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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Four-Colour Banter

Adventure Comics #446 is one of the oldest issues in my collection. Dated July-August 1976, I probably purchased it at the Leaf Rapids drug store a few months earlier, comic book cover dates always shifted somewhat into the future. Sadly, my copy's cover was ripped off many years ago.

In this scene, Aqualad, going undercover on a cruise ship to capture some diamond smugglers, is captured by a thug. As a six-or-seven year old I thought Aqualad's cool witticism was hilarious, but these days I find the goon's reply even funnier - perhaps because his dialogue's cadence matches Aqualad's quite nicely. Gun in the ear, bullet in the brain; there's a pleasing rhythm to it, and I think the thug deserves credit. And I love his sneer.
A few pages later Aquaman arrives to save his sidekick, tossing in a pop-culture reference that's already seeming dated, just a few years after Cousteau's death. One wonders how Cousteau's work may have differed in the DC universe, seeing as he would have had to contend with Aquaman, his underwater nation of Atlantis, the reality of telepathic contact between Atlantean humans and undersea creatures, super-villains like Black Manta (above), the Fisherman, King Shark, etc. One presumes Cousteau and Aquaman would have inevitably met at some point, but alas, it either never happened or I never stumbled across that particular story.

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