Sunday, March 18, 2012

Adventure Comics #173 - Feb. 1952

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Comics Weekend "The First Underwater Gold Mine!" by George Kashdan and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

It's a hard-knock life for the Boy of Steel!

Meanwhile, the King of the Seven Seas encounters some unexpected people...cowboys!
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Aquaman commands the sea horses to carry the underwater demolition man away, but he swims back and tries to clock the Sea King in the head. Aquaman ducks out of the way, and then commands a sawfish to cut the man's airline.

Aquaman returns to the surface to find his friends outnumbered. He climbs aboard a giant flying fish, which deposits him onto the one of the crooks' boat. He takes command of it, and:
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...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!


Yet another gang of crooks pulling a fast one, this fairly routine story is brought to life by Ramona Fradon. Not that I wasn't enjoying her work before this, but to my eyes with this story she took a giant leap towards distilling her work down to that classic style we Aqua-Fans know and love. Less detailed and slightly more cartoony, the Aquaman seen here looks almost exactly like the one I grew up with in the Super Friends comic.


My only complaint about the story at all is the last-minute appearance of Bert Parks. Kids of the 50s loved Bert Parks (as do the kids of today), so I consider that just pandering on George Kashdan's part.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

I shore do like that Fradon gal's work. There's gold in them thar pencils. In panel after panel here, she really accentuates how Aquaman is a man of action with the physique of a master swimmer. I'm still amazed at how good she was this early in her career.

Aquaman's pals really get a workout this issue. Love the determined look on the sea turtle's face as they're closing in on Daggart.

James Chatterton

Anthony said...

Another great Fradon-drawn Aquaman story!

Re: Bert Parks: Guess "its on TV, so it must be the new hotness" was the 1952 equivalent of the way "it's on the Internet" was in the 90s. "Break the Bank" was originally a radio game show starting in the mid-40s, and moved to television in the late 40s, running until the mid-50s.

Re: Superboy: Guess this is an early appearance of "the heat of his x-ray vision," before it was finally broken up into the separate power of "heat vision" in the early 60s. The plot: Superboy teaches a few teenagers a lesson on carelessness, while Ma Kent reminds Clark how he too had to learn to use his own powers properly. Wonder if the Kents ate ramen noodles for a month per that cover... :-p

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Why on Earth does a farmer/general store owner need a big safe like that? Is he hiding stolen Nazi gold? I like all the purpleness in the cover, though.

The Aquaman story would have been a neat opportunity to team him up with the Vigilante. I'm glad to see the giant seahorses getting to do something here, and though we didn't see it, the giant flying fish sounds cool. I say, if you're going to posit a world in which giant seahorses and flying fish exist, just bring out giant versions of everything! Giant sea gulls, giant mantis shrimp, giant saltwater frogs, giant everything! The ocean's the limit.

rob! said...

My favorite part of Adventure Sundays are the comments you guys leave.