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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adventure Comics #137 - Feb. 1949

Comics Weekend "The Undersea Lost World!" by Otto Binder and John Daly.

It's Adventure Sunday!

That one crook is literally melting before our eyes. Somebody call the Comics Code!

This week, Aquaman has a wild adventure on the ocean floor, while simultaneously tangling with that Barnacle of Badness, that Crustacean of Crime, Black Jack!:
Aquaman goes back into the sea, not realizing he's escorting Black Jack! Using a Geiger Counter, he discovers a large mineral deposit just under the sea floor, just in time for Black Jack to hit him over the head with the diving suit's powerful metal arm!

When he awakes, he finds himself pinned by a giant clam! As he struggles to free himself, Black Jack escapes:
...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

This is one of my favorite Golden Age Aquaman stories--not so much because of the plot, which is fine but nothing particularly special. No, its the artwork by John Daly--not to mention the wonderful coloring job by who knows--that really brings this story to life.

The ocean, as rendered by Daly and set in day-glo colors, looks like an amazing wonderland, as spectacular as any setting a comic book superhero could have. I could stare at these pages all day, and I just might!

One final note: I like how Otto Binder casually has Aquaman mention Byrd--as in Admiral Byrd--safe in the knowledge kids would automatically know who that is. Kids were smarter back then, even if they said "So's your old man!" a lot.


Joseph Brian Scott said...

I enjoyed the undersea vistas of this one, as well. And I liked the suboceanic pteranodons, too, and the happy-go-lucky spirit with which the professor was willing to spend days in his poop suit.

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

My god, those colors are amazing. I'm really enjoying these latest Adventure adventures. Lucky for us that Aquaman had outlasted the vast majority of golden age heroes by this point, or these stories wouldn't even exist. Probably just due to Mort Weisinger's territorialism, but...oops, getting hypnotized by those wonderful colors again.

How times change. What are the chances of getting Aquaman to scout out undersea mineral deposits nowadays? May as well ask Namor the Shrineless.

James Chatterton

rob! said...

May as well ask Namor the Shrineless.

Oh, snap!

Russell said...

Just curious, but is this the first appearance of Superboy's own logo? He was using Superman's curved version in just the last issue....Anybody know?

"Namor the Shrineless"....love it!

Anonymous said...

This seems like a pretty cool story. Yeah, that underwater setting was pretty darn imaginative!

I love the inclusion of the U.N. flag. Ha, Aquaman saluting it is sorta' funny to me. It makes a certain amount of sense that Aquaman, of all the DC heroes, would see things from an international perspective, though. He's spending most of his time outside of the borders of any surface nation.

Anthony said...

Nice story, and yes, seems a product of its time: Byrd's famous South Pole flight was only 20 years before this story was published, and Byrd was still alive in 1949. The United Nations itself was created a few years before this story was published (a result of the outcome of World War II).

"Namor the Shrineless", heh.

Aquaman's longevity past his Golden Age brethren (including Namor the Shrineless) probably was from falling under Weisinger's editorship, as well as being a popular perennial feature in "Adventure" (alongside star character Superboy and also-perennial Adventure feature Green Arrow). Wonder if that also explains some of Aquaman's appearances in Silver Age Superman stories (or how often Atlantis turned up there).

Re: Superboy: The plot of this issue sees Superboy helping some boys find a treasure ahead of two crooks.

And far as I can tell (from comics.org perusal of the covers for More Fun Comics and Adventure Comics), this is the first appearance of the traditional Superboy logo. Possibly a result of the first issue of the solo Superboy comic coming out a month after this Adventure issue?