Thursday, November 20, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1139


TBT: Superman/Aquaman Set by Ideal

Just when I think I've seen every Aquaman item there is to see...

Courtesy our newest F.O.A.M. member, big-time comics pro Doug Hazlewood, comes this photo of the uber-rare Superman/Aquaman set made by Ideal in 1966.

I've seen pics of the larger sets featuring Aquaman and other JLAers:

...but never this mini-set of just the two (then) animated TV stars, plus two...let's just say less detailed villain figures.

As you can see, Aquaman was a bit of an afterthought on the packaging: Superman's logo couldn't be any bigger, and poor Aquaman has to settle for his name being in plain text.

These sets are crazy expensive in the package like this, I've seen similar sets on eBay go for thousands of dollars. Whoever owns the actual set the above pic is taken from, I'm betting it's a large chunk of their eventual retirement plan.

Thanks Doug, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!


This post originally appeared on November 10, 2009.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1138


John Barrowman, Aquaman Fan

Actor John Barrowman (Arrow, Tochwood), shows off...just how much of an Aquaman fan he is at the 2014 NC Comic Con, held last weekend.

I kinda want to see a close up of those shorts, and I also kinda don't.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1137


Mego Super-Heroes Ad

Someone get me all of these for Christmas! I already have some (like Aquaman) but I can always use doubles for when I do "evil duplicate" storylines.

(h/t: The Mego Museum)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1136


Aquaman #39 Variant Cover by Amanda Conner

Aquaman is not amused with Harley Quinn's antics on this variant cover to Aquaman #39 by Amanda Conner. Dolphins with frickin' lasers! On sale in February 2015.


The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 107

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 107 - Star Wars

Aquaman and Firestorm continue their vacation, as Shag and I discuss a rarely-covered podcast subject, Star Wars! We talk about their history with the franchise, and our hopes for EPISODE VII. May The Force Be With You!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades -

Opening theme by Nick The Lounge Singer. Closing Theme by John Williams.

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Aquaman, Episode 5: The Sea Raiders

Aquaman Episode 5: "The Sea Raiders" by Oscar Bensol

Aliens invade Earth (again!), this time with no intentions to conquer--no, their plan is much more nefarious. They lower a suction tube into the ocean, and start hoovering up different sea creatures! As we see, they've been doing this across different worlds, and now it's Earth's turn!

After grabbing a few sharks and some other fish, Aquaman and Aqualad take notice. Tusky gets too close and disappears into the ship, and then the aliens retaliate by letting loose one of their captures, a monster from Venus!
This creature is pretty fearsome, and in short order it has Aqualad in its clutches. Aquaman helps free his young charge, and then orders a small army of fish to pummel the thing, so bad that the aliens decide to give up, tuck tail, and run. However, Tusky is still aboard!
Aquaman uses some seaweed to make a rope, lassoing the ship and preventing it from taking off. As it struggles to stay aloft and not crash into the sea, one of the aliens essentially begs to be let go. Aquaman's response: no deal! He demands the return of Tusky, which is granted. Once their pal is safely back, Aquaman and Aqualad let go, allowing the aliens to run away like the little bitches they are. The End!

This is probably is my favorite episode so far, and I have to think that it had a huge influence on me when I saw it as a kid: Aquaman is a complete badass here. He humiliates the aliens, and tells them to go pound sand when they ask--beg--to be let go. Aquaman will not desert any of his friends, period. Yay Aquaman!

Writer Oscar Bensol had a short career in animation--he has a series of credits on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure show and its various incarnations, and that's it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The House of Secrets #131 - May 1975


Okay, some of you might be wondering, what was the point of posting this brief (if delightful) vintage horror story on the Shrine? Well, let's take a look at the first panel:


Arthur Curry? Well, that's an unusual name for a protagonist in a DC horror comic, since of course these stories generally didn't take place the mainstream DC universe. Who wrote this?

Steve Skeates, explain yourself!

"This is one of the numerous times I wrote this particular story--the initial one being for Charlton, entitled The Girl in the Dream, and making the scene in The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves! I also used the same basic plot for a Kid Flash tale, a mystery piece for Marvel that was nicely illustrated by Jim Starlin, and even a Tweety and Sylvester story for Gold Key, not to mention variations for Warren and Gold Key's Twilight Zone, and others!

