We’re looking to bring in the New Year by offering up a double review of Brave and Bold #73, which features the world’s smallest superhero, The Atom, and the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman!
Both the tiny titan and my buddy’s Rob’s aquawesome aquaman shrine have decided to get together on this, so thanks for heading on over here! If for some reason you were here first, please head over to the shrine afterwards and read Rob’s take on Arthur sleeping an entire comic book off.
Written by Bob Haney, penciled and inked by Sal Trapani.
Cover by Carmine Infantino and Chuck Cuidera, making Galg look especially nasty.
Our story begins with Aquaman and Aqualad finding evil afoot when they come across some raiders thieving treasure. Aquaman assumes it’ll be a swim in the pond but a giant blast and a “holy hagfish” later, our two sea heroes watch the baddies get beamed into a ship that shrinks into seemingly nothing.
Utterly puzzled, Aquaman takes a sample of the water and brings it to Dr. Vulko, a well regarded Atlantean scientist. Dr. Vulko runs a few drops through every test in the book, but finds nothing. The mystery looks to remain unsolved, until… another drop lands on the microscope and the raider ship appears! Holy Haddocks, it was hiding in a drop of water!
Marauding thieves living in a microscopic water world!
But how can our heroes get to the bottom of what’s going on when they’re so big and the microscopic world is… oh so microscopic?
Aquaman knows. Aaaaaw yeah!
With instructions from Aquaman, Dr. Ray Palmer takes a Trans-Atlantic (who pays for that?) flight, enjoys himself some lunch, then gets in Atom mode and bails out when he’s over Atlantis.
It is around that time that out of nowhere a beam shoots out of the syringe holding the microscopic water world, hitting Aquaman and sucking him in! Nap time.
The Atom shows up, gets the lowdown from Aqualad, some action (as seen to the left) from Mera, and a lil oxygen pill from Vulko, then proceeds to do this thing. Into the water drop he goes where Ray locates and climbs aboard the raider ship, only to bring him face to face with… GALG!
A giant, one-eyed, purple starfish looking galgy plankton thing. A seriously arrogant galgy thing too.
Galg shows The Atom an unconscious Aquaman, trapped inside a diatomic prison, which is where the King of the Seven Seas will spend the remainder of this battle of wits and shrinky dinks.
Now, Galg is all about himself. Packing a serious Napoleonic complex, he admittedly has a modicum of intelligence and some sweet technology, but he gets mentally slapped around here by the mighty mite.
Twice he attempts to imprison Palmer, only to have him shrink out of one, and grow out of the other. With this, Galg feels he has met an equal, someone with whom he can take over worlds with. The Atom convinces him that he’s game, as long as he can return Aquaman back to whence he came. After all, he promised.
With Aquaman returned, The Atom shrinks here, shimmies there, and manages to get ol Galg teleported right out of this world and into the big one, where he proceeds to explode in the greatest of Hollywood style.
Cleaning up after himself, the tiny titan expands back to his normal size, destroying the water world behind him!
(Now you may wonder why The Atom didn’t just return Aquaman and then say “see ya” and grow to his full size then, destroying everything INCLUDING Galg… but then we wouldn’t have a giant galgy starfish plankton splosion.)
Everyone is all smiles, Ray explains that Galg’s body couldn’t take the pressure outside of his own world and that he’s glad he could be of service. Aquaman apologizes for sleeping the whole issue, and the world is safe again!
Well, I think it’s obvious that this isn’t the issue featuring Aquaman that Rob would take to a deserted island with him, but I know he’s aware that Haney worked on a lot of Aquaman, and probably wanted to have his go at shrinking The Atom and bouncing him all over the place.
With that said, I enjoy the way he handled Ray. He used him intelligently, but he wasn’t without his stumbles.
The art appears to get cooking towards the end, particularly where The Atom and Galg square off against each other. There’s some great looking panels in there, such as that one to the left, which I’m a big fan of.
It’s a fun read, doesn't quite care if it makes sense or not, and Galg makes for a dopey, yet arrogantly entertaining villain. Of course we prefer when Arthur and Ray are side by side (feet on shoulder?) handing out beatings to the bad guys.
So, we hope you enjoyed this trip into the teaming up of two B-list obsessive blogs. When you’re a rabid fan of the hero behind the hero, its clutch to have someone that knows what it’s like. Someone that has gone through the pain… of one cancellation after the other. Rob and I will continue to battle the forces of the B list, and vow to keep up the good fight in trying to get the spotlight to shine through past the usual suspects.
We’re hoping this is the first of many team-ups, and when that Atom and Aquaman film gets greenlit, you’ll hear it here first!
Awesome stuff Damian! I'm definitely looking forward to more team-ups between y'all! This story sounds interesting. I always thought that they really should have done more with the microscopic worlds in the Atom's books. There is pretty much limitless story potential there, especially if you created some recurring micro-locales and characters.
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