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Adventure Comics Vol 1 40

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"The Sandman!: "The Tarantula Strikes"": A mysterious criminal wearing a black hood known as the Tarantula breaks into the lavish estate of actress Vivian Dale and kidnaps her. Wesley Dodds learns of the abduction and dons the costume of the Sandman. He locates t


Quote1 That violet odor? This sprinkled sand? The Sandman's been here! Quote2
-- the Tarantula



Appearing in The Sandman!: "The Tarantula Strikes"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

  • Tom (Single appearance)
  • Vivian Dale (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for The Sandman!: "The Tarantula Strikes"

A mysterious criminal wearing a black hood known as the Tarantula breaks into the lavish estate of actress Vivian Dale and kidnaps her. Wesley Dodds learns of the abduction and dons the costume of the Sandman. He locates the villain's whereabouts, in a hidden room in Miss Dale's own mansion, and apprehends the Tarantula, while also freeing Vivian. He unmasks the kidnapper to reveal a man named Crossart.

Appearing in Barry O'Neill: "The Suicide of Major Duval (Part III)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Count Guniff (Final appearance; Dies)
  • Guniff's band (Final appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Major Fonteau
  • Jean Le Grand

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Barry O'Neill: "The Suicide of Major Duval (Part III)"

Barry and Inspector LeGrand were tied to a post and splashed with a liquid from a pail, which Count Guniff, international spy, said was gasoline. He then lit a match and touched it to their clothes with the intent of burning them alive, but the flame wouldn't catch. It appeared that the pail had mistakenly been filled with ordinary water, leading to a lucky break for Barry.

Outside, the army's flyers have tracked down the count's secret hideout within a cave and now stand before the entrance. On their captain's orders, the men charge into the gaping maw, firing tear gas grenades to incapacitate the spies and make them easier to bring down. Count Guniff is alerted by the sound of gunfire and decides to finish Barry and LeGrand off now, with his sidearm. But he is shot in the back right before pulling the trigger by a flyer that had just burst into the room. Once the hideout is secured, Barry, LeGrand, and the team of pilots grab the plans the count stole and escape to their planes. The cave is then destroyed through bombings as the team fly back to army headquarters...

Appearing in Federal Men: "The Tarryville Counterfeiters"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Counterfeiters
    • Jake (Single appearance)
    • Mike (Single appearance)
    • Nick (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Motorcycle Police

Locations:

  • Tarryville

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Federal Men: "The Tarryville Counterfeiters"

Steve Carson is sent to the small town of Tarryville when the F.B.I. receives evidence that a gang of clever counterfeiters were operating in the area. He begins his search by asking around at small shops and convenience stores if any phoney money had been passed around. At one small food-mart, he notices a suspicious type leaving right after he asked the shopkeeper about the money. Feeling the guy might know something, Steve trails him in his car until they arrive at a farmhouse on the outskirts of town. Parking a little way down the road, he creeps up to one of the house's windows and peers inside. Three men were arguing about which one of them let the feds get word of their operation, ending with one of the men being shot after he confesses. A noise from Steve sends them outside to investigate. Using surprise tactics, he is able to knock out two of the men, but an unseen third hits him in the head with a block of wood.

Steve wakes up in the backseat of a car being driven by the men he had just fought. The counterfeiters were going to drive him to a remote area where there won't be anyone around to witness his death. A pair of unsuspecting motorcycle cops rode up behind their car, giving Steve only one chance. He was careful not to alert his captors attention as he slowly grabbed some of the counterfeit money out of the bag and tossed it out the window. The criminals became anxious as all of a sudden, the police switched on their sirens and began to chase them. The car's tires are shot out, making the driver swerve into a tree. After a long explanation, the police offer their thanks to Steve for helping them catch the ones responsible for the town's counterfeiting ring. He replies by telling them one of his favorite mottos, that crime just doesn't pay!

Appearing in Jack Woods: "Wolf Rucker's Trap (Part II)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Old Man

Villains:

  • Wolf Rucker (Dies)
  • Verne Starett (Dies)
  • Marty Snell (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Sheriff

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Mustang (a horse)

Synopsis for Jack Woods: "Wolf Rucker's Trap (Part II)"

Uncovering Wolf Rucker's plot to kill him for murdering Scar Tortilla, Jack Woods escapes out the ranch house window and makes a break for his steed. Wolf and Snell call out the others and a firefight ensues as they attempt to keep him from getting away. One of the bullets Jack fires back hits Snell in the chest, felling him.

