Jerry Siegel and Bernard Bailey pit the Spectre against a deadly brain in a jar in More Fun 62 (Dec 40).
Professor Fenton has been working with the brain of a former pupil who died, keeping it in a jar and experimenting with it, creating an Ultra-Brain.
The Spectre gets involved when the professor’s daughter is almost run of the road. Jim Corrigan saves her, but finds the professor paranoid and secretive. When he finds the Ultra-Brain, he learns its destructive plans.
The Brain gives commands to a gang of thieves, leading a crime spree through the town. The professor eventually realizes what he has created, and tries to kill the brain by shattering the jar.
This simply frees it, and the gray gelatinous mass begins its own “rampage” through the streets. Once again, an event that challenges Bailey’s art. In true horro movie style, the professor sacrifices himself to stop the brain and save his daughter.
Congo Bill and Professor Kent find themselves running out of money in this story. A situation one rarely finds in comic books, from any period. Bill takes on a job as a guide (which he does in many other issues as well, without the money troubles).
This leads to a brief but complex adventure involving a missing steel magnate and a kidnapping ring. Of course, Bill saves the day.
In the final panel, Congo Bill is rewarded by the entrepreneur with a cheque for $20,000. Quite a fortune in 1940. Makes you wonder why he ever went back to being a guide.
Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman give Dr. Fate more science-fiction foes in this story. It’s curious how many non-supernatural enemies Fate is pitted against in the early days of his series.
In this one, it’s a mad scientist with a small army of robots (or Metal Men, as the story tends to call them). Fate interrupts the electrical controls for the robots, and leads them into the water to rust away. He then casually burns the mad scientist alive.