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Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Fun Comics #79 - May 1942

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

More fun with More Fun!

With America's involvement in World War II in full swing, Aquaman took the month off from fighting Blackjack the pirate to tangle with everyone's favorite bad guys, the Nazis!
The men aboard the U.S. destroyer see something strange and troubling: a gun barrel sticking out the iceberg, pointed directly at them!

The gun fires, scoring a direct hit, sending the crew into the freezing water. Luckily, the men are saved by Aquaman, who piles them all onto an ice floe and steers it toward land to safety. Yay Aquaman!

Aquaman then turns around to investigate, and sees a boat with some men in it, looking for survivors from the ship:
Aquaman is led to the Nazi commander's office, inside is a man named Hauptmann. Hauptmann asks Aquaman questions about the destroyer, but Aquaman won't answer.

Hauptmann doesn't like Aquaman's insolence, and slaps the Sea King across the face. Big mistake:
...I love it! Aquaman, sitting on a Nazi's chest, punching him repeatedly as he begs for mercy.

One of the other Nazis clunks Aquaman on the back of the head with his rifle, knocking him out. They tie him up, and put him in the hands of a little, gremlin-ish Nazi named Krutz, who is working on a "heat-ray."

Aquaman tries to find out how this phony iceberg--also Krutz's creation--works, and compliments Krutz, which he falls for. Krutz then points his heat-ray at Aquaman, who maneuvers himself so the ray slices off his chains, freeing him! Then he knocks out Krutz and takes control of the heat-ray:
...Aquaman hot-foots it out of there, and stops the Nazis just as they're about to fire on another U.S. ship.

The Nazis shoot at Aquaman, but he escapes outside. He then takes control of the giant lens perched atop the iceberg (another Krutz invention), and tilts it so the heat of the sun is reflected down back at the iceberg, cracking it open. Don't ask, it works!

As the iceberg begins to sink, Aquaman grabs Hauptmann:
...chalk up another victory for Aquaman!

I realize I say this every time I talk about these More Fun stories, but man are they a lot of...fun. Not being familiar with the Golden Age Aquaman, I love what a no-nonsense, tough guy he is.

Sure, he tries to save the life of the head Nazi, but only after a cursory attempt--he doesn't really care. I don't want to see that attitude in every superhero, but its great to see Aquaman such a butt-kicker!


IADW said...

These are great Rob - seeing Aquaman in these adventures is really cool. A strong pulp feeling to them and it works!

Thanks again for sharing.

Josh Hill said...

I gotta say, the more I see it, the more partial I am to Aquaman's yellow gloves. Not that I would want to see his modern costume incorporate them, mind you. I just think they work well for this Golden Age adventures, and makes this version of Aquaman instantly recognizable and distinguishable from his later stories. Kinda like Captain America with the pointy shield, you know?

Wings1295 said...

Great, as usual. The yellow fins seem, to me, to be more striking here than other times. Almost a "reason" for why the gloves are yellow, too.

Russell said...

Definitely put me in the "Anti Yellow Gloves" camp. I just don't think they look right from an aesthetic (sp?) perspective. And those mutated yellow fins...(shakes head)...No.

The stories are awesome. They read a lot better than a lot of the Golden Age stuff I've managed to see(what we are seeing, anyway!)

Earth 2 Chris said...

Paul Norris' art is vastly underrated, from what I'm seeing here. His stuff is up there with the best of the Golden Age artists, and far above the norm.

But the thing that sticks out to me the most about this post is that cover. GA and Speedy have brown and blond hair, respectively! So that's where Roy Thomas got that from for All-Star Squadron, and the Earth Two GA and Speedy!


Andy Luckett said...

"And this is your change!"

Ha, Aquaman can dole out action-hero quips with the best of 'em!

I'm glad you've been covering these Golden Age stories, it feels like a whole new world of Aquaman has been opened to me.

To weigh in on the whole yellow gloves thing, the more I see them in the Golden Age context, the more they grow on me. I still prefer the green, of course. But the aggressive swoop of the yellow is pretty fitting for this Aquaman's tough-guy persona. He's sorta like John McClaine under the sea!