Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 8 Nov 2006

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.

My Aquaman collection is organized by date, and my not-at-all complete Justice League collection is organized the same way. Someday, in the far distant future when I've collected every single Aquaman appearance, I plan on rereading the entire collection in chronological order.

World's Finest #6 Aquaman Splash Page
World's Finest Comics #6 (Summer 1942) - The Zoo of the Deep

Aquaman meets an undersea hunter, and eventually learns the extent of his illegal activities.

The undersea hunter, Peers Pike, is running an aquarium on a boat. It appears to be a completely legit operation. But we learn that Peers has a shady past when his old partner Lorry Rogan shows up and insists on a piece of the action. Rogan is on the run from the police, having escaped jail. In a nice piece of exposition, Peers reveals that Rogan was part of Black Jack's kidnapping operation (see More Fun #77) and was caught and jailed because of that. Peers attempts to kill Rogan, and Aquaman rescues him.

In a very cool moment, Aquaman reveals that he knows who Rogan is because of his "Radio Television". Television wasn't widespread at that point, and most broadcasts had been halted for the duration of the War. I wonder if the "Radio" was tacked on in case people weren't sure what "Television" meant?

This is the first Aquaman story to have an official title, in quotes, on the splash page... Aquaman is getting more recognition, the Coast Guard official who talks with Aquaman says "we've been directed to cooperate with you at all times, Aquaman!"... Aquaman again refuses a reward, asking instead that it be donated to war relief... Either Aquaman is really good at playing dead, or Peers' henchmen are really bad at telling if someone is alive... Peers and Rogan plot to capture Aquaman and put him in the show. I seem to recall this eventually happens in another tale... At the end of the story, Aquaman takes the ship out to sea and sinks it, freeing all the captured fish on board.

Finny Friends Report: A fish referred to as "a close friend of Aquaman" is chased by the hunter, and Aquaman saves him. Aquaman fights and kills a sting-ray. An Octopus grabs a thug when Aquaman punches the thug into its tank. Aquaman releases an electric eel who "frightened and enraged" attacks the bad guys. There is no indication that Aquaman actually directs any of the sea life in this story, but they do help him out.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never knocked out or captured in this story, although he pretends to be unconscious for awhile.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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