Friday, April 18, 2014

AquaShrines: Curtis Myer

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We've been getting a lot of personal Aqua-Shrine pics lately! This is the collection of longtime F.O.A.M. member Curtis Myer, who has a career in merchandising ahead of him if he wants it! Rarely have I seen a Shrine so well organized and visually striking.

Nice job Curtis!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #983

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Know Your Villains: The Fisherman

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Our third installment of Know Your Aquaman Villains focuses on a villain as managed to rise in the ranks of Aquaman bad guys, despite not always been taken very seriously: The Fisherman!
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The Fisherman debuted in Aquaman #21 (May/June 1965), which means he predates both Black Manta and Ocean Master, the Sea King's most prominent foes, by more than a year. Donned in an entirely purple costume, which looked vaguely like it's made from crustaceans, The Fisherman douses Aquaman with a serum which causes him to grow to Pym-like proportions, leaving Atlantis vulnerable to attack. Of course, his plan is foiled, and after receiving a quick punch in the face from the Sea King, The Fisherman is surrendered to the local authorities.

But The Fisherman didn't stay in stir long: sensing they had a winner, he returned just three issues later in Aquaman #24, this time teamed with a flame-haired siren named Karla. Right from this second appearance, we see that The Fisherman is not considered with a whole lot of respect:
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Karla turns out not to be all that bad, when she actually helps Aquaman, Aqualad, and Mera defeat some invading aliens. Right in front of The Fisherman, Aquaman promises to tell the authorities to go easy on her!

Obviously The Fisherman ended up in front of one of those hanging judges (the same one The Human Flying Fish got), for he did not return for eleven years, until Paul Levitz dusted him off for a multi-issue, multi-villain storyline in Adventure Comics #443, sporting a new look:
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The Fisherman's biggest shot at defeating Aquaman was just a year later, when he was the sole villain for a two-part story that ran in Aquaman #s 58 and 59. He ends up strapping Aquaman to a massive solar panel attached to a lighthouse, which would, ideally, fry the Sea King to a crisp once it was set to full power. Unfortunately for The Fisherman, he does that stupid thing so many James Bond villains have done, taking off and leaving the hero alone without just finishing the job:
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...say what you want about The Fisherman's competence, but that is one sweet ride.

Aquaman (of course) freed himself and caught up with The Fisherman, and delivered him to the police in the most humiliating manner possible, as if the Sea King didn't even have time to bother seeing to it personally:
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This led to another long hiatus in The Fisherman's career of villainy, for he did not return until 1985. This time, however, I guess he decided to try and take on someone a little easier, so he moved downmarket and squared off against Blue Devil:
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The Fisherman gets his block knocked off by BD while in the middle of boasting how powerful he is, an extra level of humiliation dealt him by a superhero. This led to an even longer hiatus between appearances: The Fisherman didn't pop up in another story for sixteen years, until he was briefly spotted running around various places: taking on Young Justice, causing mayhem during Infinite Crisis, as well as in Gotham City (oh, that's a good idea). In Gotham Central #37, he is recognized by some members of the GCPD and is shown the proper esteem:
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He ends up getting shot in the back by some cops, which seemed to suggest that was the end of The Fisherman's story. But no! He returned just one year later to tangle with the then-new version of Aquaman, and he too seemed to have undergone a metamorphosis:
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In Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #s 48 and 49, this Fisherman is the same helmeted foe we've come to know and love, but he has been possessed by some sort of demonic force which gave him mystical powers (or at least abilities beyond those he showed previously), and changed him from ruthless crook to psychopathic murderer. Despite this, his luck was no better: in a duel with Arthur Joseph, he is stabbed in the chest, seemingly to death.

