Thursday, August 2, 2012

July 1940: Action Comics 28

Cover by Paul Cassidy

'Superman' (all stories by Jerry Siegel and Jack Burnley): A bandit of incredible strength is committing robberies all over Metropolis, and everyone suspects the circus strongman Herculo. Clark Kent goes to the circus to investigate, and even ends up fighting Herculo in an exhibition match. But because everyone suspects Herculo, he can't possibly be the culprit, and the real thief is revealed to be the circus clown, disgruntled because Herculo replaced him as strongman. The prospect of Superman finally meeting a foe as strong as himself was an exciting one, so I was disappointed that that didn't happen. Even so, the scenes of him humiliating Herculo were enjoyable enough, and the remainder of the story was adequate.

'Three Aces' (by Gardner Fox and Chad Grothkopf): The Three Aces investigate the mystery of Easter Island, and discover that the Easter Island statues are actually an ancient race of giants who were turned to stone by germs from a comet. This is a great, imaginative starting point for a story, but it goes nowhere. The Aces show up, discover the secret, and leave, with nary a shred of drama to be had.

In other stories:

'Pep Morgan' (by Fred Guardineer)
has his right hand burned by some gamblers, and has to compete in the shot put with his left hand. 'The Black Pirate' (by Sheldon Moldoff) is cornered by the King's men, and fights his way to freedom in a great-looking story. 'Tex Thomson' (by Bernard Baily) once again tackles the one-eyed Gorrah, who is running a blackmail racket. 'Clip Carson' (by Sheldon Moldoff) takes on a gang of jewel thieves in Hollywood. And 'Zatara' (by Gardner Fox and Fred Guardineer) is slumming it by dealing with common crooks known as the Gringo Gang.

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