Posts tagged ‘Atlantis’

More Fun 87 – Green Arrow fires a rocket-arrow, Dr. Fate – doctor, Aquaman meets Atlanteans and Tubby Watts gets paid to do nothing

mf_87

Johnny Quick gets his second cover appearance on More Fun 87 (Jan 43).  He still doesn’t get the lead spot, and Green Arrow resumes his cover features with the next issue.  This is also the final issue with a Radio Squad story, the one early series that stuck around.

mf_87_002

Green Arrow and Speedy wind up in a complex case, which builds to a big prison breakout attempt.  But the plot is not the important thing here, it’s the arrows.

mf_87_003

Up until now the arrows have always been used in the acceptable variety of ways arrows are used – like setting them on fire, or shooting them up as signals.  But in this story, it stretches a little further.  In order to sneak into the prison to get information on the villain’s plans, Green Arrow and Speedy shooted hooked arrows at convicts, reeling them in almost like fish.

mf_87_001

Towards the end of the story, the duo fire off rockets, but Green Arrow specifically calls them Arrow-Rockets, name branding them a la Batman.  But also making this the first trick arrow.

mf_87_004

Some really nice art by Howard Sherman on Gardner Fox’s latest Dr. Fate story.

mf_87_005

Dr. Fate is pitted against a rival, but the doctor is a phony, as Kent susses out in his medical day job.  This issue shows him as a doctor, while most of the issues simply refer to his occupation in passing.

mf_87_006

Some of his powers seem to be back, as he is immune to bullets, and he’s pulled his crystal ball out of storage!

mf_87_007

There are even a couple panels of Dr. Fate underwater, drawn in Sherman’s unique way of expressing that.   A better story than most of the late Dr. Fate tales.

mf_87_008

Atlanteans get introduced in the Aquaman story in this issue.  The ark-type ship shown in the splash page is run by thugs in biker jackets, gathering rare creatures from around the world.  They find an Atleantean man, beat the crap out of him, and throw him in a  cage.

mf_87_009

The reader is treated to a fairly standard telling of the destruction and sinking of Atlantis.  The art makes ancient Atlantis look pretty urban and bland.

mf_87_010

Aquaman discovers Atlantis and meets its inhabitants for the first time – the previous notion of him living in a temple in the abandoned ruins can easily be blended with this.  He mistook an abandoned out-lying settlement for Atlantis proper.

mf_87_011

He frees the captured Atlantean, and throws the men in cages to be displayed to the Atlanteans.  Just temporarily.  So he says.

 

mf_87_012

Tubby Watts gets a more important role than usual, in a convoluted story that sees him paid by criminals to do nothing, part of a scheme to steal a farmer’s land that has oil on it.

mf_87_013

Tubby gets the plot-line, but after a page of being Johnny Chambers, Quick gets into action.

mf_87_014

Meskin is now making the most of the multiple images visual, which also appears on the cover.

mf_87_015

Drawn this way, Johnny has finally become a visually distinct character from the Flash.

 

 

Advertisements

More Fun 84 – Green Arrow goes to war, Aquaman defends Atlantis, and Johnny Quick puts out a fire

mf_84

Green Arrow goes to war in this story from More Fun 84 (Oct 42).

mf_84_001

The story begins simply enough, as Green Arrow is challenged to prove his might by making headlines without using his arrows.  Nothing very out of the ordinary.

mf_84_002

Then the story abruptly shifts to deal with a Japanese invasion, which Green Arrow and Speedy now have to fight off without arrows.

mf_84_004

They succeed well enough to blow up a Japanese ship.  The hand reaching out from the water is fairly extreme for the era, but this was produced shortly after Pearl Harbour, and clearly reflects that.

mf_84_005

Aquaman finds himself defending the ruins of Atlantis, but becomes the prize himself in this story.

mf_84_006

The villain runs an aqua-show, and is looking to raid Atlantis for something spectacular to draw in crowds.

mf_84_007

This is the first glimpse we get of Atlantis from the outside, just a crumbled wall.

mf_84_008

Aquaman gets captured, to be the star attraction, but his abilities with the fish allow him to take down the entire show and escape.

mf_84_009

The bulk of this Johnny Quick story is a “task” story, as Johnny single-handedly makes a movie, putting thousands of pictures in front of a camera at super-speed.  But that’s not where the important sequence lies.

mf_84_010

There is a fire as part of the set-up, and Johnny races to put out the blaze.  In this panel, Meskin uses multiple images to show Johnny’s speed.  The earlier time was part of the stylization throughout the page, but here it is clearly intentional.

