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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Adventure Comics #464 - August 1979

Comics Weekend "Invaders From Above" by Bob Rozakis, Don Newton, and Bob Smith.

In the last issue of Adventure Comics, writer Paul Kupperberg wrapped up the Atlantis/UFP storyline, ending with Aquaman having been proved right, and reconciling with Mera, Aqualad, and Vulko.

With this issue, the Aquaman feature changed hands once again, with Bob Rozakis taking over the strip, and Don Newton returning to the penciling chores. It opens with a bang:
Aquaman heads for the surface, and sees the ship that caused the commotion. Its called Detox, and Aquaman assumes its an oil-drilling ship of some sort, but not the kind Aquaman has ever seen before.

He hails the men on board, and meets its owner, "Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Markos." Aquaman tells Markos that his oil drilling is right over Atlantis, and they need to move on.

Markos adamantly refuses, saying he has approval by the U.N. itself. Its called "Operation Detox", which will remove all the pollutants from the seas! Markos says Aquaman should support such an effort. He does, but the Sea King has some reservations:

Aquaman spies a gang of looters outside an Atlantis museum, and helps the Atlantean guards stop them.

One looter shoots a harpoon gun at Aquaman, and a guard dives in front of it, sacrificing his life to save his king! The looter begins to reload, giving Aquaman enough time to kick him the face.

As Aquaman tries to get information out of him, a school of sharks arrive (drawn by the spilled blood), and Aquaman makes good use of them:

...the end...for now.

For me, this story is okay, but it feels very similar to the Aquaman tales that came just before it--you've got Aquaman meeting someone who is promising to help the environment, but really isn't. Its also reminiscent of the very first Aquaman story in this Adventure run, where Aquaman meets a billionaire surface dweller aboard his yacht.

That said, its still fun, and I thought Don Newton did a terrific job. The near-wordless scene with the looter and the octopus is so well done its a shame Newton didn't do much "adventure strip"-type work; he would've excelled at it.

Here's this issue's back cover, by Jose Delbo and Dick Giordano, where the rest of the Adventure features got some attention:



Vic | Brochures said...

The caption box in the last image is so old school it makes me smile. I wonder who is "the teenager that stepped - blah blah", hmm I think its Mr. Terrific.

Randy said...

Hey, it was the 70s! Old school was still the only school!

bribabylk said...

There must be some kind of magic in the waters of your shrine, Rob, cuz I'm totally digging Don Newton's work so much more now than I did when I bought this off the stands. The last panels on the 4th and 5th pages of the story really stand out, as do the shadowy spires of Atlantis. Maybe it's seeing the work reproduced in a smaller size that makes it more intimate and endearing, somehow. Once again, thanks for sharing!

Aaron said...

rob!: I dig Don Newton. He drew some really spooky Phantoms for Charlton in the 70's. This makes me want to prowl the $1 boxes looking for Adventure Comics.

rob! said...

Vic-Ha! That'd be a great retcon story!

Randy--True. Back then it was called simply good storytelling.

Bribaby--Whatever "magical waters" the Shrine might have work on me, too. A lot of the Aquaman comics I didn't like that much the first time around now read much better to me when I have the opportunity to write about them for the Shrine.

Ghost--Yeah, Newton was really, really good. I've seen some of his Phantom stuff and it was phenomenal.