It's Comic Friday again, and time for some Earth-Shattering Disasters!!
This is a fun collection of three tales starring Batman, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman!
The Batman tale is entitled "And The Town Came Tumbling Down" by Bob Rozakis, John Calnan, and my old Kubert instructor Tex Blaisdell, and the Legion tale is "The City That Stopped...Dead!" by Paul Levitz, Arvell Jones, and Bob Layton.
But of course it's the Aquaman tale we're here to talk about, and it's a cool one: "A Creature of Death and Darkness!" written by Gerry Conway with art by the late, great Don Newton(drawing Aquaman for the first time) and Dan Adkins.
Since this Aquaman tale doesn't really reference any current storylines(this issue was released just as Aquaman was going from Adventure Comics back into his own title again), we can assume this was some sort of inventory tale, or at the very least specifically written to appear in an anthology.
It opens with Aquaman beating the kelp out of some modern-age pirates as they try to take over a cargo ship. He makes quick work of them and notices the pirates are carrying some sort of weird chemical cannon.
As he attempts to rescue the cargo ship's crew(a whole has been punched into their ship and it begins quickly sinking), a weird dark, viscous cloud comes up from the depths and capsizes the ship. Aquaman wants to investigate it but decides to take the sea men to safety first.
He consults with the Navy and they tell him the cloud is a gian patch of oil that has somehow come alive due to radiation(are we sure Stan Lee didn't write this?)!
Aquaman enlists the help of save whales to help create a giant wave to steer the cloud, but it crashes down upon them, killing them! Aquaman is enraged and he tries to use his mental powers on the cloud, which nearly kills him. The Navy says that the cloud is getting dangerously close to a Hawaiian island, and they tell Aquaman the only way to stop it from killing more people is to drop an A-Bomb on it!
Aquaman of course won't stand for this, and digs up the chemical cannon that he came across on the pirate's ship, and aims it at the cloud, which kills it! Aquaman explains to the Navy brass that he used basic science and figured out that oil producers use a corrosive acid to control oil slicks, and that the cannon would do the same job in a pinch!
The Navy men thank Aquaman for helping them out, but he reminds them his goal was to protect the ocean, at all costs.
It's a fun little tale, told at a breakneck pace and Don Newton does a superb first job on the Sea King. His Aquaman is regal, dynamic, and imposing:
...Aquaman could've done a lot worse than to have Newton become his regular artist, taking over for Jim Aparo a few issues into his solo title's return.