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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adventure Comics #227 - Aug. 1956

Comics Weekend "A Day in the Life of Aquaman" by George Kashdan(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!
Woke up, got outta bed, dragged a comb across my head...
Aquaman heads back to the surface, where the show's ostensive producer starts asking the Sea King to show how he receives SOS signals from ships at sea. To best show how this is done, a camera is strapped on Aquaman's back so the whole process can be recorded in real time.

A LanternFish sees a ship's signal, which it then relays to a Sea Hare. The sea hare emits an inky black cloud, like a smoke signal, which is then read by a Flying Fish, who communicates with a Giant Boxing Shrimp, who in turn tells Aquaman. *Whew*!:
...and with that, so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Wow, there's so much to say about this very goofy story--first, man oh man is the plot these crooks hatch to fool Aquaman complicated! I know gold is pretty valuable, but just renting all that camera equipment (not to mention the fake TV studio letterhead!) and schlepping it down to the bottom sea seems like a lot of work.

Speaking of a lot of work, Aquaman's Rube Goldberg-esque system to receive SOSs is comical in it's ornateness. And then, to make it even more complicated, we learn that Aquaman has a fail-safe built in, courtesy of the rare Redundancy Sea Pigeon, seen in the last panel (which is, oddly, directed right at the reader--did Superman or Batman ever do stuff like that?).

Two other random thoughts: Aquaman's finny friends helping him shower is just weird, and I couldn't help but hear "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid play in my head in the panel with Aquaman kicking back in the hammock watching the underwater concert. But maybe that's just me.


Anthony said...

Yeah, renting 50s-era TV camera equipment, etc. must cost plenty. Though I can only imagine how different it'd have been today, with much more advanced/better equipment available.

I notice Aquaman mentions his meal is a seaweed dish. Wonder if the writers were trying to answer the question "what does Aquaman eat?," or avoid the odd appearance of seeing Arthur chow down on his "sea subjects" (contrast that New 52 first-issue restaurant scene I still dislike...then again, I dislike everything about the New 52 by this point :-p ).

Arthur's gloves have switched back to yellow in this story.

Re: Superboy: This month, Superboy (during a "Good Samaritan Award" competition) is thanked for good deeds he can't recall doing.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Say what you will about this month's team of bungling hoods, but they were on to something. Aquaman belonged on TV in the 50's. Oh, how history would have been changed....

The underwater shower part confused me too. How does he rinse? And why does he need a shower in the first place if he lives underwater? And why does my head hurt so much now?

Say Anthony, is that the Earth-1 Billy Batson holding Krypto on the cover?

James Chatterton

Anthony said...

@James: Probably not... a "DC Comics Presents" story shows there *is* an Earth-1 Billy Batson, but A) not a superhero and B) lives in Superman's time, not Superboy's. ;-)

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Yeah, seems like the ink would be counterproductive to...oh vell. Maybe what he's really doing is scraping off microscopic marine parasites, because the brains of the larval forms of barnacles and such are too primitive to understand his happy sea talk. Maybe he just likes how it feels.

As for myself, I really like that panel of him leaping out of the swell. Cool cool cool.

Anonymous said...

Those early Aquaman comics were so corny. Sitting down w/ an octopus or having his hair shampooed by blowfish. It was like reading Popeye.
When did Aquaman comics start to get serious 60's 70's?