AQUAMAN WEEK continues here at Once Upon a Geek…
Today we’re spotlighting some of my favorite Aquaman covers through the years. As I mentioned on Monday, I didn’t start collecting Aquaman fanatically until 1990. However, I’ve gone back and picked up just about every major appearance of the character since the early 1960s. Here are a few of my favorite covers from all the various Aquaman series and appearances.
This Alan Davis drawing was used as the cover to Aquaman #17 (2004). What an amazing piece! The perspective is really striking and it truly demonstrates Aquaman’s super-strength. One of my all-time favorites.
Here is Aquaman’s first appearance from More Fun Comics #73 (1941). He didn’t get the cover since he was only a back-up feature. Sorry for the size, it was the best image I could find of this page. Notice that Aquaman’s gloves are yellow. They were yellow through pretty much the entire Golden Age and changed to green in the Silver Age.
If you want to see more of the splash pages from the Golden Age Aquaman stories (or any Aquaman comic book cover), check out the fantastic Aquaman Cover Gallery. What a great site!
Don’t piss off Golden Age Aquaman… he’ll throw a polar bear at your ass. Seriously. Here is the splash page from More Fun Comics #85 (1942).
Here is Aquaman’s first solo appearance from Showcase #30 (1961).
Shortly after his try-out in Showcase, Aquaman graduated to his own comic. Here is the cover to Aquaman #1 (1962). Look out tadpole!
Not a special issue, but simply a cover that I like - Aquaman #9 (1963). I think the sea horse and waves look cool.
The wedding of Aquaman and Mera in Aquaman #18 (1964).
One of my favorite covers from the original Aquaman series - Aquaman #42 (1968). Very creative layout and lighting from the brilliant Nick Cardy!
I love this Nick Cardy cover - Aquaman #56 (1971)! It’s so ridiculous that it’s awe-to-the-sum! This was actually the first Aquaman back-issue I purchased. It also happens to be the last issue from the original series.
Adventure Comics #452 (1977). This is the issue where Black Manta murders Aquaman’s infant son.
I like the dual peril on this cover by the great Rick Buckler. Nice way to show the dilemma. Adventure Comics #478 (1980).
I’m a real sucker for old plots that are dependent upon Aquaman’s need for water every hour. My favorite bits are when they actually clock his dependency. As if he would automatically keel over at exactly 60 minutes without water. Hysterical! Here is Aquaman #44 (1969). While the premise is ridiculous, the perspective, faces, word balloons, and lighting are amazing in this cover by Nick Cardy. One of my favorites.
Another great example of using Aquaman’s dependency on water as a plot device. Check out the condensation coming off the pitcher! Too funny! Great Neal Adams cover here on Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #115 (1968).
Team-ups! Team-ups! Team-ups! Here is Brave and the Bold #82 (1969). Check out that zombie look on Aquaman’s face!
Brave and the Bold #142 (1978). I’m digging the telepathic circles!
World’s Finest #203 (1971). Great Neal Adams cover, but let’s be honest about this… If Superman lost his sight, would he really be this useless? And even so, would he really turn to Aquaman for help?
You can always count on old-school fake-death stories to be fun. Here is Aquaman’s funeral from Aquaman #30 (1966). I love that Metamorpho is a pall-bearer. What the funk is that about?
Another Aquaman death story, this time from Justice League of America #122 (1975).
Justice League of America Annual #2 (1984) was important because in the story Aquaman officially disbanded the Justice League. He then reformed a new League with several young heroes-in-training. It was a neat concept, but sadly the “Justice League Detroit” era is not fondly remembered by many. For me, it was the first time I collected JLA on a regular basis, so I love this era!
Just a nice cover of Aquaman and Mera from the “Justice League Detroit” era. I love it when they frame the cover with the team faces! Justice League of America #242 (1985).
The first appearance of the blue suit - Aquaman mini-series #1 (1986).
The second Aquaman mini-series #1 (1989). David Devaje created a very interesting cover for this issue.
Atlantis Chronicles (1990) was an outstanding mini-series by Peter David that explored the mythical origins of Atlantis. This series created the foundation for Atlantis that is still used today. Beautiful art by Esteban Maroto.
A nice Kevin Maguire cover from the second Aquaman ongoing series - Aquaman #3 (1992).
Another Kevin Maguire piece as Aquaman gets his revenge on Black Manta for killing his son - Aquaman #6 (1992).
Aquaman #0 (1994) from the third ongoing series drawn by Marty Egeland. In the story by Peter David, Aquaman goes bat-sh!t crazy after losing his hand. So what does he do? He shoves a harpoon into the pulpy-meaty stub of an arm that he’s left with. Niiiiiiiiiice.
The return of Mera in this yummy cover by Marty Egeland - Aquaman #12 (1995). It’s a shame she’s always crazy.
Cool cover by Jim Calafiore during Peter David’s tenure on the book - Aquaman #17 (1996).
Another great Marty Egeland cover - Aquaman #23 (1996). This one features many of the superheroes with ties to Atlantis - (L to R) Tsunami, Aqualad, Aquaman, Power Girl (at the time she was thought to have come from Atlantis), Arion, and Neptune Perkins.
One last great Marty Egeland cover - Aquaman #24 (1996). I just love the spinning hook aimed right at the exposed throat. Totally bad ass.
Justice Leagues: Justice League Atlantis (2001). Not a great comic, but a neat idea forming a JLA with members solely from Atlantis.
JLA #75 (2003) - The conclusion of “The Obsidian Age”, subtitled “The Hunt for Aquaman”. Nice imagery of Aquaman as a living water being.
Aquaman #7 (2003) from the fourth ongoing Aquaman series. DC tried to take this series in a magical direction, but it didn’t stick with the fans. Regardless, cool swashbuckler-like cover from Yvel Guichet.
A nice heroic Aquaman by Howard Porter - Aquaman #12 (2004).
A return to a more traditional Aquaman look and story - Aquaman #19 (2004). Great Silver Age-like cover from Alan Davis! I really enjoyed this particular run by Will Pfeifer.
I just thought this was a cool demonstration of what Aquaman could do with his water hand by Patrick Gleason - Aquaman #29 (2005).
A cool cover that symbolizes the storyline where Black Manta was using Aquaman’s DNA against him. Another cover by Patrick Gleason - Aquaman #32 (2005).
The issue that changed everything - Aquaman #40 (2006)! A new character took over the role of Aquaman in this Kurt Busiek-written issue. This was the beginning of the Sword-and-Sorcery era. Upon second reading, I really fell in love with these Busiek stories and Butch Guice’s art was perfect.
This image was used on the cover of Aquaman #54 (2007). An attractive piece featuring the new Aquaman by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson.
The new Aquaman schools the Man of Steel in this great cover by Shane Davis for Superman/Batman #45 (2008).
This next one is a really neat one. It’s a cover recreation of IRON MAN #120 with Aquaman instead of Namor. The drawing was done by the original artist, Bob Layton, and commissioned by Vincent P. Bartilucci (a HUGE Aquaman fan). Check out Bob Layton’s official web site.
Come back tomorrow for more Aquaman action! So seriously, have you checked out THE AQUAMAN SHRINE yet? If not, why are you broken? Just go visit the site and fall in love with it already!