Adventure Comics #451
Published and © by DC, May-June 1977
Title: “The Secret of the Sinister Abyss”
Synopsis: Topo the octopus runs off with Aquababy; Aquaman pursues, but winds up battling Starro the Conqueror instead.
Writer: David Michelinie
Artist: Jim Aparo
Review: No, really. Read that synopsis again: “Topo the octopus runs off with Aquababy; Aquaman pursues, but winds up battling Starro the Conqueror instead.” An octopus that’s a kidnapper? And the big bad is a super-powered, alien starfish? The lameness of this run’s villains keeps it mired in Silver Age silliness.
Title: “The Suspects”
Synopsis: J’onn J’onzz continues to hunt the Justice Leaguers he believes responsible for the murder of his friend.
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Penciler: Michael Netzer (as Michael Nasser)
Inker: Terry Austin
Review: J’onn continues his out-of-character punch-a-thon, this time pummeling Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Mike Netzer and Terry Austin’s art is the highlight.
Grade (for the entire issue): B
Second opinion: “A fairly nondescript story, saved by Jim Aparo’s industry.” – Laurence Bowkett, Bemusing Magazine #13, May 1977 … Included on Alan Brightmore’s “Individual Comics That You Should Not Be Without” list, from “A Consumer’s Guide to D.C. Comics, Part 2,” Comics Unlimited #51, October-November 1979.
Cool factor: A great issue for art lovers.
Not-so-cool factor: Not so much for fans of compelling stories.
Character quotable: “B-but Topo’s never acted like this before. I – it’s almost as if he’s gone – mad!”– Mera (remember, this is coming from a mother who lets an octopus babysit her kid!)
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 4, 2010.