] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Fun Comics #91 - May 1943

Comics Weekend "Marauders of the Mississippi!" by Mort Weisinger(?) and Louis Cazeneuve.

More fun with More Fun!

This issue's Aquaman adventure promises to be a real headache for the Sea King:
Aquaman gives his seal pal Ark a little lesson about how the people who live near the Mississippi River depend on it to survive, by irrigating their fields as well as providing other essential needs. He surveys a nearby levee and states, "If not for this levee the river would flood the entire countryside! Lucky there's no danger of its breaking!"

But Aquaman has spoken too soon! At this exact a moment, a gang of hoods plot a nefarious plan:
(Is it me, or do these guys all look like they just stepped out of Dick Tracy? Heck, the guy in the yellow is even dressed like him!)

Anyway, its a little hard to see these pages, so I'll mention what the plan is: the head thug, Ebenezer Rugg(!), thinks he and his gang can bust the levee, flooding the town. During the resultant chaos, they will rob various establishments. Solid plan!

But some of Aquaman's finny friends notice some of the gang working on the levee, and communicate the trouble to Aquaman:
That panel on right is a wonder to behold. In comics, animal characters are frequently given human-like thoughts and abilities, but rarely do you see a seal with a thought balloon thinking in complete sentences, with proper punctuation and everything.

Aquaman gets involved, and scares of some of Rugg's thugs (hey!), as they're about to dynamite the levee. But they keep trying, moving further upstream. Using a small tractor, they smash through the levee, sending the mighty river onto the city streets!
...now we've got seals issuing orders to cows. Wow.

Aquaman figures the first place Rugg's gang will hit is the Sportsman's Club, and he shows up there to stop them. After saving one of the thugs from drowning, Rugg takes the opportunity to do away with the Sea King!:
All the exits to the building are blocked by the fire, so Aquaman has to find another way out. Escaping by building a makeshift parachute, a strong wind blows him further up the street, right above Rugg and his gang's rowboat!:
Ah, Rugg's plan wasn't just to rob some buildings: he was hoping to ruin all the local farmers' crops, enabling him to buy all the farms on the cheap--how nefarious! (Rugg later went on to work for Monsanto)

This story is a curious hybrid of a serious plot (a crook looking to ruin the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of farmers) and probably the single goofiest element of any of these Aquaman More Fun stories--his seal pal Ark thinking and acting like Robin, the Boy Wonder.

My favorite part is Aquaman dropping onto Rugg's boat like a bomb from the sky--its another instance of the Golden Age Aquaman barely coming up with a plan before executing it with extreme prejudice!


IADW said...

Nice post Rob, I love these Golden Age flashbacks!

The splash page title pages are cool too, I know most books have covers now, or some a recap page, but some little title shot inside the covers would be pretty cool. Like how the Batman The Animated Series did.

Josh Hill said...

yeah, I really dig that splash page, too.

love the name Ebeneezer Rugg!

Randy said...

I love how the Golden Age Aquaman is a regular feature on Sundays, Rob. This is all stuff I've never read and would probably never even get a chance to read.

rob! said...

yeah, i miss splash pages too. kind of a lost art.

yeah, ebeneezer rugg is a name for the ages!

i like More Fun Sundays, too. my plan is to keep going until the Aquaman feature ended in MF #107, then take a month or two off, talking about other, more recent Aquaman comics, then start up where his MF run left off, in Adventure Comics #103!