"Superman: "The Lost-and-Found Mystery"": Clark Kent and Lois Lane visit the state fair on behalf of the Daily Planet, when some cattle stampede out of their pen, putting the crowd in danger. While the crowd panics, Clark slips away and changes to
- If a man offers a reward for a lost object -- that's his business! And if the finder collects the reward and brings it to me -- that's our business! What I fail to see is where any of it is your business!
Appearing in Superman: "The Lost-and-Found Mystery"
- The Prankster
- Jitters and Scriber (Prankster's henchmen)
- G. Clamm (Prankster's victim)
- J. Roger (Prankster's victim)
Synopsis for Superman: "The Lost-and-Found Mystery"
Clark Kent and Lois Lane visit the state fair on behalf of the Daily Planet, when some cattle stampede out of their pen, putting the crowd in danger. While the crowd panics, Clark slips away and changes to Superman, saving the fair-goers, and Lois's, life. Once the herd has been quelled, Superman returns to Lois' side as Clark. They overhear two gentlemen talking about an ad in the paper; rewarding five thousand dollars for a lost needle in a haystack. Apparently, the cattle became spooked after several people rooted around in the hay. Lois ad Clark head for the address written in the ad, looking for answers as to why anyone would offer such a high reward for as trivial an object as a needle.
The needle must have already been recovered, as a man is seen exiting the house counting his reward money. When Lois and Clark question the homeowner, Mr. G. Clamm, he claims that the needle in question was used by Betsy Ross when she made the American flag. Of course, Clark knew that in Betsy Ross’s day, needles were hand-made, and not of modern steel, but he keeps that fact to himself. If Clamm was crazy enough to toss away five grand, that was his business. But, if Clark had cared to follow the man who received the reward, he wold have realized that it was the henchman of his old foe, the Prankster. Once the money is his, the Prankster sends out his other man, Scriber, to perform his part of the plan. In the guise of a reporter, Scriber visits Clamm and tells him that his paper knows the real reason he put out the ad. Threatening to expose him unless he pays up, Scriber soon returns to his boss with another five thousand. The Prankster then announces that it was time to place the next ad in tomorrows paper.
The next day, Clark spots the ad in the paper for a missing safety pin, with another five thousand dollar reward attached. He goes to where it is said the pin got lost, finding a crowd of desperate reward seekers all hunched over searching the ground. He gets suspicious when someone stands up announcing that he's found the pin, even though Clark was positive he saw him pull it out of his pocket. He decides to follow the man to the house of J. Roger. Mr. Roger hands the money over for the returned safety pin. Clark questions what made this bent safety pin so valuable? Roger explains that he had gotten lost in the woods once while hunting, with no matches he instead began striking the safety pins steel against a rock until he was able to create a signal fire. He valued the pin because it saved his life. Once again, the story didn't add up. First of all, Clark noted to himself, the safety pin was made of brass, not steel. Also, if J. Roger had been out hunting, surely he had a gun and some cartridges to signal with? Back outside, Clark decides to continue following the man who "found" the pin, to see where he goes next.
Eventually Clark comes to an old tenement building, watching as the suspicious man slips inside.
Just as Jitters reports to the Prankster that he got the reward money, Superman bursts in through the door ready to take the Prankster and his goons back to prison! The Prankster smiles, slyly telling the man of steel that no law had actually been broken. If someone wanted to pay him for finding a lost item, they were perfectly within their legal right to do so. Superman knew that there was something more devious going on, but even though he searches through the Pranksters hideout, he doesn't find any incriminating evidence. With no other choice, he leaves the Prankster in peace for now. Completely unintentionally, Superman had just given his foe an idea...
Later that day, on her way home from the Daily Planet, Lois finds herself being kidnapped by the Prankster's thugs! Another ad appears in the paper; this one meant for Superman himself. If he wanted Lois back, he'd need to pay fifty thousand dollars! The Pranksters hideout was abandoned save for a letter addressed to the man of steel. It says that if he leaves the money, Lois will be returned within a half hour. If that's all the time it'd take, he figures the Prankster might be holding Lois close by. Superman scours the area, using his X-Ray vision to search buildings and subways. A lead-lined bunker below ground catches his attention, as his vision can't penetrate through it.
Inside the lead room, the Prankster has a laugh as Lois struggles with her bonds. He is surprised when Superman peels open the walls, letting himself in. After untying Lois, a fast roundup of the Pranksters henchmen occurs, as their boss can only laugh at the sudden turn of events. Superman surveys the room, finding documents containing information about hundreds of prominent citizens, and the mistakes and indiscretions they'd want to keep out of the public gossip. The Prankster invented the advertisements for missing items, so that it would seem like he was just collecting a reward, rather than blackmail. Superman flies Lois back to her home, then informs the police of the three upstanding jokesters waiting in a bunker.
Appearing in Vigilante: "The Little Men Who Were There"
- The Dummy
- Slug (Dummy's henchman) (Single appearance)
- Vigilante's Lasso
- The Dummy's Shrinking Device
Synopsis for Vigilante: "The Little Men Who Were There"
The Dummy uses a device to shrink himself and his gang to tiny size and stow away on a cargo train. When the shrinking effect wears off, he robs the train and escapes.
Vigilante is alerted to the Dummy’s involvement. He deciphers a clue left by the crook and is waiting when the Dummy tries to rob a plane carrying a shipment of diamonds. The Dummy escapes, but Vigilante trails him back to his hide-out. Vigilante and Stuff are temporarily affected by the shrinking ray, but they turn the tables on their opponents and turn the Dummy and his gang over to the police.