After this, The Fisherman was pretty much relegated to cameo appearances in flashbacks or group shots, like this stunning collection of bad guys courtesy Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN) from DCU: Legacies #4:
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The Fisherman's final appearance in any DC comic was in a non-continuity story (though I guess, post New 52, every DC comic is now non-continuity) that appeared in The All-New Batman: Brave and the Bold #8, but was really just a preamble to the main story. Here, The Fisherman basically goes out in the same way he ran his supervillain career: begging for mercy:
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His most impressive moment probably came in 1985, when he made the cut to get his own listing in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, one of only four Aquaman villains to be granted such an honor. Ably drawn by Luke McDonnell and Bill Wray, you don't get any sense that this guy was someone generally not taken seriously as a supervillain:
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Now the DCU has been rebooted, and Aquaman is in the market for as many villains as he can get (headlining two monthly books and all), will The Fisherman return? Never having been merchandised in any way (no action figures, video game appearances, or Heroclix, for instance), there's not a lot of fan support behind this character, so it will take the creative largesse of either Jeff Parker or Dan Jurgens to officially bring him into the New 52. I, for one, hope they do, since this new ultra-tough Aquaman ought to be able to take care of this guy in one issue flat.

Now, I've been mocking the Fisherman quite a bit here, but I always liked him, simply because unlike Black Manta and Ocean Master, his motives are so uncomplicated: he wants to steal stuff from the ocean floor, and Aquaman is always in the way. Ergo, kill Aquaman! I've always liked that some super-villains are just in it for the money, there's not some epic psychological drama motivating them. I think that would be a nice change of pace for the New 52, so why not give the Fisherman his due?



The Fisherman Appearances:
Aquaman (Vol.1) #21
Aquaman (Vol.1) #24
Adventure Comics #443
Aquaman (Vol.1) #57
Aquaman (Vol.1) #58
Aquaman (Vol.1) #59
Blue Devil #17 
Young Justice #50
Infinite Crisis #1
Gotham Central #37
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #48
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #49
DCU: Legacies #4
Cry For Justice #5
The All-New Batman: Brave and the Bold #8


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #981

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The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 85

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 85
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 85 - Dan Jurgens Returns!

This episode we've got another fantastic interview with Dan Jurgens! Dan is currently writing the ongoing series AQUAMAN & THE OTHERS, and is a contributing writer to the year-long weekly series THE NEW 52 - FUTURES END featuring Firestorm! We discuss both of Dan's current books as well as his previous series FURY OF FIRESTORM. And just for fun we put Dan through another Lightning Round of questions! Be sure to pick up AQUAMAN & THE OTHERS #1 in stores now, and THE NEW 52 - FUTURES END #0 absolutely free in stores on Free Comic Book Day (May 3)!

For our previous interview with Dan, check out episode 33 of this show!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net


Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Adventure Comics #278 - Nov. 1960

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Comics Weekend "Aqualad Goes To School" by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Enough fun for you, Aqualad!
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Aquaman determines that he needs to help Aqualad pass the test, since he knew all the answers yesterday, and will know them once the concussion wears off. Using his mental powers, Aquaman gives Aqualad visual cues that helps Aqualad's memory trigger the correct answers.
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...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman and Aqualad!


A cute story; nice to see Aquaman get a chance to show how much he cares for his young charge. I also love the last "gag" panel, something Aquaman writers generally shied away from in previous stories.

One more thing: my admiration for the art of Ramona Fradon knows no bounds, but sometimes she even outdoes herself. On the second page, we see a full on shot of the principal:
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...I love how cartoony yet officious Principal Tracy looks here--he almost doesn't seem like the same species as the rest of the characters in the story. Its like a character from a Mad magazine parachuted into this Aquaman comic book.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Adventures of Superman #50 - April 2014

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Comics Weekend "Mystery Box Part 1 of 1" by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro.

Aquaman is all over the DCU in 2014--two monthly titles, membership in Justice League (sort of), a big guest spot with Batman, and now this, an appearance in the Adventures of Superman digital comic!

