Adventure Comics #441
Title: The Pirate Who Plundered Atlantis
Cover Title: The Pirate Who Plundered Atlantis!
Cover Date: September-October 1975
Anthology: 2 Stories
Other Stories: "The Star-Spangled Kid: Dead End Animals"
Writer: Paul Levitz, additional dialogue by David Michelinie
Art: Jim Aparo
Editor: Joe Orlando
Cover: Jim Aparo
Cover Price: $0.25
Page Count: 11 pages
Atlantis is attacked by a pirate wearing an air mask and "traditional" pirate clothing. Aquaman easily defeats him, but he is only a messenger from Captain Demo, who tells Aquaman to surrender the city so Demo can make it a haven for all the criminals of the surface world. Aquaman doesn't even hesitate, and rushes out to attack the invader while calling for his friends.
After a short fight, Aquaman is apparently defeated, and turns the city over to Demo, who demands tribute from the confused and angry citizens. Mera takes it upon herself to stop Demo, and is taken out by Aquaman, who knocks her unconscious while Demo laughs.
Aquaman then presents Demo with his tribute, a clam, that snaps shut on Demo's hook. At that, Demo tries to activate his bombs hidden around the city, but Aquaman also put a jamming device in the clam. After a short fight, Demo is driven out of the city.
The cover is a classic, even if the events portrayed don't happen that way in the story. Mera is gorgeous, as is the angry Aquaman. It's nice to see Aquaman on the cover of Adventure comics. I think this is the first time he is the primary subject of the cover, despite his many, many stories in the book. This is Aquaman's first solo story since Adventure Comics #437, and it marks the beginning of another long run in Adventure that culminates in his son's death.
The splash page gives the entire story away by letting us know that Demo has something up his sleeve... er... hook.
Aquaman is interrupted by pirates as he talks with ambassadors and the representative from the guild of plankton farmers. Vulko is apparently serving in some administrative capacity, as he's next to the throne and talks with the supplicants.
Demo apparently defeats Aquaman with his hook. As it turns out, the hook contains the triggering device for bombs that Demo has hidden around the city.
The citizens of Atlantis, as always, quickly turn on Aquaman and give him no chance to explain. While that's nothing new, Aquaman apparently doesn't take the time to explain the situation to Mera. Vulko is extremely reasonable in this story, and figures Aquaman has a good reason to not fight.
Something really bothers me about Aquaman striking Mera. I'll let you figure it out.
Fun ads in this issue, including a Captain Marvel Hostess Ad. The letter column claims that sales were dropping fast with Spectre as the lead, which is why they put Aquaman in. The backup story is actually part five of a Seven Soldiers of Victory tale.
Very silly, but it has great art.