Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ripples Through Time - 197

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 #274 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #274 (Jul 1960) - Aqua-Queen!

The sore loser of a swimming meet decides to outdo Aquaman at his aquatic feats.

Regular Supporting Cast: Aqualad

Aqua-Exclamations: "Suffering Sharks!", "Jumping Jellyfish!", "Great Guppies!"

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aqualad hits his head against Dale's underwater air supply.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "But I can't understand it! You're just a spoiled thrill-seeker who has too much money for her own good! When I last saw you, you were a below-average swimmer! How's you suddenly develop such remarkable aquatic powers?"

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman's fishy friends refuse to go near the derelict, but appear to obey Dale.

This story appears to reuse the script from Adventure #187 (April 1953) - The Queen of the Sea. Ok, not really "appears" so much as matches almost word for word. In fact, in order to really show you just how close these two stories are, I'm going to do some panel by panel comparisons.

Our story starts with a swim meet for charity...

Aquaman is informed that the girl who protests his pick is a wealthy heiress (Ann Collins in 1953, Dale Conroy in 1960)...

Later, Aquaman has to chase down something for the Navy, but someone else arrives...

There is a new sequence added to the 1960 version where Dale Conroy challenges Aquaman to command his fish into a derelict. This was not in the 1953 version. But both versions of the tale move on to the same underwater challenge...

Eventually Aquaman figures out how Ann/Dale is cheating. The last discovery is how she swims so fast...

Aquaman sees one last act that decides how he's going to react to the cheating...

And the final explanations. Note how the artwork makes Aquaman's final words mean something different in each story.

Of course, there's a lot more to the story than this, but it's very strange to see the script dusted off and reused so completely. In the around the world story, the challenges were changed dramatically. This was a mild rewrite. Still, because of the change in artwork (though not artist) the stories seem very different in many significant ways.

Have you read this story? What do you think?