Adventure 446 (Aug 76) was the first issue of Adventure Comics I ever bought. Curiously, one the main reasons was the cover, which I now find overly busy. But at 11 years old I loved Aquaman riding the giant seahorse, and the whole Aqua-Family on the banner, as well as the Creeper, whose story in Super-Team Family 2 I had really enjoyed.
Not being familiar with the characters, I thought Topo was an evil monster in the opening sequence, when it grabs Aquababy, rather than simply the boy’s babysitter. To be fair, the previous issue sets it up to look like an attack as well.
Robin has a cameo, as Aquaman tries to get information to Aqualad about Karshon being the new king of Atlantis. The story, by Paul Levitz and Marty Pasko, with art by Jim Aparo, uses that to transition to Aqualad and Tula, Aquagirl, on board a ship tracking down Black Manta.
Tula had not appeared since the final issue of the Aquaman comic, and I had never seen her before, so I was genuinely concerned when she got tied up with an anchor and thrown overboard. Of course, being an Atlantean that merely causes her some difficulty, not death.
Aquaman joins the fray, and all three heroes take on Black Manta, who does the wise thing and flees, leaving behind the cargo of guns he was smuggling. Aquaman is left to ponder the connection between Manta’s gun-running, and Karshon’s take-over of Atlantis.
And I just loved it. I bought every issue for the duration of Aquman’s run in this book.
On the other hand, I was not too impressed with the Creeper story, by Marty Pasko, with Pic Estrada and Joe Staton art. Never cared for Joe Staton. And it didn’t help that I hadn’t read the first part of the story.
The Creeper flees from the cops, and figures out a connection between the robots and a telekintic scientist, Maddox. Just as it starts to pick up, with the physiotherapist being forced telekinetically to walk off her balcony while the Creeper is stuck fighting the robots, it ends.
But as it concluded the following issue, I was not too distressed.