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Cover of Aquaman #53
Aquaman #53 (1962)

Title: Is California Sinking?
Cover Title: Is California Sinking?
Cover Date: October 1970
Indica Date: Sep-Oct 1970 (published Bi-Monthly)

Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Jim Aparo
Lettering: Jim Aparo
Editor: Dick Giordano
Cover: Nick Cardy

Cover Price: $0.15
Page Count:


Eliot Harlanson is convinced by OGRE agents that California is sinking, and the only way to save it is to bomb Atlantis with an atomic bomb. He gets the bomb and sets out for Atlantis. Meanwhile, Black Manta is still holding the city under siege, and Aquaman is losing patience with him. He goes out and defeats him, and learns that Manta was being paid to distract him. Back on land, government agents have a gun battle with OGRE agents. Aquaman spots the sub carrying the bomb, and has a giant squid attack it. Harlanson accidently releases the bomb, which turns out to be a dud. Turns out that Harlanson's main squeeze was a government agent who foiled OGRE's plans.


A fairly silly cover, with Aquaman saving people from the Californian disaster. Considering all the expensive Californian homes that have slid into the ocean in mudslides and other disasters, it seems a little too real in some ways.

The splash page is a laugh. A woman in an office typing away is suddenly washed away by a wave. But she continues typing until the water reaches her typewriter.

Eliot Harlanson. Yup, another Harlan Ellison "tribute". Gotta wonder what the Man himself thinks of being in Aquaman more than once. This instance is not very flattering, as Harlanson is a man more concerned with his expensive house than anything else. It's made clear at the end of the story that he didn't know that Atlantis was inhabited, but still! He was duped a little too easily.

Another half-page mail column, with happy reaction to the Deadman story. Apparently a very popular arc for the book.

At the end of the book, Aqualad asks Aquaman if the rumors about Atlantis rising are true. He wonders how the people of Atlantis will adjust. Aquaman says not to worry, it won't happen until way after the year 2000. He was off by a bit.


Rating: 7

Silver Age silliness at its groaning best.

Review Date: 26 June 1999, By Laura Gjovaag