Continued from the last two entries where Max took a long car trip and read a lot of the Aquaman Archives Vol. 1, Max gets to the very first stories featuring everyone’s least favorite sidekick: Aqualad! See how different Aqualad was in his first appearances compared to more recent adventures & learn about other Aquaman Silver Age yarns in this entry!
Super-Fly Comics & Games’ plucky sidekick Max Lake has embarked on a journey to read his collection of DC & other comics! Join Max each week every Friday as he takes on his Library! Titles reviewed by this blog do not necessarily reflect what the store has in stock, but you can always email the store to special order something that you’ve seen here at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Super-Fly at (937) 767-1445 or just ask someone at the store next time you’re there for special orders. You can read past entries of the blog here. Any questions or comments for Max should be sent to email@example.com or feel free to comment in the comments section below. Check out @maxdlake to follow Max on Twitter. The things Max writes do not necessarily reflect the views of Super-Fly Comics & Games, and Super-Fly Comics & Games is not responsible for what Max says—especially anything that bugs you.
NOTE: Continued from last two entries (read the first one here or the second one here), Max spent an hour long car ride with The Aquaman Archives Vol. 1 and read and wrote a bunch. Here’s some more of it:
The next story is called “Kid from Atlantis” and you guessed it, it’s the first appearance of Aquaman’s sidekick, Aqualad. Of course, he doesn’t have a name of his own…until the Aqualad moniker comes along in the story’s final caption. I really like the way Fradon designed Aqualad, he looks more like a young boy than later incarnations, looking a lot like Leave it to Beaver’s Jerry Mathers than the curly haired Garth that became the character’s standard look. The funniest thing about the story is that when the “Kid from Atlantis” shows up in one of the glass lifeboats Lisa Morel AKA Aquagirl was found in, he’s totally scared of fish. He has purple eyes also like Aquagirl, but was exiled from Atlantis because of his fish phobia—not his inability to breathe water. Yeah, the people of Atlantis are pretty much dicks.
Aquaman tricks Aqualad into interacting with fish, disguising fish as toys for Aqualad to play with and such, revealing that the toys are fish after Aqualad has fun with them, all in an attempt to get Aqualad to be able to return to Atlantis. When he feels the boy is ready, he sends him home, but Aqualad plays a trick and decides to stay with Aquaman. Aquaman so overjoyed to see the boy again, accepts him into his life, and their partnership is forged!
“Menace of Aqualad” is the next tale and it starts out with Aquaman saving an old lady who happens to be a fortune teller, and she tells him someone he just met will inherit his role of King of the Sea. Aquaman doesn’t believe her, and goes on patrol with Aqualad. It’s close to Aquaman’s birthday, and some naval officers bake him a cake, which Aquaman eats with Aqualad on the back of a whale. Later during a rescue, Aqualad gets cracked over the head by a ship’s figurehead, a carving of King Neptune. After that, he begins acting suspiciously.
Over the next few days, Aqualad does sinister seeming things all throughout, such as taking a spear gun and other seemingly dangerous objects and won’t tell Aquaman what he’s done with them. When Aqualad starts weaving a net out of seaweed, Aquaman finally succumbs to the gypsy’s fortune telling and starts to believe Aqualad is plotting to kill him. It turns out Aqualad was only making a home as a surprise for Aquaman, with seaweed net hammocks and the spear gun serving as a souvenir. Whoops! “Sorry I thought you were trying to kill me Aqualad!” Aquaman surely must have been planning to say, but doesn’t in the story. Aquaman is pretty ashamed of himself though.
The next story has a character called Captain Noah with an ark called “The Second Deluge.” It’s worth mentioning that this is the first story with Aquaman’s green gloves. Bye-bye housewife rubber yellow gloves! (Not that they looked that bad…) It’s been green gloves ever since! Well, except for the times Aquaman didn’t wear gloves, like when he lost his hand and had that pirate hook going on, but that’s much later in his career…Anywho, Aquaman and Aqualad stumble across a modern day Noah’s ark, with a man called Captain Noah who has an ark and warns that the earth will suffer a second deluge. Aquaman tells Aqualad to ignore Captain Noah because he is a crackpot.
However, storms occur at an alarming rate, and the Aquaduo must save many ships from the crazy storms. Aquaman seems all chummy with Captain Noah, offering up a male and female octopus for his collection. Little does Aquaman know, Captain Noah is behind the storms and is looking for undersea gold, and is able to cause the storms and unearth submerged gold with some crazy device onboard his ship. Meanwhile, he’s fronting as a modern day Biblical character as not to arouse suspicion? Yes, yes he is. Of course, the octopi Aquaman lent Captain Noah are spies, and Aquaman reels in this wacky would be Weather Wizard.
“The Human Flying Fish” actually kind of interesting as it had a halfway actual super villain in it. Mad scientist decides to turn man into a human flying fish. The guy in question finds the idea thrilling. The Human Flying Fish’s costume is pretty lame with its yellow purple scheme, but kind of quirky, so I imagined what an action figure of him would look like. Not seriously though, as the only way to get a Human Flying Fish action figure would be to pay through the nose to get someone to make a custom one—and the character is pretty much a Mort, i.e. lame character, not making the idea worth more than a moment of imagination.
Human Flying Fish turns out to be a thorn in Aquaman’s side in this story, as he is able to swim and fly away from Aquaman. However, with the help of fishy friends, Aquaman is able to overcome. No mention of the ramifications of the radical surgery done on Human Flying Fish to make him Human Flying Fish by adding gills and such, but hey, I’m sure this character was pretty much forgotten after this tale anyway!