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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adventure Comics #208 - Jan. 1955

Comics Weekend "The Mystery of the Aqua-Dolls!" by Jack Miller(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

This cover is so insane it just makes me smile; anything could happen in the 1950's DC Universe.

Anyway, this month Aquaman takes on his deadliest foe yet: mass merchandising!

Aquaman is less than thrilled that someone is cashing in on his likeness, so he goes to find him. The inventor's name is Horace Bean (of course it is), and the Sea King recognizes him as the photographer who was following him around the last couple of weeks.

Bean tells Aquaman that half the profits from the dolls are going to the newly-built "Aquaman's Home For Seamen", a rest home for old sailors. Aquaman takes a liking to Bean, and likes the cause, so he agrees to let Bean continue.

Months later, Aquaman comes to protect a tramp steamer, much to the relief of the crew. Except--this isn't really Aquaman, it's a life-sized duplicate! And this Aquaman makes off with the valuable cargo, with the crew unable to stop him--er, it!:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Wow, this Bull Moser guy sure thinks a lot of himself, doesn't he? "The Most Successful Modern Pirate of Our Time"? I'm sure Black Jack might have something to say about that--and he will, once he gets finished with his double-shift at Arthur Treacher's.

I know I wax Ramona Fradon's car every Sunday, but she does an especially good job this time around. I love panel three on page five, seeing Aquaman through the corner of Bean's glasses. And the lighting on page two is exceptional throughout. Story-wise, I love the idea of an Aquaman action figure of course, those babies are worth a fortune MIP today!

One last thing: that half-page house ad makes me smile. All DC Comics should end with that, even now.

Okay, one more last thing: Sea Eagle-eyed readers will notice we skipped Adventure Comics #207. That's because, for whatever reason, Aquaman did not appear in that issue, rendering it worthless in perpetuity.


Tim said...

Life-size Aqua-dolls? I knew I was missing something from my shrine/collection!

Another "blech" Sunday at work thwarted by Aquaman! Thanks Rob!

Anthony said...

Hmm, per a bit of research, it looks like this issue didn't have Green Arrow in it for whatever reason, while the last issue didn't have Johnny Quick. Either case, this month is also Johnny Quick's last Golden Age appearance, as his strip's (finally) dropped, with Aquaman, Superboy, and Green Arrow the remaining sole stars of "Adventure" through the rest of the decade. Guess someone almost two years later would figure having a super-speedster character around might be nice after all, and went with the way more successful Flash to revive...

Re: Aquaman: Aquaman dolls can do all that due to "shortwave" radio? Wonder what AM or FM would have them do... ;-)

Re: Superboy: This month's story involves Superboy and a specialist help rouse someone from a 20-year-long coma. Doctors warn them that the coma victim must not learn all at once how long he's slept, or his mind could be "shattered." Superboy perpetuates a ruse that he's only been unconscious a short while.

Earth 2 Chris said...

How cruel was it to torment kids of the 50s with these fantastical dolls of their favorite super heroes? Batman and Robin were seen on a Detective cover with tons of model Batmobiles and Batplanes, and then there's this Aquaman tale. It would take Arthur 11 years for him to get his first action figure!


Joseph Brian Scott said...

Bull Moser: "They're holding that silly inventor instead of looking for me, Bull Moser, the logical suspect and the most successful modern pirate of the time!"

Accomplice: "Yeah, I know...I'm your brother-in-law and I've been in on the whole thing. Who the heck are you talking to?"

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Missed opportunities of the 1950's: If they'd only given Aquaman his own TV show, Aquaman dolls could've been bigger than Davy Crockett's coonskin caps.

"Aqua, Aquaman, King of the wild ocean"

James Chatterton