With nowhere else to go, Jack spurs his mustang in the direction of the old man's cabin he had been to earlier. Once again, he enters the residence of the old man and his wife, explaining to the frightened couple how he had just escaped from Wolf Rucker's ranch. But they don't buy his story because Wolf was the one who rented out the house to them, and he died some time ago. The man brought out the box, the very same Scar had been after, and said he sent it to them before his death. Inside was the deed to the home, along with a wanted poster with the phoney Wolf Rucker's face on it, identifying his real name as 'Verne Starett'. Jack put the pieces together... Ranch owner Wolf sent the poster to warn the old couple that the criminal was in the area after Starett tried to rob him. He then likely came back later so he could kill Rucker and steal his name and business, basically start a new life.

The door was flung open, and standing there menacingly was the phoney Wolf Rucker, holding a gun. When he advanced, Jack fired his pistol, causing Starett to slump over the table, letting his blood drip over his mugshot. The sheriff appears soon after, at first accusing Jack Woods of murdering one of their ranchmen, but then the old man shows him the Wanted Poster. Realizing Verne Starett had been playing the entire town for saps, the sheriff changes his tune and thanks Jack for his help. The couple offer to let him stay a few days, but Jack just shakes his head and gets back on his mount to seek further adventure...

Appearing in Captain Desmo: "Captured By Col. Benback (Part II)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Gabby Maguire

Villains:

  • Colonel Benback (Final appearance)
  • Butts (Final appearance)
  • Crusher (Final appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Colonel McAllister

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Plane

Synopsis for Captain Desmo: "Captured By Col. Benback (Part II)"

Gabby had been kidnapped by some slavers, and Captain Desmo took to the skies to search for his missing friend. Looking down from his plane, Desmo spots a mine that doesn't appear on any of his maps. He gets a bad feeling, especially once they start shooting at him for no apparent reason. One of the bullets makes a hole in the gas tank and he is forced to make an emergency landing not too far from the mining area.

Meanwhile, down in the mine, Gabby is repeatedly whipped by the slaver for working too slow. At this point he's had enough and deliberately slows down to the point where the lasher walks closer to find out what was wrong. Gabby quickly whirls around and lands a knockout punch across the man's jaw. He got the attention of the other slaves and bid for their help in overthrowing the cruel Col. Benback for taking their freedom. His words stir the fire in the others and they all start to storm outside. Captain Desmo makes it back to the mining area and spots his friend Gabby among the revolting workers. He lends a hand by shooting a slaver, who was going for the machine gun, while the other crooks all fall to the former slaves' vengeance. Seeing the futility of any further resistance, Benback grabs a bag full of gold and attempts to sneak away. But the revolters quickly catch up to the Colonel and show him how it feels to be lashed 24 hours a day. At this moment, a patrol of British planes arrive led by Colonel McAllister, ready to arrest the thugs that Desmo had called him about. He tells them that Col. Benback was a deserter whom they had been searching for, for a long time. The slaves were each accounted for and taken back to their homes, while the outlaw mine operators were taken into custody. Captain Desmo and Gabby Maguire, in the meantime, had an appointment to keep at the local tavern...

Appearing in Don Coyote: "A Playboy In King Arthur's Court (Part III)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Unnamed Man from the Future

Villains:

  • None

Other Characters:

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • Several 1940's Inventions

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Don Coyote: "A Playboy In King Arthur's Court (Part III)"

Almost two years have passed since Don Coyote's 20th century pal has dethroned the ruler of the British isles and set himself up as king! During these two years, he had two thousand of his subjects build up an ultra-modern laboratory in which he is re-inventing many gadgets from his own time in the 1940's for profit.

Appearing in Bulldog Martin: "Slow Motion's Double"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Ringer (Single appearance)
  • Palfry (Single appearance)
  • Hefty (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Lillian Fenton (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • Naratoga Track (fictional horse-race track)

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Bulldog Martin: "Slow Motion's Double"

