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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adventure Comics #132 - Sept. 1948

Comics Weekend "The Aquagirl!" by Otto Binder and John Daly.

It's Adventure Sunday!

As Superboy blithely tortures an animal for primary-colored kids' amusement, Aquaman meets...Aquagirl?!?
As Aquaman tries to put out the blaze, Thetis gets caught on a fishhook (women!), Aquaman frees her as his whale pal comes by, shooting water on the boat and putting out the fire.

As Aquaman helps out, Thetis decides to use a nearby motorboat to get back to shore--pretty strange behavior for a mermaid! On board, the crew thanks Aquaman for the rescue, and the Sea King prepares to introduce them to his mermaid companion, except she's gone!
...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

As is usual with these Aquaman stories, the sci-fi or fantasy element apart from the Sea King himself is proved to be a hoax. At some point Aquaman is going to have to investigate a haunted amusement park.

Some other random thoughts: wow, Aquaman brings a string of rare pearls as a wedding present?? I bet the word got around and then the sea was littered with bottles, filled with wedding invites. "Dear Aquaman: We're registered at Macy's, and we'd really love a washer/dryer..."

Also, the whole you-talk-to-Aquaman-via-a-message-in-a-bottle bit has been used enough by now to make it a motif, like its the Sea King's version of the Bat-Signal. Sure, it's cute, but man is it inefficient! What if you can't wait a couple of weeks? And what it Namor finds it first? Then your First World problems are really going to be put into perspective!

Finally, the plan to have Windham declared insane by seeing a mermaid is weird and needlessly complicated, when you consider this:
I'd say that sportcoat makes for an open and shut case. Thank you, I'm outta here!


Anthony said...

Yes, guess anything sci-fi or fantasy seemed like it was off-limits here. So what *is* the first story where Aquaman meets something decidedly sueprnatural/sci-fi (besides himself)? I can recall a sea serpent appearing in the Aquaman story in my copy of "Adventure" #247 (from 1958), but figure he must've encountered something before *that*? Unless it's just a trait of the Earth-2 Aquaman...

Re: Superboy: Snarky comments aside, I imagine it's supposed to be a bucking bronco, not Earth-1 Kryptonian animal torture. ;-)

Plot: a not-yet-named-Smallville math teacher inherits a ranch, and Superboy tries to discover why a rival rancher is trying to force the teacher away. Yep, the pre-1970s near-omnipresent/pathological obsession in US entertainment with anything to do with the Old West (for some reason) continues... imagine there's some 40s/50s Aquaman story where he goes cowboy as well (I just *know* it's coming!)...

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Interesting that she seems to be coyly topless until her tail gets yanked off, then her swimsuit becomes visible.

Don't dump out your heart medication in order to use the bottle to send Aquaman a message that you're having a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Windham should have tried signaling with that jacket instead of the message in the bottle. I'll bet Aquaman would've seen it in the Marianas Trench.

James Chatterton

rob! said...

Anthony--Snarky comments aside? That's my favorite part! :)

JBS---I picture some poor slob clutching his chest, refusing to take his nitroglycerin, having faith Aquaman will show up, eventually...

JC---The only jacket that can be seen from space!

Anthony said...

@rob!: Yeah, I know...though wondered why we haven't gotten *more* remarks about some of those Superboy covers (like that amusement park one a few weeks back). ;-)

rob! said...

If I can think of a joke then and there, I go with it; otherwise I let it go. These things are really fun to write so I don't like to belabor it. :)