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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Adventure Comics #193 - Oct. 1953

Comics Weekend "Secret of the Sea Monster!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

I love this Superboy cover, especially the hopscotching crooks.

This month, it appears as though a different sort of foe is on tap for Aquaman to face, rather than your usual fedora-bedecked crooks:

Aquaman helps right the ship, but the creature keeps attacking other vessels, becoming quite the menace. A Navy ship comes by, and the commander tells Aquaman unless he can get the beast under control, he will order it blasted to smithereens! Aquaman makes a sad promise to do what he can:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

I have to say, that was not the ending I expected. Of course, I guessed that ol' Gertie here did not become a regular addition to the Aquaman strip, but essentially jailing it in an abandoned coal mine (they have those?) for all eternity seems just kinda...odd. I mean, it can't eat forever, right? What then, Aquaman? What then?

This story is of course unusual in that it introduces a sci-fi element which is, for once, not a dream or a fake or whatever--this is an actual prehistoric sea monster, period. Crime comics were quickly on their way out, sci-fi comics were coming in. The Aquaman strip may have been behind the curve a bit, but it was getting there.

Before we go, something must be said about Ramona Fradon's work here: check out Aquaman's palpable sense of terror on page three, panel three--rarely had any superhero been shown being that afraid, of anything. Not sure I like Aquaman looking like such a Nervous Nessie, but it sure does stand out.


Anonymous said...

I didn't see it as imprisoning the sea monster. There are no chains, and the story already suggests Aquaman doesn't have access to chains that can hold his big maroon buddy.

My perception was that Aquaman led his new pal to a huge, stationary smorgasbord of coal. Well fed, with an easy food source, it has no reason to chase ships, or even stray very far from the coal mine.

Anthony said...

Yes, nice artwork by Fradon on Aquaman (even if unusual to see a superhero with such a look of horror on his face)...

Re: Superboy: The plot: Clark loses his Superboy costume while swimming, and three people who find it try to use it to their advantage.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

On vacation, so this is abbreviated.

In keeping with the Wiesenger rule of repeating stories every few years: doesn't Aquaman meet another friendly, but destructive sea monster who hatches out of ice in this era? This story seems awfully familiar.

James Chatterton