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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who's Who Entry - 1985


I think I had initially decided against posting the AquaFamily Who's Who entries, but then looking them over again I was reminded how beautiful they are and deserve inclusion. Plus, once I posted the one for
Black Manta, my hands were tied!

This was from the very first issue of Who's Who(where Aquaman, thankfully, got the "star spot" on the wraparound cover), and the art is by Chuck Patton and Dick Giordano.

For the record, Aquaman is listed at 6'1" and 325 lbs., which I think most writers have ignored, considering the number of stories where Aquaman gets knocked out and dragged somewhere, frequently by ordinary crooks. He can also swim "in excess of 190 mph", which ought to lead one to figure out that Aquaman has some sort of automatic propulsion-type ability, since its not like he can actually move his arms and legs that fast. If he did, he'd have to be tapping into the Speed Force, wouldn't he? Somebody call Mark Waid!

I thought the whole color-image with monochrome-background look was really sharp and eye-catching; and was very sorry they didn't continue it for later series.

I can't be the only one that would love to see DC do a whole new Who's Who series like this, can I?


Anonymous said...

I love the entry, can't wait to see the rest. Out of curiosity, what do they list his powers as, I can't quite make it out. As far as a new Who's Who...well, I like the IDEA of that, until I start thinking about the fact that it would be for the way all the characters are NOW......which I'm not too fond of to say the least.

Siskoid said...

You're not the only one. Maybe after Final Crisis, they'll make the plunge.

I'd love it to be a celebration of DC's entire history, with entries for pre-Crisis, post-Crisis, post-Zero Hour, post Infinite Crisis, post-Final Crisis characters (or at least paragraphs).

Maybe do like the new Marvel Universes (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s...) with separate books covering a different time.

Anonymous said...

How I remember getting this first issue. I had no idea this series existed. I guess I had looked over the DC house ads for it since they featured some dude I never heard of called the Atomic Knight. So I was floored, puzzled and very excited to find this first issue in my stocking Christmas morning, 1984!

I loved the original series...except those ugly polka dots on the side. A case of over-design, IMHO.

The loose-leaf "binder series" of the early 90s was fun too. I enjoyed arranging the characters in different order, by series, team, etc.


rob! said...

i'm in the minority that i liked the yellow dot pattern(i remember even then-editor Mark Waid ragging on it in a later edition of Whos Who). i think it gives a whole halftone printing look, the hallmark of old timey comics.

as for his powers, it says:
"Aquaman's greates ability is his telepathic mastery over all of the sea's inhabitants. His body is also more dense than that of a normal human, enabling him to survive the awesome pressures of the deep, as well as extreme changes in temperature. This density gives him superior strength on land, and he is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

Underwater, his swimming speed is in excess of 190 mph.

The Sea King is unable to remain out of water indefinitely. This liability developed sometime after adolescence, and if Aquaman remains out of water for more than an hour, he weakens, slips into a coma, and will ultimately die."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification Rob! At least they mentioned his super strength, it seems like that is the most forgotten thing about Arthur.

Scurvy said...

I loved this series. Unfortunately I came into it in the "J"s, so I had to settle for pics of Aquaman in the JLA entry etc. I even loved the updates they did. The time is so very right for an updated version.

For the record I dug the polka dots too.

Diabolu Frank said...

I was lucky enough to happen upon an estate sale on eBay for a late book binder, where I picked up hardbound versions of the '87 and '88 updates. Makes for an outstandingly handy reference, on the rare occasion I need reference on something like the Erik Larsen Doom Patrol or the Young All-Stars.

From childhood on, I vastly preferred the more stately, static Marvel Handbook with the consistant style guide quality embellishing of Joe Rubinstein. For me, the art on Who's Who was too scattered in style and quality, with hideous design and washed out halftones. The loose leaf pages were a major improvement, as you can arrange them in a manner so as to be more stylistically complimentary and relevant from page to page. Most times the single page of text expounded on the earlier entries as well.

rob! said...

one of my favorite things about the old who's who was that it featured modern heroes, big names, and unfathomably obscure ones all together. it helped me discover characters i never knew existed.

i never read any of the WW in Legion books, because i was never a big fan of them. but i liked having Aquaman and the Atom mixed in with the Atomic Knights and Angle Man!

Doug said...

LOVED this series! I especially enjoyed the pre-internet "Catch the character in…" info inside the back cover.

This series, to me, is a wonderful hallmark of a magnificent time in comics.

I'd like to see DC have another go, but fear they'd try to make it too slick. If they went for a retro look and made the entries like this one, it'd be a dream come true for this fan.