Sandman returns as the cover feature of the book with Adventure 74 (May 42), but is not the lead feature, and I’m just obsessive enough that I need to cover the stories in the order in which they appear, so….
Starman has to deal with another mad scientist, Ivan Karoff, who has developed a machine that transforms men into the animal they most resemble, using them as pawns to commit crimes. Starman is sent out on the case, but makes a delightful mistake.
Starman believes he is rescuing a woman from a werewolf created by Karoff, but in fact has simply stumbled across a film shoot.
He does manage to find the bad guy, though he gets captured. Karoff stupidly decides to subject the hero to the machine.
All that does is bring out the lion in Starman. We also get a sense of the unused potential of the gravity rod, as it is capable of easily transforming Starman back to human.
Karoff himself winds up subjected to his ray, which transforms him into a pig.
As previously mentioned, Jimmy Martin no longer appears in the Hourman series. Thorndyke informs Rex Tyler of this, apparently knowing his identity already, which none of the other Minute Men did.
As well, it had previously been established that Thorndyke and Jimmy were brothers, yet issue 75 informs us that Thorndyke’s last name is Tomkins, which is very unusual if he is the younger brother of Jimmy Martin, so perhaps there is more going on here, with the mother taking off with one of her sons and leaving the other behind. Did Jimmy and Thorndyke have different fathers? It’s all very suspicious.
Anyway, with Hourman and Thorndyke both buzzing on Miraclo, they track down thieves Bugs Manders and Gimpty Gowan, getting captured and trussed up for their efforts. It takes them longer than the hour of power that they have, and Hourman has to bluff his way through the final battle, which is sort of impressive, considering the withdrawl he must be experiencing.
Simon and Kirby refine the Mnahunter outfit, giving Pauk Kirk a blue mask as he joins a society party scavenger hunt. A romantic rivalry at the party is to be decided by the outcome of the hunt, which leads one of the men to rig the hunt, so his rival has to track down and capture a notorious killer.
Paul dons his newly masked outfit and does the boy’s work for him, apprehending Crusher Burns, thus winning the boy the shallow girl who wanted the men to compete for her.
Sandman and Sandy face off against a genius, Hiran Gaunt, who has turned to crime simply for the mental challenge. This is a man who can deduce the combination of a safe, so he really has an amazing brain.
Playing on his pride, Sandman sets up a chess-playing computer, which is really a machine with Sandy stuffed inside of it, as a lure to draw him out.
Then it’s simply a matter of trailing him and beating up his gang. Good art on this one, but the dream element does not come into play at all.