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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventure Comics #218 - Nov. 1955

Comics Weekend "Aquaman, Outlaw of the Sea" by Jack Miller(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

I know it's not relevant, especially in this context, but...Great Rao is Lara hot. (And Jor-El still hasn't found decent pants!)

Anyway--this month the normally chummy relationship the Sea King has with the Surface World all goes to kelp in a little story called:
Aquaman's whale pale shoots a spray of water at the darts, deflecting them away from the Sea King, which gives him time to escape. Meanwhile, two undersea photographers use a diving bell to show off their newest techniques. Unfortunately for them, their craft hits some jagged rock which starts a crack, followed by water seeping in!

Seeing that the bell won't make it back to the surface in time, Aquaman sees this and tries to rescue them. But his actions are misconstrued:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

This story works best if, during the last panel, you play 1950s-style sitcom music in your head, while saying "Ha, ha...that's our Aquaman!" out loud. Followed by a freeze frame, then credits, then a commercial for Lucky Strikes.

On a different note: not that this story is bad--not at all, it's just very silly--but I wonder, would Aquaman as a feature have lasted so long if Ramona Fradon wasn't doing the art? If DC had tapped someone less dynamic, less amazing, to draw the strip month in month out, would he have gone the way of Johnny Quick and The Shining Knight, two heroes who eked out runs into the 1950s but couldn't go the distance? I guess, thankfully, we'll never know!



Anthony said...

Geez, some story... let's see:

- "...not until we drop this packet of dangerous experimental drugs into the ocean, as we promised the government we would!" Boy, there's like 10 things wrong with that sentence. ;-)

- They're going to "shoot on sight" on page 2?! "For his own good" indeed...

- Impressive artwork of Aquaman in action on page 5... plus a super-suction stunt that Superman would also be sometimes seen doing.

On a final note, this issue came out in November 1955. Since it's the month the Martian Manhunter debuted, I'd have considered it a candidate as the first Earth-1 Aquaman story... except for that opening panel which (for once) retells Aquaman's Golden Age origin! Given that idea's tossed, I guess I'll go with (as someone else suggested online) the first Topo appearance instead...

Anthony said...

Since I forgot above...

Re: Superboy: It's a (rare for the mid-50s) part two from last issue's story, as the "is it really Jor-El and Lara?" story concludes. (The answer, of course, is "no"...).

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I really liked this one; goofy and thrilling and suspenseful all at the same time.

Was the panel with Aquaman using his head to plug up the raft hole ever used as a RPOTD? If not, how did you manage to resist?

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Given how this story clearly forecasts Ken Kesey's acid tests of a few short years later, thi could easily be heralded as a new Aquaman for a new era silver era.

James Chatterton