] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Adventure Comics #223 - April 1956

Comics Weekend "The Sunken City of Gold" by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!
This month, Aquaman goes on a truly amazing undersea adventure:
Aquaman ends up tying the strange octopus in knots, rendering it harmless. He then signals some of the crew on the surface, asking for an unusual weapon for the Sea King--an underwater air gun!

As Aquaman and the explorers get closer to the city, they are met by a small army of strange fish-men! To scare them off, Aquaman aims the air gun at them, which makes them retreat, before he ever even fires off a shot! This gives Aquaman an idea:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Aside from the unnecessarily grim final panel ("All those amazing fish will soon die! Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk!"), this is a truly fun, capital-A adventure type of story. I'm a sucker for anything featuring Daring Men of Action in those cool old-school scuba suits, so throw in some manta-men (even if they are fake) and you've got the makings for one of my favorite Aquaman stories from this period. As usual, stellar work from Ramona Fradon, accompanied by a particularly nice coloring job.

Fun Fact: This story was reprinted almost twenty years later in World's Finest #223--considering the hundreds of Aquaman segments from around this time, you have to wonder (well, you don't have to, but I recommend it) if this one wasn't picked out because it was considered one of the better ones. Or maybe it just was the whole "issue 223" thing.


Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

I must have had that issue of World's Finest, because I remember this story. Looks like we're getting into the first era that was reprinted heavily. A lot of Adventure Sunday's lately have brought me back to my bronze age collection, which had plenty of giants with reprints. Those 100-page super specs were just my favorite comics ever!

Gotta love DC's golden/silver age ability to tie everything up neatly. "Forget about those fish. They'll be dead long before the next issue of Adventure hits the stands." If it was Marvel, those fish would have been revived in the 70's as members of an offshoot of the Defenders.

James Chatterton

Anthony said...

What the heck kind of ending was that?! ("They won't live much longer...") No attempt to put them in captivity or anything?

@James Chatterton: LOL about the Defenders. Maybe the fish would go the Patsy Walker-becoming-a-mild-expletive-named-superhero route? Then again, if DC were reviving them, the fish would probably fit with their current snuff film-esque mentality/ultra-violence obsession, unless it were Morrison ("those fish didn't die, but joined some group of Earth-Two-based sea creatures to form the Earth-Two versions of the Sea Devils!").

Re: Superboy: To do a good deed for a proud sea captain, Superboy poses as "Hercules, Jr.", for some reason...

I note the cover seems to sort of tie into Green Arrow with the archery tips. Maybe they put swimming tips on the cover at some point?

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I liked the look of those fish dudes. Too bad the story Scooby-Dooed them.

James Chatterton: I LOVED those giant reprint books as well, the 100-page Super-Specs that I bought myself, and the older 80-page Giants that were handed down to me by my brother. Those were some of the first comics I owned. I feel very lucky to have begun my comics reading career at a time when there was so much of that previously published material on the stands; I feel like it helped me develop a greater appreciation for, and strengthened my interest in, the DCU and its inhabitants. I was able to get a handle on its history and got a feel for the width and breadth of it. I could see Hawkman in action in JLA, and then read how he and Hawkgirl first came to Earth in the reprints of those stories in the 100-page issues of B&B. If Aquaman wasn't in that month's issue of JLA, I could get my "fix" by reading one of these older adventures in the 100-page WFs.

Wich2 said...

>Those 100-page super specs were just my favorite comics ever!<

Hear hear, James - they're right up there with the Treasuries! When it comes to formats, the Bronze Age was also a Golden one.


rob! said...

Yeah, let me be the fifth to say how much I loved those 100-pagers. Even when I didn't like all the material, it was still so fun feeling like you getting all that stuff for your money.

And that dead-fish ending is just odd.