Type Comic
Date 1939-08-01
Tags social issues, gambling, fiction

Action Comics #16

Action Comics #16 (1939-09)


In this issue, Superman, patrolling for someone to help, discovers a man attempting suicide. Having stopped the man, Superman asks what made him do it. The man, it turns out, had stolen money from his employer, and lost it gambling. Superman is unhappy that this vice is being given a free pass in his city, and so he goes to work, busting up a gambling joint that, he demonstrates, has fixed games, before moving on to others, intending to free the city of the vice of gambling.

Once he's tracked down the men responsible, he passes out cards from a deck and delivers an ultimatum: whichever man has gotten the ace of spades must be out of town within twelve hours, or Superman will kill him.

Of course, Superman is tricking them--they all got the ace of spades. "The irony of it!" exclaims Superman. "Tricking a bunch of experienced gamblers with a 'fixed deck'!"

Zatara and the Terror from Saturn

Another sci-fi Zatara story. This time, Zatara encounters Gorla, an advance scout from Saturn for the invasion of Earth. Saturn, it seems was once covered with seas, and Gorla's people were great sailors, but the oceans have now dried up and the lands turned to desert. Gorla sends Zatara to Saturn through a cosmic ray, as a sample of Earthmen. Unfortunately for Ool, ruler of Saturn, Zatara is not an ordinary man. He successfully convinces Ool to withdraw Gorla and to promise never again to attempt to invade the Earth. In return, Zatara explains to Ool the concept of irrigation, which he assures them will make Saturn once more fertile, like the Earth.

Zatara intends to tell of his adventure to a friend of his, who he is sure will be interested in what he has to say...

...but he decides to just tell the readers of Action Comics, instead. What fourth wall?