Things got out of control when I wrote it the third time, the aforementioned version for Marvel, due to Tony Isabella taking me to task for having sold the same story three times; my reaction: 'Oh yeh? I'll show him! I'll write and sell it seven more times, make it an even ten!' which I then proceeded to do! None of which admittedly speaks to my tossing Aquaman in there; guess I was still smarting about the Aquaman book being cancelled, especially since having learned that sales of that book were up, yet Carmine decided to do in the book anyway thanks to various disagreements he had had with Dick G."

We should have known! Steve has always shown to have an impish disregard for some of the "sacred" rules of self-serious superhero comics, so having "Arthur Curry" get it so unceremoniously in a completely unrelated DC book makes total sense. It also speaks to Aquaman's civilian ID being generally unknown, even to DC editors. After all, you couldn't name a random character Clark Kent or Bruce Wayner and get away with it. Nice job, Steve!

I had never known of this story's existence until newest F.O.A.M. member Ned Sanyour pointed to me a blogpost over on Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!, who brought it this little gem to light. Thanks fellas, and welcome to F.O.A.M. Ned!


For Further Reading: You can read another delightful three-pager written by Steve, this time starring Aqualad, by clicking here. I miss the days when comics could feature such things!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1135


Aquaman Art Gallery: Mike Mahle

This is the work of artist Mike Mahle, who has crafted dozens of advertising-ready posters of various pop culture characters like Plastic Man, Peter Pan, James Bond, Dracula, and a whole lot of superheroes! As you might guess, this one is the Shrine's particular favorite.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1134


TBT: Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!

Last week's episode of Brave and The Bold was the one all us Aquaman fans were waiting for, "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!" Like Aquaman, let's be bold and decisive, and get right to the action!

After a great opening with Batman and one of his most unlikely guest-stars, Enemy Ace(!), this episode starts with another one of Aquaman's arch-villains, making his Brave and the Bold debut: The Fisherman!

The Fisherman, using his high-tech equipment, is keeping some undersea scientists hostage. When their governments won't pay his ransom, The Fisherman prepares to drop the scientists' ship into a reef!

Luckily for them, Aquaman has arrived!:

He quickly dispatches The Fisherman, and then saves the scientists by calling in some of his giant whale friends, who grab the ship and bring it to safety.

Aquaman is happy it all ended well, and is prepared to call this adventure "The Rescue At Rainbow Reef!"

Then it seems that one of his dolphin pals has learned how to speak English! But that's not quite it: we find that this tangle with The Fisherman is a daydream of Aquaman's, and the voice we hear coming from the dolphin is actually his wife Mera, trying to snap him out of his revelry:

Mera is insistent that they spend this vacation like real Surface Dwellers (which Arthur Jr. is doing, focused as is he is on his hand-held gaming device)--no adventures, no crime-fighting.

Aquaman says he agrees, but he's obviously bored. After they stop at a diner for some food, he steps outside and calls his pal Batman, asking to be rescued from "This blasted vacation!"

But Batman is a little busy: he's fighting off a gang of henchmen under the employ of that fowl felon, The Penguin!

Aquaman offers Batman help, but Bats insists Aquaman should stay on vacation.

He reluctantly agrees, but perks up when in the sky he sees The Arrow Signal, which means...danger!

Aquaman helps Green Arrow apprehend The Clock King and his gang of henchmen. The Clock King runs away, leaving his men behind, and Aquaman handles them with glee:
They then catch up to the Clock King, and even though he takes a hostage, that's no problem for our heroes: Aquaman commands some lobsters in a nearby fish tank to crawl all over their foe.

In one of my favorite visual gags of the show, as they talk, the lobsters continue to make Clock King's life miserable:

Aquaman makes it back to his family just in time to taste the apple pie Mera ordered for desert, with no one the wiser.

Next, they stop an Old West-style town ("Is that Jonah Hex? Ha! Ha! Ha!"), and Aquaman stops in a nearby saloon to get a Sasparilla. He calls Batman again, but Bats is still busy with The Penguin.