More Fun 82 – Green Arrow meets Robin Hood, Dr. Fate vs the Lucky One, and Aquaman lives in Atlantis

mf_82

The first of many, many versions, Green Arrow and Speedy meet Robin Hood in More Fun 82 (Aug 42), which also sees the logo shrink and move to the corner of the cover.

mf_82_001

Speedy is the first to travel back in time, popping some experimental “time pills.”  Oliver follows quickly after.

mf_82_002

The story then has the two heroes join forces with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  As there are no trick arrows yet, Green Arrow is really not much different from Robin Hood in the story.   The two would meet again and again over the years, every time as if it were the first.

mf_82_003

Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman give Dr. Fate an interesting villain in this story, although his name, the Lucky One, leaves something to be desired.

mf_82_004

He runs really large and elaborate cons, convincing people he has great luck.  As usual, Kent and Inza learn of him through society friends, and Dr. Fate goes into action.

mf_82_005

In the top two panels it really appears that Fate is flying, yet by the bottom of the page he seems unable to do so, in order to avoid the card trap.

mf_82_006

Aside from that, this story has much better visuals than any story in while.  Still no magic from Fate, but that was far in the past now.

The villain does not appear again, but certainly seems to be cut of the same cloth as later JLA villain Amos Fortune.

mf_82_007

Aquaman’s story slightly resembles his fight with the King of the Sargasso Sea, as a man takes kingship on an island of convicts (cleverly called Convict Island).

mf_82_008

What makes this story significant is a very brief scene in which Aquaman takes a man he has rescued to his place of residence (apparently).  A temple, sealed against the water, in the ruins of ancient Atlantis.  Sadly we see almost nothing of the temple, inside or out, or the ruined city.  But it is the first mention of Atlantis in the Aquaman series.

mf_82_009

Adventure 448 – Aquaman vs Karshon

Adv_448

Paul Levitz and Jim Aparo bring the Karshon storyline to a strong conclusion in Adventure 448 (Dec 76), with a surprising revelation about the villain, which has nonetheless been visually hinted at constantly.

Adv_448_001

Black Manta captures Aquaman for Karshon, and gets paid off with a map to the city of the “lost tribes,” which will play a role when Manta returns a few issues down the road.

Aquaman is thrown into a prison with Vulko, and we learn that Karshon has told the people of Atlantis that Vulko died.  Kind of a dumb move keeping him alive after that.  Just begging for trouble.

Adv_448_002

And sure enough, Aqualad, Aquagirl, and their friend Mupo (who has not been seen since the end of Aquaman’s comic, and never appears again), break Vulko out of prison.  Karshon’s lies are revealed to the Atlanteans, and he and Aquaman go head to head.

Adv_448_003

With his deceptions exposed, Karshon drops his human form, and reveals himself to be the Shark, an old foe of Green Lantern.  Never saw that coming as a kid (partly because I had never heard of the Shark).  And though there are no obvious clues to it, Karshon did have a shark emblem on his outfit, and was always seen with one on the animals.  But that largely seemed symbolic of his character, rather than a clue to his identity.  The Shark had last appeared in Action Comics, fighting Superman.

Adv_448_004

Aquaman defeats the Shark in a vicious battle, luring him to nuclear waste, which transforms him back into his animal form.  A bit of a guess on Aquaman’s part that that would succeed.  Nuclear waste transformed the Shark originally into his mutated form, and could just as easily have mutated him further, rather than “curing” him.

In the end, Vulko is placed on the throne, to Aquaman’s approval.

The Shark next appears a couple years down the road, in Adventure Comics once again.

There is also a brief scene with a man apparently claiming that Aqualad is his son, though that is intentionally misleading.  This storyline will continue over the next few months.

Adventure 442 – Aquaman has issues with NATO, and the Vigilante chapter of Seven Soldiers of Victory

Adv_442___Aquaman

Paul Levitz and Jim Aparo craft the Aquaman story in Adventure 442 (Dec 75), pitting him against General Morgan of NATO when terrorists take over a ship of nuclear waste.

