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Saturday, April 04, 2009

World's Finest #137 - Nov. 1963

Comics Weekend "The Day Aquaman Lost His Powers" by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon

For a brief time, around mid-1962 to early-1964, Aquaman was regularly appearing in no less than three different titles. He had his own solo book, he was a member of the JLA over in Justice League of America, and he was in rotating back-ups with Green Arrow over in World's Finest! It was a good time to be an Aquaman fan.

As if that wasn't good enough, the World's Finest back-ups were being drawn by the great Ramona Fradon:
Aquaman and Aqualad come across their friend, a sea captain named Toby Blake. Blake and some friends were retrieving some sunken treasure, when his diver became ill. Aquaman and Aqualad volunteer to help out and bring it up for them.

But when they get down there, they see the treasure is being absconded with by three frogmen. When Aquaman approaches, the frogmen fire at them with spear guns!

Aquaman and Aqualad easily evade the frogmen's shots, and knock them off their feet. But then:
Aqualad volunteers to retrieve the strange urn so they figure out what's happened to Aquaman. But soon Aqualad discovers the thieves took the urn, and follows them in their boat to get it back.

He is discovered sneaking up on them, and the thieves try and capture Aqualad, but he escapes into the water in time, sending a school of flying fish up into the air to block the frogmen's shots.

Aqualad pops up on the other side of the boat, but one of the thieves is ready, and sprays him with same fumes from the urn that got Aquaman. Aquaman tries to send a telepathic command to some of his finny friends to help him out, but he finds the fumes have weakened those powers, too!

He looks around for help, and spies some sea eagles:
Aqualad is on Captain Toby's boat, trying to get him to stop attacking the thieves, but it doesn't work.

While the frogmen are worried about Toby, Aquaman uses whats left of his strength to attack them. He causes the frogmen's shots to miss, but he is hit again by the urns's fumes, and he drops back into the water.

As the frogmen get closer, they all pull out guns, and they plan to board Toby's boat. But at the last second, a school of hammerhead sharks come out of the water, ramming the frogmen's boat!

Turns out, of course, it was Aquaman:
...the end!

I've said this before, but I enjoy a world where you can find a magical urn that can take away Aquaman's powers, and it doesn't really need to be explained what it is, how it got there, how it works, etc. Its just a magical urn, now let's move on.

Another thing I've said before is how amazing Ramona Fradon's work was on these Aquaman strips--so clean and beautiful, these little back-ups are a pure pleasure to look at.

1 comment:

Russell said...

This is one of my favorite stories, too. I actually have a copy of it, too! Ramona did good work, and there is more STORY in these 8 pagers than we get in whole issues nowadays.