Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aquaman (Vol.8) #35 - Dec. 2014

Comics Weekend "Afterlife" by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, and Rain Beredo.

This first issue of "Malestrom" opens with Aquaman in search for something. But before we can learn what, we find Dr. Steven Shin being harassed by one of the representatives of Triton Base, who don't like the idea of their man just "walking away." Salty The Aqua-Dog intervenes (yay Salty!), and Shin is escorted to the docks, where our heroes are waiting for him.
It isn't long before another sea quake hits, and Aquaman and Mera make sure the damage is limited. Next, the prisoners being held for for the attempted assassination are brought from their cells. They see Mera whipping up a whirlpool, and are sure they are about to die. 

Instead, they are thrown into the air, landing with a thud onto their king's royal craft. Aquaman tells them that he is within his rights as king to execute them all, but instead they are being exiled to a remote point near Antarctica, where they will be given the chance to form their own society. Aquaman challenges them to strive for more than never-ending violence, to aim higher. Meanwhile, down in the Atlantean archives, Dr. Evans and Dr. Shin are investigating the nation's history. They find an ancient touchstone, which shows them a sea of faces from long ago.

Soon, they find Aquaman, Mera, and some of the others, and explain what they think they've learned: that Atlantis is built upon the electrical impulses of all those who have come before, which acts as a safeguard to ensure no surface dweller ever rules. Aquaman, being half-Atlantean, is literally the cause of the sea quakes, but even so, his mother's essence should be part of Atlantis preventing such disasters. So what's going on?

Aquaman heads off to his mother's tomb, and we end where we began:
sg be continued!

Very happy to see Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons back for a full issue, and only appropriate since this is the kick off of another major story arc. After several issues of wall-to-wall action, Jeff Parker changes things up by giving us more of a contemplative issue. As much as I have said I'm no fan of endless Atlantis-based arcs, I enjoyed the scene of Aquaman, Mera, and some of their advisers just sitting around talking, like regular people do. Scenes like this help humanize these larger than life characters, as does the humorous asides both Arthur and Mera spout from time to time. After years--decades--of Aquaman in the comics being a total sourpuss, it's nice to see him kid around.

Looking very forward to seeing where this goes!

By the way, we'll be featuring a second interview with Jeff Parker, talking about "Malestrom" and other Aqua-related topics. Look for it soon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1120


Challenge of the Super Friends, Episode 14

Episode 14: "Doomsday"

For the Legion of Doom, every day is Doomsday, that's what makes it fun!
This episode of Challenge of the Super Friends opens not in the murky swamp, but in the Pacific Ocean. A nuclear aircraft carrier picks up a UFO headed right for them, so they of course alert the Super Friends!

Just as Superman is imprisoning a creature he calls "the Mole Man of Planet Theta", the message comes in. Luckily, just the right member of the team is there to check out this threat:
Green Lantern and Wonder Woman accompany Aquaman. Meanwhile, we learn that the UFO is, in fact, the Legion of Doom's flying HQ. It fires a torpedo at the carrier, but it doesn't explode. The captain of the ship is thankful it's a "dud", but little does he know the real plan: inside the torpedo is The Cheetah, who hops out and via some doohickey turns off the ship's nuclear reactor!

To make matters worse, Black Manta and Sinestro land on deck via his Manta Ship, just as Aquaman also arrives. Unfortunately, he's no match for Sinestro's power ring:
Green Lantern uses his power ring to turn into a giant (because cartoons), causing the Legion of Doom to beat a hasty retreat, leaving their three members behind, fuming. Lantern scoops Manta, Sinestro, and Cheetah up and brings them back to the Hall of Justice, imprisoning them.

Sinestro comes up with a plan to escape: by slipping into the other dimensional planet known as Qward, the three bad guys escape their jail, leaving anti-matter duplicates behind in their place. After overhearing about a powerful new weapon created by the Army, Sinestro, Manta, and Cheetah show up, defeating The Flash and Apache Chief, with the rest of the Legion next on their list!

