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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Adventure Comics #245 - Feb. 1958

Comics Weekend "The Sorcerer of the Sea" by Otto Binder(?) and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Can it be? Does the Golden Age Aquaman, for once, take on...an honest-to-gosh super villain? Let' see...
This Deeter guy makes Aquaman perform a bunch more tricks (some rather humiliating-looking), and it becomes front-page news! A few days later, a man in a fedora (uh-oh) finds our erstwhile magician and is not happy to hear that Deeter plans to stop messing with Aquaman.

Held at gunpoint, Deeter is squirreled away by the man and two of his goons, where they want him to keep Aquaman under their thumb. The first command they give him is to have Aquaman steal some rare gems. Deeter tries to resist, but:
...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

Ah, unfortunately this Sorcerer of the Sea guy is not, in fact, a new super villain but merely an undercover police detective posing as a magician to lure these crooks into the open. This is really too bad, because thanks to Ramona Fradon's fun visuals, Deeter had just enough super villain flavoring that he could have been conceived as a returning foe. I mean, not since the days of Black Jack has Aquaman had any colorful baddies to fight!
Speaking of Fradon, I love the penultimate panel from the last page:
There's no real justification for this dramatic cut away, other than (I'm assuming) Fradon just wanted to shake things up a bit and draw this nice little nature scene. Of course, she pulls it off: it's really quite a beautiful little nature illustration, something worthy of a "Birds of the Sea" calendar or some such.


Anthony said...

Hmm, wonder what Aquaman's first actual encounter with magic would've been...

Re: Superboy: From my source: "An egg hatches a giant centipede with transmutational powers in Smallville, and Superboy has to deal with it." No idea what Hollywood has to do with this (besides the old-time B-movie-style giant monster nature)...

Earth 2 Chris said...

Ballad of the missing glove on page 3, panel 2.


Richard said...

One unforgivably big cheat in the script here, where Aquaman's thought balloon gives the impression he's being overcome by a "strange transformation" even though it turns out to be a ruse. A reader might choose to rationalize this by saying Aquaman was merely pretending to think this to get in the right frame of mind -- method acting, if you will -- but I don't buy it. It's a cheat, and it could have been avoided by making the offending passage a word balloon instead.

I notice we're very close to the most fateful issue of Adventure Comics history, one which in some sense actually changed my life...

Joseph Brian Scott said...

The always good art was really strong and really fun in this story. You've influenced me into picking out favorite panels in each story, and for this one mine is the 1st panel on page 3; I like the slight angle to it and the way the water looks. The next panel, oddly enough, doesn't look very Fradonish to my eyes; it almost looks kinda like Joe Simon's work. The "Sorcerer's" sea weed hair/wig was also a cool, weird touch.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Bring back Deeter! Let's see some retconning here. Aquaman deserves a real Earth-2 arch-foe with wavy green hair and a truly villianous protruding jaw.

Good catch on the thought balloon fubar, Richard. I think that shows that it's unlikely that Haney wrote it. As illogical as his stories were, they did follow a fairly consistent internal logic all their own.

James Chatterton