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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adventure Comics #160 - Jan. 1951

Comics Weekend "Aquaman's Sea Cops!" by George Kashdan and John Daly.
It's Adventure Sunday!

The Sea King forms The Aquaman Corps, way before those sissypants Oans!

One of Aquaman's young recruits spots Tim Weed heading for a nearby pier. The Sea King sends a message (via electric eel--patent pending) to all of his team, including his finny friends.

Weed's boat is surrounded by a fence made up of swordfish, but he declares he is running an honest business retrieving sunken treasure. Aquaman lets him go, but secretly follows him back out into the water, where he sees Weed heading inside a buoy--a-ha!:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

I don't feel this story was one of the Golden Age Aquaman's best; it's too wordy (I actually started to get bored working through all the balloons) and Tim Weed seems fairly colorless. It makes me wonder why, when someone like Batman already had a huge Rogues Gallery, Aquaman was so rarely given a colorful foe to battle?

I mean, of course Aquaman only had six pages per month, as opposed to Batman who was the star of two full-length books (three, if you want to count World's Finest), but still it seems like such a wasted opportunity to have Aquaman just battle yet another fedora'd crook when he was capable of so much more. Especially when you think how science-fiction was getting more and more popular by the 1950s; it would have been perfectly reasonable to have the Sea King take on aliens, robots, etc.

That said, John Daly's art job is, as always, terrific; I especially love panel four on page five, and the clever splash page.


Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Have to agree with you here, Rob. This is one of the duller golden age stories. I'm missing the goofy spark that Otto Binder brought on a regular basis. The whole dodge of hiding in the buoy and faking old coins is kind of clever. But I can just see ol' Black Jack ruling out a plan like that in favor of one of his ridiculous schemes because it seems so dull.

Tim Weed reminds me of the endless parade of two-bit gangsters that Batman used to go up against back in this era. He seems out of place outside of Gotham City.

At least we got to see the sea=clam in action.

James Chatterton

aquaman said...

maybe not great, but i still love my heroes from back then! And I love how Aquaman is drawn! Not like he's 21 yrs old and without the steroided body! Oh yeah... yellow gloves...classic!

Anthony said...

Gangsters seemed popular in comics in the 50s for whatever reason... maybe the popularity of them in other media (movies, early television, radio)? Seems like that's mainly who Superman mostly fought during the same time-era, as well (when Luthor didn't show up)...

Re: Superboy: Didn't think Smallville had such nasty traffic jams (though guess it's a homecoming football game). This month's plot: Superboy re-enacts the story of Cinderella to help a girl humiliated by glamorous-looking cousins.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

@aquaman: Ha ha, I kind of agree! In these older stories he looks like a squashed-nose, he-man palooka, not a roided-out pretty boy. But I think he's great any way they want to serve him up.