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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Adventure Comics #146 - Nov. 1949

Comics Weekend "Aquaman Loses His Powers!" by Otto Binder and John Daly.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Let me just say before we get to Aquaman, this is my favorite Superboy cover so far. Period.

In this month's adventure, we'll see whether even a de-powered Aquaman can defeat Black Jack. My bet is, yes:
Aquaman's finny friends rescue the loot, and he commands them to return it to the plant. The Sea King then realizes he should try and fool Black Jack (and how hard could that be?) into thinking he's got his powers back.

While Black Jack and his gang are trying to steal rare photos being taken by some scientists in a bathysphere (stealing rare photos? What's Black Jack gonna do, sell them to Look?), they spy Aquaman swimming by! But how is that possible?

Turns out Aquaman is being guided by some transparent fish, creating a perfect illusion that he is no longer paralyzed. Despite this, Black Jack doesn't run:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

Beautiful, detailed art job by John Daly in the service of a relatively tired plot. How many times now has Aquaman been robbed of his abilities in some form, only for Black Jack to think--this time--this is the perfect moment to plunder the unprotected seas?

Also, how and why does the news of Aquaman's condition get out? Was there some 1940s version of TMZ paying someone in the lab to reveal Aquaman's medical records? Aquaman's private info leaks so profusely you'd think he was on Facebook.

That all said, I still loved this story. The translucent fish bit is awesome, I wish Aquaman writers used it more.


Anthony said...

Ah, Aquaman smacking Black Jack around never gets old...

No TMZ in 1949 of course, though there were gossip magazines. That, and radio; some unscrupulous radio program host looking for a "scoop" about the Sea King bought the story from some lab tech?

Relevant to DCU media, this month (November 1949) also sees the debut (in "Detective") of Roy Raymond, "TV Detective." Though Roy seems to have been treated as an Earth-One-only character per 70s Superman stories...

Re: Superboy: From the description I found, Superboy helps out the class "goat" by making him appear to be Superboy, while also capturing a gangster. ("Goat"? Sounds like a line out of "Peanuts"... :-p )

Joseph Brian Scott said...

So many fun things about this Golden Age specimen!

I'd put the blame on the news about Aquaman's infirmity getting out squarely on the hat brim to whom it belongs -- Hedda Hopper.

There were stories about that hoary old war horse of a plot of there being dissolved gold in sea water THAT FAR BACK?!

"Make hay while the sun shines!" Ocean Master should be so classy to adopt this as his battle cry; and why not?

I like that it's a fantastical sea creature that serves as a linchpin for this story; and that it's acknowledged that only Aquaman can survive four miles under the surface of the ocean. Everybody knew he was a durable bad-a$$ back then; they just didn't make a big deal about it.

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Binder's back in form here. The whole bit about diving four miles down and encountering the rainbow-saurus was nicely done.

I wonder what the rest of John Celardo's career was like? Thanks to him, Aquaman's art was better than the majority of his DC contemporaries of the time. Makes me kind of wonder if it was a factor in Aquaman's post-golden age survival.

Oh, that Black Jack. What 'cha gonna do?

James Chatterton