Cover by Joe Shuster
'Superman' (by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster): Superman is asked by a wealthy businessman to save the life of his son, a problem gambler who has supposedly murdered a man he owes a large sum of money to. There's a decent redemption arc here, as the gambler goes from pathetic to admirable in the space of a few pages, but Siegel and Shuster do the necessary set-up to make it work.
Superman's Secret Message: LET STRENGTH COURAGE AND JUSTICE BE NOT ONLY A MOTTO BUT A TRUE WAY OF LIVING FOR ALL OF US IN THESE GLORIOUS UNITED STATES.
'Pep Morgan' (by Fred Guardineer): Much to my chagrin, Pep is back playing sports. This time he's trying out for a major league baseball team, and gets mixed up in a former player's revenge scheme on the coach. It's good so far as this genre goes.
'The Black Pirate' (by Sheldon Moldoff): Having been abandoned on an island by Captain Ruff, the Black Pirate relocates Ruff's treasure, and takes over Ruff's ship while the villain is searching for his booty. This is short and punchy, and enjoyable despite it's old-fashioned narrative style.
'Three Aces' (by Gardner Fox and Chad Grothkopf): The Aces are framed for bank robbery by a sheriff who is committing the crimes himself. It's passable.
'Tex Thomson' (by Bernard Baily): Tex and his friends investigate the island of a mad scientist who has invented an invisibility gas. This was solid enough to begin with, but in the end Thomson does nothing to defeat the scientist, leaving it to an inspector who they find in a dungeon. This can work if the one-off character is developed well, but this guy is a total cipher.
'Eleven Minutes' (by Guy Monroe): In this prose story, a pilot saves a train from going over a bridge that has just been blown up by a saboteur. There's nothing awful about it, but it's still fairly dull.
'Clip Carson' (by Sheldon Moldoff): Clip Carson goes to South America and defeats some rebels. Not bad.
'Zatara the Master Magician and the Magician Murder' (by Fred Guardineer): Zatara takes on Chalo, a black magician who has murdered his brother and plans to kill another magician to take his jewels. This is fairly subdued by Zatara's standards.
SUPERMAN SUNDAY STRIP #15-18:
Following up on the story of an archaeologist, Clark and Lois investigate a lost cavern that is home to a civilisation of haemophiliac giants. The giants have been kidnapping people for their blood. Superman fights a few of them, rescues Lois, battles some giant vultures and escapes, leaving the cavern sealed behind him. This is less of a story and more a collection of action set pieces, but entertaining for all that. It's a shame that a story like this only goes for four pages while something with gangsters or racketeers would probably be three or four times as long.
SUPERMAN SUNDAY STRIP #1A:
This is a one page strip, depicting the origin of Superman, that started appearing around March 1940. It was designed to be used as the opening strip for newspapers just picking up the Superman serial. There's nothing here that hasn't already been revealed elsewhere.