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Sunday, February 07, 2010

More Fun Comics #95 - Jan. 1944

Comics Weekend "Guerrillas of Fen-Shu!" by Joe Samachson(?) and Louis Cazeneuve.

More fun with More Fun!

Before we get into the story, let's take a look at this cover: Green Arrow and Speedy (who appear to have the power of flight) are taking on a group of crooks who are operating on the water, something that maybe, just maybe, Aquaman might have been better suited for.

But no, Aquaman gets dissed again. Interesting to learn that DC's habit for treating Aquaman like a second-class citizen started way back in the 40s.

Anyway, after swimming through the waters of Europe last issue, this time around Aquaman gets involved in an adventure in Asia:
Aquaman manages to escape from the net, and makes to land with the intention of telling the authorities where the Japanese ship is. But not long after he sets foot on land, he is met by an armed group of soldiers...luckily for him, they're a guerrilla group that is on the Allies' side!

Aquaman asks the group's captain to get word to Fen-Shu, to tell the Allies of the Japanese's three-pronged attack. But the captain, a man named Han, says there are virtually no troops at Fen-Shu, so its up to them!

Aquaman is skeptical, because Han's force is woefully under-equipped. But Captain Han says his group has been fighting off the Japanese for six years, so he should learn their methods. Aquaman agrees, and dons the garb of the guerrillas. They then make their way to a mountaintop where they see a Japanese column march past:
As the Japanese troops cross the bridge, Aquaman's finny friends tug on their ropes, making the bridge sway until it breaks in two, dumping the soldiers into the river.

Most of the soldiers swim to the shore, but waiting for them are the guerrillas. Shots are fired, and its quickly all over--the narrator cheerfully mentioning the Japanese soldiers have "Gone to meet their ancestors."

The guerrillas thank Aquaman for his help, and he heads further down the river. He's still concerned with Captain Han's force lacking enough weapons, so when he spots a Japanese supply ship, he goes undercover for a little sabotage:
...and with that cheery thought, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

This issue's art, with its buck-tooth Japanese caricatures, isn't headed for the Museum of Tolerance anytime soon. But if you want to look for a silver lining, its worth pointing out that at least writer Joe Samachson (who, again, is credited with a ? on the GCD) took the time and effort to point out that not all Asians were the same--a lazy, bigoted shortcut that many a less-enlightened person has made.

There's other themes inherent here, about how Aquaman joins what is, in the eyes of the Japanese, a terrorist group. But that's a bit more subtext than I think this sixty-six year-old comic book story can handle.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think it's rather intriguing how Aquaman's Golden Age feature has made the transition from regularly scheduled clash with Blackjack (or derivative pirate villain) to almost a war comic.