Religion: manifestly non-religious
First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #2 (Fall 1939): "Superman Champions Universal Peace!"
Number of Appearances: 1
Worked for: Lubane
Bartow and two henchmen are identified variously in this story as "international racketeers," armament racketeers" and "international armament crooks." After first seeing them but knowing nothing about them, Clark Kent thinks to himself that they are "three evil-looking gents."
Clark Kent first encountered Bartow and his two henchmen while conducting an interview with the eminent scientist, Professor Adolphus Runyan. The professor had just demonstrated a new poisonous gas he had invented, one that could penetrate any gas mask. Bartow and his two men barged into the lab an demanded that the professor turn over the formula. Professor Runyan absolutely refused. He didn't want his invention to fall into the wrong hands. (He had told Kent that he only would turn it over to the U.S. War Department in the case of a defensive war.) Bartow and his men threatened Runyan, saying he better turn the formula over to them within 24 hours, or else!
Clark Kent left the scene and returned to his newspaper office. As he was turning in his news story about Runyan, the editor received a call. Professor Runyan had been murdered!
One of Bartow's henchmen asked him why he killed Runyan when the 24 hours wasn't up yet. Bartow explained killed the scientist because he was about to flee.
Superman followed Bartow and his men as they boarded a private plane to take the formula to Boravia, a small country in the middle of a civil war. Bartow planned to turn the formula over to a munitions magnate named Lubane. Superman tried to apprehend Bartow before their plane landed, but Bartow managed to temporarily trick Superman and parachute out of the plane. Superman, however, followed. He caught Bartow mid-drop and threatened the crook lest he return the formula. But the Boravian war interruped their struggle as a bomb dropped by a warplane onto the field knocked Superman unconscious.
Despite Superman's clear physical advantage, Bartow managed to elude Superman multiple times in this story and remained a thorn in the hero's side almost until the end of the story. Bartow was interesting as a Superman villain of this time period in the extent of the defiance he showed in the face of Superman's great might. Bartow many times mocked Superman or refused his orders, and often managed to take advantage of circumstances to get away from the Man of Steel and further his own criminal objectives.
Bartow was clearly a self-serving, manifestly non-religious villain who apparently had no real ideological stake in the Boravian civil war. He just wanted to enrich himself.