] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, September 06, 2009

More Fun Comics #75 - Jan. 1942

Comics Weekend "Aquaman" by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris.

More fun with More Fun!

I enjoyed reading the first of the Aquaman stories from More Fun Comics so much that I jumped right into reading the next one, issue #75:
Aquaman rescues the man, named Keoki, first from the octopus then the giant clam. Unfortunately, he has swallowed too much water, so Aquaman only has a few moments to try and revive him back in an air-tight temple:
I'm not big on finding modern subtext in places where it clearly doesn't exist, but...check out that top center panel: all you need is romantic music.

Aside from that, we see that Blackjack, fresh after surviving his first run-in with Aquaman last issue, has shown up at this remote island and is causing trouble. He shot the island tribe's leader, installing himself as chief. He then started having his "subjects" dig up treasures from the ocean floor to make himself rich.

He also grabbed Keoki's sweetheart Loana and threatens Keoki that if he doesn't follow Blackjack's orders, he'll never see here again!

Aquaman has heard enough, and he takes off for Keoki's island:
Blackjack grabs Loana and disappears into a "shark temple" inside a cave further down the shore. Keoki and some of the other tribesman try and storm the hideout, but Blackjack shoots at them (wounding Keoki), keeping them away.

Aquaman asks if there's any other way in, and he's told there's an underwater cavern, but it is guarded by a "shark-devil", who will eat anyone who tries to cross.

Aquaman of course isn't scared off by this ("Only a shark to guard Blackjack? Splendid!"), and he dives in, finding his way to the cavern, and running straight into the shark-devil:
...um, okay, stabbing a shark to death is a very non-Aquaman-ish type of thing to do, but we'll chalk that up to writer Weisinger still finding his way around the character.

Inside the cave, Loana, no shrinking violet, has had enough, and makes a run for it. When Blackjack demands she come back, she answers, "Never!"

Blackjack gives chase, but he's met by Aquaman:
...the end!

Another really fun story that moves at a breakneck pace, and features just enough interesting little character details that, to me, make these Aquaman stories distinctive. I like that Loana is more than a typical damsel in distress, and also how Aquaman turns down the chance to be the island's chief. Stand-up guy, that Aquaman.

And I dig Blackjack as a villain--he's a kind of all-purpose jerk that's fun to hiss at, and watch Aquaman smack around. I'm a little surprised that when Aquaman got a Silver Age makeover, Blackjack didn't return similarly updated.

Not having read any more of the More Funs at this writing, I don't know how many more times Blackjack shows up--I hope he doesn't get over-used (he's not that great a villain) and be the bad guy in every other issue. We'll see...

No comments: