Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ripples Through Time - 190

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 #267 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #267 (December 1959) - The Manhunt on Land!/The Underwater Archers!

Escaping prison, "Shark" Norton pledges to avoid the sea and Aquaman while "The Wizard" Kates pledges to avoid the land and Green Arrow.

Glove Color: Green.

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo. He's the star of both stories, in fact!

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman collapses into the water while being told about Shark Norton's new career on land, thanks to his one-hour limit. *sigh*

Quotefile: Coast Guard officer, "Yes! Everybody knows that if you're out of water for an hour, you gasp for water like a dying fish! But the police feel you alone have the know-how to catch "Shark"!"

Finny Friends Report: In the splash page (not in the story itself), Topo releases a number of fish from a railroad water tank to help Aquaman. Aquaman rides Topo at the beginning of the tale. Aquaman gathers a large group of fish in a tank-truck to help him on land. When the crooks shoot out the headlights on the truck, luminous fish spotlight them for a swordfish attack squad. Topo uses four bows and arrows to capture two crooks. A sea porcupine launches quills and punctures the escape balloon. Electric eels shock one bad guy, a seal gooses another, and a crab handcuffs a third in the aquarium. Shark Norton himself gets nabbed by a shark. In the Green Arrow story, Topo appears in time to rescue GA and Speedy from a fire-breathing sea monster.

This is one of those stories that's been reprinted a few times, but always with the Green Arrow story. If you have the Aquaman Archive and Showcase, you know that "The Underwater Archers" is reprinted in both. And, amusingly, Topo is seriously the hero in both stories. He's the hero in the Aquaman splash page and uses bow and arrows in the Aquaman tale, and Green Arrow would've been monster chow if Topo hadn't helped him out.

Aquaman's one-hour limit is now common knowledge. And he even falls over while a Coast Guard officer is talking to him... while he's IN the sea. He's gone from being able to survive out of water indefinitely to one-hour exactly. The writers clearly think it's a nifty plot device, but any reader will tell you it's a pretty stupid one.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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