Manta grabs the controls of the new weapon, which luckily are size-adjustable, and blasts the soldiers with the Super Friends left stuck in a giant diamond, only able to watch:
Meanwhile, Superman touches Sinestro's anti-matter dummies, which transports him to Qward. The Man of Steel finds him face-to-face with former Kryptonian criminal, who was banished to Qward as punishment. Back on Earth, our terrible trio find their former teammates stealing Alaska's oil (you betcha) and use the anti-matter cannon on them!

Instead of just blasting the traitors into atoms, Black Manta, who finds joy in his work, converts them all into bowling pins. He then creates a giant bowling ball, and decides to throw a few frames, giving the Super Friends time to scour the planet in a search for them.

After torturing Luthor and the rest some more, they get an alarm telling them the Super Friends are near. Toyman grabs the anti-matter cannon, and fires it into the ocean, making two giant water hands which reach up and grab the Man of Steel, Green Lantern, and Black Vulcan. Flash and Apache Chief escape their diamond prison, freeing their friends. This leads to a donnybrook, with Sinestro creating a giant rat, which Green Lantern counters with a giant cat. Clever guy, that Hal!

Finally having enough of this nonsense, Apache Chief uses the weapon on the Legion, putting them into a giant clear plastic egg carton:
Superman makes a joke about the Legion being hard-boiled, while the bad guys squabble with each other, leading us to...The End!

After a promising start with Aquaman taking charge of the first mission, he's tossed aside by Sinestro like so much laundry, not to be seen again in the episode (except for one brief group shot). Still, better than the last couple of shows, where you didn't even know he was on the team at all.

I like the idea of some members of the Legion of Doom fighting amongst themselves, it only makes sense. We get some insight into Black Manta's personal life when, after torturing his teammates for a few minutes, he's ready to make nice with them again. Interesting guy.

This episode's Aqua-Content: Medium


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1118


Jason Momoa, Aquaman Collector

Over the weekend, Jason Momoa posed for this picture, doing some "research."

The Aquaman Shrine hopes that Mr. Momoa draws from the many, many different eras of the Sea King while preparing for his historic role. In that spirit, here are some alternates to inspire further reading:



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1117


Aquaman DIY Halloween Costume

Want to learn how to make a kick-bass Aquaman costume for Halloween that won't cost a fortune? Check out this article over on Carbon Costume that shows you how!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1116


The Power Records Podcast, Episode 7: More Monsters!

sgThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents: THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST, Episode 7

It's Halloween time, and that means Monsters!  Chris Franklin and I talk about two spooky Marvel Monster records, "The Monster of Frankenstein!" and "The Curse of the Werewolf!"

Leave a comment on our sites:

Have a question or comment? Drop us a line at

Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

Thanks for listening! Drop the needle and turn the page!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Aquaman Episode 1: Menace of the Black Manta

Aquaman Episode 1: "Menace of the Black Manta" by Bob Haney

Welcome to our new Sunday feature, Saturday Morning Sundays, where we will take a look back the Aquaman animated series by Filmation, which ran from 1968-1969, as part of the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure!

This first episode kicks off with Aquaman's (then, and arguably still) #1 foe, Black Manta, skimming the bottom of the seas in his fearsome Manta Ship:
Manta spies on our heroes, Aquaman, Aqualad, Mera, and Tusky the Walrus, as plans his attack. Having attached an antenna to a nearby whale, Manta emits a transmission, causing the whale to go wild! Aquaman's finny friends try to warn him of danger, and they go an investigate.

Aquaman tries to calm the whale down, to no effect. After Mera is knocked off her steed into the mouth of a giant clam, Aquaman orders a hammerhead shark to smash the antenna on Manta's ship, breaking the transmission and calming the whale down. Next, Manta sends out a small band of his really creepy-looking Manta Men.

