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Friday, November 09, 2007

Adventure Comics #475 - Sept. 1980

sgWe've talked about this cover(by Brian Bolland) before(back when I did a "Favorite Covers" week), but have yet to talk about the insides, so for Comic Friday it's time to discuss one of Aquaman's best, and briefest, runs in Adventure Comics.

You know, Aquaman and Adventure's relationship is like a country song; Aquaman occasionally goes off to chase something better(say, his own title, or as a back-up somewhere else), but it's always good old Adventure Comics that takes him back. This was like his fifth or sixth run as the "star" of the title; and except for a run of reprints when the book became a
digest, his last.

Fortunately, as I said, it was one of his best. The opening story, "Scavenger Hunt!", is by J.M. DeMatteis and Dick Giordano(doing pencils and inks!), and starts with Mera feeling sick and Aquaman waking from sleep to get Dr.Vulko to help her.

As he heads there, he is grabbed his old friend Topo, the giant squid. Topo shows him some mysterious machinery, hidden away, with Aquaman immediately recognizes as a piece of ancient Atlantean machinery that could be used to create a dimensional portal between his world and the world of a woman named Atlena, the last survivor of the original Atlantis(this was all part of a storyline that Aquaman was in during his run in World's Finest).

While Aquaman is looking over the find, he discovers the other reason Topo was so concerned--the Scavenger, an old foe of Arthur's, was about to discover the machine, as well!

The Scavenger uses his giant ship, with its death rays and armored pincers, to try and kill Aquaman, and for a moment it looks like it's worked! But then:


...as a kid, I just loved this page. Sure, Aquaman is bragging a little bit, but so what? It was cool to watch the Sea King kick a little butt and remind people he's The King of the Seven Seas! (In fact, I loved this page so much that when it came time to make my wraparound collage cover for my sketchbook, this was front and center.)

Anyway, the Scavenger uses his ship to destory the machine, just to be a jerk. Aquaman, remembering why he was out in the first place, returns home, to find Mera...gone! To be continued!

Giordano's art is, of course, top-notch, and I really liked DeMatteis' ability to cram a lot of story--yet still have time for cool moments like the above--in just eight pages.

The book also featured Starman by Paul Levitz, Steve Ditko, and Romeo Tanghal, and Plastic Man by Martin Pasko, our pal Joe Staton, and Bob Smith, an underrated feature.

Helluva value for a measly fifty cents!


Plaidstallions said...

I loved this comic but i have to confess, I bought it for Plastic Man.

Anonymous said...

I've never owned this issue, but I've seen the cover, and I've always admired it. Amazing how Bolland adapts the styles of Ditko and Staton into his own. Just look at Starman's body posturing. That's pure Ditko.


Doug said...

This is what DC needs to get back to. Adventure Comics was a great book!

Think of the characters they could use in it today - Aquaman, Hawkman, Zatanna, Animal Man, Martian Manhunter - I can't believe they're not trying something like this.

Awesome cover!

Anonymous said...

We've "talked" about this run before, Rob. This is a great little run of stories to mine for Comic Friday.

My fav' scene (the brick) next time, right?

rob! said...

i'm trying to decide whether to do all four issues of this run in a row, or skip around more. thoughts?

if i do go through them, the brick moment is two issues away, in #477.

Anonymous said...

"Brick?" Either way, this sounds and LOOKS awesome! I really wish DC would start putting out Archives again. I hate that they stopped after only one volume of Aquaman!

Luke said...

Too bizarre! I literally just saw this comic yesterday at the Greenville Comiccon yesterday. I decided to pass on it in lieu of other stuff, but still, that cover looked quite cool! (A pretty puny Con, but I got some good stuff nonetheless.)