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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Adventure Comics #164 - May 1951

Comics Weekend "The Strangest Questions in the World!" by George Kashdan and John Daly.
It's Adventure Sunday!

Aquaman's expertise as King of the Seven Seas is put to the test in this month's adventure:

Aquaman gets the message from Brad, and relays a strange answer back. Brad orders the ship to throw all its seafood overboard immediately!

The order is carried out, and in a few moments everyone sees it worked! The seafood attracted a school of whales, and when the whales blow their spouts, it dissipates the dust storm. Score one for Brad!

A few days later, more trouble develops when a fire breaks out on a ship carrying millions in gold (the S.S. Ron Paul, apparently). The boat will most likely sink, taking the gold with it, unless...
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

The Department of Odd Questions had an annual budget for fifty-three billion dollars. Look it up.

I liked this story, despite the stakes being really, really, really low. Basically, Aquaman is using his amazing powers to help his buddy feel better about his job. I mean, come on. To make matters worse, Aquaman uses "your" when he means "you're" in the last panel. I'm guessing he's so bored mollifying Brad that he just got a little sleepy and careless, like the last page of a term paper written an hour before class.

But, once again, artist John Daly delivers a superb art job. Every panel is complete and well-detailed, but never crowded or visually unappealing. This guy was good!

Sadly, this was Daly's final Aquaman adventure. I guess I shouldn't say "sadly", because he was replaced on the strip by the incomparable Ramona Fradon, who is (IMO) one of the finest comic book artists that ever was, and eventually became one of The Great Aquaman Artists. So losing Daly for Fradon is almost the definitive win-win situation, for us Aqua-Fans.

That said, I'm a little sad there are now no new Aquaman stories by John Daly for me to discover...


Anthony said...

Per the gold remark, IIRC, the US would've been on the silver standard at the time this story was published...

Re: Superboy: This month's plot: Superboy finds an isolated Native American tribe and helps one of its members defeat an evil rival for the right to be chief.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Yay! The Fradon era begins! Can't wait to see those early stories of hers.

rob! said...

@JBS--I hear you. But I still am a little sad this is it for Daly.

Orin's dad said...

I have really enjoyed Daly's art. And in general, the coloring was excellent too. Very bright and vibrant. But you certainly can't go wrong with Ramona Fradon!

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Despite my relatively decent golden age knowledge, I'd never even heard of John Daly before. Thank you Rob, for instigating Adventure Sunday. Daly's up there with my favorite Aqua-artists now.

I've always had a soft spot for Fradon, so I'm looking forward to seeing her beginnings next week.

This story was as goofy as ever, but very enjoyable. Wacthing all that gold floating on the ice was nice.

You're talking 53 billlion in 1951 dollars, right?

James Chatterton