] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Aquaman (Vol. 4) #9 - Aug. 1992

sgComics Weekend Aquaman fights a battle perfectly suited to his talents...Eco Wars!

We open on an oil rig, drilling in the Icana River. It is suddenly attacked by three people flying some sort of ship! They blast away, setting off an explosion. Are these people...the Sea Devils?

Meanwhile, Aquaman is on a plane, headed to the U.N. in New York. His once-hourly need to get water is met when a buxom stewardess "accidentally" spills a glass of ice water on him. Dear Penthouse Forum...

Anyway, after taking some heat from King Thesily for not letting the police handle Nicodemus (last issue), he is asked to meet with the U.N.'s Secretary General.

He is told about the Sea Devils' attack, and that they have plans for another one. Since they are U.S. citizens, they don't want to use American troops, but perhaps Aquaman could "talk" to them...? In return, they promise to think favorably towards Poseidonis, and its upcoming vote in the U.N.

Aquaman agrees, and he makes a classic superhero exit/entrance, courtesy guest artist Vince Giarrano
Meanwhile, we find the Sea Devils arguing with one of their own--Biff, who left them to work for "the other side."

Aquaman discovers all the massive ecological damage the spilled oil has caused--fish and birds choked in the goopy mess. Aquaman is less than pleased.

Aquaman finds the Sea Devils, still fighting amongst themselves, and shows them what has happened. The Devils' leader, Dane Dorrance, swears they never intended to blow up the rig, a bomb was set to frame them.

Aquaman thinks this is paranoid nonsense, and he tends to more important business: warning all the animals and sea life out there to stay away from this ecological disaster. When he does, he is met with overwhelming waves of fear, something he's keen to share with Dorrance:
Aquaman, Biff, and the Sea Devils then look into capping the still-spilling oil well, which Aquaman accomplishes. Biff notices something that looks like sabotage, and thinks Dorrance might be telling the truth.

Turns out this was a plot by the Merrevale Oil Company, who did this to frame the Sea Devils in the eyes of the public, turning them from Environmentalists to Eco-Terrorists. Unfortunately, they didn't realize Aquaman would get involved.

But luckily for them, the second part of their plan can still move forward: under the guise of putting in a series of microbes called The Eaters that will supposedly eat up all the spilled oil, Merrevale has put a death sentence out on all the sea life. Aquaman, at the moment, knows nothing about this:
...but when Aquaman sees some of the pelicans writhing in pain while in the water, he dives in to save them. Then the same thing starts happening to him! To be continued!

While the Merrevale Oil characters a drawn a bit broadly (they practically twirl their mustaches in evil glee), Aquaman getting involved in ecological concerns makes total sense. (Remind me to explain my Al Gore/Aquaman idea some time) Aquaman being Champion of the Animal Kingdom is also something I think works for him as a character, and I always like panels like the one above, where he's being kind to them.

By the way, I don't think I've seen this Sea Devils logo before:
...whoever designed it, its way cool.


Rick L. Phillips said...

Why does he have to be flown to the UN? As fast as he can swim he can get there just as fast on his own.

Anonymous said...

There is some more dynamic art in this one, but it still has the stink of 90's art all over it. Anyway, this is a cool idea for a story, and one that should be an absolute natural.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Rob, why don't you list the creator credits when you do Comics Weekend like you do over at JLA Satellite? Just wondering if there was a reason...

rob! said...

huh, i never realized that. i try and work them in into the body of the text, but since the JLA posts are more rigidly formatted, i never miss 'em over there.

i may start adding them here, tho...i want to make sure people get proper credit!

Anonymous said...


I don't have this issue, but the art looks to be by Vince Giarrno. I suspect he may have done the oil-covered Aquaman on that set of PSA stickers I sent you a while back.Does that image come from this issue?


rob! said...

i credit the art to Vince, right above the big page of Aquaman.

and yeah, that one PSA sticker is taken from this issue.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry Rob. I somehow missed that!

That guy was all over DC in the 90s. He ended up drawing that short-lived Manhunter series that spun out of Zero Hour. I wonder what became of him?