All-American 19 – Green Lantern and the insurance murders, the Atom debuts, and Gary Concord – Ultra-Man ends

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The Atom debuts in All-American 19 (Oct. 40), and is mentioned on the cover, but the Green Lantern remains the featured hero.

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Finger and Nodell have a decent, if simple, Green Lantern tale in this issue.  Alan saves a man from being hit by a car, but the man is killed by a driver later the same night.

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Green Lantern investigates, and discovers that he was killed to get an insurance payment, one of a number of such deaths.  Lantern tracks the killer, who falls to his death while trying to kill the hero.

Really, not much different than the Batman stories Finger was writing at the time.

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Bill O’Connor, Ben Flinton and Leonard Sansone introduce Al Pratt, the Mighty Atom. Although he just goes by the Atom.  In fact, this is Al’s nickname as the story begins.  He is a short kid, picked on by others.  There is a girl he likes, Mary James, but he is not big or strong enough to stand up and defend her.

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He befriends a homeless man, who turns out to be Joe Morgan, a former fighter. He takes Al under his wing and trains him.

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Although the Atom is not credited with having any super-powers until the very late Golden Age, this story shows that he has an inordinate amount of strength, surprising both him and Joe.

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Al goes to see Mary James, but she has been kidnapped!  Al finds her and beats up the kidnappers, but Mary is blindfolded, and has no idea who her saviour was. For reasons known only to him, Al leaves a card saying The Atom instead of admitting who he was.  This is doubly odd as he does not wear any sort of disguise, the criminals saw his face, and the fact that this was his known nickname.  Almost as if he really really wants them to figure out who he is.

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Gary Concord, Ultra-Man, has his series comes to a close with this issue, as he pursues the Emperor of an Asian country across the Pacific, and prepares for battle back in the US.

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Gary defeats the bad guys, and explains his reasons for going into exile, and demands his position back.  We do not see that this actually happens, though.  And I doubt that it did, simply because in his next appearance, over 50 years down the road, in a Legion of Super-Heroes annual, he is not the leader of any country.

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