Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 012

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #83 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #83 (September 1942) - Thomas Jefferson's Treasure

Black Jack finds a chest of rare coins on the ocean floor, but needs financing to bring them up, so he enlists a hapless coin dealer.

The art has improved in this one from the previous story, probably because it isn't a story with a bunch of guys all dressed in the same prison uniform, so distinguishing the characters is possible through the use of clothing. Noppy does bear a strong resemblance to Yascom from the previous story.

Ah, the treasure of Thomas Jefferson! Ok, this one is fascinating, so try to follow me. According to Drew Carson, the coin dealer in this story, Thomas Jefferson sent almost the entire minting of 1804 silver dollars to Napoleon to pay for the Louisiana Purchase, and Napoleon melted them down to make French money, thus making the coin incredibly rare. Black Jack finds a chest full of the 1804 silver dollars, which he says was aboard a French ship which sank. This triggers the whole story. BUT that's not the truth about the 1804 silver dollars. That may have been what collectors believed in 1942, but the reality is much odder... as the 1804 silver dollar wasn't actually minted until 1834. I won't go into detail, but the full story can be found on and Wikipedia. A similar story to Drew Carson's can be found on, only in this case the coins were to pay soldiers. I find the mis-history in this tale almost as fun as the story itself.

Drew Carson has a lot of friends who care deeply for him, enough to try to help him even while he's blinded by greed... Vera, Drew's fiancee, gets a message to Aquaman because her friend Jo is the main squeeze of a Naval Officer who knows how to contact Aquaman... Vera doesn't believe the whole "throwing a bottle into the ocean" thing until she sees a lobster grab the bottle... Vera refers to it as "Sea-Mail", echoing the V-mail that readers would be familiar with... Aquaman goes in disguise as a normal sailor, but isn't able to join Carson's crew... Drew's butler, Jorrocks, attempts to get Aquaman aboard anyway because he's concerned about Black Jack and Noppy... The treasure is either in very shallow waters or very clear waters, because they can see it from the ship through a glass-bottomed box... Black Jack shatters a chain holding a diving bell with an axe... Black Jack and Noppy argue about how they are going to split the treasure, enough so that Noppy pulls a knife on Black Jack... Once again, Aquaman declines any reward, but Drew invites him to the wedding anyway.

Finny Friends Report: A green lobster brings Vera's message to Aquaman. Aquaman asks a fish to get "someone who can handle these knots" when he's trapped in the treasure chest at the bottom of the ocean.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman and Jorrocks are knocked into the water by a load of coal, the water revives Aquaman but Jorrocks has to be saved. Noppy hits Aquaman on the back of the head with the treasure chest, then traps him inside it and sinks it.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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