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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aquaman (Vol.1) #47 - Oct. 1969

Comics Weekend "Come the Revolution" by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo.

These Comic Weekend segments, between the More Funs, Blackest Nights, and DC Super Friends, have been so filled we haven't had time to talk about a solo Aquaman comic in a long while! So I thought it'd be good to go back to one of the best runs of Aquaman's history, the SAG years!

Let's just start with the first page, since you really can't beat a shot of Aquaman and Mera by Jim Aparo:
Tula is understandably concerned about the violent tone this Atlantean town hall has taken--Mupo and his followers want to overtake Narkran, the power-mad ruler of Atlantis in Aquaman's absence. Aquagirl splits to give herself time to come up with a plan:
A compatriot of Mupo's named Dex is suspicious of Tula, but Mupo is sure she won't be any trouble. Dex thinks Mupo has feelings for Tula (who wouldn't?), so Mupo, to show he means business, decides to move up the date of revolution, and to strike now!

Mupo and his men storm a weapons storage facility, and quickly overtake the guards surrounding it. Part one of the revolution is complete!

Meanwhile, Aquaman and Mera, on their way home, are concerned when they see Aqualad's steed, Imp, by itself, way out in a remote part of the ocean. Aquaman guesses that Aqualad wouldn't have left Imp behind without a good reason, and that he's trying to find Aquaman! He and Mera delay their return to Atlantis to try and find Garth.

But that's a big mistake, since Mupo's plan is moving forward. Meanwhile, Narkran, hearing about what's going on, assumes Tula is part of it, and has her arrested. He then goes completely over the edge, threatening to kill her if the revolution isn't halted:
(I love those half-page ads. Relics of a bygone era)

Anyway, the threat of Tula being killed means nothing to Dex, and he wants to continue with the attack. But Mupo says no, insisting that they can't risk the life of an innocent person.

Mupo orders everyone to lay down their weapons, which drives Dex nuts. He punches Mupo, assuming command of the revolution!

Meanwhile, Aquaman and Mera find Aqualad, fighting a giant monster!
Back in Atlantis, Dex has taken command. Narkran is momentarily distracted,a dn Tula uses that to escape. Narkran manages to hurl his dagger at her, stabbing her in the back.

Tula falls onto the ocean floor, and in that moment all Mupo cares about is saving her. He picks her up, handing her off to Vulko to tend to her wound. He then makes a bee line for Narkran, calling him a coward, who would "Stab a defenseless girl--for no reason!":
To be continued!

This seems like an odd place for the story to stop, so I'm betting that Aparo--doing the pencils, inks, and letters for Aquaman--needed a bit of a breather, which is why around this time the book started running back-up strips.

Later, it would be Deadman drawn by Neal Adams, but this time it's a reprint from Aquaman's Adventure Comics days, "The Adventures of Aquaboy", from Adventure #268, by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon.

Wow, when you think about it, this issue features a hat-trick of the Great Aquaman Artists--Nick Cardy (cover), Jim Aparo (main story), and Ramona Fradon (back-up)! That's a lot of beautiful artwork for a measly 15 cents!

We'll get to Part 2 of this story next weekend!


Josh Hill said...

My God, that Jim Aparo art is gorgeous. When I was a kid, I really didn't appreciate his work, but seeing this stuff as I've gotten older has helped me see how talented the man truly was. I wish DC would reprint some of this work in color.

Aaron said...

No disrespect, I like Aparo okay, I just like him better on weirder heroes like The Spectre and The Phantom Stranger. He was definitely at his peak in the 70's though.

Guess I'm just a Ramona Fradon man at heart.

Russell said...

This is the issue that Steve Skeates himself is not totally satisfied with. He had Mera go missing several issues ago, and then Aqualad go missing a few issues after that...and then Aqualad was fighting this monster or about to for something like three issues. Skeates noticed he had messed up the timeline something fierce. :-)

It still reads great as far as I'm concerned, of course...!