The plot is simple (hence the "Part 1 of 1" bit, I bet) and sweet--Lois gives Superman a present for Valentine's Day:
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But since V-Day isn't for another week, Kal can't open it. He's dying to know what it might be, and finds himself discussing it with his co-workers: Batman (whom he is helping defeat a giant robot), Wonder Woman (stopping some jewl thieves), and then finally...Aquaman!
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The "mystery" is revealed, sort of, when Supes and Lois meet up exchange their gifts. And that is the ever-lovin' end!
 
I complain a lot that they don't make superhero comics like they used to, but it seems every time I read an issue of Adventures of Superman, it's the exact kinds of stories I want to read. I think it's only because I'm just not in the habit of reading comics digitally that I haven't subscribed to this series yet. Both art and story are a pure pleasure, and boy howdy was it great to see Aquaman show up here to help out his old pal. And riding dolphins yet!
 
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New "Mego" Aquaman?

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Figures Toy Co. is launching a new line of limited edition, Mego-style 2-pack figures. They're starting with the Bat-Characters, of course, but check out the cardback featuring the all-stars of the DCU, all drawn by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN)! Might there be a new Mego-style Aquaman in our future? Let's hope so!

If it happens, who would you like yo see him two-packed with? Aqualad seems like the obvious choice, but I could see FTC grouping the Teen Titans together. So who else would be appropriate? Hawkman? Wonder Woman? Alfred Pennyworth?


(h/t: F.O.A.M.er Michael Bailey and 13thDimension.com)

 

Random Panel of the Day #979

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #978

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International Aquaman Covers Part 2

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More awesome International Aquaman comics courtesy F.O.A.M. member Chance Van Pelt!

From top to bottom, these covers come from Brave and the Bold #114, DC Comics Presents #48, and the Sears Portrait Studio.

Thanks Chance!


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #976

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The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 84

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 84
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 84 - Aquaman & the Others #1, State of the Nuclear Union, and Listener Feedback

You are now living in an era in which Aquaman has two monthly comics! This episode Shag and I dive into AQUAMAN & THE OTHERS #1 by Dan Jurgens, Lan Medina, & Allen Martinez. Next, Shag gives a State of the Nuclear Union address. Finally, a healthy dose of your Listener Feedback!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades - http://instocktrades.com

Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!



Sunday, April 06, 2014

Adventure Comics #277 - Oct. 1960

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Comics Weekend "The Underwater Olympics" by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Before we move on to Aquaman, I want to mention the cover: I love how delighted those aliens look over thwarting Superboy and Krypto. Nice work, Curt Swan!

Okay--anyway, this month, Aquaman sets up his very own Olympics! Let's hope the hotels are better than they were in Sochi:
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Aqualad's team wins the Water Golo game, making it a tie. Next up is a race to see who can salvage a lead crate from the bottom of the sea. Aqualad goes first, but everyone expects Aquaman to win. But he and his team suddenly turn back--what's going on?
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...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman and Aqualad!


Okay--when I first read this story, I assumed writer Bernstein was tying into the story from Adventure #275, a mere two issues ago. I thought that's kinda fun, referencing a previous story. But upon further examination--and re-reading Aquaman's dialogue from the last page--it appears this is a completely different piece of Kryptonite that the Sea King has found at the bottom of the seven seas! When he finds it here, it comes as a surprise, which it wouldn't be if it had been the same piece he dumped at the end of "The Interplanetary Mission." Great Neptune, how much green K made it from Krypton to Earth?!?

Aside from that, this is one insane story of course. Dolphins carrying batons, walruses(?) wearing boxing gloves, Aquaman's Steve Martin-esque white hair on page six; it's all here!

Post Script: Between Adventure Comics #'s 276 and 277, Aquaman appeared in Justice League of America #1, which was covered in depth over on my JLA Satellite blog. Head over there to see where Aquaman was in the DC timeline, and then come back next week for another issue of Adventure Comics!

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