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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Adventure Comics #186 - March 1953

Comics Weekend "The Dive-In Theater" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Superboy protects even Smallville's stupidest!

Meanwhile, in Aquaman's strip: An underwater bank, a restaurant, a jail, now a movie theater!

Weems continues his low-down, underhanded efforts, which includes "accidentally" cutting the power cords to Captain Hoyle's theater using his boat's outboard motor. Aquaman returns (riding an octopus, 'natch), and commands some electric eels to form a chain which re-delivers the necessary juice.

Weems is undaunted, turning on a giant fan and aiming it at Hoyle's screen, which blows it around, ruining the screening. Aquaman, used to cracking Nazi skulls, has had enough:
...and so The Alamo Drafthouse was born!

This story is a little different from the others I mentioned above, in that this theater isn't built by Aquaman, and isn't underwater...but it's close. Hoyle's plan seems dubious at best, and I love how Weems, who for all we know as the story opens is just a regular small business owner, immediately turns to almost-criminal-level tricks to destroy the competition. Why not just offer a bigger tub of popcorn and see if that works first?

Ramona Fradon had a real knack at...well, everything, but especially rendering shifty-looking crooks. All of the zoot-suited baddies in this stories look like they could have come from Dick Tracy--kind of a shame she never got a chance at that strip, it probably would have looked amazing.

One last thing before we go...check out Aquaman's belt buckle on page 6:
...yee-owch! I guess that's one way to make you never slouch.


Anthony said...

Heh, "dive-in theater", punny. Wonder what business is next for the Earth-Two Sea King... a television station? A full-service gas station? A supermarket? :-p

Re: Superboy: Stupid youth maybe, but maybe that cover action's how he got his "more powerful than a locomotive" attribute. ;-) The plot: To save the citizens of Smallville from perishing (from what, I don't know), Superboy "salts" a fake gold mine to lure them out of town.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

I think we can file this story in the "Best of Intentions" dept. Who can blame Weems for not wanting to go out of business? It was hard enough for movie theaters to "stay afloat" in the 1950's with the arrival of television. Just when Weems is getting used to that, here comes Aquaman to threaten his business all over again. Personally, I think Aquaman should've given Weems a cut.

Of course, if Weems had just switched to selling hyper-realistic fake swordfish, he probably would have been a millionaire by the time the Dive-In was showing Creature of the Black Lagoon in Sea-D.

Did Earth Two develop Imax 3-D before any of the other earth's?

James Chatterton