Aquaman sees a local TV report about the Blue Beetle squaring off against the villainous Planet Master, which of course means a call to action!:

Blue Beetle tries to stop the Planet Master (who, despite the name, has some pretty impressive powers), but has a hard time of it. He's thrilled when Aquaman shows up to help, and together they, as Aquaman puts it, "Silence this cosmic crook!"

Unlike the other, more jaded heroes, Blue Beetle is overjoyed to meet Aquaman:

Aquaman and his family check into a motel, where Mera gets wind of a news report detailing the Aquaman/Blue Beetle fight against Planet Master. The jig is up!

Mera is frustrated, but Aquaman begs forgiveness: "We're heroes, it's what we do!" Nevertheless, he promises, no more heroics from now on. He declares his next adventure is the one with his family!:

Aquaman sticks to his word, and during their drive around the country, his promise is tested when he seems to see heroes, heroes everywhere:
They visit the World's Largest Ball of Sod, among other natural wonders. He thinks he's stumbled upon the supervillain The Sportsmaster, but it turns out he's on a boring vacation with his family, too:
Aquaman then gets a call from Batman, and overhears that Batman is now in the clutches of The Penguin, and was calling for help!

Aquaman convinces Mera that they should visit Gotham City, talking it up as a "A center of world art, commerce, and culture", while also suggesting they keep the RV's windows up. When Mera points out this is where Batman lives, Aquaman plays dumb.

While his family waits back in the RV, Aquaman tries to rescue Batman, but is also zapped by The Penguin and placed in the same death trap. Mera and Arthur Jr. follow, and soon they are in the same pickle. Meanwhile, The Penguin plans to launch a series of Umbrella Rockets straight into Gotham City! (Though Aquaman and Mera are barely listening)

Mera finally admits that maybe vacations aren't right for people like them, and in the face of true danger, she advises her husband to "Show him why you're King of the Sea!"

Aquaman then commands some finny friends to help free them all from Penguin's ropes, and once they do Mera wants to join the fight:

Batman chases after The Penguin while Aquaman and Mera take on his henchmen. Why, even Arthur Jr. gets in a few licks, showing he's mighty strong just like his old man:
Batman follows The Penguin to his armored sub, but is quickly outnumbered by even more of The Penguin's gang. Aquaman dives into the water, and makes a beeline for the sub, landing on top and evening the odds:
Batman gets close enough to The Penguin to paste him one, which is all it takes. Case closed!

Batman thanks Aquaman for his help, especially since it was during his vacation. Aquaman promises--again--to quit all the adventuring go back on the real vacation, suggesting they visit "The Stonehenge made from old refrigerators!"

But this time, Mera and Arthur Jr. are on the same page as Aquaman, and want more adventure. Arthur Jr. declares this trip be called "The Time My Dad Saved The World Again!"

Aquaman, beaming, embraces his family and says, "That's my boy!"

...the end!

This episode is probably Aquaman's finest half-hour on TV, full stop. "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!" is a big valentine to the character, retaining most of Aquaman's most beloved elements while still keeping him consistent with the version we've seen in previous episodes of the series.

It had adventure, laughs, tons of guest stars...Great Neptune, even the blue camouflage suit!


This post originally appeared on January 11, 2010.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1133


Aquaman Shrine Interview with Jeff Parker

Aquaman writer Jeff Parker is back for another interview with Shrine, now that the book's newest arc, "Maelstrom" is in full swing:

The Aquaman Shrine: After several issues of wall-to-wall action, this first installment of "Maelstrom" immediately seems to be setting up a story that's more contemplative, more internal. Is this on purpose?

Jeff Parker: Well issue #35 is a bit of calm before the storm, and it reflects the fact that Aquaman has taken some time to think on things and is ready to start making some calls. The whole Maelstrom arc is completely driven by him instead of him reacting to outside forces, which is what tends to happen with super hero figures. He’s realizing that he’s taken a lot of things for granted and not questioned enough, and now he’s charting a new course. And he well knows that digging up secrets doesn’t always improve things, it can make them worse, but he’s dead set on finding out the truth about his mother Atlanna.

