Green Arrow and Speedy have their origins told for the first time, in More Fun 89 (March 1943). Oliver Queen’s story is very, very different from the later tale, but there are notable points of similarity in Roy Harper’s.
Lost Mesa is the location that eventually brings the two heroes together. Roy arrives first, as his father dies in a plane crash, and he is trapped there, along with an old native guide Quoag. The notion that Roy was orphaned during a fatal accident, and then raised by natives, would remain in every variation of his origin story.
Oliver Queen is introduced as a wealthy collector of weapons. Criminals attempt to rob him, but instead succeed only is destroying his collection. Oliver has heard of Lost Mesa, and intends to re-stock his collection with weapons from there, which he terms “a gold mine.” The bad guys overhear this, take it literally, and head there themselves. Lost Mesa is apparently not that lost.
Entertainingly, the two men do not hit it off at all when they meet, Roy mistaking Oliver for one of the gang. They both get captured, but free themselves. In plotting their revenge against the hoods, they adopt the basic guises and nicknames that would define them as heroes.
As a plus, they discover that there really is a treasure horde of gold in Lost Mesa. As a minus, Quoag dies trying to help them.
And though a rope attached to an arrow is not at all beyond the normal scope of archery, the fact that he brands it an “Arrow-line” makes this an early trick arrow as well.
Black Jack returns again in this story. He has a modern, oil-burning watercraft as his pirate ship, and that seems enough to warrant a story. It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill affair for the most part, except when it gets down to the fight.
Black Jack captures Aquaman at one point, and intends to suffocate him by withdrawing the oxygen from water. The “scientific” discussion between the men is so awful even I can tell it’s complete nonsense.
Aquaman uses whales to create a distracting rainfall, as well as to propel him and some eels up to the villain’s lair.
The eels in turn function as ropes. From simple commands, Aquaman’s power to control and manipulate sea creatures has jumped to the staggering level it would remain at.
Mort Meskin brings back Dr. Clever in this Johnny Quick story, but the character really doesn’t have that much to do with the story, and appears only in a few panels.
Tubby Watts gets a larger than usual role, as he and Johnny Chambers spend some time as guests at a training camp. It’s really not clear in the story if they are they just in order to make a newsreel, or if visiting the camps was a normal activity at the time, part of the recruitment process? Certainly Tubby is not treated as a man doing a job by the military at the camp, but more like a potential soldier.
While Dr. Clever schemes sabotage off to the side, Johnny races around doing all manner of tasks that soldiers in training do.