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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Adventure Comics #196 - Jan. 1954

Comics Weekend "The Topsy-Turvy World!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Remember: it's "Kingorilla", not "King Gorilla." Glad we got that straight.

Wow, it looks like Aquaman is diving into the sci-fi pool hip-deep this month! Let's hope that's true, and it's not just a bunch of zoot suited-crooks dressed as Little Green Men:

Aquaman leaps into the tidal wave of dirt and mud, which similarly contains creatures that we have on Earth. Commanding some whales as he would back home, Aquaman breaks the tidal wave into small little jets coming from the whales, which reduces its violent force. The city is saved!

Aquaman receives a key to the city, and can't help but ask--how do the little guys speak English?:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Whoa, nellie! While unidentified writer tries to give us an out, suggesting that this whole trip was a dream, that can pretty much be disregarded by the fact that Aquaman has the compressed air gun...which I expect him to use in every single adventure after this!*

Ramona Fradon's art is, of course, spectacular: classic mid-50s sci-fi alien design and architecture, it is a pure pleasure to look at. Also, I miss the days when rockets were painted pink.

*A quick scan of the next few issues of Adventure Comics reveals that, like every bad guy Aquaman has been facing in these stories, it is never seen again. Damn!**

**I didn't really do that, I'm just guessing.


Anthony said...

Wonder why they wanted to leave an "out" for Aquaman's sci-fi themed adventure? Especially since that was the "in" thing during the mid-50s... and Aquaman's fellow DC heroes were also starting to be more sci-fi-themed (including, infamously, Batman).

Re: Superboy: Hey look, actual Black people on a 50s comic cover! (Albeit of the usual "primitive African tribesmen" depictions common during this time...). The plot: Superboy and Lana Lang go to Africa to try to keep Lana's parents from being sacrificed to the King Kong-knockoff seen on the cover.

Anonymous said...


Russell said...

This is probably the stupidest story I have ever seen. I'll sum up with the two most obvious questions: Why did the crooks steal the rocket; why didnt' they just kill Aquaman? Why didn't Aquaman allow the Navy to fire on the crooks and then retrieve the gold from the ocean bottom? Bad, bad story.

PS Rob, it looks like lions were pink in the 50s, too, if you believe the brill cream ad.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

The hoods didn't kill Aquaman because they were NON-MURDEROUS THIEVES with an interest in astrodynamics. This was probably their first solo heist after a stint working for Luthor.

That was the last pink lion in existence; more blood on the hands of the makers of Wildroot Cream-Oil. What other atrocities are they lurking behind? Rwanda?

From the Connect-The-Dots Dept.: Did red-headed Earth 2 Lex Luthor smear a dab of seemingly innocuous styling product on his hair at some point, resulting in a bald-headed Luthor even more driven to acts of maniacal dastardliness, and subsequently littering the world and its oceans with cast-off henchmen who had acquired a kink for incorporating science into their freebooting? History demands that we follow the trail of scrunched up tubes.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

And what an adventure this was! Yes, it was um, what Russell said. But it sure was fun in that goofy 50's DC style. I love Fradon's sci-fi scapes here. The super-friendly aliens were refreshing. I'm sure they would have loved the opportunity to just hang out at Starbucks with Aquaman for a few hours (they're a more advanced civilization than Earth-two in the 50's. They've had Starbucks for decades. Probably Peet's, too).

Is a contest for dumbest Aqua-hoods in the 50's on the horizon? Evey Sunday seems to produce a new winner.

Finally, is that Lois Lane running with Lana Lang on the cover? Awkward.

James Chatterton