Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Action Comics #530 (April, 1982)

"The battle is over; the war is won! Aquaman has led the Hexapuses of Vortuma to victory over the 'Land-Masters'!" A "professor" amongst the Hexapus had invented a device to enlist super-heroes to their aid, first Air Wave, and then Aquaman. However, the Avenger of the Seven Seas was still waiting for the teleportation beam that had brought him to the alien world to wear off. He was also aware that one of the octopus-like aliens (walking upright on tentacles) had betrayed the rest to their more humanoid four-armed enemies. As the Professor worked on a means of returning Aquaman home, the Sea King discovered the spy, who had previously followed Air Wave to Earth and Aquaman back home.

In order to teleport back, Aquaman had to expose himself to "high levels of vibration-energy." A suggested source was the vibrus, a pinkish space walrus that fired rays from its tusks. The Sea King agitated the beast with his underwater acrobatics until it zapped him back home.

Green Lantern had tasked Ray Palmer with keeping an eye out for Aquaman's return, and despite his wife's protestations, he obliged. When Aquaman returned, he was pained and unconscious, so Ray dove off his boat to save the Sea King from, um... drowning? Using his Atom powers, Ray brought Aquaman up to his boat, where Arthur eventual recounted his extraterrestrial adventure.

"Home ... Home on the Waves!" was by Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Frank Chiaramonte. The inks on this one were nice, packing in fine line detail where Saviuk would usually be as plain jane as they come. Still, seriously, who wanted to read this? This was during a time period where three heroes took turns as the star of Action Comics's back-up, meaning all the contrivance of a team-up book with none of the variety. That meant Air Wave fought these stupid looking generic aliens in one story, then tagged out with Aquaman for a second, before this entire episode of loose threads and energy walrus. Three months worth of a book. The worst part was of course the shoehorning in of Atom at the end. Too much why, not enough why not.

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