Sunday, September 02, 2012

Adventure Comics #197 - Feb. 1954

sg
Comics Weekend "Aquaman Walks The Plank!" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

I don't think Aquaman's entire More Fun/Adventure run has yet produced a splash page that has a wider gulf between how beautiful the image is and how completely unexciting. What, exactly, is the danger to the Sea King here?!?:

sg
sg
sg
Aquaman orders a tortoise to up-end Samson's boat, so that the harpoon misses the whale. Samson's men try again, but a nearby sea eagle grabs it out of the sky!

One of Samson's men concludes the new deck hand is secretly Aquaman, so when the Sea King climbs back aboard, he is made to walk the plank!:
sg
sg
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

A fairly unusual ending, forced I guess by the fact that Captain Samson isn't really breaking any laws (other than moral ones), so there was no way Aquaman could arrest him and turn him into the authorities. The final panel seems to suggest that Samson will be back, but like most of Aquaman's other foes, this was his one shot. Too bad, a Bad Guy Gone Good story would seem to almost write itself, and would have been unique to Aquaman's strip by this point.

One final word about the splash page: it of course makes sense that Ramona Fradon (or perhaps Adventure Comics' editor Mort Weisinger) felt that you needed to show Aquaman in costume in the splash page, but doing so removed some of the drama that was actually in the story itself.

4 comments:

jim said...

"I don't think Aquaman's entire
More Fun/Adventure run has yet
produced a splash page that has a
wider gulf between how beautiful
the image is and how completely
unexciting. What, exactly, is the
danger to the Sea King here?!?"


Hmm ....Nasty, dirty splinters from the plank, maybe???

Mera says Arthur was always a big,
ol' guppy about pulling out splinters!!
Would kick & scream & carry on
worse than Aquababy.

So embarrassing for a "monarch". lol

Anthony said...

I think those juvenile delinquents from the cover would've been a bigger threat than that splash page scenario. ;-)

An appearance of sea eagles *and* someone calls Arthur "fish-man!"

Re: Superboy: The plot: Clark Kent pretends to become a juvenile delinquent to join a youth gang and coerce its members to reform.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Really neat demo of Aquaman's powers, that he can outswim a harpoon in flight and catch it in mid-air! That's what I'm talkin' about. We need to see more of that stuff in these Golden-Age-to-Bronze-Age-transition stories.

Everyone keeps trying to drown Aquaman! Sloppy writing or just really stupid villainy? You be the judge.

How long did Smallville have to live under the siege of terror of the Red Dragons before Superboy stepped in? They're so tough, man, they don't even use doors; they just jump out of winders.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Commanding a tortoise to swim? That's one of Aquaman's best tricks yet. They're land animals.

I think we're seeing the work of Mort Weisinger before he'd really honed his editorial chops. From the mid-50's on, he started to find his niche by building up Superman's supporting cast into a huge family of characters. He must have had a blind spot with Aquaman, though. Rob's showcase of the golden age adventures here has proven something to me. Plenty of characters were introduced that could have been interesting as recurring characters. And I think that approach would have seemed much less contrived in Aquaman than Superman. Or Batman for that matter (where is Ace the Bat-hound these days, anyways).

James Chatterton