Friday, February 02, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 072

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #139 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #139 (April 1949) - The Man Who Owned The Sea!

Simon Drago claims to own the sea by virtue of a 2000 year-old document, but Aquaman is unconvinced.

The story is pretty basic... nasty pirate dude comes up with unique justification for his crimes, which Aquaman has to disprove. What's truly fascinating about this one is the undersea supreme court and its members. For the first time ever, we have Aquaman's undersea friends talking to a surfacer in plain English! Both the walrus and the large golden fish speak during the court session.

And there's even a merman! The first merman ever in Aquaman's history. Indeed, the first hint in the Aquaman stories that such a species exists, as he's said before that they don't exist. This remarkable character only shows up in three panels, is never given a name, and I don't believe he ever shows up again.

Finny Friends Report: A walrus acts as court clerk for Aquaman's undersea supreme court. A merman (!) is the prosecuting attorney, and a gold fish is the first witness. An octopus acts as guard, and a variety of other fish are the jury. In the flashback, Aquaman rides a whale and has the whale spout at Drago and his crew to stop the fighting. A large group of Aquaman's fish friends surround Drago's boat and create a whirlpool, making Drago and his entire crew too dizzy to fight.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman isn't captured or knocked out in this tale.

Quotefile: Aquaman, reading from Drago's document, "We, Augustus Rex, Emperor of the world, grant to the House of Drago, and all its heirs, full ownership of all the seas of the world!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?