Adventure Comics #445
Title: Toxxin's Raiders
Cover Title: Defeated -- By The One Sea Creture He Couldn't Control!
Cover Date: May-June 1976
Anthology: 2 Stories
Other Stories: The Creeper: Deadly Medicine
Writer: Paul Levitz
Art: Jim Aparo
Editor: Joe Orlando
Cover: Jim Aparo
Cover Price: $0.30
Page Count: 11 pages
Aquaman and Mera, now exiled from Atlantis, go to the Aquacave for shelter. They are attacked there by the local natives who live in constant fear of the Krakor, a many-tenticled plant creature that also protects their village from outside dangers. Aquaman is told that he must fight the Krakor and die, killing it in the process. He defeats it, but doesn't die, and he and Mera return to the Aquacave.
The cover shows Aquaman being strangled by the Krakor, with the Aquacave in the background. It's a very dynamic cover, Aquaman's struggles practically jump out of the page.
Aquaman and his family were exiled from Atlantis by Karshon in the last issue of Adventure comics. This is the first Silver Age appearance of the Aquacave. The second page of the story has a diagram of the Aquacave.
Aquababy is left in the Aquacave when Mera and Aquaman are captured, and the cliff-hanger of this story has Aquababy being threatened by a tentacle.
The art throughout the story is consistent and wonderful, except for some odd perspectives that sometimes don't work as well as they could. Despite that, the storytelling is strong throughout.
Why doesn't Mera use her hard water powers against the Krakor? She uses the powers earlier to rescue Aquababy from possible harm, but after that she seems to forget about them again. It would be nice is the writer had provided a reason for Mera to not use them (like "she was still groggy from the drug" or something).
Part of this story is a morality tale about how the Krakor was protecting the village, but the people in the village wanted nothing less than its complete destruction. Don't kill the hand that guards you, or something along those lines. The implied fate of the villagers is not nice, as the Krakor was using them as bait for the predators of the sea, which it fed on. It apparently didn't eat villagers, they were just scared of it for no good reason. Another lesson.
The letter column is about Adventure #443. It also mentions a reprint of a Lois Lane story in the Superman Family comic. The circulation data is in this issue, and it puts current circulation figures to shame.
A short satisfying little tale.