The Religious Affiliation of

Religion: manifestly non-religious CBR Scale: I

Name: Pete

Classification: villain villain  

Publisher(s): DC

First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #16 (Sep. 1939): "Superman and the Numbers Racket"

Creators: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster

Number of Appearances: 3

Enemy of: Superman

Ally: Nick
Ally: Butch
Employer: Dixie Club (gambling club)

Occupation: bouncer, thug

Worked for: Marty Kaye, Gus Snide, John Parrone

Gender: male

As described in more detail in Nick's profile, Nick and Pete were two thugs who were first seen working together in Action Comics #16 and then were seen again in Superman #4 (Spring 1940). This appears to be a very unusual case of common thugs being re-used in separate early Superman stories. This re-use of this pair of characters may have been intentional, or it may have been inadvertent. Whatever the case, Nick and Pete were clearly thugs but didn't really do anything particularly evil in their first appearance. They were simply trying to defend their boss from Superman's raid of an illegal gambling club. In that story, they really did nothing more than act as bouncers. But in their second appearance Nick and Pete were willing to use a knife to mark a little girl's face. Exactly how much cutting they were intending to do was never made clear, but the fact that they were willing to do this at all makes them markedly more evil than most henchmen. They can clearly be classified as manifestly non-religious.

Nick and Pete were two thugs who worked for notorious racketeer Gus Snide. They were particularly brutal. When Carlson, the Truckers' Union chief, refused to capitulate to Snide's criminal demands, Snide's thugs kidnapped Carlson's young daughter Amy. Clark Kent found out about the kidnapping when he went to Carlson's home for an interview. The thugs were nearby watching Carlson's home. One of them called Carlson and him, "We've got your child. Whether she gets hurt depends on you. First, get rid of that reporter!"

Carlson did as the thug asked, asking Clark Kent to leave. Fortunately, Clark Kent's super-sensitive hearing had heard what the thug on the other side of the phone said to Carlson. Clark Kent looked around and spotted the thugs in a nearby auto.

The thug who called Mr. Carlson got back into the car, telling the little girl (who looked to be about 6 years old), "Don't get scared kid -- I'm just gonna mark yer face a little!"

This thug was actually reaching forward with a large knife, intent on carving the girl's face up as a "message" to her father! Fortunately Superman arrived just in time to stop the knife.

Superman used his foot to shove the car, with the thugs in it, into a telephone pole. The frightened thugs fled. Superman returned Amy to her parents and followed the thugs as they went to Gus Snide's office.

When the thugs told Gus Snide what had happened, Snide deduced that the man who had "butted in" must have been Superman. "Superman!" exclaimed one of the thugs in surprise. The other thug said, "G-gosh -- I thought he was a myth -- didn't really exist!"

Gus Snide responded, "Well, it appears he does! Which means we've got to act fast! Nick -- Pete -- Get Carlson!"

This utterance by Snide is the only time in this story where Nick and Pete are actually named. It is never really clear which one is Nick and which one is Pete. These two thugs worked together in the beginning of the story and continue to do Gus Snide's evil bidding throughout the rest of the story.

At the end of the story Superman forcibly declares that he has taken over Gus Snide's racketeering operation. Of course, Superman has done this because he wants to shut Gus Snide's operation down. Snide realizes his time is up in Metropolis, so he calls the police and tips them off about his hangout and the operation there. Snide thus betrays his loyal henchmen, which is not really a surprise given how evil Snide is. When police arrive to arrest Snide's men, including Nick and Pete, they quickly realize they have been doube-crossed and they confess, agreeing to tell what they know about their boss.

In the story retroactively titled "Parrone and the Drug Gang," published in Superman #8 (Jan.-Feb. 1941), a hired thug named "Pete" is seen in the distance in one panel. One can easily imagine that this is the same thug named Pete seen in other recent Superman stories, although this may not have been writer Jerry Siegel's intention. In Superman #8, well-heeled gang leader John Parrone murders one of his gang members, Nate Grant. In panel 1 on page 12, Parrone asks Pete to help him dispose of the body. Minutes later, Pete is among the criminals with Parrone in the vane driving to bury or hide Nate Grant's body. Superman catches up with the van, disables it, and crushes the metal frame in order to seal its occupants inside until police arrive.

This character is in the following 3 stories which have been indexed by this website:
Action Comics (vol. 1) #16 (Sep. 1939): "Superman and the Numbers Racket" (4-panel cameo)

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