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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Aquaman (Vol.1) #48 - Dec. 1969

Comics Weekend "A Kingdom to Re-Build!" by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo.

Oops! I forgot last week was a new issue of Blackest Night, so I had to bump the post looking at this issue back a week, inadvertently breaking up the continued story in Aquaman #'s 47 and 48. Sorry about that, Aqua-Fans!

Anyway, the last issue of Aquaman featured two bifurcated plots, rapidly heading towards each other. While a revolution was brewing back in Atlantis, Aquaman and Mera were searching for Aqualad.

Aquaman and Mera are hot on Garth's trail, when they find he is in the clutches of a giant creature named the Bugala. This issue opens up with a crackerjack action sequence, putting us right into the middle of the fight:
Back in Atlantis, Mupo is on a murderous rampage towards Narkran, who Aquaman left in charge while he was away. Mupo has feelings for Aquagirl, and when he saw Narkran wound her to save his own skin, he thinks of only thing: killing Narkran!

Aquaman, Mera, and Aqualad return to Atlantis to see the fighting right there on the streets of Atlantis. Aquaman orders everyone to stop fighting and to go back to their homes. As if that wasn't enough, a minor earthquake begins to hit!

Some of Narkran's most loyal followers--who had a hand in kidnapping Mera (seen in previous issues) figure the jig is up, and they have one last chance to save their skin: kill Aquaman and Mera!

The three of them make quick work of the kidnappers, and find their friend Vulko:
Mupo and Narkran continue to fight, until Mupo is a moment away from slitting Narkran's throat.

But just before he can, Aquaman arrives, ordering Mupo to stand down. Narkran uses this moment to try and get Aquaman to deal with Mupo "Like the traitor he is!"

Aquaman, now certain that Narkran was involved in the plot to kidnap Mera, decks him, leaving Narkran a crumpled, whimpering heap:
Aquaman scolds Mupo for his attempt at an uprising, saying he should have listened to Aquagirl and had more faith in his king.

Later, Aquaman, Mera, and Vulko discuss the series of earthquakes that have been hitting Atlantis lately. Mera suggests it may be an ancient prophecy coming true, and Vulko's research indicates that Atlantis will suffer many more small quakes.

Aquaman then decides to rebuild vast portions of Atlantis, but instead of the giant gleaming towers, the new buildings will be durable, sturdy structures. Days later, the work begins:
...the end!

Talking about how great Jim Aparo's work is a little superfluous at this point, since I've said it so many times before. But what the heck, its still awesome stuff!

I love the firm stances of Mera and Aquagirl as they stare at the crawling Narkran, and the last panel of the story makes me smile: the AquaFamily, all together.

This issue, like the previous few, features a back-up reprint, "How Aquaman Got His Powers", from Adventure Comics #260. So, like last issue, this one features all three of Aquaman's most noted artists, all in one book: Nick Cardy on the cover, Jim Aparo on the main story, and Ramona Fradon on the back-up. An embarrassment of riches!


John said...

This was the first issue of Aquaman I ever had and thought it was the coolest comic. At the time, I had no idea who Aquagirl was; when I first saw the cover I thought it was Wonder Woman in a bikini.

That opening panel sequence...is that not one of the best? No words, dramatic angles. Sigh.

I'm going to go find my copy and re-read it for the millionth time now...

Josh Hill said...

Like you said, it might be redundant at this point, but I still have to say how in awe I am of Jim Aparo. This is some of the most gorgeous artwork I have ever seen.

Luis said...

It can never be said often enough. Jim Aparo was a master artist. Before I became a reader of The Aquaman Shrine, I only thought of Mr. Aparo as the greatest Batman artist ever and as the artist sinonimous with The Brave and the Bold. But now I've discovered that he was also a fantastic Aquaman artist. Dig the Aquaman logo on page 3!