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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Adventure Comics #272 - May 1960

Comics Weekend "The Human Flying Fish!" by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Finally! Aquaman gets a bona-fide, no-doubt-about-it super-villain to tussle with:
Suddenly the Human Flying Fish swoops in and grabs the cash box, propelling himself out of the water and into a nearby helicopter. Aqualad is despondent, but Aquaman realizes that he simply has to out-think this new super-powered crook:
...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman and Aqualad!

Sure, there was Black Jack, and The Electric Man, two colorful baddies who faced Aquaman more than once. Both of them were super-villains in their own way, but credit must be given to the (stop laughing!) Human Flying Fish, who managed to beat both Black Manta and Ocean Master to be the first classic style "super-villain" to encounter the Silver Age Aquaman.

For some reason, writer Robert Bernstein chose not to use the Human Flying Fish again for the rest of his run on Aquaman. Instead, HFF had to wait fifteen years until E.Nelson Bridwell dug him up for Super Friends #1. Even then, his second career was short-lived; he didn't appear again until the 21st Century in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis. Tough out there being a Human Flying Fish.

I love the look Ramona Fradon gives HFF in thr last panel; it's hard to seem menacing when you're in an outfit like that, but he almost pulls it off!


Earth 2 Chris said...

I think it's the name (why not just call him "Flying Fish"), and those purple and white stripes on his abdomen. But, he's no lamer than any number of concurrent Batman villains of the time. Dr. Double-X, anyone?


Russell said...

I agree with Chris. Change his color scheme to brown or gray and he would look more like the viable opponent he is; I mean, he can swim AND fly. He sounds like Prince Namor! (ouch)

I can't believe Bob Haney never used him again during his run!

Unknown said...

Viva Adventure Sunday!

Despite the "menacing" bright yellow costume, he wasn't bad for a silver age super villain. Russell's right, Haney could have done wonders with the HFF. I wonder if the fact that Ocean Master and Black Manta were clearly A-lister's caused writers to forget about him completely.

You know what he lacked? Tiny wings on his ankles. Could've made all the difference.

James Chatterton

Anthony said...

Ah, the Human Flying Fish. Yeah, guess they forgot about him with the Black Manta and Ocean Master around (and, I suppose, the Fisherman?).

Re: Superboy: Krypto becomes the star of several "quickie" Hollywood movies, which gives him a super-sized ego; Superboy deflates his ego, and Krypto goes back to a normal (for him) life.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I think the Flying Fish has plenty of potential as a good, second tier Aquaman villain, and heaven knows that Arthur needs some foes!

The returned Flying Fish from Tad William's run, though played a bit ridiculous because he had once been the fellow from this story, doesn't look too bad. The basic idea, a multi-surface mobile villain, is a good one. The idea of a flying foe who can also give Aquaman a run for his money in his own element has got legs. He just needs a polished costume, though I think his original origin (to a point) and personality are pretty much good to go.

The new version actually made it into my DC mod, and he looks pretty good in-game.