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Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Fun Comics #87 - Jan. 1943

Comics Weekend "Ark of the Ancients" by Mort Weisinger and Louis Cazeneuve.

More fun with More Fun!

Johnny Quick takes on The Fancy Sock Gang on this month's cover--of course, no Aquaman (I'm not sure why I act so surprised every week, since I already know there will be no Aquaman cover on More Fun, or on any DC comic, for the next seventeen years).

Anyway, this issue's Aquaman adventure is a change of pace as he encounters the undersea world of...Atlantis!
The three mutineers encounter a giant ark of some sort ("A queer sort of a ship it is!", one of them remarks), and they climb aboard.

Once they're on board, they are met by a man in a long robe, and they waste no time hitting him on the head, knocking him out, and checking out the decks underneath. Inside, they find a veritable zoo--cages filled with tigers, rhinos, pandas, and more wild animals.

Two of the crooks immediately want to find any other crew members and throw them overboard, so they can take over the ship. But the third member of the gang, the "Moe" I guess, wonders what kind of ship is this?

We then get a flashback, going back many centuries, to the lost land of Atlantis. As the citizens of Atlantis enjoy their bread and circuses, one Atlantean, named Milo, warns that their land is headed towards disaster! Milo warns of a great flood, but his warnings are rejected by the populace.

More than just rejected, actually--Milo is tossed out of Atlantis!

Milo, left alone, continues his experiments, and indeed the first sign of disaster occurs: a volcano erupts, pouring lava into the streets!
Milo is Jor-Eling all over the place!

We see Atlantis destroyed, except for Milo and a handful of survivors, who were protected under the giant dome Milo had constructed.

The centuries passed by, and one day, the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman, happened by (I was wondering when he'd come into this):
Aquaman and several of the Atlanteans first head to Africa, where they start collecting animals to bring aboard their ark. They then continue on to all the continents, gathering animals of all kinds: rhinos, lions, kangaroos, and more:
The third crook knocks Aquaman out by hitting him with a crutch(!), and then they stuff him into a large sack. They then dump him overboard, where sharks are circling!

One shark sees Aquaman as a giant pink snack, and tries to chomp down on him. Aquaman narrowly avoids being eaten, sinking his own teeth into the shark!
This sequence feels very Golden Age Wonder Woman to me--she was always getting tied up and having to escape using her mouth (make of that what you will). Maybe owing to the story's brief page count, Aquaman gets himself free in just a few panels.

Aquaman hops aboard a nearby whale, and they sink beneath the crook's stolen ark. Using its powerful body, it uses the current to move the ark where Aquaman wants it to go, much to the consternation of the crooks:
...Aquaman, always leaving them wanting more!

Aquaman getting knocked out by a crutch is one of the low points of his career as a superhero. Other than that, this is another fine adventure. And, of course, the whole Atlantis concept would figure hugely in Aquaman's history in the next decade...

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