Monday, November 06, 2006

Ripples Through Time

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.

If you are reading this on my Aquaman website, it's also available on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog, my regular weblog. If you are reading this on Bloggity, it's also available on my Aquaman website.

More Fun #78 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #78 (April 1942)

Aquaman finds a message in a bottle warning sailors away from the Sargasso Sea, so naturally he goes there to find out what is happening.

I love how Golden Age stories jump right into the action. In the modern age, this same story would take at least six issues to tell, as Aquaman would get the warning, angst about it a bit, then finally decide to visit the Sargasso Sea after conferring with his allies. Then an issue would be devoted to the ship with the "frozen" men on it. Then an issue devoted to Aquaman finding a cure. An issue to set up the villain, with some dramatic reveal as a cliffhanger. An issue for Aquaman to get an ally. Then a final issue, or possibly two, with the climatic battle of the freed slaves. But in the Golden Age, ten pages was enough for the entire tale.

This is Aquaman's sixth story, and his legend is still growing. The bad guys on the frozen ship say, "There he is! I never believed those Aquaman yarns before!" "Seeing's believing!"

Finny Friends Report: No finny friends help Aquaman at all in this tale.

If you haven't heard of it before, the Sargasso Sea is a place in the mid-Atlantic where the ocean currents seem to stop and lots of seaweed grows. In this tale, Master Sargasso has set up a pirate's nest in the middle of the seaweed... Master Sargasso is described in the text as a giant, but doesn't look any bigger than his "servants", and in fact appears a bit frail. He also wears a very silly crown... When Master Sargasso gets annoyed that his thugs failed to capture Aquaman, he has the thug who admitted failure disposed of in the same way Aquaman "died". Of course, Aquaman rescues the guy who spills everything about Sargasso's set-up. Villains should learn to treat their thugs right... Aquaman is offered command of the fleet of newly freed merchant ships at the end of the story, but declines and swims off, as usual.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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