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

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Superman (Vol.2) #63 - Jan. 1992

Comics Weekend "Shadows From The Past!" by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding.

Years before Dan Jurgens took over the reins of Aquaman's solo title, he brought in the Sea King for a special guest appearance...along with a mysterious friend from Superman's past.

This issue opens on a tanker ship, with Daily Planet reporters Clark Kent and Cat Grant aboard. With hostilities between Atlantis and Oumland at an all time high, Cat is hoping to score and interview with the king himself, Aquaman.

A raging storm is putting them all at risk, but turns out the storm is the least of their problems:
Clark dunks himself overboard to give himself cover to switch to Superman. He rescues Cat and a couple of others, and then heads back down to do the same for the ship's captain.

But he is startled when he sees who the captain is: Hans Schmidt, the man who hunted and nearly killed Superman's teenage girlfriend, the mermaid Lori Lemaris!

For a half second, he contemplates letting Schmidt drown, but then of course changes his mind, plucking Schmidt out of the drink and dropping him back on board. In the meantime, Aquaman arrived, commanding an octopus to right the boat while he fights off the sea serpent:
Superman manages to grab the errant missles, while Cat Grant argues with Hans Schmidt, who is sure the still-missing Clark Kent has drowned.

In an attempt to keep the missiles from hitting the sea serpent, Superman is right on top of the missiles when they explode, causing a sea cliff to crumble on top of him. Aquaman tries to find him, but someone else does first:
Lori dresses Superman back in his Clark Kent clothes, bringing him to the surface. She yells for help, and then plants a final kiss on her former love, waking him up. Hans Schmidt throws Kent a life preserver--and as Clark drags himself to safety, he tries to remember happened after the explosion. He has a vague memory of Lori, but convinces himself that he's mistaken.

Meanwhile, back under the surface, Lori takes one last look at the ship as the storm breaks and the ship heads off into the horizon. She sheds a tear recalling "The only man I will ever love."

A fine story, and bonus points for the whole thing being told in one issue. Comics really got into the whole "multi-part saga" thing in the 90s, so its great to find a complete story told in just twenty-two pages (with enough room for sub-plots).

Sure, Aquaman's not in it all that much, but he gets some cool stuff to do, and as drawn by Jurgens and Breeding, he looks wonderfully heroic. A solid little comic!


Aaron said...

It is always great when a good story is told in just one issue - I think if there's any impediment to young people getting into comics now it's that daunting multi-part saga aspect.

Always love to see the white circles indicating Aquaman's using his powers! Oh, and nice timing because the Smallville version of Cat Grant debuted on last night's episode!

Wings1295 said...

I remember being so excited to see Aquaman appearing in a comic when this came out. Was always happy to see him pop up here and there.

Anonymous said...

This lame version of Aquaman lacked any personality and any kind of character definition. Thank God Peter David's Aquaman came afterwards. This crappy Aquaman should have never existed

Bad cameo, Bad issue.

Joe Slab said...


While I wouldn't be *that* harsh, I do agree with you that the way Aquaman was portrayed between Neal Pozner's mini-series (the 2nd mini- where Mera almost died, The Special, the Legend, the next mini, and short run series, his appearances in JLE)and Peter David's run left A LOT to be desired.

He was very generic, personality- less, and had no supporting cast.

Here's to hoping future portrayals never revert to that.

IADW said...

This is the first Sunday recap I haven't got but I'm shoving on my to-get list. Story aside, it's just the fact Jurgens is drawing Aquaman which is always sweet and stealing the Man of Steel's cover in the process!

Tempest127 said...

I recently came across this issue again while going through the miscellaneous Aquaman box and put it in the re-read pile. I liked and respected the Aquaman of this era--in fact, it was the first time I'd had anything nice to say about him since 1977 and the last time (thanks to the David era). He was a nice guy again; I miss that.

Doug Hazlewood said...

Brett is one of my all-time favorite inkers!

rob! said...

Doug--Brett is definitely one of the most underrated inkers out there. He did the honors on my all-time favorite single comic ever, Justice League of America #200 (aka The Greatest Piece of Literature Ever Created by Western Civilization).