Posts tagged ‘Aqualad’

Detective 300 – Batman vs Mr. Polka Dot, and Aquaman ends

tec_300

Detective 300 (Feb. 62) pits Batman against Mr. Polka Dot, which is a clear indication that “anniversary” issues were nothing really special yet.

tec_300_001

The villain, not given any other name, threatens Batman and Robin with various weapons concealed as polka dots on his outfit.

tec_300_002

He manages to capture Robin, using him as bait to lure Batman into a trap.

tec_300_003

I have to admit, I do like the irony in Robin imprinting a braille message in the note he is forced to write.  The dots leading to his downfall.

It’s likely no surprise that this character did not return until the 80s, and his few appearances in modern times have taken him far less seriously than this original story by Sheldon Moldoff.

tec_300_004

Aquaman gets his final story in Detective, with Aqualad in tow, and art by Nick Cardy.

tec_300_005

He is fooled by thieves into leading through a number of perilous traps on the way to a buried treasure.  The thieves claim to be friends of a professor lost there, but in fact are using Aquaman in order to steal the man’s find.

tec_300_006

A simple story, and a villain Aquaman has little trouble defeating, but the pleasure here is in Cardy’s art.

Aquaman’s own comic had begun by this point, so he continued to appear despite the loss of this series.  The end of the strip was the result in a page cut, leaving the Martian Manhunter the sole back-up series.

Advertisements

Detective 294 – Batman fights Elemental Man, and Aquaman fights weird fish

tec_294_008

Batman fights a villain with the power to turn his body into any element in this Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff tale.

tec_294_009

Professor Higgin’s lab assistant, John Dolan, gets accidentally exposed to a gas that endows him with his element changing powers, and he starts to go insane.  Higgins builds him a belt that will control his changes.

tec_294_010

The professor works on trying to find a cure while Batman tries, and fails, to capture Dolan.

tec_294_011

Batman gets exposed to the gas, and also transforms into a element man.  Fearing he will go evil, Robin and Higgins lock him up, but he escapes as mercury and joins Dolan in his rampage.

The explanation for how Batman rigs the machine to drain Dolan’s powers is overly complex, it goes on for two pages.

Although this character never returned, he was one of the four villains to have new versions made of them as Strikeforce Kobra.  As well, his powers are essentially the same as those of Metamorpho, who would be introduced a few years down the road.

tec_294_012

Aquaman, Aqualad and Topo all return for this Nick Cardy story, in which a man claims to have trained bizarre sea creatures to respond only to him.

tec_294_013

It takes Aquaman only a couple of pages to figure out the creatures are robots, and defeat the liar.

 

 

Detective 293 – Batman on an alien planet, and Aquaman begins

tec_293

The Batman and Robin story in Detective 293 (July 1961), for all its adventure on an alien world, feels much like a re-write of a story from the 40s, “Destination Unknown.”

tec_293_001

As with the earlier tale, the story introduces four other passengers, along with Bruce and Dick.  One is a criminal on the run, two are fated to become lovers, and another is an older man who has given up on life.

tec_293_002

The earlier story was set on a train, but in this one they are all on a ferry boat, which abruptly gets teleported to an alien world.

tec_293_003

There each of them confront their inner demons, while Batman and Robin help one set of aliens use mind-control to dominate a different set of aliens.

tec_293_004

The story ends with the various characters changed forever.  Sheldon Moldoff did the art, but I wish I knew who wrote this story.

tec_293_005

Aquaman, riding a wave of popularity in the early 60s, begins a short run in Detective Comics in this issue.  He had a series in World’s Finest Comics at this time, and was also appearing in Showcase, about to launch into his own series.  The 6 page story in this issue, with lovely Nick Cardy art, has Aqualad and Topo in it as well.

tec_293_006

Together they capture the Sea Raider, who had been trying to kill the publisher of a local newspaper, who was out to expose the pirate.

Adventure 463 – Flash battles an Image-Eater, Deadman gains a body, the JSA bury Batman, Aquaman defeats the evil farmers and Wonder Woman takes on Queen Bee

Adv_463

Adv_463_001

Adventure 463 (June 1979) opens with a Flash story that is only remarkable in the way it ignores the major events taking place in his own book at this time.

Cary Bates, Don Heck and Joe Giella tell a story that has the Flash returning from a visit with Jay Garrick on Earth-2, and stumbling across an ancient spirit, the Urtumi, that feeds on the after-images he leaves behind while running.

Adv_463_002

I never understood how Don Heck got so much work in comics.  I don’t believe there was ever a single panel he drew that I liked.

Adv_463_003

Conversely, I don’t think there was ever a single panel Jose Luis Gacia-Lopez drew that I didn’t love.  With Frank Chiaramonte on inks, and Len Wein in the driver’s seat, the Deadman storyline that opened his run in Adventure comes to a powerful conclusion.

Adv_463_004

Despite Kronsky’s unstable nature, Deadman still holds out hope that his helmet will create a new body for him, and he tries a variety of ways to access it.

