A â€œone-time bootlegging czar,â€ released from the state penitentiary in Fall 1944, who decides to capitalize on the wartime rubber shortage by organizing a gang of criminals and entering the bootleg tire racket, hijacking trainloads of tires and stealing them wholesale off people's parked cars-- often in spite of the fact that they are worn out or otherwise defective-- and then selling them to selfish citizens eager to purchase scarce commodities on the booming black market. â€œWhenever there's a scarcity of something due to law,â€ explains Bowser to his henchmen, â€œthere are always plenty of smart chiselers who are willing to pay stiff prices in order to get what they want. Weâ€™ll supply what they wantâ€”but soak them for it.â€
The threat to Americaâ€™s security posed by Bowser and his cohorts is a serious one, but perhaps not so dangerous as that posed by the otherwise patriotic, law-abiding citizens who willingly patronize the black marketeers in spite of the fact that to do so is literally â€œto sabotage the war effort.â€
â€œWhat of it?â€ shrugs businessman Ben Stanger, when Superman accuses him of having purchased bootleg tires from the racketeers. â€œIâ€™m only one of thousands determined no to let the war upset my everyday conveniences.â€
â€œNevertheless,â€ replies Superman, after giving Stanger a short lecture on patriotism, â€œby patronizing a black market racketeer, you are aiding the Axis.â€
Derby Bowserâ€™s henchmen are ultimately apprehended by Superman, but Bowser meets a fate he richly deserves when, as he attempts to escape in an automobile outfitted with some of his own defective bootleg tires, his getaway car suffers a blowout and he is killed in the resulting collision (WF No. 15: â€œThe Rubber Bandâ€).