Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 177

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 #254 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #254 (November 1958) - The Menace of the Electric Man!

After gaining electrical powers, Roy Pinto terrorizes the seas as the Electric Man.

Glove Color: Green

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo.

Aqua-Exclamations: "Shades of Davy Jones!"

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is shocked repeatedly by the Electric Man.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "I-I may be King of the Sea, but I can't fight lightning flashes!"

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman rides Topo in his first attack on the Electric Man. Topo creates a spring to send Aquaman onto Electric Man's boat. Topo and another octopus eventually capture Electric Man for Aquaman, after Aquaman insulates them from the electricity.

This is the first Aquaman tale that feels like a Silver Age story to me. It's got a super-powered villain, complete with origin. Aquaman uses his usual tactics of outsmarting the bad guy. But the fact that he's up against someone more powerful than the usual pirates, and not someone using tricks, makes this feel more modern.

It's a pity that Roy Pinto goes back to a life of crime after apparently finding useful work. He supplies fish to aquariums, and clearly works hard at it. We even see him repairing a generator. And yet the captions are biased against him and he goes right back to a criminal life as soon as he discovers his powers. As usual, Aquaman recognizes the crook on sight.

Electric Man is the first truly super-powered villain Aquaman faces. He's the first of many. And as silly as the rest. He wears a headpiece with an antenna on it to attract lightning to him, which he then uses in crime. He also hurls charged discs at his victims. He can only work in lightning storms.

Have you read this story? What do you think?