Action Comics #27

DC ⋅ 1940

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Key Facts

1st cover appearance of Lois Lane

Issue Details




Gardner Fox


Jerry Siegel


Ken Fitch


Sheldon Moldoff


Chad Grothkopf


Fred Guardineer


Fred Schwab


Paul Cassidy

Cover Artist

Paul Cassidy


Dennis Neville


June 1940


THE BRENTWOOD REHABILITAION HOME  Clark arrives for a date with Lois, who is making a donation to the Brentwood Rehabilitation Home. Clark tells her that the place is more interested in money than their young charges. Lois decides they should visit the home so that she can disprove Clark. After a pleasant visit, Lois and Clark are stopped by a charge, Davey Merrill, who cut his hands climbing the wall just to ask for something to eat. Once they feed him, he tells them all about the horrible conditions at the home. THE TRACK MEET FIX At the end of Indoor Track Season, at Madden Circle Garden, Pep Morgan of Ardale College is the favored racer to win the annual quarter-mile run. In the locker room, he overhears some shady gamblers talking with one of the runners. They plan to place a bet against Pep, and to rig the race so that their guy wins. Before Pep can round the lockers to find out who is speaking, they are gone!   Pep takes his place on the track as the race starts. A rival runner, Cole, from State College, manages to beat Pep, after tackling every turn without "going wide," a feat that shouldn't be possible. After the race, Pep finds pock marks on Cole's side of the track, evidence that he was wearing illegal spikes. He talks to the coach about it, but when they ask Cole to see his shoes, they find nothing out of the ordinary. It is forgotten for now, with Pep promising to train even harder for the next race.   Six months later, during Outdoor Track Season, on the night before the big race, Pep is visited by one of the gamblers. He offers Pep one thousand dollars to throw the race. Pep responds with a one-punch knockout. The next day, Cole from State is nowhere in sight. It's discovered that he was hurt in an accident, which made Pep the shoe-in to win. All the odds being in his favor explained why the gamblers were so desperate for him to lose. Apparently after last night, they had reported him to the police station for assault. Sheriff Blake arrives on the field with a warrant for Pep's arrest, but after hearing his side of the story, the sheriff teams up with Pep, and has a conveniently-timed fainting spell, just before he can serve Pep the warrant. Oh well, looks like Pep can still enter the race. The gamblers are furious when they see Pep running ahead of the others. But they don't get to see him win, because the sheriff arrests them for illegally gambling on a college sport. After setting a new record for the state, Pep visits Cole in the hospital. The gamblers had threatened to kill his sister if he didn't comply, or he never would have cheated. But now that they are gone, he wants to run a good clean race when they meet again, next year. FIGHT TO THE FINISH Hearing Jeanne scream, Jon Valor rushes to protect her from a bearded giant, Captain Ruff's brother. Once safe, they head for Savannah and passage on Captain Tavish's ship. They retrieve Ruff's treasure and head to Bristol and buys the Sea-Queen. The dealer visits a friend, Captain Andago, who tells him that the money he received was the lost jewels of Queen Maria, and the man who bought the ship is a pirate with a price on his head. THE BLUE RAIDER In Arizona, passenger and mail airplanes flying over the Rockies are being forced down and robbed, by an unidentified pilot in a blue plane. Army pilots have been unable to find his hideout. The Three Aces find out about it and investigate. Over a particular part of the Rocky Mountains, all three of them get caught in an enormous "air pocket," several miles high, a natural vacuum, that sends their planes plummeting earthward. They almost crash but recover in time, and try again, and again, with the same result. On their fifth attempt, the Aces fly over the gigantic atmospheric void, at an altitude where their wings freeze over. This too forces them down but they finally hit some good air and recover control of their descents.   They spot the Blue Raider's hangar and cabin, and he spots them. His biplane is a fighter model, and he overtakes the Aces right away, then shoots down each of them. But they're only faking, and they've already located his airfield hideout, in fact two of them get there ahead of him, and ambush him in his own cabin. The boys receive a substantial reward from the Federal Airline Union, and they gladly accept it. THE RETURN OF THE GORRAH!! Bomber Brennen is killed in a boxing match with Tiger Dixon that Tex, Bob, the D.A., and the D.A.'s daughter, Janice, were attending. Bob discovers a sponge loaded with nepthogas in the locker rooms. Dixon's manager, Reb Norton, notes that Joey Gonomi had tried to make him throw the fight, but after the lights go out and some shots are fired, Reb disappears. Tex receives a package from a florist, and he and Bob investigate, aided by Miss X. HOLLYWOOD ADVISOR Clip Carson flies to Hollywood to serve as advisor for an adventure film, and on the flight he meets his old pal Buzz Bailey, from whom he learns about a shady producer, to watch out for, named Snyder. This jerk liked to send his cameramen out to secretly film other movies, in production, so he could distribute them himself without spending a dime.   A few hours after Clip arrives in Hollywood, the director of the film, Mr. Dennis, introduces Clip to Archie and Jean Norton, married Hollywood actors, and the stars of his picture. The Nortons argue with each other during the whole drive down to the location of the shoot, with Clip having to suffer listening to them the whole way.   