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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Adventure Comics #142 - July 1949

Comics Weekend "Undersea Big-Game Hunt!" by Otto Binder and John Daly.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Aquaman protects his finny friends from a violent menace:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

I normally don't post every page of these Adventure segments, but I loved the art on this one so much (especially Page 5's curved panels!) that I decided to just put the whole thing up.

Not only do I love the art--once again John Daly and the unknown colorist give us an amazing undersea world, as visually compelling as any comic book set in outer space--but I love the story, too.

The Golden Age Aquaman's devotion to his finny friends wasn't as absolute as his Silver Age replacement's would be, but here he's not taking any crap from these hunters, who are all too happy to hunt a creature out of existence. Considering how Aquaman has dealt with some of his previous adversaries, I'd say they got off pretty light!


Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Egad Redstone, I don't know where to start! Diving suits with three days worth of air? Brilliant! Um, how do they use the restroom down there? I think I missed that part. And those electric guns. Perfect for underwater use.

A terrific, extra-goofy Binder tale. So entertaining I didn't even miss Black Jack or the Sea Sleuth (well, not much). And you're right about that art, Rob. Beautiful stuff.


James Chatterton

Richard said...

"Sorry, but I'm not a hero!" Er. You know what he means, but…it's a strange line out of context.

Total agreement re Daly's art, as always!

Those diving suits caught my attention just as they did for James, above. A few days ago, I came across an observation that the diving suits of the late Forties had nothing in them Jules Verne wouldn't have recognized. In more recent years we've had a sudden explosion of progress and new technologies in undersea exploration, with fairly rapid and continued progress since then…but when this story was made, seadiving was still in its prolonged infancy. Everything we take for granted today in sea exploration would have seemed as science fictional as a moon landing. This really puts in perspective how an Aquaman story like this would have been received by a child born circa 1940. My generation grew up with Jacques Cousteau, but to the original readers the ocean might as well be deep space.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I like the fanciful turn these stories are taking; it's a welcome change. Yes, they may not have had deep sea submersibles, but the '40s saw remarkable innovation in poop suit design.

Anthony said...

A fun story...

Yes, I too immediately thought "three days with no restroom breaks? Or eating/sleeping?"

Looks like the move toward less-realistic sea creatures/elements continues to pick up here...

Re: Superboy: The Boy of Steel convinces an "unlucky" forest ranger that he isn't, and brings in some crooks at the same time.