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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Adventure Comics #225 - June 1956

Comics Weekend "The Undersea School" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!
Not only is it a bird with super powers, but it also tells bad jokes. No wonder Kal spent so much time in the 30th Century.

Okay class, take your seats, because it's time for Professor Aquaman to learn you a thing or two!
Unfortunately the seal accidentally breaks the shell, causing Aquaman to remind it that it has to do better if it's going to remain on his team. Next the Sea King tests his students on accuracy, which his swordfish and sponge pals pass. But once again, the seal fails when instead of slipping into a sunken ship's port hole, it slams into the hull.

It seems as though the poor seal's having a hard time of it:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

I hope you enjoyed this completely bonkers story, because I sure did. I'm a sucker for Aquaman being nice to his finny friends--it was one of his unique character traits that got me into the character as a kid--and so this particular adventure is right in my wheelhouse.

To this point, I didn't realize that Aquaman had specific members of his finny friends that were part of his "team", I always assumed he just pressed into service whoever was around at the moment. Knowing that being part of Aquaman's gang was a limited thing, it makes me wonder how much competitiveness there was among the creatures of the sea. I'm picturing lots of lying, backstabbing, and jockeying for position, like some sort of fish version of All About Eve.

On a separate note, I think it's clear Aquaman needs some friends. Good thing a teenage sidekick wasn't all that far away.


Anthony said...

A cute story.

Yeah, I assume Aquaman uses whatever animals happen to be around, as well, though I suppose having a specifically trained set of animals as needed isn't a bad idea.

As for actual friends, the move into the Silver Age in the late 50s (and Earth-1; the Earth-1 switch, separate from the Silver Age one, should be in several issues from now by my figuring) does bring actual recurring friends soon after this point (Topo, Aqualad, the appearances in various Superman stories, and the JLA itself). Wonder why nobody at DC thought to give Aquaman recurring (human) supporting cast during all this time, however (villains like Black Jack aside)... though if they couldn't even be bothered to give him a *name* (besides "Aquaman") until a few years after this story...

Like the artwork on the top of page 5 where Arthur looks annoyed/that poor seal's face.

Re: Superboy: From my source, "a mynah bird gains super-powers and human-level intelligence by drinking water polluted by a Kryptonite meteor and, when taken to Smallville, begins making trouble for Superboy." What, *again*? Didn't Superboy just deal with Titano-prototype Chandu having a similar kryptonite-based origin a few issues back?! Guess I now know where "Smallville" got its "kryptonite gives people weird powers each week" idea from...

Richard said...

If Art Baltazar had drawn this, a lighthearted surreal tale like this would seem perfectly reasonable. But seeing it drawn by Fradon makes it seem even more tremendously weird.

Anonymous said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Fradon got to show some more of her range here. The facial expressions of the "students" display a nice mix of pathos and humor. I really did feel for that seal on page 5, panel 2.

James Chatterton