Bulldog Martin arrives at the Naratoga Horse Racing Track in search of Miss Lillian Fenton, whom had asked him to come and see her horse work out this morning. As he passes one of the nearby stables Bulldog hears voices emitting from within. Curious, he goes in to see what was going on, and spies two men spray-painting a star-like shape on a horse's head, seemingly to make him look like one of the racehorses. They were going to fix the race! Unfortunately for Bulldog, the men spot him eavesdropping and overwhelm him with two against one. Knocked unconscious, he is bound and carried to the thugs car and driven to a deserted farmhouse that doubled as their hideout. A profoundly rotund, menacingly tall man, appropriately nicknamed "Hefty", met them as they forced Bulldog into an empty bedroom upstairs and locked the door. Hefty is put in charge of guarding him while the other two thugs go back to watch the race, and to make sure that the fastest horse, Poison, didn't get a lead. Bulldog overhears everything, and recognizes Poison as the name of Lillian's horse. He wastes no time in looking for a means of escape. Feeling something poke him, he realizes that the hoodlums forgot to search his pockets, as he still had his nail file. With some doing, Bulldog is able to cut through his ropes before his watchman, Hefty, bursts through the door. The two men fight, ending with the giant brute getting pushed down the stairs, out cold.

At the race, the horses round a curve where one of the sinister men watches with a suspicious looking camera. As Poison begins to overtake the lead horse that the thugs fixed, the man raises the camera, seemingly to take a harmless photograph. But before the shutter can snap, Bulldog Martin tackles the man to the ground. Race authorities rush over to pull them apart, and begin to escort Martin off the grounds, but he tells them to examine the camera before they make any decisions. When he breaks it apart, the authorities are shocked to see a tiny syringe on a spring, filled with a lethal poison and set to shoot through the lens area when the shutter is activated. Their plot foiled, the men are arrested.

Appearing in Socko Strong: "The Flying Dutchman (Part I)"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jerry Indutch (First appearance)

Villains:

  • The Champ (Single appearance)
  • Weapon Smugglers (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Tribal Chief (First appearance)

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Socko Strong: "The Flying Dutchman (Part I)"

Jerry Indutch, photographer for the local paper, is slugged to the ground by the boxing champ after trying to take his picture. Socko Strong steps in and chastises the man for assaulting an innocent fan. The champ turns on him and throws a few punches his way in a rage, but Socko dodges the attack and counters with a strike of his own that lands the boxer on the floor in a daze. He helps his friend Jerry up, and the two start to leave the gym. But two of the champ's cronies make sure they don't get far, striking Jerry and Socko on the head with leaden pipes. Their unconscious forms are loaded into a car and driven to the docks, where the men tell the captain of a shady-looking crew that they found them some new workers.

When Socko and Jerry come to, they find themselves in a boiler room with a sinister man standing over them. They are ordered to start loading coal into the furnace or receive a gun lashing. Up above on a catwalk are two crewmen discussing a cache of weapons they were keeping in the cargo hold. Overhearing this, Socko figures out that they've been put to work aboard a ship that's smuggling weapons. After an hour, Jerry collapses from the heat. The guard yells and prods him with the butt of his gun threateningly, angering Socko to the point where he's had enough. He knocks out the guard and helps his ill friend to his feet, taking him up to the outside deck for some fresh air. Another crewman spots them and attacks, being knocked by Socko into the sea valve which breaks off, causing water to start flooding the ship. The entire crew is sent into a panic. The captain announces for everyone to start manning the lifeboats. But when the two pals try to join the others, the first mate forces them back with his gun, making them stay on board for causing the trouble!

With sinking hearts, Socko Strong and Jerry Indutch watch the lifeboats disappear in the distance. Suddenly there is a terrific explosion as the water reaches the ship's boilers. Socko and Jerry are hurled clear of the sinking vessel. They are able to climb onto a large piece of driftwood, where they float for many hours, straight through nightfall. Next morning they find that they have drifted onto an island, where the sound of drums draws them in. Deeper in the jungle brush is a tiny native village. The villagers start attacking Socko and Jerry on sight, scaring the meek photographer into believing they were cannibals. But as Socko fights off each of the warriors with his fine boxing skill, the impressed chief orders a halt so he can better examine the intruder who enters his village unannounced. He was a man who admired strength in others, and so he offers Socko the position of being his personal bodyguard. Wanting to avoid any further aggression from the tribe, Socko accepts for the time being, until they are able to find a way back to the USA...

Appearing in Skip Schuyler: "The Kidnapping of Donna Carnochan"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Anthony Carnochan (Single appearance)

Villains:

  • Kola Hoa (Single appearance)
  • Unnamed Kidnapper (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Major Barton (Single appearance)
  • Donna Carnochan (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Skip Schuyler: "The Kidnapping of Donna Carnochan"

The huge transport plane bearing Skip Schuyler droned over the ocean towards Hawaii, where it lands by the army base on Honolulu. Skip headed straight to Major Barton's office where he gets introduced to the inventor, Professor Anthony Carnochan, owner of a pineapple plantation, who claims to have made an astounding discovery. Later, while driving Mr. Carnochan to his plantation, Skip asks him just what it was that he discovered. Carnochan explains that he has invented a new type of explosive, with a single tiny capsule having the destructive power of a sixteen inch artillery shell! It would spell doomsday if it fell into the hands of an digressive nation, which is why, he assures Skip, he's been conducting his experiments in utmost secrecy.

