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Friday, June 08, 2007

Brave and the Bold #114 - Sept. 1974

sgIt's Comic Friday again, and today we take a look at one of my favorite Aquaman team-ups: the second of his three appearances with Batman in The Brave and the Bold.

First off, that's a grabber of a cover--Aquaman trying to kill Batman? I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's a violation of JLA house rules! It's a shame that DC was doing its ill-fated 100-pages-of-moldy-reprints experiment then, because I would've loved to have seen Aparo's scenario get the full cover treatment.

Anyway, the story is the very cinematically-named "Last Jet to Gotham" by Bob Haney and Aparo, who gets to draw the two characters he was most famous for. It opens with Batman and Commissioner Gordon waiting at Gotham Airport(!) for a plane carrying a big mob boss.

The plane goes down, into...you guessed it!--the ocean, and Batman heads down, costume and all. While there, he gets a message from Aquaman, who tells him that it was he who caused the plane to crash!

Batman gets knocked out by some depth charges set by the Sea King himself, and wakes up in The Double-Dolphin, Aquaman's Batmobile-esque submarine(hey! an acessory vehicle! Mego, are you paying attention?). Aquaman explains to Bats that the plane was a booby-trap(can you say that in a code-approved comic?) for Gotham--it was carrying a hydrogen bomb!

Aquaman and Batman go to retrieve the plane, and they find it's gone, its passengers having been picked up by a passing freigher. Meanwhile, another mob family decrees that the mobster in question must not be let into the Gotham PD's hands!!

A storm hits the freighter, but Aquaman and Batman manage to get aboard, apprehend the mobster and grab the innocent-looking crate containing the bomb. They hand the bomb over to some experts who "will take it out to the sea where they'll disarm it!" *Whew*!

The story ends on a soft note, where, as Aquaman swims away, Gordon describes him as "A strange being--so proud, so cold-blooded, and hard to figure! He scares me." To which Bats replies "Me, too, sometimes...but take him all in all, he's...beautiful!" Well, Bruce! Ever tell Arthur that in person?

I don't mean to mock this story at all--it's a lot of fun, full of twists and turns, and packs a lot in just twenty pages. Aparo, of course, is excellent...Aquaman looks just as dynamic and powerful here as Batman does, making for a true team-up.

(The story also features an Aquaman reprint tale from Adventure Comics, with art by Jim Mooney, so this is a particularly-Aqua-centric issue of B&B!)

5 comments:

farsider said...

I loved that Brave and Bold. Even the Teen Titans story had Aqualad in it (I think). A few months ago when the British uncovered the terrorist plot to blow up US-bound planes over the Atlantic, I thought of this story.

russell said...

I have to say that I am not a fan of Aquaman's later appearances in B&B. He and Batman should have been allies, not enemies. I remember his third appearance where it was actually called "Batman Vs. Aquaman." I never liked how Arthur was portrayed so (basically) level headed in his own book, but then as such a hot-head in this series... all written by Bob Haney, if I remember correctly. His first appearance, with art by Neal Adams, is one of my favorites, though! :-)

rob! said...

that was something i was going to touch on in later reviews--the common theme for ALL 3 B&Bs with Aquaman turn on the plot point that Aquaman fights Batman! weird, huh?

Anonymous said...

Rob-

How could anyone not love those 100 pg. treats!

Yes, Haney's stuff was often "cinematic" - lots of his stories LITERALLY "span the globe" - not just staying in Gotham, Metropolis, etc.

Actually, to a fault? His stuff is interestingly plotted, but skimps on character & logic!

Great weekend, all!
-Craig

Anonymous said...

Ah, the "Double Dolphin". Loved it. As far as I can tell it only appeared here and in one other B&B Bats / Aquaman team-up.

If you've got Alan Davis' JLA: The Nail, check out the insignia on Lord Vulko's flagship.

Further proof that Davis is one of us!

Vincent Paul Bartilucci
VBTusky@aol.com