Monday, December 17, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 179

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 #256 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #256 (January 1959) - The Ordeal of Aquaman

A gang of smugglers discovers Aquaman's weakness, and drop him in the desert to die.

Glove Color: Green.

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is captured when he goes to free Topo and two octopus pals from a net.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman orders the octopi to milk cows so he can take a milk bath. The octopi hold the smugglers when Aquaman captures them. Aquaman rides Topo at the end of the story.

Quotefile: Smuggler, "Say! I got an idea! Look at Aquaman! He's gettin' weaker by the second! Know why? He can't say away from water for long!" This was after an hour out of the water.

This is it. This is the origin of the one-hour limit. At no time previous to this is a time limit put on Aquaman being out of water. He has been weaker out of water, and has indicated that he can't stay out of the water too long, but this is the first time he's had an actual time limit on him.

After one hour out of water, Aquaman starts to get weak. He survives a while longer after being tossed out of the plane into the desert (with a parachute). After a group of racers give him water from their radiators, he manages to walk five miles to the nearest town. It takes longer than an hour to walk five miles, especially if your pace isn't fast. While the story sort of implies that one hour is the magic amount of time after which Aquaman starts losing his strength, it's clear that he can survive well past a single hour, just in a much-weakened state.

Once in the town, he revives in melted skating rink water for an hour. It's not stated how far the reservoir is from the town, but Aquaman is already weak again before he gets there. This time he has a milk bath to revive, again, for an hour.

Now that we have a definitive origin for the one hour limit, it'll be interesting to see how it evolves. This was a lot later than I expected to see the limit established.

Have you read this story? What do you think?