Adv_463_005

Finally, he inhabits Inga, and almost succeeds at his goal, but the body explodes.  The helmet will only work for Kronsky, and only almost worked for Inga because of their genetic similarity.

Ultimately, Kronsky sacrifices the helmet, which is driving him insane, to be able to stay with his family.

Adv_463_006

Paul Levitz and Joe Staton bring the death of Batman storyline to a conclusion, as Dr Fate leads the team in hunting down the man responsible, Frederic Vaux, a patsy of darker forces.

Adv_463_007

Vaux used the powers he was given to convince Jensen that Wayne had framed him, and gave him the power to destroy him.  Why did the mysterious dark forces choose to operate in such a roundabout way?  That’s never addressed, and this final chapter is not really very fulfilling in terms of the villains.

Adv_463_008

Vuax casts a spell to remove the memories of everyone on Earth, part of the larger plan to enslave him.  After his defeat by Dr Fate, as the spell begins to wear off, Fate makes sure that the exact circumstances of Bruce Wayne’s death are not remembered, restoring his secret identity, as well as those of Helena and Dick Grayson.

All in all, the death of Batman storyline is far better in terms of what it achieved, than in how it achieved it.

Adv_463_009

Aquaman’s battle with United Food Products over their farming of the sea beds near Atlantis concludes this issue, by Paul Kupperberg, Don Heck and Joe Giella.

Adv_463_010

Aquaman is opposed by the Atlanteans, Vulko, Mera and even Aqualad, whom he gets into a fight with, but he pursues the UFP anyway, with Aqualad in hot pursuit.

Adv_463_011

The leader proudly proclaims that the true plans were to destroy Atlantis, and please note the unusual garb of the sailor standing next to him in the first panel.  As I said, there is more to this storyline than it seems at first.

Aqualad overhears, and joins Aquaman as they destroy the UFP base.  Back in Atlantis, even Vulko finally concedes that the UFP were dangerous.  But their plans are far from over…

Adv_463_012

Wonder Woman is seen at work for the only time during her run in Adventure, as astronaut in training Diana Prince, in this story by Gerry Conway, with art by Joe Staton and Frank McLauglin.

Adv_463_013

She is sealed in a sensory deprivation test, which saves her when a swarm of deadly bees attack NASA.  She uses her lasso to round up the bees, saving her co-workers, and then follows them back to their giant lair.

Adv_463_014

She discovers JLA villain Zazzala, the Queen Bee, an alien conqueror.  Though she bests Queen Bee in combat, she is forced to release her when Zazzala reveals that the scientists stung by the bees had their minds drained as the result, and the honetcomb contains their combined mental faculties, which only Zazzala can return to them.

Queen Bee last appeared facing the Justice League three years earlier in their own book.  The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 461 – Barry Allen framed for murder, Deadman finds the bad guys, Aquaman takes a stand against farming, Wonder Woman teams with Wonder Girl, and the Justice Society of America begins

Adv_461

The number of series in Adventure 461 (Feb 79) drops from six to five, though with no drop in pages.  Rather, the Justice Society is given a double length series as they move from their own comic, cancelled as part of the DC Implosion.

Adv_461_001

The Flash gets an entertaining and off-beat tale by Cary Bates, with art by Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin.  Barry and Iris are travelling by car, and stop at a gas station.  A hunter comes out, drops his gun, and Barry picks it up and shoots the man dead.

Adv_461_002

Iris cannot figure out what is going on, and upon visiting Barry in prison, discovers that he has no idea either.  The gun shot itself, and when he raced to stop the bullets, he discovered there were none, the man had squibs planted in his coat that exploded.

Adv_461_003

Sticking around to try to figure out the situation, Barry is set up by another faked death, and then meant to be killed escaping.  But of course he uses his super-speed to avoid that fate, and manages to find the supposed victim and clear his name of the crime.  It was all an attempt to frame and kill an outsider, while allowing a wanted criminal (the hunter) to fake his own death.

Adv_461_004

In this instalment of the Deadman story, Len Wein and Jim Aparo slow down a bit, recapping past events as Deadman tries to figure out what is going on.  He figures out that the man behind the fire and attempted murder was Solomon, a wealthy industrialist, and tracks him down, learning that the other man who escaped, Kronsky, was being held by him to extract information.

Adv_461_005

Inga reveals more of her past to Cleveland, that her father was a prominent scientist who disappeared a few years before she escaped from Russia.

Adv_461_006

So all in all it’s really no surprise when Kronsky shows up at the circus, and we discover he is Inga’s father.

But at least the story has taken a clear form before its climax.

Adv_461_007

The Justice Society begin their run in Adventure with a three-page introduction, of the team itself, as well as Earth-2. Paul Levitz and Joe Staton then give  play to Power Girl, trying to prove herself to the dismissive older heroes, Green Lantern, Flash and Wildcat.

