More Fun Comics 82
|More Fun Comics 81 | More Fun Comics | Series | Stories | More Fun Comics 83|
|More Fun Comics #82|
Aquaman Splash Page from More Fun #82 by Louis Cazeneuve
|Title:||Aquaman: King of the Convict Island|
|Cover Date:||Aug 1942|
|Anthology:||Six Stories (Green Arrow Cover), fourth story|
|Other Stories:||"Green Arrow: Robin Hood's Revenge"; "Doctor Fate: Luck for Sale"; "Radio Squad: Puzzle of the Devil Deaths"; "Johnny Quick: Letters in the Sky"; "Spectre: The Truth Hurts"|
|Editor:||Whitney Ellsworth (credited); Mort Weisinger, (actual)|
|Ship Date:||18 Jun 1942|
When the prisoners on Convict Island see the allied fleet defeated in the distance, they overthrow their guards and declare Yascom the giant to be their king.
Seeing the Allied fleet chased off by the Japanese, Yascom and other convicts on a prison island kill their guards. Some of the prisoners refuse to cooperate, and become the slaves of the others. One prisoner, Adams, refuses to take "King" Yascom's orders, and is put before a firing squad. Aquaman rescues him in the nick of time, and learns about the uprising.
Aquaman and Adams return to the convict island and make trouble for the self-styled king and his minions. When an innocent prisoner is about to be lashed for one of Aquaman's deeds, Aquaman jumps in to protect him, and is captured. While Aquaman is set out on a rock to broil in the sun, Adams leads a resistance group against Yascom. Aquaman is freed by his finny friends, and rescues Adams yet again. King Yascom becomes shark food.
After ten strong stories by Paul Norris, a new artist takes over the Aquaman duties with this issue. Louis Cazeneuve isn't a well-known artist from the modern viewpoint, but his work is very distinctive. It's fairly easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys in any story he draws, as the bad guys always look mean.
The art has a problem. Most of the convicts have no hair. They are either bald or have been shaved. The guards and Adams have hair. This is slightly disturbing. Men with hair are good guys... men without hair are bad? This doesn't apply to all facial hair. Leef, one of the first to join Yascom, has a moustache.
Yascom uses gold and other jewelry from the guards he killed to make himself a crown. He also carries his hammer from the smithy as his main weapon. Most people he hits with the hammer die, but Aquaman survives. Without the hammer, Aquaman has no trouble beating Yascom in a hand-to-hand fight.
At the end of the story, Aquaman leaves the prisoners and promises to tell the Allied fleet that the island is still in friendly hands. While all the men on the island are criminals, it seems a little cruel to leave them there. Adams' crime was white-collar: he stole some funds, he says. Seems a little extreme to leave these guys alone in war-torn waters. What if the enemy were to invade?
I'd gotten accustomed to Paul Norris' work, and the first reading of this story made me say "bleah!" However, the art holds up pretty well on a second and third reading. It isn't Norris, but Cazeneuve manages some pretty solid work. His Aquaman is the best drawn character, and most of his good guys are also drawn well. There is something sketchy and blocky about his bad guys, as if they are unfinished blocks of clay. The expressions on his character's faces never change. Yascom is always scowling, Aquaman is always smiling mildly, Leef is always open-mouthed in shock, and so on.
Other notables about this issue: Superman's Secret Message (Code Pluto No 8) ABIUX WCB BPM IFQA EQBP LMNMVAM ABIUXA!, a short text story "Small Town Stuff" by Art Kimball, an amusing ad for Kool-Aid drink mix and bubble gum, a half-page of Gags and a half-page of Clancy the Cop both by Henry Boltinoff, Hen-Pecked Harry by Hal Sherman, a statement of ownership, and a letter to the "Boys and Girls of America" from the Secretary of the Treasury asking them to buy one ten-cent Savings Stamp every week.