Aquaman and Aqualad fight them off, but Manta keeps attacking: using various powerful beams of energy, Manta has different sea creatures grow out of control in size and become deadly. They free themselves, only to see that Manta has spun a large net of coral with which to trap nearby ships. Aquaman again uses his telepathic powers to have some swordfish cut the net loose.

Aquaman and Aqualad then use the coral to trap the Manta Men. Black Manta follows our heroes into a canyon, where his ship gets caught between to cliffs. Now it's time for Aquaman and Black Manta to fight mano-a-mano:
After a brief fight, Manta falls into a nearby whirlpool. Aqualad thinks he's gone forever, but Aquaman is none too sure. After freeing the still-trapped Mera, who has to play catch up, we have reached...The End!

This first episode of the series--written by then-Aquaman scribe Bob Haney--establishes the necessary template that Filmation would follow for the remaining episodes. At only seven minutes each, there's virtually no time for set-up or characterization (not that there would have been even if there had been time): a villain appears, attacks Aquaman, there's some initial setbacks, and then the heroes triumph in the end. Filmation's visual imagination is on full display here, with the really cool Manta Men and bright, dazzling colors. 

This show aired in tandem with Super Friends way back in the early 1970s, and it was my first true introduction to the character. And what an introduction! Aquaman (voiced by Marvin Miller) is the epitome of a can-do hero: never flustered, brave, powerful, and kind to his sidekick Aqualad, steed Storm, and partner/wife Mera (though here on the show she seems more of an equal to Aqualad, and no relationship between the two is ever suggested). Aquaman the series is essentially the Haney/Cardy era of the Aquaman comic book brought to life.

For some reason, despite the Shrine being eight years old, I never did quite get around to covering the show in detail. So when Adventure Sundays started winding down and I wanted something equally fun and light-hearted to replace it, I realized than an episode-by-episode look at the show that kicked off my Aqua-Fandom would fit the bill. I hope you all enjoy and let the Shrine know what you thought of the show!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Justice League #35 - Dec. 2014

"The Amazo Virus" by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Ivan Reis, and more.

This issue of Justice League opens with the newly-reformed (yeah, right) Lex Luthor talking about how to make the world a better place, and taking inspiration from its heroes:
Of course, all this good cheer from Luthor doesn't fool the Justice League, who are on patrol across the city, both in their civilian identities and (in Aquaman's case) right out in the open. As Bruce Wayne and Lex engage in a tense conversation, Aquaman spots a mysterious figure on a rooftop. The figure jumps, landing on the LexCorp building, and it's revealed to be the supervillain Neutron, who has been hired--blackmailed--for this mission: kill Lex Luthor!

As The Flash and Cyborg help evacuate the building, the Sea King steps in--er, drops in:
Neutron blasts through a wall, leaving Lex looking ashen. Bruce wants to know what's happened, but we see what it is: the "Amazo Virus" is loose! To be continued!

I totally dug Aquaman standing on a rooftop, making like Batman, guarding over the city, trident in hand. Geoff Johns' love of the Sea King shines through in moments like this, where he is able to place Aquaman in situations other writers would not, because he doesn't see him as so tethered to bodies of water (though we get that too). And then to get that full page shot of him taking it to Neutron? Outrageous!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"According to The Aquaman Shrine..."

Always fun when the Shrine gets quoted like we're an actual news outlet!

(via Shrine Correspondent Darrin Sutherland)

Random Panel of the Day #1114


Justice League: Throne of Atlantis DVD/Blu-Ray Sleeve

Here's the official DVD/Blu-Ray sleeve of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, which hits stores on January 27, 2015. On the sidebar you'll see an Amazon link--go ahead and pre-order it, Aqua-Fans!

Lego: Batman Be-Leaguered!

Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered debuts on Cartoon Network October 27th! And as you can see, Aquaman is along for the (blocky) ride!

Here's the trailer, full of JLA goodness:

(h/t: Andy Kapellusch)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So It's Official Then: AQUAMAN in 2018

It's a good--great--time to be an Aquaman fan, and it will continue to be for the the next four years.

Random Panel of the Day #1113


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