World’s Finest Comics vol.1 No.5 - Cover date Spring 1942
Native Americans often get short shrift in fiction, and the assorted Superman media is no exception; ostensible outsiders in their native land, they’re customarily portrayed as antagonists, typically engineering plots to recover “lost property” (Not unusually, the whole island of Manhattan, for instance) or just generally disrupting the safety and the status quo for what ends up construed as political ends. Then, of course, there’s their portrayal as 20th century barbarians, bare-chested and whooping, bereft of identity, defiantly primitive and parochial, defined only by assimilation or their resistance to assimilation.
Much in step with the overall theme, in this issue Superman finds himself defending an industrialist from an angry tribal reprisal following his acquisition of a sacred native tower. Although portrayed as yowling and bloodthirsty, they’re ostensibly not the bad guys, although you’d be hard-pressed to tell from looking.