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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Adventure Comics #449 - Feb. 1977

sgComics Weekend Aquaman goes into full superhero mode in this issue of Adventure Comics!

Having, after way too much deliberation, resigned as King of Atlantis, Aquaman, his wife Mera, and their son Arthur Jr. take up residence in Arthur's new undersea headquarters.

No longer having to worry about affairs of state, Arthur is free to be Aquaman, the superhero. And he kicks off this new phase in his life by taking on a new baddie, the Marine Marauder.

This issue is an all-too-brief reunion of the classic Aquaman team of Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo, which didn't go unrecognized by DC at the time on the splash page
"Twin Titans of Aquaman's Past" is right!

We open with a cargo ship, carrying important medical supplies to Europe, as it is surrounded by a school of whales, who seem to be under the command of a new supervillain, The Marine Marauder.

All he is interested in is the cargo, which he quickly makes off with. We follow the Marauder back to his hideout, where we learn he is able to command the whales with an electronic system built into his costume.

Soon after, Aquaman and Mera are making their way home, when they get a message from Aquaman's fellow JLAer, The Flash:
...Aquaman quickly heads out, and finds the Marauder as he is attacking yet another ship, this time a Navy vessel carrying a back-up supply of the vaccine stolen earlier.

Aquaman is shocked to see that the Marauder's control over the fish seems even stronger than his own, and after getting dunked into the water, he and Mera are swallowed by a giant whale:
...I like Aquaman using his powers to force the whale to spit them out. Sometimes being a superhero isn't pretty.

Aquaman and Mera end up on the Navy's ship, where they are told that whenever the Marauder is around, their sonar goes haywire. Aquaman finds that interesting...very interesting. He plans to wait around until it happens again.

Not too long after:
Locating the Marine Marauder's hideout, Aquaman grimly fights his way through his army of sea life, using some of his finny friends to help even the score and make sure no one gets seriously hurt.

The Marauder takes off, but not before commanding a giant whale to ram the Navy vessel, figuring if he can't have the vaccine, no one can!

If that happens, there will be an epidemic from the loss of the vaccine, and the whale will die! Aquaman strains to overcome the Marauder's command harder than he ever has
Of course, Aquaman is successful!

Meanwhile, back in Atlantis, Aqualad and Aquagirl, on a leisurely walk through the city, are confronted by an angry man, who demands that Garth help him get his son back, or he dies! To be continued!

A great issue, a fun plot, and a new, decent Aquaman villain is always welcome. I wonder why DC only had Skeates back for this one issue?

Martian Manhunter debuts in a back-up strip with this issue, finely drawn by friend of the Shrine Mike Netzer. Like with Skeates, I wish DC had kept this line-up together a lot longer--I think Aquaman and Martian Manhunter make a great one-two punch for an anthology comic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought that the Marine Marauder's powerful aquatic telepathy device with its interesting limitation made him a great addition to Aquaman's rogue's gallery. But he was never used again.

During Aquaman's run as a back-up in Action Comics, an MM robot was one of a group of robotic doppelgangers that Orm sicked on Aquaman so someone, y'know, remembered him. Then a new Marine Marauder, sans both the original MM's cetaceans only limitation and his Y chromosome but sporting a nifty green mohawk, appeared in the pages of The Adventures of the Oursiders and the male Marine Marauder was relegated to the dust heap of workable Aqua-villains that never got a chance.

And, to top it all off, Aquaman hasn't even been allowed to square off against the female MM in an in-continuity story!

Grrrr ...!