AMS: You've given both Aquaman and Mera--especially Mera--the occasional funny aside ("Now you're going the fun way", "Vow eternal vigilance, knock yourself out"). Is this a way of drawing a distinct line between the New 52 versions of the characters and the older versions, who both could be pretty grim sourpusses?
JP: Maybe--it’s just the way I see them. I don’t think you can have as healthy a relationship as these two do without having some humor. Ironically for the water hero, his humor is so incredibly dry most people don’t realize he made a joke until much later. But like with that speech to the leader of the Underrealm dissenters, he’s just finally speaking exactly what’s on his mind, things he’s kept in check when around the Atlanteans. Mera is of course not going to do or say anything she doesn’t want to, and it seems the Atlanteans are starting to respect that about her. 

AMS: After some initial hesitation right after the change, Aqua-Fans have really taken to Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons work on the book. Can you describe your working relationship with them? Has it changed over the year you've been doing the book?
JP: That’s because they look SO GOOD! They’re both consummate pros, all I have to do is describe the story as best I can and get out of the way. Sometimes we’ll debate about how a scene should go down, but we’re all pretty geared towards problem solving- whatever makes a story work is what matters, and any of us will alter our work if we’re shown a better route. And Rain Beredo has done such a great job over their work, the book looks very distinctive, and bursting with energy. Though I really like whenever Paul draws a quiet scene- everyone probably thinks of him as the big action guy, but he really delivers on subtle moments too.

AMS: Your stories have subtle, and sometimes explicit, references to Aquaman stories and characters of the past. We know you're a long time fan of the character, so are these easter eggs for similar fans, or do they have a greater thematic purpose?
JP: They work as easter eggs, but I really choose them because I think they’ll work or this still some magic in the concepts that can be polished back to the surface. There’s a certain quirkiness in those old stories and stuff of the time like the early Doom Patrol that I really like and think works in this world.

AMS: When preparing another arc like "Malestrom", what's your writing process like? Do you have an endpoint you want Aquaman to reach and fill in to get there, or do different moments come to you and then you shape them to fit the narrative later on?

JP: Usually that is exactly the case, but this time it was different. This time I wanted Arthur to get headstrong about an idea and pursue it, no matter what it results in, so I began writing without a clear end in mind, which is not often what I do. But it’s really paid off, once I outlined the story and started to realize what could happen, I was very happy. And we get some cool interactions with characters like the Martian Manhunter and Gorilla Grodd, it’s a full-on quest. 

AMS: You're writing Aquaman at a time that could arguably be called the most popular the character has ever been. Does that zeitgeist bleed in to how you write him? Your Aquaman seems more confident, more sure of himself, than previous versions. Is this a coincidence?
JP: That’s a pretty interesting analysis of it! But I don’t think I’m bringing a meta take to it- I really, really don’t like when writers seem to have their main heroes think of themselves as on a lower tier as if they’re considering what’s A-List in a book store. That’s just messed up, don’t consider other books.

In my mind, Arthur Curry has been kind of dodging the duties he accepted, an extremely reluctant king who would rather be out saving the day instead of making decisions of court. And that hasn’t changed, he’s still that way- he was raised in a quiet lighthouse where you worry about people’s safety, he wasn’t taught how to be a royal leader. But he’s made enough saves at this point that he is feeling confident about calling some shots. And he’s doing the things that come with getting a bit wiser--instead of still holding grudges like he well could with Dr. Shin and Daniel Evans, he’s realizing that they’re his best chance for answers and bringing them into his circle for help. He goes against the Atlantean Council over people who even tried to kill Mera--these are tough choices, and he’s committing to them.

AMS: And finally, as Aquaman's current caretaker, what's your take on Jason Momoa as the Sea King?
JP: I love it, that was a fantastic bit of casting. I don’t care that it will probably be different than what we have in the books, I’m excited for it on its own terms and can’t wait to see him as Aquaman. 


The Aquaman Shrine thanks Jeff Parker once again for sharing his thoughts with us, and of course for doing such a great job with Aquaman! "Maelstrom" Part 2 hits shelves November 26!

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