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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adventure Comics #435 - Oct. 1974

Comics Weekend "As The Undersea City Sleeps"

After many years away, Aquaman returned to Adventure Comics (okay, Weird Adventure Comics), the title that would become his on-and-off (x4) home for the 1970s.
This back-up feature would be produced by an interesting hybrid of talent--old Aquaman hand Steve Skeates, and newcomer (to comics) Mike Grell, whose unusual method of storytelling would be evident from the first panel of the first page:
Aquaman and Manta tussle (as they are wont to do), and it ends with Manta releasing some sort of inky-black cloud from a piece of equipment, temporarily blinding Aquaman.

By the time Aquaman frees himself, Manta has escaped:
Later, we see a group of hooded sea farmers tending to land. Suddenly, a group of projectiles fly overhead, releasing a wave of chemicals.

Once it hits the farmers, they are all knocked out, and we are left with Black Manta, having arrived in his Manta Ship, to laugh at his victory. But, of course, ist not that easy:
Aquaman has the drop on Manta, and knocks him about. He orders Manta to tell his men to get back into the Manta Ship, which he does.

Aquaman then sends out a telepathic signal to his finny friends, as he and Manta continue to fight. Manta wonders why his men haven't fired on Aquaman, and we see that they planned to, except they have their own problems:

A solid start to the new Aquaman back-up. The story is so short (a mere seven pages) there's not that can go on, but it does tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, a lost art nowadays.

Grell's art--while nowhere near what he would achieve later on--is also solid. Some of the poses are phenomenal (like the first panel of the first page, and the last panel on the last, above), and you really get the sense that Aquaman is in water, not bound by gravity.

Be here tomorrow for the second chapter!


Anonymous said...


Sorry....my 10-year old self really, really liked this stuff.

Swinebread said...

"but it does tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, a lost art nowadays"

Tell me about it!

I can only think of Jonah Hex that does done one these days

I love that cover btw

Anonymous said...

Rustling squid....how awesome is that? Sounds like a fun tale. Good old fashioned super heroics...no dead son or estranged wife. That's a character I can read about!