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Saturday, September 27, 2008

DC Challenge #4 - Feb. 1986

sgComics Weekend The return of the DC Challenge!

Last week, we talked about Aquaman's small but, er, juicy role in the DC Challenge mini-series.

In issue #2, writer Len Wein left Aquaman stranded in the Sahara Desert, time running out, with no water anywhere.

Then in #3, Doug Moench grabbed the reins of the story, and came up with an ingenious solution--the Sea King, in a desperate last act, grabs one of the buzzards flying overhead and, in a very Conan-like gesture, bites into the neck of one of them, giving him just enough water to survive and keep going.

He was then "rescued" by some of his fellow JLAers, but soon they reveal themselves to a group of shape-shifting aliens!

As issue #3 ended, the aliens prepared to blast Aquaman, and that's where we find him in this issue...
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The aliens, in classic bad guy fashion, start cluing Aquaman in on their plan. He then makes his only move--a frontal assault:
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...at this point, the story shifts to an alien planet, where other members of the JLA (including the kidnapped Martian Manhunter) are in the clutches of the aliens.

From this point, Aquaman's major participation in the story ends, which was too bad, but I understand why writer Paul Levitz felt the need to move the story on, and not get bogged down Aquaman somehow stranded in the desert again. (Aquaman does return in the issues 7 and 12 of the series, which we'll get to next week!)

On the letters page, we have the previous issue's writer discuss the hows and whys of what they did, so here we have Doug Moench's thoughts on how he tried to get Aquaman out of his jam:
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On a separate note, I really liked the unusual art combo of Gil Kane and Klaus Janson. You wouldn't necessarily think they're styles would mesh well., but I liked the look of it quite a bit.


Fun Fact: F.O.A.M. member Michael Town points out that Doug Moench, in fact, "lifted" Aquaman's escape from Edgar Rice Burroughs and his novel Tarzan The Untamed, and he helpfully sent along this painting by Boris Vallejo of the moment in question:
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Thanks Michael, and good catch!

1 comment:

Frank Lee Delano said...

Um... no. Klaus Janson ruined one of the few instances Gil Kane drew Martian Manhunter with his hideous inking. Janson worked over Kane a few times on covers, and he's managed to improve some artists, but absolutely ruined many more. Among the worst "embellishers" ever, and this from a guy who'll defend Vinnie Colleta.