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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Adventure Comics #184 - Jan. 1953

Comics Weekend "At Sea in the Stone Age!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

No, that guy in the suit doesn't look suspicious at all.

Aquaman takes a vacation from the usual crooks and pirates, going...back in time!
Aquaman uses his belt to grab the sea monster and ride it like a bucking bronco, forcing it into a fight with another creature. While they are busy fighting one another, Aquaman helps his prehistoric pals across the water.

Unfortunately, they are threatened again, this time by a giant octopus! Aquaman, realizing he's out-armed, devises a plan:
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

After so many formulaic (but fun!) adventures, with Aquaman taking on nothing but fedora-bedecked crooks or would-be pirates, this story stands out as one of a handful that have some sort of fantasy or sci-fi premise at it's heart.

With only five and half pages of space, the story moves at an absurdly brisk pace--Aquaman travels back in time, and yet it takes all of a panel from him to adjust to the idea and get on board with helping his prehistoric pals. Superheroes were generally harder to shock back then, I guess.

One final note--I can only assume Aquaman was suffering from low blood sugar just before this adventure took place, because he seems quite woozy. He trips over his own feet twice in five pages!


Anthony said...

Fun with time-travel... and cavemen that, to my surprise, *don't* talk in "Tarzan-speak," unlike most depictions of prehistoric people when this story was written.

Too bad Aquaman couldn't have faced off against Vandal Savage (being a fellow Earth-2 denizen/an immortal cavemen and all...).

Meanwhile, over on Earth-1...

Re: Superboy: To directly quote from my source the plot summary: "A convict plans to make a jailbreak while Superboy is weakened from exposure to Kryptonite in the cameras of shutterbugs." Sounds almost as weird as "seven-league mechanical boots". ;-)

David J. Cutler said...

I've never seen the art from these 50s-era stories before. It's really quite fantastic, I had no idea Fradon was associated with Aquaman for so long!

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Nice to see something without this month's Black Jack clone for a change. Elements of fantasy suited Aquaman (and Fradon) well.

I was confused as to how the prehistoric men would know who Aquaman is at first, when they don't get around to drawing his picture on the wall until the end of the story.

As far as his continuously tripping over his own feet on land...well, he is the king of the sea.

James Chatterton

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Cute, compact little yarn, and the art was great; that last panel alone is some nice storytelling.

We've seen Aquaman riding around a lot on that walrus in the last few stories; I wonder if he stuck around long enough to be an inspiration for Tusky?