Aquaman News

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 165

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #242 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #242 (November 1957) - The Amazing Feats of Aqua-Melvin

A blood transfusion gives vaudeville clown Melvin Aquaman's powers, making him Aqua-Melvin!

Aqua-Exclamations: "Diving Dolphins!"

Glove Color: Green.

Regular Supporting Cast: Topo.

Captured/Knocked Out report: While Aquaman isn't captured or knocked out, he is constrained in what he can do by a looming threat.

Quotefile: Doctor, "The effect should wear off in 24 hours, Aquaman -- but you'd better watch him! Melvin is a vaudeville clown -- and quite a jokester!"

Finny Friends Report: On the splash, Aquaman rides Topo while Aqua-Melvin rides a swordfish. Aqua-Melvin gets two eels to make him look like an odd sea-creature. Aquaman and Melvin ride dolphins. Melvin moves to a whale to "rescue" an actor who really doesn't need rescuing. Melvin has a squid draw a caricature of the governor on an iceberg. Aquaman cleans it up with sea sponges while Melvin gets a whale to move the iceberg out of the sea lanes. Melvin spots a boatload of pretty girls and tries to impress them by riding a chain of flying fish into the air. Aquaman repairs the lighthouse on a living ladder of swordfish. Aquaman rides a swordfish. A lantern fish turns out to have helped Aquaman's plot along.

The second of the two clown stories this year. Aqua-Melvin is much more annoying than Wackyman, who at least had some skill. But Aquaman takes advantage of Melvin's timely acquisition of powers to get out from under a dangerous situation.

Paging Polite Scott! Here's one of those blood transfusion stories, which suggests that Aquaman's power is entirely in his blood. Uh, right. Melvin's injury is never described... the doctor says, "my friend was knocked unconscious and needs a blood transfusion at once!" No explanation is given as to why Aquaman must be the donor and not the doctor himself. For that matter, Melvin recovers very quickly after the transfusion, and his clothes are clean... he wasn't bleeding before. Melvin, who "can't swim a stroke", can suddenly swim perfectly and even communicate with sea life. Wow, Aquaman's blood is COOL!

In some ways, this story slightly echoes the recent Sub-Diego story, in which Aquaman's DNA is used to give his ability to survive underwater to normal people. Or am I just reaching on this one?

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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