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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Aquaman's Guide to the Oceans - 2004

sgAh, so close but yet so far.

This is one of a series of '"JLA" Young Readers Guides published by DK. There were books on Speed, Crime Detection, the Universe, Myths, (try and guess which JLAers headlined those) and of course, the Oceans, starring our favorite undersea character. Well, almost.

This book is a combination of facts about the oceans with a loose history of Aquaman. I think doing these science-themed books for kids, and having them hosted by various DC superheroes, was a great idea. Just like a whole generation of kids learned how fast the speed of light was (186,500 miles per second, thank you very much) via Flash comics, these books might inspire a kid to study the sciences later on in life.

I just wish they had not used the angry, pissed off, bedraggled Loser Aquaman in this book. Just look how angry he looks at the cover! Does that look inviting to you? "Grrr!! Learn about the oceans or I'll throw my arm at you! Grrr!!"

Since this book is also a history of Aquaman, it does show him in his pre-loser days. But it goes out of its way to barely show him in his original, more recognizable togs, and Mera is shown to look more like a stripper than her regal, Queen-like self. Most of the art used is that mid-90s stuff, when every male hero looked like they were in a steroid rage and every heroine looked like she was a dominatrix in her spare time. Where's the beautiful, kid-friendly, happy Ramona Fradon Aquaman?

In any case, this is a fun, informative book for kids, even if the Aquaman in it looks more like he's starring in Conan the Barbarian's Guide to Wenching.

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