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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Brave and the Bold #51 - Jan. 1964

sgComics Weekend It's a weekend of Aquaman team-ups this time around, so today we have an early Silver Age team-up between the King of the Seven Seas and the Winged Wonder, Hawkman!

The story is "Fury of the Exiled Creature", by Bob Haney and Howard Purcell. Since both of these gentlemen worked on Aquaman solo stories, I guess you could look at this as more like an Aquaman tale with Hawkman guest-starring, but let's see what happens...

The issue opens with a giant narwhal attacking the dome that surrounds Atlantis! They send a message out to Aquaman (and Aqualad) to come back home and try and stop the suddenly-mad creature!

Suddenly, the heroes' porpoise steeds also go berserk, and Aquaman tries to calm them down via his mental telepathy.

He tries the same thing with the narwhal, and he senses "someone else is fighting me for control!"

Aquaman decides to Swim It Old School, by distracting it away from the city:
Aquaman sees that the further the Narwhal gets away from the city, the more it calms down and the more Aquaman can use his telepathy on it. What's going on here?

We cut to a bizarre reptilian winged creature (as seen on the cover) who is frustrated by Aquaman's efforts, so he heads to his other kingdom--the air!

Meanwhile, Carter and Shayera Hall are visited by their giant condor friend Lokir(!), who has been wounded in a fight. As the Halls tend to his wounds, he explains to them(!!) that he got this way fighting a bizarre reptilian winged creature, and when the battle moved to the water, Lokir escaped, after seeing the monster could breathe underwater.

Back to Aquaman, where we find he and Aqualad going to visit The Old Man of the Oceans--a sort of oracle type--to see if he knows anything about this creature.

Purcell's art is detailed and effective, and he manages to cram a lot in a small space. But sometimes, when he does on full-on faces, it starts to get a little wonky
...that is one off-model Aquaman!

Anyway, the Old Man gives them a sort of elliptical answer, telling them they only have one man to fear, and he is the answer to their question. Thanks a lot, Grandpa Simpson.

To give you an idea how much is crammed into this story, look how much description we have so far, and we're only on page seven.

Aquaman and Aqualad get caught in a water spout created by a horde of out of control birds, and as they are thrown into the sky, they are spotted by Hawkman and Hawkgirl!

The Hawks save our Aquatic heroes, and Aquaman learns that this creature was formerly an Atlantean named Tyros, who was blasted by a magical gem and turned into this weird, hybrid creature.

Tyros kidnaps Hawkgirl, and the gem turns her into a half-bird creature, who Tyros commands to attack Hawkman!

We're about halfway home, stay with me.

Tyros sets a trap for Aquaman and Aqualad, setting off an explosive, and looking like it has killed them. Tyros then returns to Atlantis, tells them he is now King of Atlantis because their protector, Aquaman, is dead!

Aquaman then gets cured by a giant spiny fish, and the three heroes meet up to compare notes:
..."he has given Shayera the Magic Pipe!"

Anyway, Tyros is so sure of his victory, he falls asleep on his throne, and Aquaman evacuates the whole city while he does, along with its water! This leaves his giant marine hordes writhing in agony on the city's floor. Aquaman = hardcore.

Tyros then finds that he can't control his bird army, and using an underwater tunnel, Hawkman has them fly into Atlantis and attack Tyros!

Meanwhile, a giant clam crunches down on the magical gem, turning Tyros back to normal. Hawkgirl wakes up, also having been returned to normal. The heroes take time to say goodbye at this, the end of one of their goofiest adventures:
Nobody, but nobody, packed more into a single comic book story than Bob Haney.

I need to take an aspirin and lie down.


Michael Jones said...

Did you spell "porpoise" as "purpoise" on purpose?
I'm looking forward to more insaney-Haney team ups...

rob! said...

er, oops. no, i didn't do that on porpoise.

damn, i did it again!

Anonymous said...

I love classic B & B, but -

"Nobody, but nobody, packed more into a single comic book story than Bob Haney."

- too true. Often, they are hardly a developed SINGLE story, so much as a rough out line for THREE!

Great holiday,
-Craig W.