the uniform of Ray Martin, another player. Martin challenges him to a fight, and Superman knocks him out cold. Coach Oliver Stanley hears the noise, and kicks Superman (posing as Burke) off the team.

Superman decides to come out onto the practice field anyway, immediately making an interception. When the coach notices him, he tells the other players to grab him and throw him off the field. The entire team piles onto him, as he drags them all into the touchdown. The coach changes his mind, and decides to start Burke in the big game against Dale.

Coach Randall hears that Burke has become Cordell's star player, so he tells the thugs to kidnap him the night before the big game. They come across the real Tommy Burke, who is tied up and under the influence of a sleep-inducing drug that Superman gave him.

The next day, Superman quickly scores several touchdowns in succession. The real Tommy Burke escapes out of where the thugs were holding him prisoner and makes his way to the football field. He enters the bleachers to discover that his Doppelgänger is scoring repeatedly. He plans to tell the police, until he hears his ex-girlfriend tell Wallace Dodd that she wants to date Burke again.

The thugs attempt to stab Superman with a knife, but he quickly dispatches them. Coach Randall resigns. At half time, Superman switches places with Tommy Burke, allowing him to play the second half. Burke grabs hold of the ball, and is quickly knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, his girlfriend is kissing him, but she tells him that she wants him to quit football, because it's too dangerous. He quickly agrees.

Appearing in Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 4)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Blacky (Chuck's Steed)

Villains:

  • John Burwell (Behind the scenes)
  • Steve
  • Trigger Holt
  • Butch

Other Characters:

  • Sheriff of Red Gulch

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 4)"

Chuck overheard the 4-G Ranch's owner talk to his hired gun about Chuck's stolen horse, Blacky, they planned to use it to frame him for their own dirty deeds.

Chuck finds his horse tied down by the river, being approached by 4-G ranch owner John Burwell's henchman, Steve. He waits until Steve has mounted Blacky and ridden him off a ways before whistling, making his horse throw Steve off his back. Chuck takes his horse back and rides off.

Back in town, Burwell's other two henchmen, Trigger and Butch, find the sheriff and tell him that Chuck Dawson is stirring up trouble. Soon, Chuck's got three men on broncos giving chase, until he and his steed are forced up a steep mountain trail. The sheriff, still believing Chuck to be a criminal, suggests they spread out and cover all the exits down the mountain. From his vantage point, Chuck notices his pursuers left their horses tied up by their lonesome. Securing his lasso to a sturdy boulder, he climbs down to the ground and, unseen, loosens the knot in the horses reins and sends them running. He then makes his way back. But just then, Butch spots the rope that is dangling off the ledge...

Appearing in Pep Morgan: "The All-Star Athlete"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Camp Director

Other Characters:

  • Charley (Single appearance)
  • Bobby (Single appearance)
  • Jimmy (Single appearance)
  • Harry (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Canoe

Synopsis for Pep Morgan: "The All-Star Athlete"

Pep spends the summer days at Camp Indian Head training for the swimming competition. But during the race, one of the kids gets a cramp and goes under. Pep abandons the race to rescue him, as the other swimmers pass by to the finish. Luckily, the boy is alright, and Pep isn't bothered that he lost the race.

Later, one of the kids runs up to Pep, telling him that two brothers took the canoe out onto the rapids and were now in trouble! Pep alerts the camp's director to get a lifesaving device. He then races to the river, where the two kids boat was being washed down the fast moving rapids towards a waterfall. Pep jumps in the water, swimming against the current until he reaches the craft. He grabs the boys and carries them out of the canoe while the director throws a line for them to grab on to. The boy's father is relieved his sons are safe. Pep suggests the next time they go canoeing, they should remember to bring an anchor.

