Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 145

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 #222 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #222 (March 1956) - A Rival For Aquaman

A stranger, who calls himself the Seaman, asks for Aquaman's help.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is pushed down by a swimmer who then quickly poses for a picture of himself "saving" Aquaman.

Quotefile: Life Guard, "You must be used to pests like him looking for publicity by getting next to you, eh, Aquaman?" Aquaman, "You're not kidding! That's why I rarely let strangers get too close to me!"

Glove Color: Green.

Aqua-Exclamations: "Great Catfish"

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman rides a sea cow. He has Octopuses bring up the ship.

Aquaman starts the story annoyed because people want their picture taken with Aquaman... but do so in a sneaky way. The two doofuses that conspire to get a picture of one of them "saving" Aquaman are lucky to not end up with black eyes... but then, this was a gentler time. Aquaman wasn't an anti-hero yet.

Aquaman thinks that the Seaman (stop giggling) also wants publicity, and it takes him entirely too long to figure out that publicity is the last thing the guy is looking for. You would think Aquaman would catch on a bit sooner, but apparently he had publicity hounds on his mind that week.

The Seaman performs three stunts that Aquaman would have found difficult, if not impossible. The first was to create a channel of water flowing over a fire that Aquaman can swim on to rescue a sea captain. The second is to single-handedly steer a large ship away from a collision. The last, and most impressive, is to swim up a heavy rainfall to save a lighthouse keeper who has fallen from his lighthouse.

This is another "alien visitors" story, and like the first aliens Aquaman met, this one is friendly. He's also following the Prime Directive: "...our civilization is far ahead of yours! We have been observing you for years and do not feel that you are ready for outerspace visitors! My leaders felt our presence would only cause panic -- and that is why I had to avoid all publicity!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?