Classic Comic Cover Corner – Aquaman #28

Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Aquaman #28 – August, 1966

Cover art by Nick Cardy

Aquaman #28 – August, 1966
Aquaman #28 – August, 1966

Two of the biggest events in pop culture news this past week were the release of the awesome-cool new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the announcement that Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones) will be playing Aquaman in the highly anticipated Man of Steel sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Could these seemingly unrelated news items spark the “dawn” of a cross-genre themed Classic Comic Cover Corner? Why yes, yes they could.

One of Aquaman’s strangest adventures involved not only a biologically enhanced water-breathing ape, but an underwater breathing eagle as well. It all happened in the Bob Haney penned story, “Hail Aquababy, New King of Atlantis,” in Aquaman #28 from 1966.

Aquaman #28 – August, 1966
Boduhr, Krakka and Dr. Starbuck

The conniving scientist, Dr. Starbuck, develops a way for himself and his gorilla, Boduhr, and his eagle, Krakka, to breathe underwater. He then tricks the King of Atlantis into making him and his animal henchmen honorary Atlanteans.

While Aquaman is away on superhero business, he leaves Aquababy in charge of Atlantis and makes Starbuck the undersea kingdom’s temporary governor. The evil doctor immediately uses his power to attack the surface world and Aquaman must go up against both Boduhr and Krakka in order to regain control of his throne.

This story definitely brings Aquaman’s judgment into question. First, you shouldn’t trust men (or beasts) just because they can breathe underwater; and then you’ve got to know that no good will come from making your infant the ruler of your kingdom. On the plus side, you’ve gotta love the header on this book, “Dig the new King of Atlantis!” Yes, I most certainly do “dig it.”

And speaking of poor judgment … Jason Momoa as Aquaman? Momoa would be perfectly cast as Marvel’s Namor, the Sub-Mariner…but Aquaman? I’m seriously thinking that this casting decision may have been more about keeping the former Conan star away from Marvel Studios than making an intelligent decision about the Dawn of Justice picture.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman?
Jason Momoa as Namor or Aquaman?

While I’m fascinated watching the Batman v Superman movie come together, I also have serious doubts that they are ever going to pull this off in any kind of logical or non-franchise-killing manner. A successful superhero epic is about story and character development, not how many iconic characters you can jam into one movie. Do the people over at Warner Bros. have “the bends,” or have they put a baby in charge? Join the discussion; let us know what you think about Jason Momoa as Aquaman!

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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