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  1. #16
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Garland View Post
    The Silver Age Origin was the first to have Arthur be a half-Atlantean and that came as late as 1959, in Adventure #260. Intersestingly, the island origin for Green Arrow was also first established around that time- the two do share an oddly similar history.

    Golden Age Aquaman was "the son of a famous oceanographer" (probably supposed to be Jacques Cousteau?) who had discovered the ruins of what he presumed to be Atlantis.
    I have no idea if this was ever intended by any writer or not, but I always kind of figured the famous oceanographer was someone like Captain Nemo. Maybe I just had Jules Verne on my mind that day though!

    What are the similarities between the Silver Age Aquaman and Green Arrow origins? I'm curious!
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I have no idea if this was ever intended by any writer or not, but I always kind of figured the famous oceanographer was someone like Captain Nemo. Maybe I just had Jules Verne on my mind that day though!

    What are the similarities between the Silver Age Aquaman and Green Arrow origins? I'm curious!
    Not similarities in their origins per se...it's more a question of the timing of when they were retconned.

    Both characters started in 1941 with one origin story. Both their origins were retconned into the more iconic versions that we're all familiar with around 1959. Despite the change in origin though, the characters mostly stayed unchanged till the 70's, when they were revamped with a more serious tone (though in Aquaman's case the more radical revamp happened in the 90's). I guess on a more superficial level, they both were blond clean-shaven characters who later famously gained beards!

  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Namor first appeared in 1939 and may have been created in late 1938; Aquaman first appeared in November 1941.

    Yup. Namor first showed up in this comic before marvel comics issue 1.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    when they were revamped with a more serious tone
    And then superfriends came along.
    Last edited by Gaastra; 01-12-2022 at 05:52 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I guess on a more superficial level, they both were blond clean-shaven characters who later famously gained beards!
    It's interesting that all three super-heroes Mort Weisinger co-created for MORE FUN COMICS were blond jocks--Green Arrow, Aquaman and Johnny Quick--so unlike Mort himself.

    I suggest that there's a 1940s Aquaman, a 1950s Aquaman and a 1960s Aquaman--which are all different. The stories in MORE FUN COMICS and then ADVENTURE COMICS only ran about 6 pages in length, so that never left a lot of room for character development or plot. And keeping it simple and not overloading the feature with too much back story suited that length. He was just a good guy in the water.

    With Ramona Fradon becoming the regular artist in 1951, the change in the Sea King is visual at first. As she becomes more comfortable in her distinctive style, Aquaman emerges as a bright, sunny character and not the dour mysteryman of the sea that he used to be. He looks like a fun fellow and that gives his adventures a greater sense of fun. While Topo, the new secret origin and Aqualad all will come later, I'd argue that this change in the art produces a new iteration of the character.

    Yet the stories are still just six pages, limiting what can be done within the feature. Starting in 1960, Aquaman gets the chance to stretch. He's now a member of the Justice League which brings him more exposure. He wins a try-out in SHOWCASE, with a lot more pages and a new artist in Nick Cardy. Fradon still remains an additional artist for a time, continuing on his back-up feature, now in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS. The main writer, Jack Miller, is not new--he already was writing the King of the Seven Seas in the 1950s. But once Arthur Curry has his own title and he has Cardy as his artist in that comic, there's a lot more back story and supporting characters (besides Topo and Aqualad) that are added.

    It would be easy to dismiss the 1950s Aquaman as just a transitional phase between the simple undersea mysteryman of the 1940s and the complicated King of Atlantis in the 1960s; however, there's a special quality to Fradon's Fishy Friend that pleases me.
    Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro.
    This bold renegade carves a "Zee" with his blade, a "Zee" that stands for Zorro.


  5. #20
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Not similarities in their origins per se...it's more a question of the timing of when they were retconned.

    Both characters started in 1941 with one origin story. Both their origins were retconned into the more iconic versions that we're all familiar with around 1959. Despite the change in origin though, the characters mostly stayed unchanged till the 70's, when they were revamped with a more serious tone (though in Aquaman's case the more radical revamp happened in the 90's). I guess on a more superficial level, they both were blond clean-shaven characters who later famously gained beards!
    Wild, I had no idea that Golden Age Green Arrow had a different origin in the Golden Age, unlike Aquaman which I guess is slightly more well known (or maybe I just happened to know that one?)

    I looked it up and had a hard time finding what issue it was in. The issue cited on the DC wiki is More Fun Comics # 89.

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Wiki
    As recounted in More Fun Comics #89 The Birth of the Battling Bowmen unlike most of the later origins of the Green Arrow, the original Golden Age origin of Oliver Queen was written as being interested and focused on Native Americans as the source of his heroic inspiration and archery usage. The warrior Indian was noted to be the basis of his original archery and climbing training which took place on a western USA cowboy mesa. Roy Harper, in both the Golden Age and later incarnations, maintained Harper's original focus on being of Native American background and influence, though with far fewer stereotypes like Harper's original Native American man-servant Quoag.
    But unfortunately this issue isn't available on DCUI.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    Wild, I had no idea that Golden Age Green Arrow had a different origin in the Golden Age, unlike Aquaman which I guess is slightly more well known (or maybe I just happened to know that one?)