After ending a big noisy battle scene, some of the extras notice Archie Norton lying very still on the ground. Thinking he has fainted, Clip checks on Mr. Norton, discovering that he is dead, and from a gunshot wound! But what who how? At first he suspects the victim's wife, Jean, who showed little grief for the loss of her husband. But when confronted, she denies any wrongdoing, claiming she'd never risk her life or career on murder. Clip's friend Buzz catches him on the way out of the trailer, and the two of them seek out Mr. Dennis, to report that they have hit a dead end. Clip notices Dennis fidgets with something that he wears around his neck. But when he reaches out to get a closer look at it, Dennis recoils, hastily explaining it's just an instrument for showing the scene the way it appears to the cameras.   Later that night, Clip heads back to the site for another look at the body. Someone else is already there when he arrives, and as Clip calls out, a second intruder hits him from behind, knocking him out! When consciousness is restored, Clip meets Buzz and is told Snyder's men were seen filming in the area, stealing scenes. That information suddenly gives Clip clarity on the situation. He knows what to do! With Buzz phoning the police, Clip Carson seeks out Director Dennis. He tells the director that he's under arrest, since a secretly filming camera of Snyder's caught him murdering Archie Norton. Desperate, Dennis pulls out a gun and fires, but Clip's draw is quicker! The truth was they didn't have footage of the murder, but Dennis's reaction proved he did it. He was in love with Jean Norton, and would do anything, even murder, to have her. THE VANISHED EXPLORER Spending the day at the Adventurer's Club, Zatara is told about the French explorer Raoul D'Armand, who has disappeared somewhere in the African wilds. D'Armand was searching for the "missing link," the lost species that connects humanity's evolution from the ape. Always up for a good adventure, and genuinely wanting to help, Zatara announces his intent to find D'Armand and bring him safely home.   Zatara and Tong reach the dock, and an assassin tries to kill them before they can board the ship. Zatara quickly turns the gun into a balloon, then questions his would-be murderer. The man exclaims he was paid by someone at the Adventurer's Club who overheard Zatara's plan to rescue Raoul, and wanted it to fail.   In Cairo, Zatara hires a caravan for the trip through the desert, but unknown to him, he is being followed by two enemies, Frank and his partner, Shrimp. Frank wants Raoul D'Armand dead, and had sent the failed gunman after them back at the docks. Now he was here to finish the job himself. If he pulled this off, Frank could become known as the top researcher in the field, and Zatara was looking pretty likely to actually find the missing explorer, so Frank would let him do that, then kill them both.   That night, the expedition's Arab guides steal all their supplies, food, and guns, and try to escape into the desert. A spell causes the supplies to jump out of the thieves' hands and berate them, before flying off back to Zatara and Tong, who then continue on their way without further help, except for that of Zatara's magic. Frank has also brought along his own hired band of Arab mercenaries, and they quietly continue to follow, although they have a harder time getting through the brush.   Eventually, the magician and his assistant come to a high plateau towering above them. A simple spell carries the two to the top, where they are surprised to find that this plateau is really more of a big mesa, which has a vast grassy field as far as the eye can see. Zatara turns himself and Tong as light as feathers, and from the air they get a better view. Soon they come across an ancient walled-in city. Amazingly, several ape-men can be seen wandering within its walls! Can this be a lost city of the "missing links" that Raoul D'Armand had been seeking? Perhaps the missing explorer was already inside? Zatara and Tong sneak into the central chambers of the city, where they meet Kara, a young woman claiming to be the leader of the "link-men." She is troubled that she is expected to sacrifice a man who came to their city, like Zatara. Zatara asks Kara to take them to the man of whom she speaks, and in the dungeon, they finally meet Raoul D'Armand. He was taken captive by the ape-men months ago, and has spent much of his time since then teaching Kara English. She had tried to help him escape, but her people would always stop her. Still, now that Zatara's here they may have a chance, and sure enough, the magician has already put together a plan.   Outside the walls, Frank and the Arabs have armed themselves, and now wait for Zatara to reappear. If he brings out Raoul, this is his chance to kill them both, but either way it's almost showtime.   Inside, Kara announces to her ape-men that the sacrifice will proceed at noon, if the sun god wills it so. Zatara bides his time atop one of the outer walls. He doesn't notice the gunman from Frank's group below take aim, the bullet hitting him in the shoulder! Tong helps his master get below, just in time for the sacrifice ritual. With one word of magic, Zatara darkens the sunlit room. For a moment, the link-men believe their god is displeased with the chosen sacrifice. Zatara, Tong, and Kara use that time to untie Raoul and escape down the corridor. The link-men soon catch on and give chase! Once the group reaches the exit, they notice the armed Arabs waiting for them. Trapped between angry ape-men and a hail of gunfire, Zatara speaks fast! First a spell to make the Arabs run backwards, then another to turn the apes into stone statues.   Minutes later, Frank and Shrimp are gunned down by their own Arab mercenaries. Two weeks later, Zatara's shoulder has recovered, and he and Tong bid the newly wedded Raoul and Kara farewell, then head back to New York city and another adventure!

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