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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adventure Comics #253 - Oct. 1958

Comics Weekend "The Ocean of 1,000,000 B.C." by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Not a dream! Not an imaginary tale! Not a bump on the head! Aquaman goes back in time!
Aquaman deduces the creature is allergic to the plant, so he heads right into the thick of it to avoid beaten eaten. But when he reaches the surface, he sees another beast, swimming amid a pool of oil. That gives him an idea!

He grabs a big handful of oil, throwing into the mouth of the purple creature. It shoots flame out of its snout, causing a ring of fire (down, down, down) to ignite, leaving only one prehistoric beast to worry about:
...and so ends another adventure with Aquaman!

I really do long for the days when one panel was all it took to establish your main character traveled back in time--some funny coloring, and boom! Back in time, let's roll!

As I joked about above, it's nice that for once there's no last minute dodge to establish the premise: Aquaman actually does go back in time, consarnit, and you little whippersnappers just have to accept that.

A couple final notes on the art: that drawing of Aquaman and the caveman shaking hands in the last panel looks pretty close to my work. Finally, Ramona Fradon decided to try a couple of things out with this story, going for lighting effects she didn't usually indulge in, like in this panel from page four:

Man, is she good.


Unknown said...

Hey, "The Robinson Crusoe of the Sea" dropped into this week's story.

rob! said...

Oops! Duly corrected.

Anthony said...

Ah, how science (and pop culture) has come from depicting dinosaurs... "Brontosaurus?" (Swimming underwater, no less?!) Dinosaurs and cavepeople living at the same time? Wonder if Aquaman a few years later ran into Earth-1's William Hanna and Joseph Barbara, inspiring them to come up with a certain classic cartoon series... ;-)

And yeah, time-travel back then seemed a faster and easier affair... see however long that Atlantis-sent-back-to-prehistoric-times story went on, for comparison.

Re: Superboy: apparently time-travel was the theme for this month's "Adventure Comics," as this month sees the classic story where Robin (via Dr. Carter Nichol's time-ray---an upgrade from his goofy time-travel hypnosis means) goes back to Superboy's time to prevent him from getting a booby-trapped-with-kryptonite trophy that endangers his life as Superman.

Apparently the writers (or Weisinger) must've finally realized that Superboy can't exist in the present/have TVs and atomic bombs (as stories up to this point seemed to treat Superboy as living in the present or vaguely-defined).

(Checking, Green Arrow didn't go through time, just space to some other dimension instead in his story---the "Xeen Arrow" tale).

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Neat little story that illustrates one of the things I love about Aquaman: he lives in another world right here on Earth!

The cover makes me struggle, because it seems like that could be the whole story right there. Robin says his piece, Superboy goes, "Oh...Okay." The End.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I meant to type "The cover makes me CHUCKLE". Aphasia makes me clown hat.

Earth 2 Chris said...

Man, the Superboy/Robin story, "Xeen Arrow by Kirby, and this Aquaman tale (which looks great...is that Java from Metamorpho?)...maybe the most solid issue of Adventure Comics ever published?


Anthony said...

The clock Robin tries to smash isn't the booby-trapped trophy; Superboy hadn't received it yet, as the science fair he built the clock for didn't open until the next day. Thus Robin stays with Superboy until he receives it...

And yeah, this entire issue of "Adventure" is full of classic-ness. (IIRC, Ollie tells Dinah about the Xeen Arrow outing in the 70s or 80s, but she thinks it's some tall tale...wonder if Mera had the same reaction toward hearing about the crazy stuff Arthur did in the late 50s/early 60s...)