Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 079

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 #146 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #146 (November 1949) - Aquaman Loses His Powers!

Aquaman is stung by a strange deep sea creature and loses all strength in his muscles for a week.

Imaginary pitch for this story: "Hrm, we made Aquaman unable to touch water, and then we made all his finny friends attack him, then we made it so he couldn't breathe air... what do we do now? I know, let's make it so he can't swim!"

Lots of fun in this one. First off, the ship Aquaman helps is carrying a covered load marked "Top Secret U.S. Government, which falls overboard and sinks in a storm. Aquaman is called to salvage the lost cargo and does so... and we never get the slightest hint of what is in the package.

The cargo sinks to four miles deep, and Aquaman meets the rainbow stingray there, which gives him an electric shock that weakens his muscles. As in previous stories, the news that Aquaman is out of commission gets around entirely too quickly and Black Jack goes on the attack. His first target is a Sea Extraction Plant that pulls salt, iodine and kelp from the sea, but also extracts gold, silver and platinum. You can guess what Black Jack was after. Next, Black Jack attacks a bathysphere with men taking valuable deep-sea pictures. I admit, I can't quite figure that one out.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets two large fish that look a bit like killer whales to take the sunken item to the surface. Then he goes to examine the strange deep sea creature and is stung. After he learns of Black Jack's attacks, a dolphin and swordfish escort him to the area. The swordfish rips up the boat of the thugs, while electric eels make them drop their loot. Other fish return the loot. When Aquaman decides to convince Black Jack that he's back in action, he has two transparent fish push him to the scene of BJ's latest crime spree, then has an octopus create a smoke screen so BJ won't see another fish give Aquaman a push to go with his punch. Then a hammerhead shark attacks at the same moment as Aquaman and with enough speed to fool the criminals.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is zapped by the deep sea creature and has to be pulled aboard the ship he just helped out.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "By Neptune's beard! I never ran across that deep-sea type before. It gives off rainbow colors! I must examine it and... ugg! Worse than any electric eel!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?