Appearing in "Bad Bill and the Menace of the Hills"

Featured Characters:

  • Bad Bill (Single appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • Sheriff Joe (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Unnamed Stranger (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Sheriff's Automobile

Synopsis for "Bad Bill and the Menace of the Hills"

Bill is a bad seed in town. He shoots a stranger just because he didn't like his face, then he begins to run from the Sheriff. They wind up in a rocky area with boulders strewn about to serve as cover. After a brief gun battle, Bill is surprised from behind by the man he shot. The man was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Appearing in "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IV)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Niku
  • Niccolò Polo (Marco Polo's father)
  • Maffeo Polo (Marco Polo's uncle)

Villains:

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "Adventures of Marco Polo (Part IV)"

Marco and the guide, Niku, are caught in a sandstorm while out hunting. By keeping their heads down, they are able to brave the blinding storm and make it back to the camp. The next morning, the caravan awakens to a surprising change in landscape. What had been a flat plain the day before, had become a mass of hills thanks to the sandstorm.

The hike is tiresome as the Polo's lead the camels over the dunes, they eventually happen upon a stream. Seeing it as a good place to rest, the caravan unpack under the oasis, while Marco and his uncle enjoy a race through the refreshing water. The camp remains peaceful until the next morning, when a horrifying shrieking reaches their ears. Marco and his family race towards the source of the noise, through a forest lane where they peer into the brush. A lion and his mate were fighting with a large snake. The lioness was forced off after a few bites from the creature, but the lion remained fiercely on the attack, getting trapped in the snake's coils. As the Polo's inch closer, the lion shakes free. The snake then notices it's new prey and, it's fanged mouth wide open, quickly slithers straight for the Polos!

Appearing in "Legion Loyalty"

Featured Characters:

  • Corporal Cliff Bedford (Single appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • Unknown

Villains:

  • Unknown

Other Characters:

  • Unknown

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • Unknown

Vehicles:

  • Unknown

Synopsis for "Legion Loyalty"

This is a two-paged text story with some illustrations.

Appearing in Tex Thomson: "Sealed City (Part III)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bob Daley
  • The Gorrah of the Sealed City (Final appearance)

Villains:

  • Rabb Khazan (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Hawntem (Final appearance)
  • Scharem (Final appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Tex Thomson: "Sealed City (Part III)"

The Gorrah of the Sealed City, having reestablished his place on the throne after the imposter had been defeated, invites Tex Thompson and Bob Daley to stay a while in his castle. It isn't long before the two adventurers are called to the throne room. The Gorrah explains that a new villain has emerged, Rabb Khazan and his followers, and not wishing to put Tex and Bob in further danger, he has made arrangements for their departure. But Tex declares that he'll stay and help the Gorrah fight off this new threat, which Bob backs up. Later, while investigating a noise on the balcony, a blunt arrow strikes Tex in the head and knocks him out.

Deep in the forest outside the cities walls, Rabb Khazan sits waiting. One of his guards shuffles through the trees, bringing two tied-up captives: the Gorrah and Bob. Back at the castle, Tex soon recovers and notices he is alone. While wandering the halls, he comes upon two of Khazan's men. He subdues the goons, and after searching the castle for Bob and the Gorrah, he comes to the realization that Rabb Khazan likely kidnapped them while he was out. Tex enters the forest, following a random direction until voices are heard. He's found them! He watches from behind a boulder as his friends are forced to follow Khazan through a trapdoor in the ground. Just as he's about to follow, Tex is surprised by Hawntem and Scharem, the false Gorrah's goons, waiting behind him. At first, they make to charge with their swords, but then Scharem spots the real Gorrah just as he disappears below the ground. Tex explains that their master, the phony, is dead, but if they help him, he'll see that the Gorrah grants them full pardons from their crimes. The two men debate amongst themselves, deciding to agree to the terms. Tex asks them to take him back to the castle, a plan forming in his mind.