Appearing in Congo Bill: "Kangaroo Capers"
- Limey Lou (Single appearance)
- Muggles (a farmer) (Single appearance)
- Nellie (Muggles' pet kangaroo) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Congo Bill: "Kangaroo Capers"
Congo Bill is in Australia, visiting his friend Muggles. Muggles had just sold a flock of his sheep for a profitable fifty thousand dollars, and he and Bill ride back to the ranch on horseback. After greeting Nellie, Muggles pet kangaroo, the duo are met by a gang of bandits, led by Limey Lou Lou demands that Bill and Muggles hand over all their swag. Instead, Bill attacks them head on, and Muggles joins in the fray. The noise they produce alarm a nearby sheep herd, causing a stampede coming towards the struggling figures! Lou and his boys run for it, taking Muggles fifty grand with them. Bill stops the stampede by halting the lead sheep, grabbing it around the torso and forcing it to stop.
Muggles laments his lost cash. Just as Bill suggested they go and track the gang down, the two spot them coming back, chasing Nellie! As they move closer to help, Bill realizes that Nellie could hold her own as he watches her kick and knock over several of the bandits. Bill tackles one of the gang who had a gun pointed at Nellie's back. Limey Lou and the others turn their focus to Bill. Muggles picks up a gun dropped by a downed bandit, and holds Lou at his mercy, asking where he hid his money. Lou tells him that he doesn't have it, which Bill says is the truth.
The groups attention is directed to Nellie. A young joey pokes his head out of Nellie's pouch, holding Muggles wallet in its paws. The gang must have dropped it, and then it got picked up by the joey. Bill said he suspected Nellie was carrying some extra weight when he saw how slow she had been moving. Otherwise Lou's gang never would have been able to catch up to her.
Appearing in Americommando: "Traitor's Bait"
- Colonel Kung (Single appearance)
- Captain Ping (Only appearance; dies)
- General Mao (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Americommando: "Traitor's Bait"
In a town on the Chinese and Indian border, Tex Thompson prepares for bed in his hotel room when a loud scuffle is heard next door. When he investigates, he finds the Captain Ping of the Chinese army being assaulted! Tex, as Americommando, fights off the attackers, but Captain Ping is gravely wounded. After he manages to whisper something about traitors, Ping dies in Tex's arms. Just then, Colonel Kung bursts into the room with a small unit of men, and he places Americommando under arrest on suspicion of murder. He is led out onto the street, but then Tex knocks out his guards and flees! He had to find the real killers and decipher Ping's final words to clear his name.
Americommando first heads to see General Mao, the intelligence officer. But Colonel Kung was already there, so Tex eavesdrops from outside the window. Kung complains that the munitions supply his division was set to receive never arrived. Mao replies that it was Ping who had assured him of their safe delivery before he died. Kung insists that he was telling the truth. If he had received the munitions, then Ping should have the receipts from him. As Mao could not find any trace of the receipts on Ping's body, then Ping never delivered them, making him a traitor. Kung concluded that Americommando must be mixed up in the affair too, probably having killed Ping to protect himself! Back outside, Tex silently shadows Kung. The Colonel tells his men that Americommando must have the receipts and they must capture him immediately. Then Kung does believe the receipts exist, in spite of what he said to General Mao...
Some time later, Americommando returns to the hotel. He pauses at the entrance, where Colonel Kung and his men are staking out the place. Tex then continues inside, heading upstairs to Captain Ling's room. If Ling knew he was about to be attacked, he would have moved quickly to hide the receipts. A pool of blood left on the carpet where Ping had died. Tex pulls the carpet up and finds the receipts shoved underneath. Just then, a knife barely misses his head, embedding itself in the wall behind him! Two Chinese men enter the room with guns drawn. They demand Americommando hand over the receipts! Instead, Tex flings them in one man's face, then uses the moment of confusion to knock out the second. As he stoops down though to gather the dropped receipts, Colonel Kung appears and aims his gun at Tex's head. Tex gets him to admit that he did in fact receive the munition supply, and then sold it to the Japanese. A traitorous act for money. Kung was about to shoot Tex, when another shot rings out and Kung slumps to the floor in pain. General Mao had arrived just in time! He heard the entire conversation and had his own men arrest the Colonel. Americommando and the late Captain Ping were cleared of all charges, and Kung is led away, to face the justice of the firing squad!
Appearing in Zatara: "East Meets West"
- Hindu Magicians (Khana named) (Single appearance)
- Anna (A magician's assistant) (Single appearance)
- Mr. Highhman (Single appearance)
- Steamer ship
Synopsis for Zatara: "East Meets West"
A visiting group of Hindu magicians from the east perform black magic to commit crimes. Zatara chases them aboard a ship headed back to their homeland. With his magic, Zatara overcomes their spells and incantations until he's able to capture them and hand them over to the authorities.
- "The Lost-and-Found Mystery" is reprinted in Superman: The Action Comics Archives Vol. 5.
- In "The Lost-and-Found Mystery", Lois Lane is kidnapped for the 28th time.
- "The Little Men Who Were There" is reprinted in Wanted #3, (1972).
- This issue also featured:
- Vitamin Vic: "The Rain Maker" by Jack Farr
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Action Comics Vol 1 69 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Action Comics series
Links and References
- Superman at Wikipedia.org
- Superman at DC Comics
- Superman Wiki
- Superman Homepage
- Superman at TV Tropes
- Action Comics #69 Superman: "The Lost-and-Found Mystery" story online