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Comics

Retro Review: More Fun Comics #73 (1941) (Aquaman Debut)

Today, we take you back in time. We love time travel. More Fun Comics #73 released in November of 1941. DC Comics asked DC editor/writer Mort Weisinger in 1941 to create a few new characters. He quickly created three hits: the speedster Johnny Quick, the archer Green Arrow, and the underwater hero Aquaman. Aquaman made his debut in the back pages of More Fun Comics #73. Today’s review is of that debut story written by Weisinger and co-creator Paul Norris that did the art for the book.

In Aquaman’s debut story, we see the nautical superhero take on the Nazis. It was 1941, when the United States was in the middle of World War II. Comics during the time was featuring the war in their stories and Aquaman wasn’t the only superhero fighting the Nazi regime. Weisinger begins the story with suspense as a German submarine is going to attack a small boat filled with men, women, and children that are seeking help. The submarine fires a shell at the boat, then Aquaman’s hand rises from the water. Aquaman grabs the boat, then swims quickly away from the submarine. After Aquaman saves the survivors, he heads straight for the submarine to kick the asses of the Nazis.

In this sequence, there is a shift in the story’s mood. It goes from worrisome to happy. Weisinger liked to have a fusion of suspense and lightheartedness in his scripts. Aquaman busts onto the submarine–throwing punches and delivering hilarious nautical-themed quips. Norris portrays this beautifully with scenes of despair and scenes of enjoyment. Norris features bright colors to give happiness to this tale. You can tell that Aquaman is a tale to bring smiles upon readers’ faces in a time of darkness.

Aquaman defeats the Nazis in the book. Weisinger briefly introduces Aquaman’s origin story quickly in the comic. Across three panels, readers are introduced to Aquaman’s father. It’s not enough to truly get a grasp of who the character is. It is enough to entice readers for more info of Aquaman’s past. Overall, the short story is fun and entertaining for readers to want more.

Overall rating: 4/5.

Categories
Movies

Noirvember Reviews: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Directed and written by John Huston. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Peter Lorre.

The Maltese Falcon is based on the novel of the same name from author Dashiell Hammet. The Maltese Falcon is considered to be one of the greatest films of all-time and one of the top noir films of all-time. The film is a beautiful tale of mystery with an amazing cast. Humphrey Bogart stars as Sam Spade, who is a hard-boiled detective that is keen on the morals of the people that surround him. After the arrival of the seductive Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor), Spade gets trapped into a web of crime that follows a valuable object called the Maltese falcon.

John Huston (director) does a tremendous job getting viewers emotionally invested in this film. No matter how tough Bogart plays Sam Spade, there is always a sense of urgency that Spade could be killed by these criminals. Mary Astor is perfect playing the innocent woman, who has a sinister side. Bogart and Astor have chemistry together. Bogart, with his facial expressions, shows that Spade finds Miss Wonderly beautiful, but that she is not to be trusted. Spade isn’t going to play her games.

A black-and-white San Francisco is alluring to the eyes. Huston paints the city with a steady brush. Huston lets viewers know the city is a jewel with evil that lurks in the night. A private eye in the city will always be watching their back. Spade’s office at night features a skyline of San Franciscan buildings lit perfectly with white, illuminated bulbs highlighting certain businesses. It’s a gorgeous shot that lights up the black sky.

The film is an exhilarating portrayal of how far people will go for riches and rarities. Greed is influential to the point that people will travel the earth to get wealthy. Spade is a hero that never falters. No one can bribe him or persuade him into helping with their messy schemes. He never falls for the stuff that dreams are made of.

Overall rating: 5/5.