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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Missed Opportunity: JLU Dive Sticks

F.O.A.M. member Richard Duncan sent me this photo, of JLU Dive Sticks. I have no idea what "dive sticks" are, but that's not the point of this post.

No, I'm more bewildered by the fact that whoever produced this chose not to include Aquaman, even though its a water-based product! I mean, come on, already? The Flash?? One slow step on the surface of the water and he drowns! What's a Sea King got to do to appear on a piece of JLU merchandise?

I was so inspired by this picture that I'm starting a new category here on the Shrine, called "Missed Opportunities." It'll feature any product that clearly should have included Aquaman, but didn't. I have a doozy of a selection for this category, which will show up tomorrow.

But, as always, if you have a suggestion and/or photo, please send it in!

sgOn a slightly unrelated note, the newest issue of TwoMorrows' Back Issue is out (which you can order here).

It doesn't feature an article written by me, but it does feature a fun, What If?-ish type list of DC titles, under the premise that DC, post-Crisis, had re-started all their titles with all new creative teams.

So BI editor Michael Eury asked the magazine's various writers--of which I am now proudly one--to submit their own "dream lists" of writer/artist/book combos. There were no limits on our choices, other than the creative folk in question had to have been alive and working in comics before 1986.

So I went nuts, and sent Michael suggestion after crazy suggestion. I am grateful to read that he used several of my suggestions, which can now be seen in the Back Issue #34.

Here's the complete list I sent, with the selected ones in bold:

Scott McCloud on Adam Strange

J.M. DeMatteis/Art Adams on Aquaman (others suggested Tim Truman as writer/artist on Aquaman...to be honest, I don't quite see it, as talented as Truman is)

Roy Thomas/John Buscema on Arak, Son of Thunder (the Thomas/Buscema combo was also offered by others for Claw, The Unconquered, so I was close on this one!)

Paul Kupperberg/Frank Thorne on Arion, Lord of Atlantis

Paul Chadwick on The Atom

Len Wein/Berni Wrightson on The Creature Commandos

Kyle Baker on The Creeper

Mike Mignola on The Demon

Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth on Enemy Ace

Mike Baron/Steve Rude on The Flash

Walt Simonson on Kamandi

Los. Bros. Hernandez on The Legion of Superheroes

Keith Giffen/Robert Loren Fleming/Ty Templeton on Plastic Man

Steven Grant/Bill Sienkiewicz on Ragman

Dean Motter on The Question

Doug Murray/Michael Golden on Sgt. Rock

Jim Stenstrum/Neal Adams on The Unknown Solider

...have better/different/crazier ideas? Leave a comment and share!


Jon K said...

Dive sticks are weighted items that you can toss into a swimming pool so that kids (who presumably know both how to hold their breath and swim underwater) can dive down and retrieve them.

Yes, it's a way of playing underwater "fetch" with people.

Richard said...

Dive sticks are a kind of swimming pool toy weighted on one end and buoyant on the other, so that when you drop them into the pool they sink to the bottom and stand upright. Although not shown in this photo there was also a Wonder Woman figure in the line, and you're exactly right that Arthur should have been there as well.

(There have been recalls issued for dive sticks owing to children being injured by using them in insufficiently deep pools. Which is unpleasant and I'm sorry to hear it...but coming as I do from the era of lawn darts and the Mattel Thingmaker, I kinda view surviving the dangerous toys of my childhood as proof of my Darwinian fitness...)

Richard said...

Ack, too slow! Now I owe Jon a coke!

Jon K said...

I'd prefer a Mountain Dew, RAB!

Diabolu Frank said...

I haven't bought Back Issue in a long while, and never often, but it just so happens I pre-ordered that specific issue. I won't get mine until early June, since my comics are shipped to me monthly.

I was going to gripe about your choice of Scott McCloud on Adam Warlock, but then I learned to read, and now I'm all better.

How YOUR selections for Aquaman, of all people, could get passed over?!?! Criminal! I like DeMatteis, but I don't feel Art Adams. He's fantastic, but too far in the shiny happy direction for me. I'd have gone with Chuck Patton myself-- classic heroic look with a hint of modern edge. Also, I love Tim Truman, but I can't imagine a more graceless Aquaman. Ugh.

I'd have liked Paul Chadwick to draw the Atom, but not write. I feel Atom needs outsized stories to make use of his stature, where Paul writes small character pieces best.

Beyond that, most of the other selections were square on the nose. I'm too tired to offer my own right now, but maybe tomorrow...

Russell said...

Rob, I, too, have seen these and thought, "Where the %$%# is Aquaman?!" In fact, every summer I go to the Summer Toys aisle (pool, yard stuff) and think, "Aquaman should be more prevalent here." (sigh)

Wings1295 said...

Ugh - definitely a missed opportunity! Imagine a set featuring Aquaman, Mera and Aqualad! That would be all kinds of win!

Erik the Sleeper said...

G'day folks,
As everyone has stated, the dive sticks are a swimming pool game for kids. When I was a kid, (late 70s early 80s), dive sticks were very popular here in Australia. There was a Superfriends set which did included Aquaman, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. I've got no idea who licenced the dive sticks or if they were released worldwide. I got them as a birthday present and of course I got rid of them when I 'grew up'...idiot

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Of course there's no Aquaman dive stick. Think about it. The diving child IS Aquaman! He's saving his drowning team-mates!

And if I could choose the creative team for Aquaman it'd be Mark Waid / Norm Breyfogle.

rob! said...


ooh, that set sounds cool. off to ebay!