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Saturday, June 07, 2008

More Fun Comics #101 Millennium Edition - Feb. 1945

sgComics Weekend I don't talk about the Golden Age Aquaman's adventures from More Fun Comics very much, because...well, they're really hard to find!

The Golden Age/Earth-2 Aquaman's debut run in More Fun Comics have been scarcely reprinted over the decades, and never in any sort of complete form--even when DC finally gave Aquaman his own Archive Edition a few years ago, it was his late-50s run in Adventure Comics that they reprinted.

And the More Funs are incredibly expensive to find on eBay, even in the worst, barely-hanging-together condition. Luckily DC didn't just do a Millennium Edition of More Fun Comics #73, they also did one for this later issue, #101, which is historic because it features the first appearance of the now-legally-dubious character of Superboy.

Anyway, this issue of More Fun features its stable of regulars alongside the Boy of Steel--Johnny Quick, Green Arrow, Dover and Clover, and Aquaman in a story called "Orphans of the Sea!"
Aquaman's original team of Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris had gone, replaced by Joe Samachson and Louis Cazeneuve.

The story opens at the landmark aquarium, where the longtime guard mourns its loss and the fact that its prize residents, an oversize octopus and some giant fish, are not being transferred over to the zoo, because they are too big.

The old guard--Pete--is told they will be released into the ocean, but Pete is afraid they'll starve to death, since they are used to being fed by humans.

Later, we see the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman, startled by these giant fish that have suddenly appeared in the water. He spies Pete, at his ocean-front home, continuing to feed his beloved aquatic pals.

Meanwhile, two shifty-looking guys are talking about selling a piece of beach property right near Pete's house to a third guy. Little does the third guy know that the ocean is eating away at the beach, and the property he's about to buy will soon be worthless!

The two guys take their mark--Mr. Scatterbee--out in a rowboat, where the contract will be signed(?). Just as Scatterbee is about to sign, their boat is rocked by the giant octopus!

The octopus knocks them into the water, where they come face to face with the giant fish, as well! Aquaman sees the commotion and grabs the octopus and uses it to move the fish off the men. Aquaman then drags them all to shore.

As Aquaman leaves, Mr. Scatterbee says the deal is off, so the two thugs head back out into the water to kill the octopus and the giant fish!

While they're out there taking shots at them, Aquaman overhears it:
...now, you could argue that hitting bad guys with a fish is pretty lame, super-powers-wise.

I say it's doubly-bad ass, because these bad guys didn't just get defeated, they got humiliated in the process. Heck, I could see a thug keeping the Batarang that knocked him out as some sort of perverse trophy, but telling your criminal cronies you got bitch-slapped by Aquaman using a fish? That's something that keeps you up at night, during lonely nights in your prison cell.

Anyway, this still isn't enough for these guys--they try another tack, and knock out Pete, figuring if he stops feeding the giant fish, they'll go away. Aquaman finds them in Pete's house, and when he tells them to stop, they pull their guns on him.

Aquaman jumps past the guns, over to the other side of the house, tipping the whole thing over, which knocks the guys off balance, and ends with a good old-fashioned kick in the face:
Aquaman knocks them both out, and then Pete wakes up. Aquaman promises to help Pete move his house back from the beach, and helps the giant octopus and fish find their own kind in the sea, so they can eventually learn to fend for themselves. A happy ending all around!


Diabolu Frank said...

Joe Samachson? Again with the Aquaman-Martian Manhunter creative cross-overs!

That foot to the face = an "R" rating per the MPAA. Certified badass!

Adama said...

Is it just me, or do those sea creatures look like they're in group therapy?