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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventure Comics #203 - Aug. 1954

Comics Weekend "The Shark with the Human Brain" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

I love this cover--it's really adorable. I don't really think an inside tale to match it is even necessary; it tells a story all on it's own.

Aquaman's been dipping his green-booted toe into more sci-fi-type adventures lately, and this looks like he's going even further in that direction:

Aquaman is surrounded by "rogue sharks" who don't listen to his commands (aka "Dick Sharks"), while Shark Wilson gets away. The Sea King frees himself via the help of a school of flying fish, who band together and lift him out of harm's way.

Aquaman dives deep, deep down into the ocean and brings with him some creatures "Never seen before by man or shark!" In this case, some Boxing Shrimp, who are nearly as big as the sharks themselves:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

The (still) unknown writer of this tale left himself an out, maybe possibly sorta suggesting that it's all a coincidence, and that "Shark" Wilson didn't really transmogrify into a ruthless killer of the sea. An unusual touch is the last panel, where Aquaman talks directly to the reader. As to the Sea King's question: well, I know where I stand.

"Shark" Wilson is the closest Aquaman came in years to facing a real honest-to-Neptune supervillain since Black Jack. Via the always-amazing work of Ramona Fradon, Wilson has a real Dick Tracy-Villain vibe to him; it's a shame that (say it with me) he never returned to the face Aquaman again.


Anthony said...

Wonder if the Green Lantern writers some years later liked the idea of a "shark with a human brain," when they created his 60s villain the Shark (who fought the Earth-1 Aquaman at least once)...

Re: Superboy: Yes, a nice cover; the story: Superboy serves as a camp counselor for underprivileged youth, while dealing with some mean prankster kids from "the toughest neighborhood in Metropolis" (presumably not Suicide Slum here as in 70s/80s Superman comics :-p )...

Richard said...

So first an Aquaman story anticipates the movie Fantastic Voyage and now a later Aquaman tale predicts the Don Knotts film The Incredible Mr. Limpet a decade in adavnce? This is getting weird.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

It's so obvious now. Hollywood in the 1960's saw the amazing potential of Aquaman circa Fradon, and tried to get a big budget movie off the ground. First they wrote a script that adapted his microscopic adventure. But then, well, the story actually worked better thematically with Raquel Welch, and she just didn't look right in orange and green...

So then they turned to The Shark with the Human Brain. Unfortunately, Don Knotts, being the finest swimmer in Hollywood at the time, was the only A-lister that could get insurance. And he didn't look right in orange and green, so...

This moment in revisionist history brought to you by James Chatterton

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Yeah, this dude would have been a good recurring villain for the past-Golden-but-not-quite-Silver Aquaman. Cool story. I like the splash panel, with SWTHB wrapping Aquaman up in what looks like one of those endless spools of cloth hand towels you used to see in public restrooms.