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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aquaman (Vol.1) #60 - March 1978

Comics Weekend "Scavenger, Ravager, Plunderer, Thief!" by David Michelinie and Don Newton.

Continued from the previous issue of Aquaman, the Sea King has defeated The Fisherman and is hot on the trail of another one of his foes, The Scavenger:
Aquaman commands a school(?) of barnacles to attach themselves to the Scavenger's ship. The Scavenger, at first, isn't worried, since his ship is so fortified not even a whale can break into it.

But that isn't Aquaman's intention: no, the barnacles are there simply to weigh the ship down, which they do, causing it to crash onto the floor of the ocean.

He manages to shake them off using an electrified defense field, but that gives Aquaman enough time to catch up:
Meanwhile, in Portugal, the mysterious mastermind behind the Fisherman's efforts (which Aquaman interrupted) decides to deal with the Sea King personally!

Back in the Atlantic, Aquaman has the Scavenger in his hands. But before Aquaman can paste the Scavenger into unconsciousness, he flips a switch on his ship's control panel, causing pockets of foul-smelling air to form near the ship, enveloping some of the Atlantean farmers!

Aquaman leaves the Scavenger to save them:
Having had time to recover, the Scavenger uses his ship to keep Aquaman at bay, including two giant metal pincers!

Its here that we learn who the villain is behind the plot to steal the Bellerophon--the deadly would-be world conqueror Kobra!:
To be continued!

This issue also features the final chapter of the Mera back-up story, where she has traveled back to her home dimension in a last-ditch attempt to save the life of her son:
Mera believes a "healing device" is down somewhere in the pit below her feet. And even though there are stories of terrible creatures living down there, Mera doesn't pause in heading in.

Within just a few moments, though, she runs across a giant fanged rock creature which tries to grab her! Mera protects herself by constructing a hard water bubble, which the creature hits so hard it hurls Mera back out of the pit.

Following her to the surface is the rock creature, plus two other elemental creatures, all with the same goal: destruction!!
Knocking the rock creature back into the pit, the other two elementals follow. She temporarily subdues the rock creature with her hard water powers, and goes to search for the healing device in the pile of equipment dumped there by the power-mad Leron.

She finds what she's looking for, but just at that moment the fire elemental hurls some fireballs at Mera. He misses her, but they hit the pile of scientific and electrical equipment, causing a huge explosion!

Barely escaping, Mera manages to make her way to the surface:
...to be continued?

Wow, this story is quite the kick in the pants, both to Mera and the reader. To have the chance at seeing little Arthur Jr. survive, only to take it away again...ouch.

With this issue, longtime Aquaman artist Jim Aparo was replaced by Don Newton, continuing a long line of superior Aquaman artists. He would remain on the book until its final issue--which, sadly, wasn't too far away.


Bonehead XL said...

Always thought the Scavenger was an underrated villain. Would've liked to see him used more often. (From my understanding, the character got killed off in an issue of Hawkman a while back.)

And the Mera back-up story is great. Also nice to see that character shine on her own.

Randy said...

I have said it before, although not here, and I will say it again...Don Newton was a great artist and it is a damn shame the world lost him way back when.

I have the two issues before this one and the issues after of this story. somehow I missed this one, but DAMN if that isn't a great cover!!!

Andy Luckett said...

I agree with Randy, Don Newton was an excellent artist and really had a good touch on Aquaman.

I've also always liked the Scavenger (until they made him into a child molester/killer in that issue of Hawkman, which was COMPLETELY unnecessary IMO). But the basic character is good, kind of a thug that uses high-tech equipment not to dominate or conquer, but really just to steal and plunder the ocean floor.

rob! said...

From Cardy to Fradon to Aparo to Newton to Hamilton, Aquaman's been blessed with great artists.

That issue of Hawkman is especially vile, since Shaun McLaughlin actually had Scavenger reform and become Aquaman's friend (which took place in the last issue of his run on the character. What a waste.

Randy said...

Jeez! Yeah, I had almost forgotten that issue of Hawkman until you guys mentioned it. I remember reading it at the time and thinking that it really makes Aquaman look like an idiot for not having noticed that aspect of his friend's personality or whatever.

I didn't like it either.

Russell said...

I guess I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I am in the minority when it comes to appreciating Don Newton: I don't, and never did. Be it Batman, Infinity Inc, Shazam, or Aquaman, I never liked his look. Sorry, everybody!

I agree with everyone that that issue of Hawkman sucked, though. :-)

Grears said...

I'm completely agreement with Russ on the topic of Don Newton... I respect his work, but it never did much for me. I didn't mind it on Batman as much, but defniitely not Captain Marvel or Aquaman. By the way, when looking over the Mera feature I'm reminded that the much maligned Vince Colleta draws some pretty faces. I love the inking job he does on the eyes of his female characters.