Type Comic
Date 1939-08-31

Action Comics #17

Action Comics #17 (1939-10)

Superman

An ocean liner is destroyed, and it turns out to be sabotage. When Clark goes to see the owner of the liner, the man receives a call, asking for protection money. That's the fifth liner that was destroyed, it turns out. Clark, thinking quickly, calls the operator, asking them to trace the last incoming call, but is told that no call was recently received. Ultimately, it turns out to be the Ultra-Humanite (called in this issue simply "Ultra") who is behind the crimes. He escapes, in the end.

Zatara and the Peril of Ophir

A friend of Zatara's, Beth Jordon, is pursued by some men who eventually kidnap her, her husband John, and Zatara, and take them to Africa. They are taken to the fabled city of Ophir, "the wealthiest city of the entire world, ancient or modern". There they meet Setap, who is apparently immortal, and describes herself as the one-time "queen of all Africa", then as the "queen of Atlantis and Ophir". She wants to rule to world, for which she must be young. Immortal though she is, she requires a blood transfusion from Beth to regain her youth.

The old woman, Setap, has kidnapped the young woman, Beth, to get a blood transfusion which will restore her youth. Mysteriously, the transfusion also turns her into a pale-skinned blond woman.

Eventually, Zatara foils her, and summons up the "flame of life" from the "temple of ancient Atlantis", which restores Setap's age and Beth's youth. Zatara claims that there is a reason for this. He says: "Setap--you have disobeyed your own gods. You have tampered with life itself--in ancient Atlantis the flame of eternity waxed strong--I command it to come here!" What's he talking about? No one knows, I guess, but it all works out.

After all this happens (and Zatara destroys Ophir), they just walk off. Setap does have a comment: "You fool, Zatara. You and I could rule the world! Who knows, perhaps we will--some other time!" That's a rather positive sentiment for her to express, given all that's just happened.