We're a dozen comics away from Action Comics #1 right now, so let me start the ball rolling with Siegel & Shuster's best-known, pre-Superman strip, Slam Bradley. Are we very far from Clark Kent's daring-do? I don't think so!
If what is missing is super-powers, then their Dr. Occult strip was including that element aplenty, although in mystical rather than science-fictional form.
Army-Turtles? Look, I'm not made of STONE!
Man, some of those Golden Age artists really knew how to do percussive action. Because you know what follows this car crash? Our hero punching the survivors out. Maybe National Comics needs a book devote to... Action?
All the boys are entranced when the lovely Hope solves a mystery for them. A girl sleuth! Huh! Who would have thought! What's next? A lady president?
I don't think much of the stories - if they're funny, they're New Yorker funny - but I didn't want to go through this process without ever showing off Alger's cartooning, which I think is quite specific and interesting. He's been with National's various comics since their beginnings, providing humor, but also more serious mysteries in Detective, for example, always in this distinctive, sharp style.
Who is Russell Alger Cole? A well-traveled Kansas boy who eventually migrated to New York City and became a newspaper comic strip artist, his claim to fame the syndicated Marge. Beginning in 1936, his work started appearing in the new format that was comic books at National/DC. He died in 1967, age 78, 25 years after his last strip was print.
Next time, we really will hit Action #1!