The Religious Affiliation of

Religion: manifestly non-religious CBR Scale: I

Name: Reynolds

Classification: villain villain  

Publisher(s): DC

First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #13 (June 1939): "Superman Vs. the Cab Protective League"

Creators: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster

Number of Appearances: 1

Enemy of: Superman

Occupation: racketeer

Worked for: The Ultra-Humanite, Cab Protective League

Gender: male

Reynolds was the operating leader of the Cab Protective League, "an organization that is trying to victimize the independent companies." They were essentially a form or organized crime or racketeering operation targeting a specific industry - taxi cabs. The organization operated much like a union, which is interesting because the progressive politicial and social justice positions championed by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the earliest Superman comics might otherwise lead one to believe that the creators were pro-union.

Superman first encountered the Cab Protective League while riding to work as Clark Kent in an independent cab. Another cab intentionally struck the one he was riding in. The driver of the other cab got out and punched Clark's cab driver.

After the other driver left, Clark asked his driver, "That was no accident! He deliberately ran into us! Why?"

The victimized driver explained, "He belongs to the Cab Protective League, an organization that is trying to victimize the independent companies!"

Clark Kent and his alter ego Superman spent much of the rest of this story taking down the evil League.

The Cab Protective League wasn't simply an ethically questionable group with shady business practices. They were real criminals and killers. On page 2 of the story Superman arrives just in time to prevent one of the cab's operatives from shooting an independent cab company owner named Carlyle.

Superman tracked down the headquarters of the Cab Protective League. He forced League operatives to smash their own taxis. (Superman also joined in the destruction.) One of the people thus forced to smash taxis was Reynolds, who was clearly the leader of the operation.

Reynolds protested the destruction of his vehicles, "They're totally wrecked! You've ruined me!"

Superman responded to the villain, "I'm not finished with you yet! You still have to pay for the lives of rival cab-drivers who were killed!"

Reynolds knelt and begged, "I-- I didn't kill those drivers myself. I just gave the orders."

Superman accurately explained, "That makes you equally guilty!"

When police arrived after being called to the scene because of all the noise, Superman left Reynolds in their hands. Unfortunately, Reynolds escaped. While being transported in a police vehicle, Reynolds smoked a rigged cigarette that released a deadly gas. Two two police officers Reynolds was being transported by died. Reynolds dumped their bodies on the side of the road and escaped in the police vehicle. The newspaper headline that followed reported Reynolds' surprising escape and the recovery of the "officers' bodies on road side."

Upon reading of Reynolds' escape, Clark Kent correctly deduced that the poisonous gas cigarette was "just a little too ingenious for Reynolds to have figured out for himself." Superman tracked the fugitive Reynolds down, only to find that the man was working for a brilliant super-criminal known as the Ultra-Humanite. (This was the introduction of the character, who would go on to become a significant recurring member of Superman's rogue's gallery.) Reynolds had directly run the Cab Protective League racketeering organization, but the Ultra-Humanite claimed he was behind numerous other criminal enterprises - "a vast ring of evil enterprises." Reynolds was just one of his many henchmen.

The Ultra-Humanite actually manages to capture Superman. But when the Ultra-Humanite tries to run Superman's invulnerable head through a steel circular lumber saw, the saw shatters and one of its fragments pierces Reynolds' throat, killing him instantly.

It is quite possible that before Reynolds' escape, he had never directly murdered anybody. But even before his escape, he was clearly a murderer who ran his racketeering scheme purely out of greed. Superman was correct in pointing out his murderous culpability regardless of whether he was the trigger man or not. Nothing was really revealed about Reynolds' background in this story, and there was no evidence of any religious affiliation or ideological association on his part. He can clearly be classified as manifestly non-religious.

This character is in the following story which has been indexed by this website:
Action Comics (vol. 1) #13 (June 1939): "Superman Vs. the Cab Protective League"

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: