Monday, February 19, 2018

Bring on the Bad Guys: Tom Croy

Real name: Tom Croy
First Appearance: Superman I#2 (September 1939)
Abilities: Boxing manager 
Quotes: "Smart lad, you'll never regret this"
Worst Act: Fixing matches 
Created by: Jerry Sigel (writer) and Joe Shuster/Paul Cassidy(pencils/inks)

For the official second issue of Superman's own title, the first yarn (complied from the Superman daily strip) shows Superman helping redeem washed up boxer Larry Trent. It seems Trent was set up to fail by his crooked manager Tom Croy. 

Superman steps in and disguises himself as the boxer and quickly racks up some victories and fast enough to convince the promoters to give Trent another chance, but can Superman stop the crooked manager from ruining Trent's big chance?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bring on the Bad Guys: Jack O'Leary

Real name: Jack O'Leary
First Appearance: Action Comics I#16 (September 1939)
Abilities: Running a numbers racket
Quotes: "I've got to get away from this madman!"
Worst Act: Running numbers, gambling, and bribing officials 
Created by: Jerry Sigel (writer) and Joe Shuster/Paul Cassidy(pencils/inks)

This time out Superman tackles gambling. After rescuing a desperate man who's life was ruined by gambling, Superman decides to remove the problem. After busting up casinos and other dens of vice, Superman brings the fight to the big man himself, Jack O'Leary. 

O'Leary does the usual (shooting, throwing a pistol, etc.) but Superman scares him and the corrupt police commissioner Watson out of town.

Again, a pretty basic story by this point. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Bring on the Bad Guys: Big Boy Chaney

Real name: "Big Boy" Chaney
First Appearance: Action Comics I#15 (August 1939)
Abilities: Criminal 
Quotes: "Fabulous treasure, eh?"
Worst Act: Escaping prison 
Created by: Jerry Sigel (writer) and Joe Shuster(inks/pencils)

Funny enough this is mostly a villain for Clark Kent instead of Superman. Kent, doing a story about the Kidtown institution and how it needs money. Coming into a quick fortune (thanks to his powers), Superman decides to raise the rest of the money by doing some treasure hunting.

Pity that local gangster "Big Boy" Chaney overhears this and figures he'll just help himself to whatever treasure Kent finds. Of course, he wasn't expecting Superman...

Not bad, although Chaney is again a bit bland. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bring on the Bad Guys: Biff Dugan

Real name: Biff Dugan
First Appearance: Superman I#1 (Summer 1939)
Abilities: Criminal 
Quotes: "..."
Worst Act: Escaping prison 
Created by: Jerry Sigel (writer) and Joe Shuster(inks/pencils)

Bit of odd one here. Superman number 1 was mostly the first few Superman yarns repackaged (with some added pages for a few), but tucked into the back was a short text story in which Superman fights Biff Dugan...sort of. 

We start with Dugan already in jail, but Superman captures him when he escapes. Short, but it does show Superman dicking around with the police. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bring on the Bad Guys: Ultra-Humanite

Real name: Unknown
A.K.A.: Dolores Winters
First Appearance: Action Comics I#13 (June 1939)
Abilities: Super scientist  
Quotes: "I prefer to use this great intellect for crime. My goal-world domination!"
Worst Act: Murder, espionage, and generally trying to take over the world
Created by: Jerry Sigel (writer) and Joe Shuster/Paul Cassidy(inks/pencils

Now here's a first. The first villain Superman ever fought more than once. 

Granted, the one most modern readers may been only familiar with the giant albino ape version, but the first bald mad scientist who tried to kill Superman was the Ultra-Humanite (and not Lex Luthor). When we first see him, he's a shriveled old man in a wheelchair who basically running Uber. 

Superman tackles the man's plane, but no body is ever found. He would appear again and again, this time with the added gimmick of being able to have his brain transplanted into new bodies. Hollywood actress Dolores Winters is his first victim. He wouldn't become an ape until the 70's, but by that point he had become more of a footnote than a major player, often fighting against Superman of Earth-2. 

Overall interesting, and an idea (sadly more or less ignored) of someone wanting Superman's body so they could put their brain in it is a unique foe.