Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 142

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 #219 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #219 (December 1955) - The Greatest Show on Water

When a barge hauling amusement park rides to children on an island sinks, Aquaman takes it upon himself to provide replacement rides.

Quotefile: Amazingly erudite child who appears to be toddler age, "It's sure nice of Aquaman to arrange this ocean amusement park for us!" Fellow genius toddler, "Yes... but I still don't see how he can give us all those rides on the sea!"

Aqua-Exclamations: "Great Catfish!"

Glove Color: Yellow.

Finny Friends Report: In the opening splash, lots of kids are riding lots of different sea creatures. Aquaman rides his trusty sea cow. Octopuses become The Whip ride. Whales are the Virginia Reel. Seals carry the Parachute Jump sign. For the Parachute Jump, giant sea eagles carry the kids up, and blowfish act as a chute on the way down. Aquaman performs acrobatics with some seals. For the roller coaster, whales bring up a sunken ship, and an octopus supplies giant empty shells for coaster cars. Flying fish carry the cars up the lines. Whales propel Aquaman up to save a child when the masts of the ship break. Sponges line the bottom and protect one of the kids when he falls.

I'm not entirely sure what a Virginia Reel is, although it looks a bit like the spinning teacups ride in the sign. The whales seem to just be providing blast of water for the kids to ride around on.

Three children are on the roller coaster when the mast breaks. Aquaman leaps to save one, is assisted by whales to save a second, and makes sure the third lands on soft sponges instead of striking the water. In today's world, Aquaman would be sued by the kids' parents for traumatizing their children. In this story, the kids say the experience was their favorite ride.

Aquaman says the giant shells are "the safest coasters you'll ever find!" But they have no seats, no handles, no safety bars of any type... and sure enough, the kids fall right out of them. Safety standards in the mid-50s must've been pretty lax.

I can't quite figure out how blowfish are supposed to provide a parachute. In fact, I'm pretty sure they'd just make the kid fall faster. Suspension of disbelief is sometimes hard in these "Look what Aquaman can make the fish do!" stories.

There are no villains in this story, unless you count the reef that the barge struck.

Have you read this story? What do you think?