The professor's house at the plantation was a rambling white affair. They swung up the drive and parked by the front steps where they got out and entered through the double-doors to a large entrance hall. Carnochan calls his daughter, Donna, to meet Skip Schuyler, but there was no response. Upstairs, he found the door to his lab had been broken into, and when they looked inside, the two of them saw drawers pulled out, test tubes broken, and papers strewn everywhere. Someone had ransacked the place trying to find the formula. Carnochan quickly rushed to the desk lamp and unscrewed a plate on the inner side if the shade, revealing a piece of paper hidden underneath. He let out a sigh of relief. On the hidden sheet was the formula that the ransacker was probably looking for. Skip points out a note on the room's lampshade, left by the would-be thief. The message read that whoever was searching for the formula has kidnapped Carnochan's daughter, and expects him to bring the formula to them if he ever wished to see her again. In a panic, the professor raced down the stairs calling his daughter's name.He trips over something by the front door and finds a piece of angora wool from Donna's favorite sweater. He called Skip over, who had been examining a similar piece in the upstairs hallway. They conclude that whoever had grabbed Donna failed to notice that she was leaving a trail behind for her father to follow. The two rushed out into the jungle, spotting another bit of the material, and then farther off was another.

Skip and Carnochan followed the small tufts of wool across the plantation grounds towards the mountain rearing itself beyond. The trail led up a rocky path noticing that each bit of wool was found at intervals of about twenty yards. As they rounded a bend in the path, Skip quickly pulled the professor into the brush, narrowly avoiding being sighted by a large Hawaiian native, that Carnochan recognized as his plantation's foreman, standing on guard outside a cave. Skip carefully navigated his way around the man onto the top of the cave entrance where he leapt onto the Hawaiian's back, bringing the man crashing to the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of him. Two hard blows later, and the Hawaiian is down for the count. However, there was another man in the cave who comes out to investigate after hearing the sounds of a struggle! He came running out the entrance, gun in hand, while Skip's back was to him. The man took aim, but was felled by a shot through the heart before he could release the hammer. Carnochan reholstered his sidearm and rushed to Skip's side as he stepped into the cave. Donna was tied up with her mouth gagged in the back of the cavern. The men rescued her and took her back home where the authorities were contacted. Skip takes time out to congratulate Donna for her brilliant idea of leaving a trail with bits of her sweater, for without it they never would have found her...

Appearing in Rusty and His Pals: "The Pirate Ship (Part XV of XV)"

Featured Characters:

  • Rusty
  • Specs
  • Tubby
  • Steve Carter

Supporting Characters:

  • Duchess

Villains:

  • Ichabod Slade (Final appearance; Dies)
  • Long Sin (Apparent Death)
  • The Captain (Apparent Death)
  • Hunch (Apparent Death)

Other Characters:

  • Alfred P. Forrest

Locations:

  • Unknown

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • Seaplane

Synopsis for Rusty and His Pals: "The Pirate Ship (Part XV of XV)"

Steve and Rusty hold off Sin Fu's and Ichabod Slade's men from their cover point at the top of a hill. But it seemed that their luck was about to run out as Slade managed to get behind the duo and aimed his gun at their backs. Steve was kept centered in the gun's sight as the trigger was squeezed. At that exact moment, an earthquake erupted from the island, throwing Ichabod's aim off by scant inches. All parties were temporarily confused when the shaking wouldn't let up, the entire island rumbled and started forming cracks. Alfred Forrest shouted for Steve and Rusty to get a move on, as the island was starting to sink back beneath the waves where it had first risen. As the three of them rushed to where the others were waiting, Steve realized that the only boat on the island had been destroyed when they crashed it into a rock. But the Duchess reminds them that she still had her seaplane parked by the nearby beach, and she could fly them all out of danger. Rusty and the boys are in agreement, so Steve and Alfred decide to go along with her, after all she had already betrayed Slade by rescuing them.

