Data courtesy of the Grand Comics Database under Creative Commons license.

Issue Details

Issue #22
Published March 1940
Cover Price 0.10 USD
Pages 68
Editing Whitney Ellsworth; Murray Boltinoff

Cover Details

Characters Superman
Genre superhero
Pencils Joe Shuster (signed as Shuster)
Inks Paul Cassidy
Letters ?; most typeset
Notes "S" on cape; 1st issue to feature "World's Largest Selling Comic Magazine" on cover.
Reprinted In Superman: The Action Comics Archives (DC, 1997 series) #2 (1998).

13 page Superman story "[Europe at War] (Part 1)"

Characters Superman [Clark Kent]; Lois Lane; Galonia-Toran War; Lita Laverne (Intro)
Synopsis When Toran suddenly invades Galonia, Clark and Lois are sent to cover the war. On the ship to Europe, Clark saves the life of Lita Laverne, a famous foreign actress. When she later snubs him, Clark and Lois attend a reception for Lita to investigate. The reception is cut short when the city is bombed. Superman ends the bombing but discovers a neutral steamship is under attack and that Lita might have a connection.
Genre superhero
Script Jerry Siegel (signed)
Pencils Joe Shuster; Paul Cassidy
Inks Paul Cassidy
Notes "S" on cape.
Reprinted In Limited Collectors' Edition (DC, 1972 series) #C-31 (October-November 1974); in Superman: The Action Comics Archives (DC, 1997 series) #2 (1998)

6 page Pep Morgan story "Volunteer Fireman"

Characters Pep Morgan; Joe Mack; Charlie; Mrs. Mack; Rufus Toone (Villain); Ezra Wright (Villain); Fred Davis; Jack Green; Ted
Synopsis As Pep is playing pinochle with the volunteer fire department, they receive word that Joe Mack's place is burning. When they arrive, they find that Joe's wife ran back in for her pocketbook. Pep prepares a daring rescue. Later, evidence is found that the fire might have been set intentionally, and suspicion falls on Rufus Toone and his nephew, Ezra Wright.
Genre Adventure
Script Gardner F. Fox ?
Pencils Fred Guardineer [as Gene Baxter] (signed)
Inks Fred Guardineer [as Gene Baxter] (signed)
Notes Writer credit added by Craig Delich 8-21-08.

4 page Chuck Dawson story "Murder at the Slash-D Ranch"

Characters Chuck Dawson; Blacky; Andy Parsons; Mrs. Parsons; Jackson
Synopsis An young "puncher" mistakes an old gunman for a friend, but his friendly slap causes him to be held at gunpoint. Chuck sees that the young man apologized, and he intervenes. Later, on a rough mountain trail, Chuck finds the young man's body and is coerced into helping track down the killer when the Slash-D ranch foreman finds him by the body.
Genre western
Pencils Homer Fleming
Inks Homer Fleming

6 page Clip Carson story "Beauty was the Beast"

Characters Clip Carson; Gloria Anders; Harry Anders; Reginald Hood; Mr. Ballard
Synopsis Aboard a liner en route from Algiers to South America, Clip sees a man, Harry Anders, knocked overboard and jumps in to rescue him. Back on board, the man and his daughter, Gloria, tell Clip about a statue that they obtained in Africa that has brought nothing but attempts on their lives, despite their readiness to return it. Clip goes to the room of an anthropologist, Reginald Hood, for more information but is met with great resistance. Shortly thereafter, Harry is found murdered, and Clip races to solve the case.
Genre Adventure
Pencils Sheldon Moldoff (signed)
Inks Sheldon Moldoff (signed)

2 page text story "Malay Head"

Genre adventure
Script Frank Cooper (signed)
Pencils ? (spot illo)
Inks ? (spot illo)
Letters Typeset

10 page Tex Thomson story "The Island Demon"

Characters Tex Thomson; Bob Daley; Cary James; Doctor Reid; Dr. Drummond; a demon (Villain); Courtney; Mrs. Van Schuler
Synopsis Weird happenings on a small island in the Indian Ocean have kept that section isolated. Cary James decide to investigate rumors of horrible demons there. Doctor Reid, head of the isle mission, pays Cary a visit, telling him to believe the natives. When Reid can't convince Cary to stay away, the doctor gives him a locket that can kill the demon if it is pressed on the demon's head. When Cary arrives, he finds not a demon but an old man. Later, however, this old man puts Cary under his spell, and the old man takes on Cary's features in order to take his place in the world. The real Cary sends a letter and the locket to Dr. Drummond so that the impostor can be stopped. In New York, Dr. Drummond's butler, Courtney, is attacked by the demon Cary. After learning that Cary attacked the butler, Tex Thomson must get to the bottom of the mystery.
Genre Adventure
Script Ken Fitch ?
Pencils Bernard Baily (signed)
Inks Bernard Baily (signed)
Letters Bernard Baily
Notes Letterer credit added by Craig Delich 8-21-08.

1 page Fantastic Facts filler

Genre fact
Script George Papp
Pencils George Papp
Inks George Papp
Notes Writer credit added by Craig Delich 8-21-08.

6 page Three Aces story "[The Lost Scot Gold Mine] (Part 2)"

Characters Three Aces [Fog Fortune; Gunner Bill; Whistler Will] (brief origin); Matt Saunders; Sally Saunders; Perry Laverne; Martino Fenton; Nedra; Concho; Juan; Pepito
Synopsis Gunner and Tog notice a change in Whistler, who leaves shortly thereafter. In Arizona, at Matt Saunders' ranch, Easterners are entertained on the eve of a wedding. The groom, Perry Laverne, asks the bride, Sally Saunders, about her brother Will and why he is named "Whistler." She relates how they found him in his youth on the Gila Desert and adopted him. A woman named Nedra confirms with Martino Fenton, Perry's cousin, that Perry Laverne will be killed. Concho and his raiders kidnap Sally and Perry, according to Nedra and Martino's plans. Martino soons finds that he has been double-crossed by Concho, who takes him captive as well. One night a whistling sound through the camp ignites the hopes of the captives.
Genre adventure
Pencils Bert Christman [as Christopher] (signed)
Inks Bert Christman [as Christopher] (signed)
Notes Story continued from Action Comics #21.

1 page Rex filler "Wet Paint"

Characters Rex; Rex's owner
Synopsis Rex's owner kicks Rex out of a chair so that he can paint it. Rex finds a way to sleep in the chair again.
Genre gags
Script Fred Schwab
Pencils Fred Schwab
Inks Fred Schwab
Letters Fred Schwab
Notes Writer and letterer credits added by Craig Delich 8-21-08.

11 page Zatara Master Magician story "The Mask"

Characters Zatara; The Mask (Villain); The Tigress (Villain); Ed Burton
Synopsis Recently returned from England, Zatara dines at the El Storko Club, where he notices the Tigress. He sees her poison the drink of Ed Burton, a banker. Zatara saves him. The Tigress meets with the Mask and discusses their plans to kill Ed. Zatara hunts after the Tigress to stop them.
Genre occult
Script Gardner F. Fox
Pencils Fred Guardineer
Inks Fred Guardineer