In the hidden underground lair, Rabb Khazan gives his "guests" a tour of the torture rooms featuring horrible devices used to inflict pain. When Bob and the Gorrah are told that theses devices will be used on them, Bob passes out. This probably saves their lives temporarily, as when Bob comes to, they are locked in a holding cell. Bob comes up with an idea and tells the Gorrah to call the guard. Faking stomach pain, when the guard comes in to investigate, Bob attacks and knocks him out, then uses the guards knife to cut their bonds. Together, they sneak back outside and begin to run back to the castle. Unfortunately, neither Bob nor the Gorrah see the pit-trap until they fall into it. Khazan appears above them, gloating that he knew they'd try to escape.

A sound in the distance makes Rabb Khazan and his men turn. Three tall, hideous figures come raging over the hill. The men scatter in fear, believing the beings to be the spirits of past Gorrahs come to punish them for their sins. Khazan himself is frozen in fear, as one of the figures approaches him, ordering him to release the captives and to dedicate the remainder of his life serving the will of the Gorrah, "or else". Only after Khazan has vowed his pledge and run off, do the "spirits" reveal their true selves; Tex, Hawntem, and Scharem emerge from beneath a bunch of ceremonial robes and masks.

Later, back at the castle, the Gorrah commends Tex on his clever ploy. Bob remarks that he could tell that it was his buddy Tex under there the whole time, despite that at the time his knees were shaking more than Khazan's. Tex tells Bob that he believes him. With a wink.

Appearing in Scoop Scanlon: "Brady's Revenge"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Rusty James

Villains:

  • Brady (Behind the scenes)
  • "Big Fist" Logan (Single appearance)
  • "Tate" (Single appearance)
  • "Dopey" (Single appearance)
  • "Finger" (Single appearance)
  • "Squeaky" (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • The Bulletin's Editor
  • Sal Di Marco (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Scoop Scanlon: "Brady's Revenge"

The offices of the Bulletin newspaper are shaken up when a bomb is tossed through the window. Everyone got out safely before the blast destroys everything inside. The editor wants Scoop to find the culprit who did it. Scoop has a hunch that it was one of Brady's goons, since the Bulletin was responsible for getting him locked up. They were never able to positively identify any of his thugs before, but Scoop is willing to try again. He takes Rusty along to investigate some of the places where the criminal element is known to hang out.

Hours later, Scoop and Rusty still haven't learned anything about Brady's thugs. Changing tactics, they track down Sal di Marco, who just got released from prison after Brady played him. They locate Sal at a bar, and Scoop finds that he's more than willing to help, even giving him the names of the guys who threw the bomb. Sal leads them to an old factory where the gang is meeting. Scoop thanks him and tips Sal a ten-spot as he sends him on his way.

Before doing anything else, Scoop phones his boss and gives him all the info he's got, along with the address of the factory where the police can meet him. Rusty waits outside for the cops while Scoop enters around the back. Voices are talking upstairs. Scoop carefully makes his way until he is outside the door where the thugs are hiding. From a nearby window, he can see Rusty talking to the police. Pulling out his gun, Scoop opens the door and shouts for the men to come quietly. The mobsters fire their guns, Scoop takes cover and fires back. They soon retreat out into the waiting cuffs of the police officers. One of the gang confesses that they did indeed toss the bomb into the Bulletin office. The cops congratulate Scoop, and Rusty moves in to snap some pictures...

Appearing in Inspector Donald and Bobby: "The Protection Racket"

Featured Characters:

  • Inspector Bob Donald (Final appearance)
  • Bobby (Final appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • Tim Riley (Final appearance)

Villains:

  • Snappy (Single appearance)
  • Evans (Only appearance; dies)
  • Frank (Only appearance; dies)
  • Mike (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Sarah (Single appearance)
  • Sid (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Inspector Donald and Bobby: "The Protection Racket"

A Gangster named Evans is operating a new protection racket in town. The store owners who don't comply have their businesses trashed by Evans boys. Bobby's friend, Sid, tells him that his father is being forced to pay the racketeers to protect his store. Bobby tries to go tell his father about it, but his dad's partner Tim Riley tells him that he's out of town. So Bobby comes up with an idea of his own. He tries to get the storeowners to help, but they're all too afraid to act against Evans, so Bobby acts on his own.

