Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 141

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 #218 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #218 (November 1955) - Aquaman, Outlaw of the Sea

The folks at a diving convention believe Aquaman has swallowed a chemical that makes him temporarily insane, and Aquaman's unorthodox life-saving techniques simply compound the problem.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets a group of eels to form a lasso to pull a diver away from a whirlpool. A whale diverts the knock-out darts so Aquaman can escape.

Glove Color: Green.

Quotefile: Guy at diver convention, "Looks like a big turnout this year! We'll be able to start the program at once!" Guy holding large wooden crate, "Yes, but not until we drop this packet of dangerous experimental drugs into the ocean, as we promised the government we would!"

I admit, I laughed out loud when I read the second panel of this story, the one with the quote up there in it. Back in 1955 people weren't nearly as conscious of environmental concerns yet, and the ocean seemed infinite. A lot of the current problems in the ocean spring from that attitude, which is thankfully mostly gone from the modern world. I wish it were completely gone.

Aquaman's rescues include sticking his head in a hole a log has poked in an inflatable rubber raft to block it until it can be fixed, lassoing a diver who has strayed too close to a whirlpool, and breaking a diving bell that cracked on a jagged rock to save the occupants. Each rescue was misconstrued by the rescued folks as attacks by Aquaman.

Aquaman's origin is recapped again in the opening text box of this story: "Many years ago, a scientist gave Aquaman the amazing power to live and breathe under water... and it was this remarkable gift that led to his becoming the ruler of all the beings that dwell in the sea, and the protector of all men who work on the sea!" A sign, perhaps, that readers were asking about how Aquaman came to be? He hadn't had an origin story in 14 years at this point, I'm sure the current readers had no idea how Aquaman came to be.

Have you read this story? What do you think?