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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Adventure Comics #268 - Jan. 1960

Comics Weekend "The Adventures of Aquaboy" by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Aquaman joins the cast of Jackass, apparently:
After rescuing the ship, young Arthur christens himself Aquaboy and is prepared to declare himself to the world. But, then as now, Harte is a giant jerk to our hero, which is not the response he was expecting!

We flash back to the present, and Harte is convinced this "Aquaman" is merely a crook out to steal the treasure, so he won't divulge its location, leaving the Sea King frustrated and trying to figure out a way to help:
...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman!

Man, Aquaman has always been a good-natured puss, but he really takes it to a new level with this Harte guy. He's nasty and abusive to Aquaman, no matter what age, and at a certain point you'd the Sea King would have just said "Ok, good luck" and took off to stop some water-based gangsters. But I guess that's what makes him a hero.

A few pages earlier in the book, on the letters page, a (presumably) young fan has a question:
Wow, if Ms. Day thought DC was being mean to Aquaman, imagine how she must have felt if she kept reading into the 1980s!

As usual, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ramona Fradon's artwork: a lot of artists do not know how to draw kids; they end up looking like shrunken adults. But Fradon's version of Kid Aquaman is so spot on it makes me retroactively yearn for a Superboy-styled strip starring Young Arthur!


Anthony said...

Aquaman's mentioned on the cover again!

Yeah, an Aquaboy strip might've been nice. Could've given us more crossovers with Arthur's fellow very-long-careered child hero, Superboy... plus played up more what a long career on Earth-1 Arthur's had.

Elsewhere on Earth-1...

Re: Superboy: Red Kryptonite gives Clark amnesia, with a Superboy robot substituting while Clark has various misadventures.

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

"So you're an Aquaman, eh?" I've got to figure out a way to use that quote in real life.

I know that Aquaboy was featured in a Superboy story around 1969-70. I had it as a kid. Where there any other Aquaboy sightings? He's probably the only other member of the JLA that lends himself easily to a teenage start.

James Chatterton

Earth 2 Chris said...

Agreed on the way Fradon knew how to draw kids. Curt Swan is another who definitely knew how (see the cover here, for intance) but they are few and far between.

And she knew how to draw different faces! Just look at this poor old blind guy here. Reading these Adventure Sundays is like watching a TV show and seeing interesting character actors roll through town every week.

Next week: Old Purple Eyes!


Count Drunkula said...

Did Dr. Wertham have a chapter in Seduction of the Innocent devoted to Aquaman sticking his head in a shark's mouth? If not, he really missed out an an opportunity.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I really like the bottom right panel of page 2; I can feel the spray from those crashing waves.

I guess there was never an "origin of Aquaman's costume" story, which would have been interesting. Too bad; Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all had SA examples of such, if I'm not mistaken.