The second story in issue 5 gets off to a rip-roaring start when unpopular politician Alex Evell (his name makes me trust him) forces Zachary Collum (giving his name because Siegel did, maybe it'll be important!) to sell his paper the Morning Pictorial, under threat of his wife and son coming to harm. Clark and Lois find this news unbelievable for an entire panel before we cut to a city council meeting where Representative Barnes is angrilly requesting a probe of Evell's actitivites. "As a result, honest up-right Barnes is denounced in the Morning Pictorial as a rapscallion." and never heard from again, in this story at least.
Clark interviews the chief of police who confirms his suspicions of the article consisting entirely of lies, which then leads Clark to write an article of his own revealing the truth. This in turn leads to Evell confronting Daily Planet publisher Burt Mason (who?). Evell says that despite his outrage at the situation he will "consent" to buying the Planet, a piece of information that leads Mason (who?) to kick him out of his office. Evell declares war.
Some of the thugs attempt to escape in a stolen Daily Planet truck, an egress which is quickly cut short when Superman places the truck on top of an industrial smokestack. I guess the Planet didn't need that truck anyway.
Things go typically insane as a Pictorial thug attempts to run over a newsboy along with his stand, and another runs a Planet truck off a cliff. These thugs are in no way anonymous mind you, they're all driving Pictorial trucks, their affiliation is clear. Even if they manage to stop the Planet from being circulated for a day, they'll still have murdered in the name of Evell and his paper. Did anyone think this plan through? I'm not just talking about Evell either, I'm wondering if Jerry Siegel read this before sending it to print.
Naturally, Superman saves the aforementioned potential victims before any harm can come to them. One guy does get thrown through a reinforced plate glass window and is never seen again, but Superman can't be expected to save everyone! Come on! He does take the window-throwing thug and, informing the man he had better tell his boss to cut it out, throws him through Evell's office window.
As the thug delivers Superman's message the Man of Steel hangs from Evell's window ledge, hoping to hear important secrets. Unfortunately Evell notices his fingers gripping the ledge, and in an attempt to dislodge our hero smashes his digits with an axe. This has the obvious effect on the axe, but surprisingly Superman turns tail and runs. However an instant later he returns and listens in once more, knowing that Evell would never suspect him to return so quickly. I guess Siegel knew the old "Superman hangs from window, overhears plot" gimmick was getting old, so he introduced a bit of utterly pointless spice! Nevermind the fact that we've already borne witness to Superman's heightened sense of hearing, a power that should really make window-hanging obsolete.
At this point Evell is so desperate to kill Superman that he decides to burn the building to the ground, killing Lois and his own hired thugs along with him. Naturally Superman saves everyone, and the betrayed thugs agree to testify against Evell. That Collum guy (see? Knowing that name was totally important!) from the opening gets his paper back, and Clark is hilariously denied a vacation because now that the Planet has competition he is needed more than ever. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Lois heads to Slug's hideout, Clark timidly following along. Unfortunately asking Slug to stop stealing lunch money from grade-schoolers only leads to him locking our heroes up. Letting the two sweat for a while in captivity, Slug eventually brings Lois a paper to sign admitting that her editor (George Taylor, for you trivia buffs!) is in league with Slug in the slot-machine biz, and that Lois herself is their go-between! Lois refuses to sign, until Slug threatens the life of Clark Kent. Unwilling to let an innocent suffer when she can do something about it, Lois signs the fraudulent paper.
But little do they all know, Clark Kent is actually Superman! Still locked in a seperate room, Clark changes into his blue tights and blasts the door from its hinges sending "screws and bolts flying" through the air! The next panel brilliantly shows him catching it before it can hit the ground, as Superman states he doesn't want to make too much noise lest anyone hear him. There are probably quieter ways of opening doors than punching them off their hinges, but I can't think of any and neither can Superman!
Look at this asshole, he even shouts "Make way!" as he punches it!
Obviously Superman isn't afraid of getting hurt by these ordinary dudes, so he's likely being "quiet" to spare Lois potential harm. Of course the next thing he does is shout "I'm on my way!" as he runs down the hall, and straight into a thug. Being run into by a charging Superman isn't something a person is likely to recover from quickly, so I assume a good amount of time takes place between the panel where Superman bumps the guy and the next where the poor fool pulls a gun. Superman, naturally, slaps the bullet back into the gun thus disarming the thug. We know he loves to show off, but what about being quiet?? For Lois' sake, man!
The thugs find him destroying more machines, and fire their tommy guns at him to no effect. Next they try gas, and Superman...
Things begin to wrap up: as Lois' admission that her editor was in cahoots with Slug is printed in a rival paper Clark uses the stolen documents to prove the claim false. Superman then goes around town smashing up all the slot machines, while Lois gets kidnapped by Slug and his cronies as they drive out of town!
The kindly moustachioed shopkeep decides to get rid of his own slot machine before Superman arrives, an act which the passing Slug plans to put a stop to. However, before Slug can harm the old man Superman intervenes and saves both the moustache and Lois.
Carrying Slug to the local public school, Superman makes him tell the children that his machines were fixed and they never could have won. Which, really, isn't going to dissuade them from gambling. "Oh, the fixed machines are gone? Great, now we can gamble safely!" Another good job, Superman.
The story finally (finally) comes to an end as a police sergeant is unable to arrest Slug due to lack of witnesses to his confession...until hundreds of children pour into the station! How the hell did they know? Creepy psychic kids.