Hey, I liked this issue so much I wrote a letter of comment about it.
My letter appeared in Adventure Comics # 444 (as discussed in "Dear Superguys," my memoir of life as a teenaged letterhack), but let's just have a look at this issue for now. We have Aquaman's second appearance as the new star of Adventure Comics, retaining artist Jim Aparo (still my all-time favorite Aquaman artist) and writer Paul Levitz from the previous issue. The 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army was fresh in the minds of comics scripters, hence the appearance of this issue's New Order Terrorist Group. In the back-up strip, former Adventure Comics player The Vigilante stars in the penultimate chapter of the Seven Soldiers Of Victory serial, this time illustrated by future superstar artist Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (inked by Mike Royer, one of the legendary Jack Kirby's best embellishers).
For our 100-Page FAKE! edition, we've added a 1969 Batman and Aquaman crossover from The Brave And The Bold, illustrated by Neal Adams. Adams' brief run on B & B was the first to establish the image of The Dark Knight in the wake of the campy Batman TV series, and his moody twilight depiction of Batman--soon to be THE Batman--remains majestic to behold. Writer Bob Haney ain't no slouch here, either.
(While dragging pages from that issue of B & B into today's post, I noticed the issue also contained a text piece about The Vigilante. Coincidence? Yes! But here it is anyway.)
I decided I wanted to include the 1968 debut appearance of Western (anti-) hero Bat Lash, not even really thinking about how appropriate it was for period cowboy Bat Lash to lead into contemporary cowboy The Vigilante--serendipity! Bat Lash was created and written by Sergio Aragones, and illustrated by Nick Cardy, one of my all-time favorite comics artists (and quite possibly my all-time # 1). I am aware of the seeming contradiction in saying that Cardy's my favorite artist, but that Aparo is my favorite Aquaman artist, given that Cardy drew the Sea King for many years, too. I am large. I contain multitudes. A Golden Age Kid Eternity story rounds out our reprint selections.
Aquaman in "H Is For Holocaust," Adventure Comics # 442 (November-December 1975)
Batman and Aquaman in "The Sleepwalker From The Sea!," The Brave And The Bold # 82 (February-March 1969)
Kid Eternity (untitled), Kid Eternity # 4 (Winter 1947)
"Bat Lash," Showcase # 76 (August 1968)
The Vigilante in "Gnome Man's Land," Adventure Comics # 442 (November-December 1975)
All characters copyright DC Comics Inc. The Kid Eternity story is now public domain; the rest can only be depicted here in sample pages. My subscribers get the whole thing. We'll be back soon to wrap up the Adventure Comics career of The Seven Soldiers Of Victory. But first: AQUAMAN!
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