One might expect a series entitled Socko Strong to be about a boxer. He is a challenger for the heavyweight championship, and instructs as well, but Socko Strong is primarily an adventure series, with a boxer as its star. His sidekick is the short, glasses-wearing moustachioed Jerry Indutch, and together they get shanghaied onto a steamer in the first chapter.
Socko breaks a hole in the ship, causing it to flood, and both he and Jerry are abandoned when the rest take the lifeboats. Nevertheless, they survive and make it to a tropical island, all in the first installment.
They spend the next three chapters trying to make it back home. On the island, they find Sedburns, a pilot who crashed there seven years ago, and a native tribe who want to kill them. They escape by raft, winding up on the ship the Flying Dutchman, although this one is not the one from legend, merely named for it by explorer Sir Charles Starwin, who is heading for Dinosaur Island. Of course, it’s not written that way, Dinosaur Island would not make it’s official debut for decades, but an island full of dinosaurs and cavemen in the DC Universe? It’s Dinosaur Island.
They are rescued by Sedburns, and finally make it back to the US.
In issue 44 we learn that Jerry is a newspaper photographer. He must have been very upset at not having a camera with him through the last three issues, but he doesn’t mention that.
Issue 45, the last before my cut-off, blew my mind. No other word for it. Socko gets hits by a car, driven by gamblers trying to fix the heavyweight fight he is up for. The story convolutes a bit, but the important thing is that Socko decides he needs help dealing with this, and so he enlists Biff Bronson! The first crossover in DC! He mentions having read about Biff’s cases in More Fun Comics, establishing the idea that comic books about the various characters exist in the reality they live in.
The story climaxes with a boxing match between Socko and Biff, which messes up the gamblers plans.
Socko Strong continues in the Early Golden Age
Socko Strong: Adventure Comics 40 – 45 (July -Dec 39)