Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 169

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 #246 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #246 (March 1958) - The Town That Went Underwater

Aquaman opens an amusement park in Beachcroft, and insists that EVERY citizen go underwater to experience it.

Quotefile: Mayor of Beachcroft, "Aquaman sure has been barking it up great! Half the town is here!" Aquaman, "Only half, Mr. Mayor? I'll double that figure! I want the whole town underwater!"

Glove Color: Yellow.

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo.

Finny Friends Report: Topo hands out tickets while a swordfish holds up the roll of tickets. Aquaman rides Topo. A giant octopus becomes an underwater whip ride. Porpoises slide along tracks made of eels as a roller-coaster. Aquaman uses a whale to hide a treasure chest. Seals hold up signs, while Aquaman rides a giant tortoise down the street.

Aquaman gets the news of the problem at midday, and immediately sets about trying to get every citizen of the town underwater. Before that, the whole amusement park was just a promotion for a future mechanical underwater amusement park the city intended to build. That all changed when Aquaman got a phone call.

A twist to the story is the various disasters/pirate attacks that Aquaman ignores in order to continue running his amusement park.

The science of this one really sucks, as is often the case in Silver Age tales. The Army officer tells the people of Beachcroft, "At 12 noon the Meteorological Bureau in Washington alerted Aquaman by phone that the tail of a comet would pass through BeachCroft a 2 P.M. sharp! The gases in the comet's tail would poison Beachcroft's atmosphere!" Oooh, how many errors are in that explanation? And the illustration is even sillier, showing a tiny comet racing through the town just above the surface of the streets (luckily not hitting any of the buildings). The plot isn't bad... Aquaman getting an entire town's inhabitants to go underwater to protect them from poison gas without causing a panic... but a comet?

Have you read this story? What do you think?