Adv_442___Aquaman_002

General Morgan tries to blow up the ship, which would then sink towards Atlantis, potentially wiping out the city.  His reasons are not evil, letting some die to save many more, but Aquaman has no intention of sitting back and letting this happen.  He manages to take out the NATO missile sent at the ship, and then boards it an takes down the terrorists as well.

But this is not an entirely happy ending, as Aquaman is still furious about the situation, and intends to seek out Morgan.

Adv_442___Aquaman_001

A different plot thread also begins in this issue, of the Atlanteans dissatisfaction with Aquaman as their king.  In the late 60s there was a small plot about civil unrest in Atlantis, but this run in Adventure would really play that up.

Adv_442__Vigilante

The Vigilante chapter of the Seven Soldiers of Victory epic is one of the more enjoyable.  Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Mike Royer handle the art, as Vigilante winds up a giant in a land of battling gnomes.

Adv_442___Vigilante

For reasons that are never made clear, beyond “magic,” Vigilante gains the ability to shape shift, and turns himself into a giant insect to terrify the gnomes into submission.  Their war is over the proper phrasing of a sentence, and he brings peace by getting the rival armies to sing it as a round.

Adventure 441 – Aquaman begins, for the third time, and the Star-Spangled Kid chapter of the SSoV

Adv_441__Aquaman

After the success of his back-up series, Aquaman returns to become the lead feature in Adventure 441 (Oct 75).  Paul Levitz and David Michelinie are credited as writers, and Jim Aparo, who did superb work on Aquaman’s own book in the late 60’s, does the art.

Adv_441___Aquaman

Captain Demo makes a mysterious threat, and in response Aquaman turns over the city of Atlantis to the one-armed pirate.  Mera actually gets to do something, instead of just standing around being wifely, but her attack on Demo is thwarted when Aquaman attacks her to defend him.

Vulko gets the just-standing-around role in her place.

Adv_441___Aquaman_001

Aquaman shows his true colours towards the end, using a clam to block the radio signals in Captain Demo’s fake hand, preventing him from destroying Atlantis (his threat, now finally revealed).

An adequate tale, nothing really special, but this run in Adventure would climax with one of the most powerful Aquaman stories ever told.

Adv_441___SSK

The Star=Spangled Kid chapter of the Seven Soldiers of Victory saga has art by Ernie Chan, though it looks nothing like his usual work.  It does, however, highly resemble the art on the Kid’s strip from the 1940s.  Which is to say, horrible.

Adv_441___SSK_001

The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey wind up in a place with talking animals who behave like street toughs (or “dead end kids”, as the title reflects).  The heroes convince the furniture to stand up to the brats, in a scene that feels like it’s straight out of a Disney cartoon.

 

Adventure 333 – The Legion goes to war – against itself

Adv_333

The Legion goes to war with itself in Adventure 333 (June 1965), written by Jerry Siegel, an event so abrupt that it must reveal some long-simmering tension within the team.

Adv_333_001

It all begins innocently enough, with Phantom Girl helping out at an archaeological dig, where a plaque is discovered that refers to a war between Krypton and Earth.  Saturn Girl and Superboy travel back in time to ancient Krypton, along with Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Element Lad, while Brainiac 5 takes Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Star Boy and Chameleon Boy back in time on Earth.

Adv_333_002

Superboy discovers a group of his fellow Kryptonians are leaving the planet to set up a colony on Earth, and his group of Legionnaires accompany them.  Meanwhile, Brainiac 5’s group discovers some alien settlers who are building the city of Atlantis.

Adv_333_003

When the two colonizing parties meet, Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 immediately start a furious argument, which quickly escalates into war.  Just to be clear on this, the war is NOT started by the Kryptonians or Atlanteans, but by the Legionnaires themselves!  Superboy, who ought to be on the Kryptonian side completely, is instead trying to make time with Atlantean Leta Lal, fatally attracted by her initials.

Adv_333_004

The war is, at least, a sort of peaceful one.  Neither side actually wants to kill the other, although the Atlantean weapons do accidentally cause some Kryptonian deaths.

In the end, the environment determines the winner, as the Atlanteans cannot exist with the xenon in Earth’s air.  Brainiac 5 artificially “evolves” them into mer-people, and Star Boy sinks their city below the water.  The Kryptonians fare no better in the long run, being killed off by the giant lizards they brought from their home planet.

Although all seems well with the Legionnaires, and Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5, at the end of the story, his resentment over this may be the cause of his behaviour during the Computo story a few months down the road.

Tag Cloud