Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 171

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 #248 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #248 (May 1958) - The Traitor of the Seven Seas

Undersea explorer Jim Ward is surprised to find Aquaman capturing fish for aliens to get a great reward.

Aqua-Exclamations: "Great Flying Catfish!"

Glove Color: Yellow.

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo.

Quotefile: Old man reading newspaper report, "Shiver my timbers-- I never expected to read that Aquaman would someday turn on his sea subjects!"

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is threatened with death if he doesn't help the aliens, and promised a handsome reward if he does.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman battles and captures a monkfish. An octopus is already in the alien tank. In a flashback, Aquaman rides on Topo. Aquaman captures two swordfish by making them run into a bell buoy. Aquaman uses a chain of electric eels to allow him to capture a torpedo ray. The fish in the tank also include a seal, shark, and electric eel.

We never actually see the aliens in this story, only their ship. Aquaman describes their communication as being by "some telepathic device".

As is so often the case in these stories. Aquaman's actions are reported to the newspapers, who waste no time in tarring his name. I'll note that in a story less than a year previous, Aquaman is also accused of abusing his fishy subject. For all that the folks in the DCU seem to like Aquaman, they really don't trust him deeply.

Jim Ward, the diver who witnesses Aquaman's capture of fish and is basically the narrator of the story, hears Aquaman say that the aliens want Aquaman to help them or die, but focuses on the point that Aquaman will get a reward. C'mon, man! The aliens threatened to kill Aquaman! Aquaman even told you that!

In the end, of course, Aquaman is really being a good guy. The only fish that actually goes with the aliens is an "adventuresome" octopus by the name of Lopo, who Aquaman says wanted to be the first fish in outer space. So Lopo isn't Laika, but his fate is probably better.

More hostile aliens! Aquaman himself was collected for an alien aquarium in Adventure #234. Aquaman also met aliens in Adventure #196, Adventure #216, and Adventure #222. The tally so far is three hostile alien races, and two friendly. Two were collecting specimens, one was invading, one needed help to get home, and the first aliens were actually visited by Aquaman.

Have you read this story? What do you think?