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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adventure Comics #170 - Nov. 1951

Comics Weekend "Mutiny Under The Sea!" by George Kashdan and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Check out that angry look on Superboy's face...I'd say somebody is going to get a blast of heat vision to the privates.

Anyway, Aquaman has his own problems--the creatures of the sea have turned against him!:
Aquaman spies the pesky photographer and sees that he somehow has control over the various sea creatures! While counting his loot, Lariar is confronted by Aquaman, who notices that the camera is not a camera at all--it's some sort of mind-control device! Lariar orders an octopus to attack the Sea King, and it does, attempting to strangle the life out of him!

But, as Lariar departs, confident he has bested Aquaman, the octopus suddenly releases it's grip. Aquaman wonders why, but first has to worry about catching up to the crook:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

A fun adventure, with a slightly more fantastical spin on the whole Aquaman-versus-an-ordinary-crook motif. Judging by these stories, there are so many crooks on the high seas the oceans must look like Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Even though we don't see it, I assume that Aquaman destroys Lariar's machine. Too bad, really, since that kind of technology was (still is!) pretty amazing; maybe the Sea King should have thought about patenting it himself, if only to keep it out of other bad guys' hands.

Ramona Fradon's work is, even at this early stage, stellar. Related to that, we're treated to a new Aquaman logo, the first new one since the strip ran in More Fun Comics. The times, they were a-changin'!


Anthony said...

Fun story, and nice Fradon artwork.

Not sure if patenting something would be enough to keep it out of bad guys' hands, being, well, bad guys and all... but still, "Aquaman visits the US Patent Office" would be fun.

Re: Superboy: Heh, "heat vision". Anyway, re: the plot: Superboy must learn why the guy on the cover made a date with Lana for the prom and then intends to drop her, while dealing with unexpectedly being put on the football team as Clark Kent. No idea if heat vision (or since this story was written in 1951, "the heat of his x-ray vision") was involved. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

I love how nonchalant Aquaman is when he discovers the telepathic machine. Must be "the second biggest telepathic machine i've seen this month".

Nowadays a year or two worth of stories would probably be dedicated to tracking down the machine's origins. And then they would be collected into a trade paperback. Why, I can see the outrageous title now: The Adventure of the Time I Spent A Year Tracking Down A Thought Machine (And Made Those Turtles Give Their Loot Back).

Is this the first story that states explicitly that Aquaman communicates with sea-life telepathically?

James Chatterton

Joseph Brian Scott said...

That Superboy: he won't return Lana's affection, but he'll incinerate anyone who does! Ha ha!

So great to see these early Fradon stories, when she was still finding her sea legs. Interesting that Aquaman's trunks are colored a dark, light-absorbing green here, as they wouldn't be again until the Bronze Age of comics. Usually they were just rendered as black. And he has that gut-puncturing giant A.

Also in November 1951: John Van Druten's "I Am A Camera", which would inspire "Cabaret" (musical 1966, film 1972), premiers in NYC.

wich2 said...

Love that moonlit shot. Love Fradon.