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 #171 (December 1951) - Mystery of the Disappearing Mermaids!
John Jenks' Aquacade is missing its performers, but Aquaman is there to help the show go on and figure out what happened to the girls.
This is the shortest regular Aquaman story, coming in at only four pages, and the last page is only 2/3 of the page. Despite the limited space, a lot of story is packed into it, starting with a tale of greed and sabotage, and moving quickly to Aquaman's innovation and a quick resolution.
Of course, lots of the action is left out. We never see Gropper kidnap the regular swimmers, nor do we see their rescue. The jump from Tate's attempt to electrocute the girls to him shooting at Aquaman is pretty abrupt, and there's no real indication of how the baby whales actually captured the bad guys. It's not bad for a quick tale, but I'm glad stories this short were very rare.
Finny Friends Report: Aquaman is again riding his giant sea turtle, which seems to be his main mode of transport, at the beginning of the story. He sends out a carrier fish to get help for Jenks. Dolphins support the replacement performers in their opening act, then the girls balance on seals. An Octopus whirls the girls around in another act. Aquaman uses electric eels to ground the shock from the dynamo, then baby whales capture the bad guys.
Quotefile: Chorus girl, "But we thought we were wanted for a stage job! We can't swim!" Aquaman, "Don't worry, girls! We'll take care of that!"
I had to resist the temptation to make this the longest ever Ripples Through Time...
Have you read this story? What do you think?