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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Adventure Comics #188 - May 1953

Comics Weekend "Calling Dr. Aquaman!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Amazing how good Clark turned out considering what a horse's ass Pa Kent could be sometimes.

Aquaman tries his hand at something other than superhero-ing this month:

One of Dirk's henchmen spots Aquaman and tells his boss. Dirk responds by sending one of his other cronies underwater to smash open the chamber containing the quarantined seal, thereby infecting everyone in the clinic--that means Aquaman too!

Aquaman doesn't want to risk spreading the infection, but he doesn't want Dirk to get away either. What to do?
...and with that, so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

I like how Aquaman out-thinks his opponent here...very Batman-esque!

Ramona Fradon's splash page is wonderful, presenting us an image that doesn't take place in the story, but is so goofily evocative that it doesn't matter. I wonder if Dr. Aquaman is in my HMO? (That is, if I had health insurance)


Richard said...

Re page two: boy, DC sure got an early start on the PR campaign for PLOP! -- the book wasn't even launched until twenty years later!

Joseph Brian Scott said...

^Ha ha! That was Sergio the swordfish that got plopped.

Laurie S. Sutton said...

The art in panel one of the last page is striking! Dirk is brought up short and hard, and it's communicated in the body language. Wow!

I love these stories to bits. They have a vibrancy and good-natured abandon that I find a great inspiration for my own writing for kids.

BTW, when I saw the name "Dirk" my mind went to novelist Clive Cussler's underwater explorer hero, Dirk Pitt. Although the character was born of the earliest James Bond stereotypes, he and his author/creator developed into my favorite underwater action must-reads.

rob! said...

@RAB--Good catch! It even has that "Plop" sort of context to it.

@Laurie--Interesting! I wonder if Clive Cussler read Aquaman comics as a kid?

Anthony said...

A fun story! Apparently, Arthur's Earth-1 counterpart also had the same idea for an underwater hospital, per a similar story I also liked ("Adventure" #262's "The Undersea Hospital" from 1959).

Re: Superboy: the plot: Pa Kent trips down stairs, hits his head, and thinks he's a great matador.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Another case for an Aquaman TV show in the 50's. He could have been the underwater Ben Casey. Just imagine the dramatic possibilites in the halls of Aquaman's hospital. come to think of it, that could still work today. Hmmm, Mera's Anatomy?

I'm wondering if Ramona Fradon had deadline problems. Page 5 looks like it's either rushed or doctored by someone else.

James Chatterton

rob! said...


I didn't notice any huge difference in page 5, but it makes sense that Ms. Fradon might have had an assistant on all these stories. Maybe they did a little more on that page?

"Mera's Anatomy"? I like the sound of that!

TotalToyz said...

Anthony, you beat me to it re: the comparisons with the "Undersea Hospital" story! Remember, this was back in the days when comics editors saw no danger in recycling old plots every seven years or so, because they figured no one who was reading comic books seven years earlier would still be doing so!