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Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Fun Comics #92 - July 1943

Comics Weekend "Saga of the Seven Sisters!" by Mort Weisinger(?) and Louis Cazeneuve.

More fun with More Fun!

Aquaman has a different kind of adventure this time, as our story opens in the 19th Century with the inaugural cruise of the clipper ship known as The Seven Sisters:
After almost sixty years of service, the Seven Sisters is set for retirement. Aquaman, watching the ship sail by, pauses for a moment to appreciate the famous vessel.

But of course, there's trouble--what Aquaman doesn't see is the Seven Sisters get taken over by a crook named Blackie Hogan and his gang of hooligans! They board the ship, and quickly knock out its captain, taking control.

Later that night, Aquaman wonders why a small boat is floating alongside the Seven Sisters, and investigates. He boards the ship, and he's shocked to see Blackie Hogan, whom he apparently knows ("Blackie Hogan! When did you get out of jail?").

Blackie says he's gone legit, but Aquaman doesn't believe it. His suspicions are confirmed when one of Blackie's gang tries to club him over the head, but misses! (Thus denying us another great Aquaman Gets Hit On The Head panel)

Blackie's gang gangs up on Aquaman, and he evades them by...running away? Yes, Aquaman heads into the ship's hold, accidentally stranding himself in the boiler room. Blackie, not believing his luck, locks Aquaman in there and plans to blow up the ship, thus killing Aquaman!

But Aquaman overhears the plan:
A nearby Navy ship sees Aquaman's smoke signals, and its crew comes aboard, rescuing Aquaman and apprehending Blackie and his gang! Wait...is this story over already?

No, but there is a large forward jump in time, as the Seven Sisters is pressed back into service. But more trouble looms ahead, when the ship's new captain is knocked out by some his crew, who plan to sell the ship's valuable cargo (a load of mercury) to the Nazis! As one of the mutinous crew puts it, "Lucky for us they was son hard up for crew members they didn't have time to look up our records before hiring us!"

Nearby, Aquaman once again sees something fishy regarding the Seven Sisters, and investigates. He boards, and overhears the crew's plan to head straight for Ratzi waters! One other crew member gets the word out Aquaman is aboard:
Aquaman foils the crooks' plan, ending it with tying their leader up after knocking him out with the help of a well-aimed life preserver.

You'd think this has the end of the story, but we're only on page six! More time passes, and the Seven Sisters keeps going...until its sent on another "final" mission: sailing into Nazi waters, loaded with TNT! Just using the sails, the U.S. crew aboard the ship plan to silently sail towards their target, set off the explosion, and split.

But the Nazis somehow know of the plan, and they parachute onto the ship, shooting the sailors and taking over the ship!

Meanwhile, Aquaman finds a dead Nazi floating in the water ("A Nazi parachutist! Looks like he jumped for a ship, and missed!"), then sees the Seven Sisters, and puts two and two together.

He sneaks aboard (for, like, the fifth time in this story), but one of the Nazis clocks him over the head, dumping him in the hold, chaining him to the floor with leg irons.

Aquaman easily pulls the chain out of the floor, and finds an oxygen tank in a closet. He gets an idea:
...and finally, the Seven Sisters is no more.

Whew! Mort Weisinger (assuming it was Weisinger who wrote this) crammed a lot into just eight pages. I mean, I've bought entire mini-series (Teen Titans: Year One, anyone?) that feature less plot than this one story does.

Sure, its repetitive as hell, but comic books really didn't do two-parters much back then, so if you wanted to tell a story with elapsed time you had to find a way to fit it all in one story. I'm sure, by the end, Aquaman was glad to be rid of the damn Seven Sisters.

1 comment:

Josh Hill said...

you're right, they did pack these stories with a lot back in the day. maybe we're all just too old, but it seems like you do not always get your money's worth in comics these days.