Not far, Sin Fu gets the same idea as the Duchess and leads his companions in a race to the plane, all the while the island cracked and crumbled around them. Steve's party reaches the beach first, with Ichabod Slade stepping up in front of them seconds after with a gun. His attention is on Steve, feeling wrathful towards the man that ruined his smuggling operation, not paying any attention to Forrest, who grabbed the machine gun from Rusty and fired a round into Slade's chest. The Duchess, meanwhile, helped Specs and Tubby into the plane before she herself got into the pilot's seat. Steve, Rusty, and Forrest followed behind, just as Sin Fu and his gang appeared through the foliage. They opened fire, as the Duchess struggled to get the engine to start. With one great sputter, the propeller spun to life as the plane began to roar forwards, gaining altitude as the wind gathered beneath it's wings. With one final cry, Sin Fu's men called out for help as the island disappeared under the waters of the ocean.

With their plane flying across the sea, one can only wonder what new adventures await Rusty and friends...

Appearing in Anchors Aweigh: "Taurus the Bull"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Red Murphy

Villains:

  • Taurus the Bull (Only appearance; dies)
  • Perkins (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Shipping Company's President

Locations:

  • Kolui Island

Items:

  • None

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for Anchors Aweigh: "Taurus the Bull"

Kolui, an island paradise in the Pacific, was the headquarters of the Inter-Island Shipping Company that has appealed to the United States Navy due to reports of piracy involving their boats, which keep vanishing. Don Kerry and Red Murphy are assigned to investigate the disappearances, learning through the other shipping employees about a seaplane that's been seen flying over the island lately. It was their only lead, so for the next two days the pair start searching the island's inlets for signs of a seaplane. Red noticed a trail of oil starting to form in the river they followed. It became thicker and easier to see as they journeyed further downstream until the two navy officers arrived in a clearing in the jungle, where they were met face to face with the infamous criminal known as "Taurus the bull". The natives in the area had warned him of their approach and so he and his men set up an ambush to trap them. Don and Red are tied up by Perkins, a glasses-wearing thug. A seaplane flies over the sailors' heads, likely the same one they were searching for. Perkins explains that Taurus would use the plane to bomb the decks of ships before lowering himself down to steal all the valuables aboard. Then, leaving dynamite on the lower decks, he retreats back aboard the plane as the fiery explosion sinks the ship, hence why the shipping company never found them. Taurus believes Perkins talks too much for his own good so he ties him up as well. Don, Red, and Perkins are then left on a tiny island only 15 feet in diameter, which will be swallowed up by the tide, leaving them as food for the school of sharks swimming around.

As the water rises, Don gets an idea. Grabbing Perkins's glasses with his mouth, he adjusts them so that the sunlight hits the lens at just the right angle, creating a beam that burns through their ropes. They have to risk swimming to shore with nowhere else to go, luckily for Don and Red the sharks swarm over Perkins, completely ignoring them. Now it was time to stop Taurus the Bull from robbing any more ships. The criminal is seen on a high ledge overlooking the sea. Shots are fired from both sides, but none hit the mark. In an attempt to escape from the navy gentlemen, Taurus dives into the water and begins swimming away. Suddenly, a tentacle wraps itself around his waist, and then another grabs his leg, and before Don Kerry and Red Murphy's eyes, Taurus' fate is sealed by a hungry octopus that was resting on the sea floor.

Back at the Shipping Company, the President and the Admiral wish to congratulate Don and Red for their fine work with a feast. The president treats the boys to the Kolui Island delicacies... Shark steak and Octopus!

Notes

  • Sandman:
  • The Sandman becomes a regular recurring feature beginning with this issue.
  • Going by publication date, this is the second Earth-Two appearance of the Sandman. He appeared earlier in New York World's Fair Comics #1, April 1939, however this story takes place prior to events chronicled in that story.
  • The New Earth Sandman makes earlier chronological appearances in the first four-issue story-arc from Sandman Mystery Theatre.
  • Either way, at the outset of this story, the mysterious Sandman has a well-established reputation, having already solved scores of cases for the police.
  • First appearance of the Tarantula. He appears next in All-Star Squadron Annual #3. This version of the Tarantula is not to be confused with either Roger Goldman, Jonathan Law or Catalina Flores.
  • Sandman wears an orange business suit in this story, so he has to do some extra-stealthy sneaking.
  • There is one panel describing him changing into an all-black outfit while the art shows him wearing orange, yellow and green.
  • Bulldog Martin appears next in More Fun Comics #47.
  • Aside from the stories above, this issue contains several short strips, including:
    • "Tiny" by Fred Schwab

Trivia



See Also


Recommended Reading


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