Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 077

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #144 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #144 (September 1949) - A Martian Adventure!

The FBI calls in Aquaman to investigate an S.O.S. signal from the Himalaya Mountains.

I was born after the first Mars probe visited the red planet and proved that there were no canals on it. Thus, it's kind of hard for me to take the FBI agent and Aquaman very seriously when they look at a picture of the valley and immediately say, "That looks like the canals on Mars!" Luckily, the fact that there are no canals on Mars doesn't really destroy the premise of the story. The people of the valley looked at Mars, saw the same optical illusion that other astronomers saw, and got inspiration for their own canals. I can live with that.

There is one major contradiction in this tale. The people of the valley inform Aquaman that he cannot leave the valley because they don't want contact with the outside world, and its savage wars. But they lit a gigantic flaming S.O.S. symbol when a jet flew over! If they don't want attention, that's the worst way to avoid it!

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman notices a fish native to the Arctic Sea in a canal, and figures out that there is a subterranean river connecting it to the valley. He gets lobsters and crabs to weaken the wall blocking the water source, then gets some Arctic whales who live in the river to push the wall the rest of the way down.

Let's not go into the geography of a valley in the Himalayas being connected underground with the Arctic Sea. Nor should we worry overmuch about the fresh water/salt water issue. And I'm not going to wonder why the FBI is involved.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is told he can never leave the valley.

Quotefile: Opening Text, "Ever since the telescope was invented, the baffling canals of Mars have been a mystery to Earthly imagination! Are they the superb engineering feat of a valiant people, staving off the extinction threatened by dwindling water supplies? Nobody knows!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?