Sunday, August 19, 2012

Adventure Comics #195 - Dec. 1953

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Comics Weekend "The River Gang!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Judging by this story's title, it sounds like we might, just might, have an actual colorful villain(s) for the Sea King to take on. Let's see:

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Aquaman (astride a walrus), finds The River Gang in the middle of extorting protection money from a fur trader. When he gets close, they throw a net over him, tie it to an anchor, and toss him into the drink (Black Jack Playbook, Page 7, Diagram 2).

But The River Gang's problems aren't over--their boat begins to fill with water, so hey make a beeline for a nearby iceberg:
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...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Ah, it seems my hopes that The River Gang would be something more than a group of sharp-suited crooks, but clearly their ambitions were fairly modest: they really just want to rob a bunch of people and get rich, as opposed to pursuing the more colorful life of a supervillain. Oh well.

Aquaman getting tossed around in a net full of fish isn't one of the Sea King's most inspiring images, but Ramona Fradon makes up for it with the excellent, evocative splash page.

5 comments:

Anthony said...

Ah, another appearance of an old-time pre-"SCTV" Canadian stereotype, the French-Canadian fur trader/lumberjack/etc. Complete with cheesy accent. :-p

Re: Superboy: This month's issue sees the reappearance of "Marsboy" (a Martian hero who made a few early Superboy comic appearances). Clark helps Marsboy catch a Martian crook, while Lana Lang blackmails him into a scheme to make Superboy jealous. Some online sources (including the one I get these plot summaries from) suggest this story takes place on "Earth-B" (where such out-of-continuity stories like some of Bob Haney's stuff took place), since Earth-1's Mars is generally considered to be that of the Martian Manhunter stories (ignoring various other conflicting versions of Mars that appeared across DC's books in the 50s).

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

"Nevair! I do not pay zis feelthy protection!"

The whole "maneuver the crooks onto the iceberg and move it into warm waters and watch it melt underneath them" scheme is pretty sweet. Not sure these dunderheads deserved that level of comeuppance though. Oh wait, they tried to drown Aquaman. Yeah, they had it coming.

James Chatterton

Joseph Brian Scott said...

The part about throwing him overboard is a head-scratcher to me. Was the idea really to try and drown Aquaman? Were they that dumb? Or was it just to incapacitate him so he'd starve to death or something? (Also dumb, because of course he could summon all manner of sea life to help free him.) Was it a case of some clueless crooks who hadn't done their homework about their opposition (and ultimately perhaps some lazy writing), or is there something I'm missing?

rob! said...

I would have loved to have seen a whole story of Aquaman in French Canada, and have the whole damn thing be nothing but lumberjacks and horrible Clouseau-like accents.

And yeah I don't get the whole "Let's drown Aquaman" bit. Do the bad guys not even realize his NAME?

Unknown said...

Hmm, If Aquaman can order sea eagles around, why not beavers? I can see it now:

Aquaman and his junior beaver patrol vs. that evil Canadian mastermind...Black Jaques!

James Chatterton