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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Adventure Comics #450 - April 1977

sgComics Weekend After taking on new villain The Marine Marauder last issue, Aquaman faces a classic baddie this time in Adventure Comics!

Previously, Aquaman and Mera defeated the Marine Marauder, and in the process had another run-in with General Horgan, a Navy officer who is quickly becoming Aquaman's Commissioner Gordon.

This issue's story, "The Watery War of the Weather Wizard" (great title, very Julius Schwartz) is written by David Michelinie, and opens up with another great Jim Aparo splash page
setting up the tale:
We open on a jet, which is making its way across the ocean on a cloudless, beautiful blue sky day, until it is hit suddenly by a waterspout that came out of nowhere! It hits the jet, causing it to crash into the ocean.

General Horgan, who is none too thrilled with the idea of "superheroes", is forced to bring this to the attention to the man best suited to look into this, Aquaman!:
...two things about these panels. First, I love Topo playing with Arthur Jr. in the background. Its such a nice little bit of detail.

Second, its panels like the second one that separate the men from the boys. Its a fairly boring panel--Aquaman hitting a button--but Aparo makes it visually dynamic with the layout and use of silhouette. Man, was that guy good.

Aquaman and Mera head out, and Arthur quickly hits an air pocket at the bottom of the ocean. It knocks him for a loop for a moment, and he sees who is responsible for it--The Weather Wizard!:
The Wizard is keeping the Nato jet inside the air pocket, all as part of a plan for him to defeat his old foe, The Flash. He tells Aquaman, unbelievably, to basically move along.

Aquaman is hit a massive bunch of hailstones via the Wizard's abilities, which knocks him out of the water pocket, into Mera's arms. As she is tending to her husband, the Wizard crashes a water of water down onto them!

Aquaman wakes up, and finds his wife gravely injured. He hands her off to some of his finny friends, instructing them to take her to Vulko. He organizes the rest, and asks them to come with him.

He finds the Weather Wizard about to board a helicopter to Central City, and tries to stop him. The Wizard attempts to hit him with a series of lightning strikes, but keeps missing. Finally, Aquaman grabs a slab of sand that has been turned into glass by the Wizard's blasts, and
...since the Weather Wizard is just a regular guy, that had to really hurt. I wonder what smoked Weather Wizard smells like?

Meanwhile, back in Atlantis, Aqualad, after having delivered a punch to his would-be attacker from last issue, asks him what's going on. The man tells him that there are more people like Garth--he's not a singular mutation, as he always thought. He takes the man's hand and says he wants to team-up with him...to find his heritage! To be continued!

Another fine issue--like I've said before, this is an amazingly consistent series of Aquaman stories, considering it had almost a different writer (or writers) each issue. And next weekend, we'll see how it all wrapped up, culminating in the most infamous moment in Aquaman's history.


Rick L. Phillips said...

This sounds like it was a pretty good story. I like when villains normally used to fight someone (in this case Flash) turn up in another heroes book to fight them. What rule is there that you can only be an arch-enemy to one hero?

Anonymous said...

This always seemed like a good match-up to me, Aquaman vs. the Weather Wizard.

Anonymous said...


Rob, I had intended to send you a scan of the original art for this cover but, for whatever reason, I have some sort of mental block about this issue number. Half the time I place this WW battle in ish 451 or 452. I thought I had another week to shoot over to Kinko's and scan it!

Anonymous said...

I love this issue. It's one of my all-time favorite Aquaman stories.