Sunday, August 12, 2012

Adventure Comics #194 - Nov. 1953

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Comics Weekend "The Outlaw Navy!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Aquaman versus the Navy? Say it isn't so, Arthur:

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Aquaman dispatches his finny friends--an octopus flotilla covers the water in ink, with a school of whales following, filling the air with black smoke. That doesn't stop Admiral Duko from firing torpedoes at the Navy ship, the one with Aquaman aboard.

The Sea King issues some pilot fish who drag the missiles away, back towards Duko's fleet!
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...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

I didn't find this issue's story all that involving--the charmless Admiral Duko kinda makes me miss Black Jack's joie de vivre--but this time around Fradon's art is really the standout.

I love Duko's confused face on the last page, as he discovers he's been tricked--it looks a little like the work of Will Elder, in those classic Mad parodies. Ramona Fradon had/has the ability to toggle back and forth between straightforward superhero action and almost caricature-style cartooniness, which I think is the one of the things that kept the Aquaman strip going through the superhero drought of the 1950s--very few strips looked this good, this unique.

3 comments:

Anthony said...

Another instance of Aquaman being called "fish-man!" No sea eagles, however...

Re: Superboy: The plot: a criminal scientist supercharges Superboy with electricity, forcing him to do his deeds at a long distance.

Andy Luckett said...

Another fun, fanciful story. While definitely on the goofy side, the element that makes these early stories stand out is the creative use of the sea life. Turtles painted as mines? That's an imaginative idea (although I can't see Aquaman spending hours just painting turtle shells gray). The Golden Age Aquaman reminds me of the early Tarzan films, which I guess makes Ark the Sea Lion his Cheetah, and Topo his Tantor the elephant.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Late again, still on vacation.

Another goofy, but fun story. I liked how it took place completely out at sea, highlighting how unique Aquaman really was in the DC universe. No wonder he outlasted most of his compatriots from the golden age.

James Chatterton