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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Adventure Comics #436 - Dec. 1974

Comics Weekend "The King is Dead; Long Live The King!"

Steve Skeates and Mike Grell return for a second Aquaman adventure in Adventure, this time with an extraordinarily unusual opening splash panel--Aquaman smashing open his own head!
We then flash back to see how we got here--in the royal chambers of Atlantis, Aquaman is being introduced to a android duplicate of himself(!), which will--ideally--free the King of Atlantis to attend to more important royal business.

Aqualad and Mera are also present, but Aqualad doesn't like this development. So he strolls outside:
The Bugala (last seen in Aquaman Vol. 1 #47) begins to attack Aqualad, something Aquaman becomes aware of via closed-circuit TV. He heads out, leaving his android duplicate to handle its first job.

He tries to use his telepathic powers on the Bugala, but it doesn't seem to work. With the wave of its hand, the Bugala sends Aquaman spiraling down onto the coral below.

Aquaman passes out briefly, waking up just in time to see the Bugala attacking the city. He swims past it, slipping to Atlantis' protective dome. Surprisingly, he heads straight for his android duplicate, smashing it open, and we're back where we started.

Aquaman reaches inside the android's head, pulling out some sort of controller, smashing it to bits.

Once he does that, we see the Bugala teeter and fall over, leaving Aquaman to go after the real bad guy:
...of course Black Manta was behind this! It was either going to be him or Ocean Master.

On the letters page, editor Joe Orlando mentions that next issue will feature the last Aquaman installment, so it seems that this was always intended as a trial run for the character, not an ongoing one.


Anonymous said...

I remember this story mostly because it was the first time I'd seen Aqualad in comics, and later when I came across him with black hair and no "leggings," I was a bit confused.
Now I realize it was probably just a mis-coloring job, but I still kind of like those red "tights" he's got on here.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was just thinking that myself. Garth needs pants.