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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Adventure Comics #128 - May 1948

Comics Weekend "The Sea Circus!" by Joe Samachson and John Daly.

It's Adventure Sunday!

As Superboy kicks off the nightmarish, clingy, co-dependent relationship which will haunt him the rest of his life, Aquaman makes like Barnum and Bailey and joins the circus--the strangest circus you ever saw!
After showing off the balloon fish, all the lights at the Sea Circus suddenly go out. As Aquaman tries to figure out what's going on, we see a gang of crooks robbing the circus' safe, which contains over 40 grand!

Aquaman has a school of luminous fish light up to help him get to the bottom of this. Using one of them just like a flashlight, he stumbles upon the nogoodniks:
...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

Wow, this plan is so poorly conceived you'd almost think Black Jack switched sides and helped Aquaman plan it.

Surely, there are easier ways to raise money than to put on an entire circus! Sure, Aquaman's getting the acts mostly free of charge, but when you factor in transportation, advertising, renting the space, the equipment, insurance, state and federal permits...all that's going to eat into Aquaman's profits.

Meanwhile, Black Jack is probably running amok on the high seas, as the Sea King is busy doing three shows a day, four on weekends. Aquaman's rep as defender of the seven seas is taking a major beating: "Why isn't Aquaman stopping Black Jack from looting that ocean liner? Oh, he's busy making some grouper jump through a ring of fire!"

Perhaps I'm over-thinking this.


Joseph Brian Scott said...

Oh come on, we all know Aquaman was really just doing this for his own amusement. 70/30, at least.

Something about Aquaman's enthusiasm and optimism for "engineering" as an answer to the problem speaks to me charmingly about that post-war period.

In my head I hear Aquaman saying "Firemen, save my child!" in a girlish falsetto.

Richard said...

For the first time, I feel let down by Joe Samachson. But when I got to the "Starfish Water Ballet" I understood why this story was so unusual: clearly it was written while Samachson was under the influence of LSD.

Anthony said...

The Earth-One Aquaman (like many DC superheroes) put on similar shows for similar charity reasons in the early Silver Age, from what I recall. But yeah, doesn't seem like something superheroes do anymore. Though in Aquaman's case, at least 2011 has a stronger set of environmental laws/sense of ecology than 1948. And admittedly I'd rather see Aquaman putting on a sea show than (these days) seeing his wife's decapitated head...

Re: Superboy: Yep, this one's a big early Superboy story... his first meeting (on Earth-One) with Lois Lane. The story: Clark wins a week-long internship at the "Daily Planet" in Metropolis (establishing him in a separate smaller town), where he meets/works with teenage Lois (who also won a similar prize). After this story, they don't really meet again until adulthood (by which time they apparently forgot about meeting in this story)...

Gather the writers decided against permanently making Lois a part of Superboy's cast (or were toying with the idea), and instead opted to come up with Lana Lang several years after this point.

Wings1295 said...

Hey, the sight of Aquaman in a top hat is worth it!

Aaron said...

This is far superior to Bill Keane's "The Sea Circus".

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

That being said...this is the dumbest story from Aquaman's Golden Age that I've seen yet. Still, we get to see the Earth-2 Tusky in action. How cool is that?

"We would've gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for those pesky seals. And lungfish. And eels. And..."

James Chatterton