    I looked it up and had a hard time finding what issue it was in. The issue cited on the DC wiki is More Fun Comics # 89.



    But unfortunately this issue isn't available on DCUI.
    I have scans of MORE FUN COMICS--but just issues 88 to 107. A fellow fan gave them to me decades ago. Unfortunately, some of these were scanned from fiche--not from the original comics--so the quality is not the best. Which is the case with issue 89--although the aforementioned fan must have done some clean-up so they aren't as bad as scans of fiche often tend to be.

    The big difference is that Oliver and Roy become the Brave Bowmen at the same time in one origin story. And Roy is already Oliver's ward. But Harper was still trained by a Native American (not the same one), before Queen took him in. It's like if Bruce had adopted the orphaned Dick Grayson first and then the both of them decided to become the Dynamic Duo and take on their costumed identities.

    I would argue, just like with Aquaman, that the Ollver who goes through the Herron/Kirby origin and the Roy that has the Bernstein/Elias back story have already been those characters for many years--and the origins are just retroactively applied to them. They didn't suddenly change into new characters just because those origin stories were published. So much time had passed that nobody remembered the original origin story (well, Weisinger probably did have some memory of it) and the new origins fit the characters they had become over the years.
    Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro.
    This bold renegade carves a "Zee" with his blade, a "Zee" that stands for Zorro.


  7. #22
    Mighty Member Goldrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    It's interesting that all three super-heroes Mort Weisinger co-created for MORE FUN COMICS were blond jocks--Green Arrow, Aquaman and Johnny Quick--so unlike Mort himself.

    I suggest that there's a 1940s Aquaman, a 1950s Aquaman and a 1960s Aquaman--which are all different. The stories in MORE FUN COMICS and then ADVENTURE COMICS only ran about 6 pages in length, so that never left a lot of room for character development or plot. And keeping it simple and not overloading the feature with too much back story suited that length. He was just a good guy in the water.

    With Ramona Fradon becoming the regular artist in 1951, the change in the Sea King is visual at first. As she becomes more comfortable in her distinctive style, Aquaman emerges as a bright, sunny character and not the dour mysteryman of the sea that he used to be. He looks like a fun fellow and that gives his adventures a greater sense of fun. While Topo, the new secret origin and Aqualad all will come later, I'd argue that this change in the art produces a new iteration of the character.

    Yet the stories are still just six pages, limiting what can be done within the feature. Starting in 1960, Aquaman gets the chance to stretch. He's now a member of the Justice League which brings him more exposure. He wins a try-out in SHOWCASE, with a lot more pages and a new artist in Nick Cardy. Fradon still remains an additional artist for a time, continuing on his back-up feature, now in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS. The main writer, Jack Miller, is not new--he already was writing the King of the Seven Seas in the 1950s. But once Arthur Curry has his own title and he has Cardy as his artist in that comic, there's a lot more back story and supporting characters (besides Topo and Aqualad) that are added.

    It would be easy to dismiss the 1950s Aquaman as just a transitional phase between the simple undersea mysteryman of the 1940s and the complicated King of Atlantis in the 1960s; however, there's a special quality to Fradon's Fishy Friend that pleases me.
    Miller and Cardy also created the most important character after Aquaman, Mera.

  8. #23
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldrake View Post
    Miller and Cardy also created the most important character after Aquaman, Mera.
    *cries for Topo the Octopus*
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  9. #24
    Mighty Member Goldrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    *cries for Topo the Octopus*
    both aqualad and topo are nowhere to be seen in Aquaman for decades now

  10. #25
    Mighty Member Jody Garland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Not similarities in their origins per se...it's more a question of the timing of when they were retconned.
    Yup. There's a bunch of other stuff too. Aquaman and Arrow were two of the only characters that survived the Golden Age and drifted through the Atomic Age before being revamped in the Silver Age, both are Weisinger characters, both started in New Fun Comics before graduating to Adventure and both are probably ripoffs (at least, in my opinion).

    All three of Weisinger's heroes seem to be ripoffs, frankly. Aquaman of Namor, the GA of Batman and Edgar Wallace's Green Archer and Johnny Quick of the Flash. I don't think there's anything wrong with that- success breeds imitation- but it's funny nonetheless.

  11. #26
    Mighty Member Goldrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Garland View Post
    Yup. There's a bunch of other stuff too. Aquaman and Arrow were two of the only characters that survived the Golden Age and drifted through the Atomic Age before being revamped in the Silver Age, both are Weisinger characters, both started in New Fun Comics before graduating to Adventure and both are probably ripoffs (at least, in my opinion).

    All three of Weisinger's heroes seem to be ripoffs, frankly. Aquaman of Namor, the GA of Batman and Edgar Wallace's Green Archer and Johnny Quick of the Flash. I don't think there's anything wrong with that- success breeds imitation- but it's funny nonetheless.
    well Aquaman has proven to be more successful and popular than Namor, who, with exception of comic readers is practically unknown. So probably the original was not that attractive!!
    Last edited by Goldrake; 01-12-2022 at 03:46 PM.

