First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #18 (Nov. 1939): "Superman's Super-Campaign"
Number of appearances: 1
Worked for: Morning Herald
Note: conspired in blackmail scheme against U.S. Senator
When Superman investigated a blackmail scheme against a U.S. Senator, he learned that Gene Powers, the Morning Herald gossip columnist heading up the scheme, was conspiring with Hamilton, his newspaper's publisher.
Hamilton's newspaper was widely known as a "yellow journalist" tabloid. What Clark Kent eventually learned was that not only was Hamilton's newspaper sleazy and ethically questionable, Hamilton himself was actually a crooked, blackmailing criminal with murder in his heart.
Superman confronted Gene Powers in his home and told him to clear out of town. After Superman left, Gene Powers called Hamilton, his publisher. Hamilton barked orders at his employee, telling him, "Get down here at once! I've got plenty to say to you!"
Superman followed Powers to the Morning Herald offices. Superman hung outside the publisher's office secretly listening in on Hamilton's conversation with Gene Powers.
Gene Powers told the publisher, "I tell you, it was Superman!"
Hamilon was apparently a skeptical person by nature. Despite all the news stories in various newspapers that had already been published about Superman, and despite his employee's first-hand account, Hamilton still regarded Superman as a myth. He said, "Superman? Nonsense! He's just a myth!"
Listening to the conversation, Superman realized that Hamilton was in on the blackmail scheme against the U.S. Senator. Superman realized that Hamilton must be involved in all the blackmail schemes Gene Powers had a list of.
Hamilton told his crooked columnist/reporter, "Forget about this Superman guy. Run out to the inn where you framed the Senator. The girl and the photographer say either they get more cash or they squeal."
Powers told Hamilton, "I'll attend to them!"
It was Hamilton's intention to have Gene Powers murder Trixie and the photographer (Benny), the two criminals they had used to set up the blackmail scheme agains the Senator. Gene Powers did just as his boss told him to. He went to the hotel and tried to murder Trixie and the photographer. Gene Powers did manage to shoot the photographer (it is unclear whether the main died), but Superman intervened before Powers could shoot Trixie. Although Hamiton wasn't the trigger man, he was morally culpable of murder or attempted murder.
Superman was fairly furious at Hamilton. Superman headed back to the Morning Herald offices to confront the evil tabloid publisher. Hamilton had just sent his blackmail story to press, intending to publish a fabricated story accompanied by staged photos. The photos showed Senator Hastings (who had been drugged by Trixie) in a smoke-filled room collapsed over bottles of alcohol in the company of a woman of ill repute who was clearly not his wife.
When Superman entered Hamilton's office through the window, Hamilton was shocked. The non-believer publisher exclaimed, "Superman! But -- I thought you didn't exist!"
Superman ordered Hamilton to stop the presses. Hamilton refused, saying, "You're too late! The first batch of papers will soon be on the streets! Meanwhile, thousands more are being run off on the presses! What can you do about that?"Superman rushed out of Hamilton's office, telling the publisher to "Watch -- and see!"
Superman stopped the newspaper delivery vehicles and damaged them so they couldn't go anywhere. Superman then angrily destroyed the printing presses. Superman completely destroyed the printing plant for the Morning Herald. After that, Superman destroyed the photographic plates from the staged photos of the Senator.
Superman told Hamilton to get out of the city or else. The man immediately fled. A week later, Senator Hastings thanked Clark Kent for his assistance in his re-election.
This character is in the following story which has been indexed by this website:
Action Comics (vol. 1) #18 (Nov. 1939): "Superman's Super-Campaign"