The Aquaman Archives

    (DC, 2003)
™ and © DC Comics

It’s hard not to love DC’s Archives series. The $50 investment is minimal compared to the expense the reprinted issues would cost, were one even able to locate them. But that doesn’t mean that every item from the Golden or Silver Age is necessarily a gem. As today, most tales were run-of-the-mill. There’s a reason that Aquaman’s backup tales from Adventure failed to win him a cover spot. They’re mostly unremarkable.

There are a few bright spots: Aquaman’s origin, an Aquagirl prototype, an Aquaboy story, and the introduction of Aqualad, to name a few. The two-part almost-crossover with Green Arrow is also here, but most of the tales are simple Silver Age fluff. Aquaman as police chief of New Venice or proprietor of an undersea hospital are typical of the soft-hitting, inoffensive fare of the day.
Most enjoyable is the art of Ramona Fradon, which graces most of the stories in the volume. With the exception of the Green Arrow half of the crossover and the last story, which inaugurates Nick Cardy’s tenure as artist, this volume is comprised wholly of Fradon’s art, which is appropriately described in the introduction as Sprang-like.

The stories are from a simpler time and many of them are unremarkable filler. The few that are worth owning, however, still make this volume worth the investment.

— Jack Abramowitz

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2 copies available from $57.00
 Collects Aquaman stories from Adventure Comics #260–282, Showcase #30-31Jack MillerRamona Fradon, Lee Elias, Nick Cardy, Howard Purcell