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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Adventure Comics #213 - June 1955

Comics Weekend "The Court-Martial of Moby Dick II" by Jack Miller(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

In this issue, Superboy visits The World's Smallest Courtroom!

Speaking of legal proceedings, Aquaman gets involved in a court-martial...of a whale?:
The keg is brought to the surface, which Aquaman insists will prove Moby Dick II's innocence. All that's needed is to prove which ship it's from, which is like finding a needle in a haystack.

With the help of a dolphin, a seaman's parka, helmet, and goggles are also brought up, which the judge realizes comes from the Icebreaker Westwind. Aquaman asks for a temporary adjournment to find that ship:
...and with that, so ends another completely insane adventure for Aquaman!

Not even sure where to start with this one--a floating courtoom? A whale for a client? A fish jury? The prosecutor's mustache? A lot of crazy things in this story.

On a separate note, I love those shots of Aquaman flying to snag the harpoon. Really solid action adventure stuff from the one and only Ms. Fradon.


Richard said...

It seems as if Aquaman is no longer being presented as a superhero at all during this era. These stories depict him as more of a public figure: a highly-regarded expert in the sea called in for his expertise, perhaps almost a water-breathing cross between Jacques Cousteau and Doctor Dolittle. That's potentially an interesting alternate direction for the superhero genre to explore, but it's strange to realize just how soon after this things would switch to full-bore villain fighting, especially once the JLA arrives.

rob! said...

RAB--Interesting observation! Yes, they seem to determined to write Aquaman like a trusted famous person, not a superhero.

Russell said...

And is this the first appearance of the green gloves in the Silver Age? They jumped up at me and I noticed them right away!

Anthony said...

The portrayal might be related to other non-superhero comic genres being quite popular (or even more popular than superheroes) during most of the 50s. Even Superman spent most of his time fighting a barrage of gangsters more than super-villains during most of the 50s (occasional fights against Luthor or Mxyztplk/Mxyzptlk aside). Throw in the popularity at the time of entertainment about the oceans (on TV, movies, Jacques Cousteau, the invention of modern diving equipment), and thus I could see why Aquaman might be presented this way/shy away from superhero tropes. Of course, the Silver Age came along a few years after this, and Arthur (and his pal Clark) quickly resumed fighting supervillains as JLAers...

Re: green gloves: no, the green gloves first appeared a few stories earlier, though Arthur switches back and forth between colors during these next several years. Don't think it's reached the Silver Age (or, separately, Earth-1) just yet...

Re: Superboy: Clark serves in a Smallville High jury that's placed a student on trial for a crime he didn't commit, while Superboy helps prove the student innocent.

Andy Luckett said...

It will keep me warm at night to know that you can depend on the fish of the sea to render a just verdict.

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Interesting observations from Richard and Russell here. The superhero as public figure was kind of standard for DC at this time. Wasn't Batman always appearing at supermarket openings and such? I think Russell's spot on regarding the climate of the mid-50's. These are just the kind of tales that would've fit that mythical Aquaman series with Lloyd Bridges. Hey, we could've has a Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure a decade earlier!

Not sure about that jury. Those turtles look awfully indecisive to me.

James Chatterton

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant the observations of Richard and Anthony. Sorry.