  12. #27
    Extraordinary Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Superfriends made aquaman more known plus aquaman didn't get stuck in a nasty rights mess with universal for decades. Namer did.

    But yes aquaman is more known today by non comic fans.
    Last edited by Gaastra; 01-13-2022 at 11:05 AM.

  13. #28
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    Rip-off seems a touch harsh. And it doesn't really add up when I look at all the facts. Timely wasn't a big competitor in 1941--averaging three titles in a month, while National averaged ten. And National had some of the biggest selling characters. Even Fawcett was averaging only about four titles a month--but they had Captain Marvel who was beating Superman at the newsstands in some months. Other competition that would have rated ahead of Timely were Dell, Quality Comics and M.L.J. But I do think Mort had competition on his mind--just much closer to home.

    It's not like there's anything so new about Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick--a guy who swims, a guy who shoots arrows and a guy who runs fast. There's loads of stories going back thousands of years about people like that. And I think this was part of a trend that began maybe with the Flash or Hawkman--instead of trying to copy Superman with many powers--they were specialists with just one power. Maybe Mort knew about Sub-Mariner--but he would have seen a swimming hero as something that was on the table for anyone to use. And it's likely the Battle of the Atlantic made such a character relevant at the time. Capt. Marvel, Jr., was created at the same time with a Battle of the Atlantic origin story--and a year later Kid Eternity suffered similar circumstances as Freddy in his origin.

    I doubt that Mort aspired to be the next Jerry Siegel, Bob Kane or Bill Everett. He was an editor by nature--creating characters was just a chore toward that end. He was new at National and he wanted to please his bosses. Whitney Ellsworth was the senior editor and Weisinger was a junior along with Jack Schiff. Meanwhile, National had made a deal with All-American so they distributed their comics and carried their ads--with Jack Liebowitz having an interest in both publishers. Mort being Mort was probably feeling threatened by those guys over there who were putting out their own comics line and having some success with the specialists.

    It might be a stretch, but I think that Weisinger could have taken inspiration from All-American's Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman--their three big super-heroes (Wonder Woman was introduced at the same time as Green Arrow and Aquaman, so he couldn't have known that she would become All-American's biggest star). Johnny Quick is not much different from the Flash, Green Lantern and Green Arrow have similar names and Aquaman is like an opposite to Hawkman.

    I think these three characters were intended as substitutes--should All-American ever quit its deal with National--so the bosses would still own equivalent characters. Look what happens when Max Gaines sells his share of All-American to National--they soon lose interest in those super-heroes--with the exception of Wonder Woman. I wonder if they had had a female star that could take Wonder Woman's place, would they have lost interest in her, as well?

    But I don't know if Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick happening to survive after the death of most super-heroes is something that Mort Weisinger could have arranged. And I don't think he was that attached to them just because he co-created them. As an editor, he was working for the company, so he didn't stand to make any royalties off of those creations. And he was serving in the war for some of that time, while Whitney Ellsworth and Jack Schiff were in control of the characters. Given those three super-heroes went from MORE FUN COMICS to ADVENTURE COMICS and happened to survive in that comic because Superboy was the lead character and happened to survive when other super-heroes lost their homes and happened to survive when pages were cut from the anthologies leaving fewer features--it's all too many dominoes that need to perfectly fall.

    Mort's greatest interest was in Superman because that was the publisher's number one character and the biggest money maker. That was the horse he was backing, in hopes of riding to the top of the editorial food chain (which he did). He invested more creative interest in Lori Lemaris and her people of Atlantis, as an extension of the Superman family. It's odd that there were these two different undersea concepts both appearing in comics edited by Weisinger, yet he made no effort to sort out how they could both exist (that was left for other editors and writers). Mort was content to leave the Sea King in the backwaters of ADVENTURE--it was other editors who took on Arthur Curry and made him a first banana super-hero.
    Last edited by Jim Kelly; 01-13-2022 at 03:20 PM.
    Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro.
    This bold renegade carves a "Zee" with his blade, a "Zee" that stands for Zorro.


  14. #29

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    I always thought he looked cool with the yellow gloves and the yellow fins.

  15. #30
    Mighty Member Jody Garland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post

    But I don't know if Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick happening to survive after the death of most super-heroes is something that Mort Weisinger could have arranged. And I don't think he was that attached to them just because he co-created them. As an editor, he was working for the company, so he didn't stand to make any royalties off of those creations. And he was serving in the war for some of that time, while Whitney Ellsworth and Jack Schiff were in control of the characters. Given those three super-heroes went from MORE FUN COMICS to ADVENTURE COMICS and happened to survive in that comic because Superboy was the lead character and happened to survive when other super-heroes lost their homes and happened to survive when pages were cut from the anthologies leaving fewer features--it's all too many dominoes that need to perfectly fall.
    Oh yeah, I doubt anyone but readers had that power. I think the hidden link between the non-trinity features that survived into the '50 (GA, Aquaman, Shining Knight, Robotman and Vigilante) is they had a degree of non-superhero in them that helped them survive the post-war downturn.

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