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Saturday, November 15, 2008

World's Finest #264 - Sept. 1980

sgComics Weekend Aquaman's final appearance in World's Finest!

In what was one of the shortest runs of his publishing history, Aquaman wrapped up his run as a co-star in World's Finest Comics with this, his third issue.

I wonder what kind of communication was going on between the various departments at DC at the time, since the book's masthead was changed with this issue to highlight all the new stars (looks like Dick Giordano art to me), including Aquaman as you can see.

Anyway, this issue's story is "What Light Through Underwater Breaks?" by Bob Rozakis (Rozakis' story titles were always a lot of fun), with art by Jose Delbo and Kim De Mulder, featuring a villain who had such a tough time defeating the Justice League that he downgraded to taking them on one at a time, Dr. Light
Light has learned Aquaman plans to set up shop here in New Venice, and of course he has a new light-based weapon that he thinks will help him defeat the Sea King.

Meanwhile, Mera and Aquaman discuss why they aren't going back to Atlantis. Arthur argues that there, she and Arthur Jr. were constant targets, and he tries to assure his wife that in New Venice they will be a bit more safe.

He then shows his Queen the fabulous new digs he's scoped out for them
...ok, it's really just a water-filled bottom floor of the police station, but Aquaman figures that its a good way to keep tabs on the city, while remaining relatively hidden from the general populace.

Aqualad, Mera, and Topo help unpack, while Aquaman leaves to go visit Mayor Lyndon.

On the way there, he sees something strangely glowing in the water. As he gets near it, it explodes in his face!

Thinking it would kill him, Dr. Light is disappointed to see it only stuns Aquaman. After Aquaman shakes it off and finishes his meeting with the Mayor, he tries a second attack:
Aquaman manages to fend off Light's attack for a moment, deflecting the first blast with a handy hunk of reflective metal in a junk yard.

Then, suddenly, Light's weapon stops working, allowing Aquaman to get close enough to knock him out. "What happened, why do I always fail?" I can image Dr. Light thinking as he drifts off into unconsciousness...

Turns out that Aquaman figured out what was powering Dr. Light's new weapon:
...and with that, Aquaman's run in World's Finest ended. He had been promoted to main feature status. And guess where he ended up? Yes, of course, Adventure Comics--it always takes him back (luckily for us AquaFans, this would turn out to be one of Aquaman's best runs ever).

I love how Dr. Light is such a feeb. His schemes are so unambitious, yet he fails even at those. He tried to take on the whole JLA, and that didn't work. He knew he couldn't beat Superman, Wonder Woman, or some of the other powerhouses of the League, so he "downgraded" to taking on Aquaman and The Atom. And he failed then too.

Who's next? Red Tornado? Elongated Man? Did Dr. Light set his sights on Snapper Carr?

As I mentioned above, this issue's story had art by Jose Delbo and Kim De Mulder, who both had the dubious honor of trying to teach me comic book art back when I attended the Kubert School. Salut!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've always liked Dr. Light as a villain, but I think the (mostly) unintentional way in which turned him into, as you say, a 'feeb' really had some dour consequences for him. I like him better when he is something of a threat. Still, this sounds like a cool tale, and I just love New Venice stories!