Friday, April 27, 2007

Aquaman (Vol.1) #38 - 1968

sgI thought, since I covered the most recent issue of Aquaman for last week's Comic Friday, I'd go way back this week, and talk about "'Justice Is Mine', Saieth the Liquidator!" (you can see why they abbreviated it for the cover) by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.

As usual, this issue of Aquaman is graced by a beautiful, poster-like, eye-catching cover by Nick Cardy. I know it would probably only sell about five copies, but hey, DC--can you put together an Aquaman: Cover to Cover hardcover book? Please, pretty please?

Aquaman mysteriously faints dead away at the same time a mysterious being known as (you guessed it) The Liquidator arrives in Atlantis. The Big Purple L is hot on the trail of someone he calls "the guilty one", and he thinks that someone is...Aquaman!

At the same time, something has come over our hero and turned him into, in Mera's words "something evil, strange." While Mera tries to have the leaders of Atlantis intervene, Aquaman and the Liquidator have it out. Aqualad gets involved, and doesn't really help much.

It turns out that both Aquaman and the Liquidator were victims of an even greater menace, an Atlantean turncoat named Ragnar. And even though Aquaman wins out eventually, he shows mercy to the Liquidator when it's revealed who the real baddie was.

While the design of the Liquidator--big, hulking, with little purple onion rings hanging off his head--is not Nick Cardy's best, the storytelling is of course top-notch. There are some marvelous facial gestures, and the frequent use of open panels and unusual angles reinforce the underwater setting of the story.

Note: According to the Statement of Ownership, Aquaman was selling, on average, 233,00 copies of the 404,000 printed each month, a little better than half the print run. It's funny to think--and of course I'm like the one millionth comic fan to point this out--that Aquaman selling 233,000 made it a medium seller, when of course today, numbers like that would make Aquaman a monster smash. We'd have All-Star Aquaman, Surf & Turf (an Aquaman team-up book), Aquaman: The Animated Series, the whole deal.

Bonus! This comic also features one of those fun half-page ads that DC did a lot in the 60s and 70s, featuring the best Flash cover, ever: (sorry, Dixon)
sg

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA

Surf & Turf

Aquaman's Brave and Bold

Did you think of that, Rob?

Keep up the good work.
farsider

rob! said...

yes, i came up with that line several years ago and have used it whenever i could. as i was writing this post, i went "eureka!" because i could drag it out again.

Wich2 said...

Rob (& gang)-

>hey, DC--can you put together an Aquaman: Cover to Cover hardcover book?<

A talented artiste like you could go here, & roll yer own:
http://www.comics.org/covers.lasso?SeriesID=1488

>According to the Statement of Ownership, Aquaman was selling, on average, 233,00 copies of the 404,000 printed each month, a little better than half the print run.<

And according to some scholars of same over at the Charlton Yahoo group, the bean counters played a lot of fast and loose with those numbers!

>the best Flash cover, ever: sorry, Dixon)<

Howzabout this one?:
http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=21027&zoom=4

Great weekend, all!
-Craig

Rick Phillips said...

I loved the Surf and Turf title. I notice that the Liquidator is not well seen on the cover. Perhaps this is to cover up that the design is not very well. I have never read this book but I have always seen the cover and loved it. Nick Cardy is one of the best artist to work for DC.
Also, I have always liked your design with Aquaman on the top of your blog. How did you do that. I know it may be something simple but I don't know how to do it and would like something like that on my blogs. Thanks for all the fun.

Dixon said...

Yes, that's quite a cover, Rob... On both Aquaman #38 and The Flash #177. One of these Fridays I'll get around to the latter for an installment of Classic Covers. And don't you just love those old half-page ads? They're wonderful. Thanks for posting this one, Rob.

I don't mind your stealing Crimson Lightning's thunder just this once... As long as the very first issue of Surf & Turf features the king of the seven seas teaming up with the scarlet speedster!

rob! said...

>>As long as the very first issue of Surf & Turf features the king of the seven seas teaming up with the scarlet speedster!<<

dixon-

absolutely! if i was writing for DC and could do the Surf and Turf title, my plan would be a seven-part series where he teams up with each original JLAer, culminating in him rejoining the JLA. so Flash can go first, no problem!

come on, DC, call me!

Lui said...

I read this issue recently. Liked it alot. Good fun.


And "Surf and Turf" = Best book idea ever.

Must happen. ^^