Sunday, April 14, 2013

Adventure Comics #230 - Nov. 1956

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Comics Weekend "The Tom Thumb Aquaman" by Bob Haney(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!


Aquaman has been miniaturized before and he's always made it back to normal size. Will he survive this time?!?
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Mini-Aquaman hops out of the tank and escapes out onto the street. Desperate for water, he climbs onto a food vendor's cart, and stows away in a vat of orange drink(!).

After traveling a few blocks in the direction of where he needs to go, he hides inside a bottle of milk, being delivered by a milk man who happens to have Elmwood Road on his route (what luck!):
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...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

This story is definitely a fine example of the "Things Happen Because They Do" variety. A bad guy just happens to have a shrink ray(!), which he stole from someone else. Aquaman just happened to hear about that on the news. Then he happens to find a talkative milkman who is delivering milk to the same street that he needs to get to. But who cares? Aquaman is back to normal size, that's all that counts.


On the art front, I couldn't help but notice that the shrink ray guy (who isn't even given a name!) looks more than a bit like Albert Dekker, who played the title role in the 1940 horror/sci-fi movie Dr. Cyclops:
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As you can guess from the above still, Dr. Cyclops' whole shtick was shrinking people. Ramona Fradon was fourteen when the film came out--probably the perfect age to see such a movie, so I can't help but think she was inspired in some way when designing this month's baddie.


2 comments:

Anthony said...

I saw that "Dr. Cyclops" movie on "Svengoolie" (long-time Chicago-area horror/sci-fi movie show, though now airs nationally). Does look a lot like this issue's bad guy...

Arthur mentions a need to find liquids as he can't "live out of water too long."

Re: Superboy: To quote my source, "Synopsis: Superboy encounters a super-powered intelligent horse from another world whose spaceship runs on Kryptonite." Precursor to Comet the Super-Horse?

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Yes, I am a full six days late here. Whatta week it was.

You've got to love the compressed storytelling style of the 50's, and the willingness to accept anything at face value. These days, the first third of a trade paperback would be all about how the scientist got the shrinking ray, and why he needed one in the first place. And it would all go back to when he was a little boy...

Looks like Topo's definitely part of the team now, judging by page two, panel 7. Go Topo!

James Chatterton

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