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Sunday, April 05, 2009

World's Finest #203 - June 1971

Comics Weekend "Who's Minding The Earth?" by Steve Skeates, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella

I thought we'd make it an all-World's Finest weekend by jumping ahead eight years from yesterday's Aquaman back-up to this issue, where Aquaman got to team-up with The Man of Steel.

This was during the brief experiment when DC got rid of the "World's Finest Team" and instead of Batman, Superman got a rotating cast of team-up partners, like Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Wonder Woman, Vigilante, and, thankfully, Aquaman:
...things don't look too good for the Sea King!

Meanwhile, let's see what's going over in Metropolis:
...I absolutely love Clark Kent's outfit there. He is a Plaid Stallion if I ever saw one!

Anyway, the frenzied stranger begins to run away. Clark chases after him, but stops when he hears a high-pitched buzzing. Following that, the citizens are suddenly all struck blind!

As Clark himself finds his vision start to blur, he sees the stranger take off his coat and hat, and underneath he sees a massive gray figure who seems to split into two separate beings!

Clark, now Superman, tries to follow the two creatures as they hop into a car and speed off, but now his vision is almost entirely gone!

Eventually, though, his vision does clear, and he follows their trail out to the coast:
Aquaman tells Supes what has happened, and the beings he encountered sound a lot like the ones Superman ran into.

They then are accosted by one of the creatures, who says he needs their help. He explains their whole story: he is a mutant off-spring of some dolphins, abandoned by his parents because of his "deformity."

He was found by two oceanographers, who raised him as if he was a human child. Over time, he developed amazing powers, like the ability to project heat and affect the minds of others.

But he also knew horrible loneliness, since he was rejected by most other humans because of his differences. One night, feeling desperately alone, he found he could split himself into two beings!

But the only problem was, his twin had all of the hatreds for humans, but none of the love. Unfortunately, now the process had started, it couldn't be stopped, with all the twins splitting off into other twins, and so on, and so on...

These others have a plan to flood the world, turning it into a water world. He then leads Aquaman and Superman to them. They are soon discovered, and the army of dolphin-men turn their attention towards our heroes, directing their powers at them.

Superman takes the brunt of the blow, trying to keep the dolphin-men out of his mind. But the dolphin-men try a different tactic, and it makes Superman think there's a giant creature attacking from above:
While Superman wastes his time fighting an enemy that isn't there, Aquaman and his friend take on the dolphin-men directly. With the help of some finny friends, Aquaman keeps them off balance, unable to all concentrate on attacking the Sea King's mind.

Superman finally realizes the creature he's fighting is a dolphin men-created hallucination, he stops fighting and heads back to help Aquaman:
...I love Aquaman's snippy "But he still has that unbearable establishment 'twang' in his voice!" thought balloon on the last page. This coming from the King of Atlantis.

This was one of the first "back issues" I ever bought, at the first comic specialty shop I had ever seen, El Dorado Comics in Cherry Hill, NJ. I always loved team-ups, so add Aquaman, a Neal Adams cover, and an affordable price and you had a guaranteed sale from the 12-year old me.

I mentioned this back when I wrote about Superboy #171, this issue's cover is part of a weird little run of them around this time, featuring similar designs, color schemes, and the combo of Superman and Aquaman:


matthew jones said...

As no-one else has posted anything, I just thought I'd mention that I also own this issue of World's Finest and it is indeed a great team up of Aquaman and Supes. You can't go wrong with Steve Skeates and Dick Dillin on top form.

Fil said...

Man I own the mexican version of this comic from editorial novaro, I recently bought the comic because I thought it was a hard to find item and I guess it is, also a Superman/Aquaman team up is the coolest...long live the king