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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Action Comics #521 - July 1981

Comics Weekend "Grow, Little Growfish!" by Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk, and Vince Colletta.

I haven't run a series for Comics Weekend in a little while, so I thought we'd spend the next couple of installments talking about Aquaman's run in the early-1980s Action Comics.

Some of you will remember that this series started off in Adventure Comics #475, by the boffo team of J.M. DeMatteis and Dick Giordano. That series sadly only ran four issues, before being continued in the back of Action Comics, still written by DeMatteis but this time drawn by Don Heck.

But DeMatteis' run on the character (and an excellent one, at that) ended with Action Comics #520
, which is where we left off. So now we pick up with the very next issue, with Bob Rozakis and Alex Saviuk taking over the creative duties:
Aquaman asks the Atom to find this microscopic organism in the ocean--a, no pun intended--tall order, but the Atom takes up the task.

Amid all the life forms in the ocean, the Atom actually does manage to find what he's looking for. But when he gets close to it, the organism immediately doubles in size!

The Atom also enlarges himself to deal with it, but the blob of matter grows even bigger, wrapping itself entirely around the Tiny Titan!

The thing grows so large it breaks the surface, where Aquaman sees it:
...I love third panel, where the colorist tinted Aquaman a few shades darker for the portion of him that's under the water. A nice, exciting pose by Alex Saviuk, topped off with a simple but dynamic color effect by Jerry Serpe.

Anyway, Aquaman is able to pick up a telepathic message from the Atom, still trapped inside the blob. He commands a bunch of swordfish to puncture the creature repeatedly, giving the Atom a chance to escape.

The Atom--this time as Ray Palmer--surfaces, warning Aquaman not to hurt the creature any further :
...panel three is very funny, where Aquaman and Ray have a little argument over the correct nomenclature of the creature. A nice character touch, especially when you consider writer Rozakis had only eight pages to write a complete story featuring two heroes.

After several issues of Action Comics featuring solo Aquaman back-ups, next issue would begin a run of Aquaman, the Atom, and Air-Wave rotating in the slot, sometimes featuring 2 o the 3 heroes teaming-up, like they did here.

Aquaman would return in Action Comics #527, which we'll cover next Saturday for Comics Weekend!


Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Aah, the first official appearance of my favorite DC Heroine, Vixen.

Still like that costume better than anything else Mari has worn over the years.

Diabolu Frank said...

I finally bought this issue over the weekend at Bedrock City Comics Company's spring sale for half price. I've been wanting to read and synopsize the first Vixen appearance for years, and having two of my favorite DC heroes in the back-up just sweetened the deal!

Doug said...

I agree with you, Vincent. Mari's original get-up is timeless.