Adv_461_008

Robin shows up at the headquarters, where he reveals that he has known Helena was really the Huntress all along, even if Bruce never figured out what his daughter was up to.

Adv_461_009

Then the action gets going as a powerful madman, Bill Jensen, takes over some twin towers and demands that Bruce Wayne, the current Police Commissioner of Gotham City, be turned over to him for vengeance.  Jensen quickly takes down Power Girl, Flash, Green Lantern, Huntress and Robin before Wayne arrives.

He blames Wayne for framing him for a murder he didn’t commit, and his attempt to kill Bruce is only thwarted by the power of Dr. Fate.

The story continues next issue.

Adv_461_010

This beginning chapter to a new Aquaman storyline is a less than impressive start, although the story will improve as it goes on.  Paul Kupperberg and Don Newton have Aquaman discover that a company, Universal Food Products, has begun extensive farming of the lands around Atlantis.

Adv_461_011

Aquaman distrusts the company immediately, and Vulko’s defense of them certainly calls into question his abilities as king.  Aqualad joins Aquaman as he seeks out information on land from the company headquarters, and discovers that UFP’s real plan is the destruction of Atlantis.

Adv_461_012

Wonder Woman gets an extremely rare team-up with Wonder Girl in this story by Jack C Harris and Jack Abel.  Wonder Girl had been introduced as a member of the Teen Titans, an a backstory involving Wonder Woman was ascribed to her (and flashbacked to in this story), but in truth she had never been a sidekick in Wonder Woman’s comic.

Adv_461_013

Wonder Woman finds her at a special school, while tracking down some Amazon-costumed thieves.  Donna refuses to accept any connection between the school and Diana’s case, but Diana sticks around and discovers that the head of the school is really the old, lame, JLA villain Headmaster Mind.  He has conned the girls into believing they are drawing powers from Wonder Girl as she sleeps.  The Wonder women simply turn the tables on him, convincing the girls that they have stopped the fake device from working, their powers in reality just came from their belief in the machine.

Adv_461_014

It’s not a bad story in concept, though not great in execution.

Wonder Girl had last appeared in a Flash Super-Spectacular, and next appeared in an issue of Brave and the Bold later in the year, both times as part of the Teen Titans.

Headmaster Mind had not appeared since battling the JLA in the late 60s, and as he made no further appearances, it seems he really did die in the explosion at the end of this story.

 

Adventure 455 – Superboy vs Lex Luthor, and Aqualad ends

Adv_455

Adventure 455 (Feb 78) has the concluding half of Bob Rozakis’ tale of the people of Smallville turning into kryptonite beings.

Adv_455_001

Superboy flies back to town just in time to conveniently overhear Lex Luthor bragging about the fact that he is the one behind the situation.

Adv_455_002

Even still, Superboy doesn’t quite figure it all out, until he covers himself in lead and attacks Lex, but finds himself still vulnerable.  Without even needing Lex to explain his plans in detail, Superboy figures out that the new satellite above the town is responsible, and destroys it.

Not a great story.  Frankly, none of the Superboy tales in this run are.

Adv_455_003

Aqualad’s concluding chapter makes up for the weaknesses in the Superboy tale, both in terms of art and story, as Paul Kupperberg, Carl Potts and Dick Giordano bring his solo run to a satisfying, if not happy, ending.

Adv_455_005

After some action battling a cool robot, Aqualad learns the painful truth about his parents, King Thar and Queen Bekka.  His father had become a dangerous tyrant, and was deposed and executed, while Bekka was deprived of her child, who was sent away with no knowledge of his past, in fear that he would one day seek vengeance.

Adv_455_004

Instead, Aqualad accepts the hard truths, and realizes that Aquaman was more of a father to him than his real parents had been.

This paves the way to his next appearance, in Aquman’s own book, and their reconciliation.

 

Adventure 454 – Superboy vs Kryptonite Kid, and Aqualad learns his parentage

Adv_454

The Kryptonite Kid makes a rare appearance in this Bob Rozakis story from Adventure 454 (Dec 77), though the adult version of the character had appeared a year earlier in the pages of Superman.

Adv_454_002

The people in Smallville all start turning green, and emitting kryptonite radiation. Pa Kent gets Clark out of town, where he quickly recovers.

Adv_454_001

Superboy guesses that the Kryptonite Kid is responsible, as the villain has the same properties, and finds him out in space, but not too far away.  They battle, and though Superboy defeats him, he also realizes that the Kid was not responsible for the situation in Smallville.

This is also the final appearance of Kryptonite Kid.

The story concludes next issue.

Adv_454_003

Aqualad continues the search for his background in the story by Paul Kupperberg, with art by Carl Potts and Dick Giordano.  He spends much of this chapter terrorizing an old man and beating up his pet shark.

Adv_454_004

He does, however, learn that the man was responsible for the death of King Thar, the former leader of the Idyllists, who looks an awful lot like Aqualad.  Could it be…?

The story concludes next issue.

 

 

Tag Cloud