Adventure Comics #443
Title: The Dolphin Connection
Cover Title: Watch out for The Fisherman
Cover Date: January-February 1976
Anthology: 2 stories
Other Stories: "Seven Soldiers of Victory: Confrontation"
Writer: Paul Levitz
Art: Jim Aparo
Editor: Joe Orlando
Cover: Jim Aparo
Cover Price: $0.25
Page Count: 12 pages
On his way to give General Horgan a piece of his mind, Aquaman spots an Interpol gunship firing at a dolphin. He stops them, only to learn that the dolphin is being used to smuggle heroin into France. To make up for his mistake, he goes undercover to find out who is behind the smuggling. He follows henchmen to their hideout, and is captured by The Fisherman. He escapes the death trap with the help of his finny friends, and captures the bad guys. After the fight, he doesn't feel the need to berate Horgan anymore, so he heads home.
Great cover of Aquaman surfing next to a dolphin, while being captured by the Fisherman from behind.
The art is wonderful all the way through the story. The fact that the story it is illustrating is halfway decent helps a lot.
Aquaman assumes that the Interpol gunship is trying to kill the dolphin. They are actually trying to tranquilize it so they could get a clue about the drug smugglers. Aquaman is suitably abashed.
Aquaman finds henchmen in the smuggling operation by asking pointed questions in bars about it. They wallop him on the head and dump him into the water, and he follows their boat out. Seems like a really good plan on Aquaman's part (he points out that the wallop wasn't very effective because his body is used to the pressures of the ocean). One problem, what if they'd figured out he was Aquaman?
The Fisherman hasn't been seen since Aquaman #24 or so. Real time, it's been over ten years since they last met! The Fisherman uses steel cable (on a fishing rod) to trap Aquaman, then he gasses him, then he puts him in a vacuum chamber... and Aquaman still lives.
The plot moves along in this issue, as a vote is held by the council of Atlantis to throw Aquaman out as King and install a new ruler. Aquaman doesn't know about this as he's headed home. An underlying problem with the people of Atlantis has been how fickle they are. Real populations are fickle, but I don't recall any historical examples of a people quite as nutty as those Atlanteans.
The letter column is all about Adventure Comics #441, Aquaman's takeover. The responses are mostly positive. One writer wants to know why Mera wasn't told of the bombs ("there was no opportunity for Aquaman to inform Mera without Demo noticing"), another writer complained of washed out color.
Neat Ads: There is an ad for the Six Million Dollar Man action figure. I had one of those. With the neat Bionic Transport and Repair Station. Man, that was one cool doll. There's also a Hostess ad featuring Batman (yawn).