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Sunday, November 09, 2008

World's Finest #263 - July 1980

sgComics Weekend Aquaman continues his run in World's Finest!

I guess you could count this issue as a bit of a step up for the Sea King. He debuted in the title in the previous issue (which we talked about yesterday), but he didn't even get mentioned on the cover, not even in the list of names at the top of the book (between the DC bullet and the price)! Did DC forget he was in there?

With this issue, at least, he not only got added to the roster at the top, but got a little head shot, as well (drawn by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano, who drew, what, 10,000 covers for DC?). So at least readers knew Aquaman was inside!

This issue's story is "Return to New Venice!" by Bob Rozakis, Jose Delbo, and Frank Chiaramonte:
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This story kicks off in a really unusual way (for an Aquaman story, at least), with the Sea King taking a few bows from the grateful citizens of New Venice:
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...I wish more Aquaman comics were like this.

Anyway, in the middle of the celebration, Aquaman sees a whole bunch of his finny friends leaping out of the water, all of them seemingly burned. Who did this?, Aquaman asks.

Using his telepathy with the fish, he "sees" a group of men in scuba suits with blowtorches, deep underwater, who fried the fish if they got too close.

Aquaman heads down there, punching one of them out, having his octopus friend Topo grab another, with a swordfish putting out the third's blowtorch. Easy, breezy.

Back on the surface, Aquaman is met by the press, who tell him about...The Aquaman Museum?? Yes, the Aquaman Museum:
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It features all kinds of physical representations of important moments in Aquaman's past, plus souvenirs from his many adventures. And you tour through it via boats! How cool is that?

Aquaman gets lost in a reverie about all he's been through, and he is so touched by the town's actions that he asks if he can set up a base of operations in New Venice. The Mayor wholeheartedly agrees:
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What a nice ending!

I love this story, because its such a nice change to see the Surface World actually embracing Aquaman, and he responds in kind. Man, if an Aquaman Museum existed, I'd have moved there so I could visit it every day.

The art of Delbo and Chiaramonte has its moments, but its no match for Don Newton (but then, most people weren't)*. Considering how good Newton was at subtle facial expressions, I really would have loved to see him draw this story, since so much of it takes place inside Aquaman's head as he recalls his past.


*And I'm not just saying that because Delbo gave me a really bad grade once on an assignment back when I had him as an instructor at the Kubert School--promise.

3 comments:

Dixon said...

An Aquaman Museum that's toured via boats? That is brilliant! I always liked the notion of New Venice and thought it a great place to set Aquaman stories. It's the sort of setting that bridges the two worlds that Arthur is perpetually shifting between.

BentonGrey said...

Yeah, New Venice is a great asset to the Aquaman mythos, and one that has been ignored WAY too much. Dixon has it right, it bridges the two worlds that Arthur moves in, but what's more, it bridges the two halves of his soul. Also, an Aquaman museum? So awesome, if Flash can have one, so can Arthur!

The Irredeemable Shag said...

What great comic! It featured the Aquaman Museum AND the Super-Sons of Superman & Batman! Sweet!

The Irredeemable Shag
http://onceuponageek.com