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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Aquaman (Vol.4) #10 - Sept. 1992

sgComics Weekend Part 2 of the "Eco-Wars" story, by Shaun McLaughlin and Vince Garriano!

Picking from the previous issue, Aquaman was caught in between the Sea Devils, who are going after the Merrevale Oil Company, who has simultaneously set the Sea Devils up (to make them look like eco-terrorists) and dumped a series of chemicals into the Icana River, which unknowingly kills all the wildlife it touches.

Aquaman had jumped into the water to save the life of an egret which had been felled by the chemicals, only to find that he now is having trouble breathing underwater!

This issue picks up at that moment, with a nice splash page by Giarrano
One of the Sea Devils, Biff, jumps in and drags Aquaman out. He explains to Arthur that he thinks Merrevale sabotaged its own oil rig, knowing the Sea Devils would hit it. Then when it spilled all of its oil into the water, Merrvale can do the clean-up, looking good to the world and turning public opinion against the Devils (the name "Sea Devils" probably doesn't help).

But the chemicals dumped into the water go awry, the head of Merrevale, a man named Wylie, then sends a phalanx of shock troops to go after the Devils and Aquaman.

While Biff goes to get the proof he needs to implicate Wylie, Aquaman takes matters into his own hands:
...that's cool, Aquaman tipping over the entire oil rig all by himself.

Arthur then notices these shock troops are dressed just like the ones the country of Oumland used when they attacked Poseidonis (in Aquaman #'s 1 & 2), and realizes Oumland and Merrevale might be in on this together.

After taking out a few of them on his own, he calls on his finny friends to help the Sea Devils:
...another nice panel; I like how spooky Aquaman looks, the absence of any sound effects and whatnot.

One of the Sea Devils commandeers a local TV news chopper, showing the world the wreckage Merrevale has caused: hundreds of dead sea creatures floating in the river. Wylie panics and tries to cut his losses, and flips a switch causing tiny explosions inside the helmets of the shock troops, killing them all instantly. Yuck!

Aquaman and the Sea Devils talk it over, and they realize that, while they thought they were doing the right thing, Merrevale ended up using them as part of his plot. Aquaman then takes off for the U.N. just in time to see Poseidonis accepted into the organization.

He then heads for Wylie's office:
...take that, jerkface!

While the press slams Merrevale, a secret group called The Exchange decides what to do with Wylie. The Oumland U.N. rep offers to have him moved on to another nefarious project, while Wylie swears revenge on Aquaman...

Vince Giarrano did a nice job on the art for this two-parter, and I like Aquaman screwing over Wylie at the end. Nice to see him win one, once in a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think McLaughlin's run on Aquaman was pretty darn entertaining and I was disappointed when it was cancelled. Even more so when I learned what plans were in store for Aquaman that necessitated the cancellation.

The only quibble I had with this series was the long hair. I prefer my Arthur with a Buster Crabbe haircut. Ah, a movie serial starring Buster Crabbe as Aquaman - if only, if only.