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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adventure Comics #174 - March 1952

Comics Weekend "The Whale That Was Wanted For Murder!" by George Kashdan and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Lana Lang strikes a blow for Spinster Equality!

Meanwhile, the King of the Seven Seas has to defend one of his finny friends...from being accused of murder?!?
The posse launches a depth charge at Black Beauty, but Aquaman snags it with a metal hook and has a dolphin drag it away, where it explodes without causing any harm.

Aquaman comes up with a plan, involving the ship's radio room. When he returns to the surface, he sees that Black Beauty has been caught in the posse's wire net! Aquaman orders some sawfish to cut his friend free, while sneaking aboard:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

I liked this story quite a bit, as I do every one that concerns itself with Aquaman's friendship with the creatures of the sea. And of course Ramona Fradon does her usual top-flight job.

My only complaint is that it wraps up all too quickly--the jerry-rigged x-ray machine is such "Wait, what?" idea that I think it needed an extra panel or two to really pay off. Plus, Aquaman's defense of Black Beauty re: his sore back is not really going to hold up in court.

For whatever reason, as we've seen in the last couple of issues, Aquaman's feature got trimmed by a 1/3rd of a page to make room for an ad. I usually haven't noticed a difference, but this time I felt like Kashdan and Fradon really could have used that extra panel or two.


Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Nice to see Aquaman sticking his neck out for one of his friends. There is a lot to be said for loyalty. I was gonna ask "what's with the sea eagle", but according to wiki such a thing does exist. Wonder if they have sea vultures on Earth Two as well?

I see a revolt of the sea turtles story coming. He puts those particular friends through an awful lot.

As long as we're speaking of X-rays: um, did Superboy make that observation before or after he used his...

James Chatterton

Anthony said...

Nice story. Liked seeing Aquaman rig up a makeshift photographic plate/x-ray machine, though yeah, they didn't really explain how it worked (maybe akin to the Flintstones' x-ray machines being electric-eel-powered?). That or Arthur (or his Earth-Two version) must read "Scientific American" pretty often...

Re: Superboy: the plot: Superboy teaches Lana Lang not to be overcompetitive, but when Lana takes it too far and loses contests on purpose, Superboy reverses tracks. The oddity of this story is Lana wins the "Miss Smallville of 1952" contest... and this issue was *printed* in 1952! At this point, Superboy was set either vaguely in the past or fell victim to the attitude at the time (for good or bad) of continuity being mostly unimportant to comic books ("Aquaman and Superboy are just cartoons, like Bugs Bunny!"), and thus set in the then-present year like Superman was. DC didn't fully adhere to setting Superboy specifically in the past until the late 50s (when Weisinger was in full control of the Superman titles).

And yes, the page count looks cut back for everyone but Superboy: 12 pages for Superboy; 6 for Aquaman and Johnny Quick; and 8 for Green Arrow (per comics.org).

Russell said...

Black Beauty should just say he was using the "Stand Your Ground" law in self-defense. Oh, wait, that won't work....he's "black."