The next day, Bobby waits from a safe distance outside as the crime lord Evans reads his mail. He is furious when he reads a note telling him to pay the protection fee. Is one of his own men trying to shake him down? Or have they all turned against him? He calls the rest of his gang into the office. Accusing them of trying to cut him out of the racket, he opens fire. But Snappy, the gangster's second-in-command, takes cover, and while Evans manages to kill his other two cronies, Snappy hits his boss in a fatal chest shot. Alive, but wounded, Snappy goes outside where the police, having arrived after hearing the gunshots, put cuffs on him.

Bobby's father, Inspector Bob Donald, meets him on his way home. Bobby tells him he was the one who sent the note in order to shake up Evans and make him careless, but he didn't expect a shootout to occur. His father explains that while sending the note was the wrong move to make, at least some good came of it and the shopkeepers could go about their business without having to worry about "protection fees". He adds that Bobby will have to make a statement to the court during Snappy's trial.

Appearing in Zatara: "The Night Club Murder"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Big Bill (Only appearance; dies)
  • Butch (Single appearance)
  • Ike (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Joan (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Police Car

Synopsis for Zatara: "The Night Club Murder"

Zatara wants to spend a night having fun at the Nite Hawk Club. Tong notes that his master doesn't have a date, Zatara replies that he's sure they'll find someone once they get there. During the drive over, a bullet crashes through their rearview window, just missing Zatara's head. Curious. Tong suspects trouble brewing. Once at the dance, just as Zatara predicted, a young woman comes running towards them. Only she is being followed by an angry looking man yelling after her, calling her "Joan". She exasperatedly says the man has been hounding her all night. Zatara takes off his jacket and engages in fisticuffs in Joan's defense. It's a quick fight as the magician seemingly knocks the guy out with one punch. But upon closer inspection, the man had been shot dead at the same time Zatara had struck him. Tong phones the police, who arrive quickly to confirm the death. Zatara looks around, but Joan is nowhere in sight! That's enough for the police to suspect her, but Zatara isn't so quick to judge. He puts himself in a meditative state and uses his astral body to locate the girl. It turns out she had been taken by two thugs to the upstairs office, to drill her for a safe combination they thought she had. Zatara snaps to and, the police following him, rushes up the club's stairs to the office. Using his magic, Zatara turns the thugs pistol into a squirt gun. No sign of the girl anywhere, he threatens the lone thug for information on her whereabouts. The man buckles, revealing they knew the great magician was coming to the club tonight, and tried to have him whacked en route before he caught wind of them. The girl was moved to their hideout on Moy Street.

Sirens wailing, Zatara and the police drive to the address given them. Zatara heads up first, telling the cops to wait for his signal. Concentrating, Zatara makes himself invisible. He enters the room where Joan is being kept, seeing a crook standing over her about to shoot. Zatara turns the gun into a snake that wraps around the crooks arms, then it becomes a pair of handcuffs. He unties Joan. She explains that the man who had been harassing her was one of them, by the name of "Big Bill". The other crooks wanted to get into Bill's safe, but shot him before they could learn the combination. They assumed because she had spent so much time talking with him, that Bill had told her the combination. But Joan was actually annoyed at his advances on her, and would never give him the time of day, much less let him tell her any kind of secret code. If Zatara hadn't stepped in, she'd be dead right now. Instead, the thugs will be staying a long time at a new club, called Prison.

Notes

  • "Superman Plays Football" is not the original title for this story. The Superman vignette in this issue was not originally titled, but was later re-named as "Superman, Gridiron Hero" in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 1. The title used in this article is taken from the index page at the Grand Comics Database.
  • "Legion Loyalty" is an illustrated text story.

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