Aquaman made his initial appearance in DCs' More Fun Comics #73, cover dated November 1941 ( Green Arrow debuted in the same issue) during what is referred to as the Golden Age of Comics. Not a headliner at that time, he was a popular back-up feature and as the super-hero genre died out in the early 1950s, Aquaman was one of the handful of super-hero characters who survived and made the transition into the Silver Age of Comics.
Showcase Presents Aquaman, Vol. 1 contains forty-nine Aquman stories... over 540 pages of the Sea King's amazing Silver Age adventures reprinted from Adventure Comics 260-280, 282 and 284; Detective Comics 293-300; Showcase 30-34; World's Finest 125-129, Lois Lane 12, Jimmy Olsen 55 and Aquaman 1-6. The stories are family friendly, light-hearted and just plain fun. No angst, no soap opera drama to speak of, but plenty of action.
This was an interesting time in Aquaman's history. The editors at DC decided to do more with the long-running feature, giving Aquaman a new origin and expanding his supporting cast. Listed below are a few of the highlights.
Adventure Comics # 260 (May 1959): How Aquaman Got His Powers- Aquaman gets a brand new origin to usher him into the Silver Age and the reader discovers that the Atlantis is a living, (water) breathing civilization, giving the Sea King something he hadn't had before in his 18 year history... a plot engine for his adventures.
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #12 (Oct 1959): The Mermaid from Metropolis- More important than the story's plot of this 13 page gem is that this story marks the first time that Aquaman appears outside his own series. Aquaman meets both Lois Lane and Superman and emerges from his solitary Aqua-verse into the larger DC universe.
Adventure Comics # 266 (Nov 1959): Aquaman meets Aquagirl- Aquaman meets a surface girl with powers similar to his own and the reader gets a glimpse into Atlantean society.
Adventure Comics # 267 (Dec 1959): The Manhunt on Land and The Underwater Archers- Despite having shared the same comic books since 1941, Aquaman and Green Arrow meet for the first time in these linked stories. Although not technically a team-up story, Aquaman does make a cameo appearance in the last panel of the Green Arrow installment.
Adventure Comics #268 (Jan 1960): The Adventures of Aquaboy- The adventures of Aquaman when he was a boy. Hey, it worked for Superman.
Adventure Comics #269 (Feb 1960): The Kid from Atlantis- Aquaman's supporting cast gets a real boost with the introduction of Aqualad into the series! Before this, the only recurring character in the series was Aquaman's exceptionally intelligent and loyal pet octopus, Topo. The reader gets another glimpse into Atlantean society and the series gets another plot engine.
Adventure Comics #272 (May 1960): The Human Flying Fish- Aquaman faces off against his first costumed, super-powered super villain. The Human Flying Fish may not have been cool enough for a rematch with the Sea King, but it was a start.
Adventure Comics #275 (Aug 1960): The Interplanetary Mission- A story involving "aliens" and Kryptonite. Superman is lucky to have a friend like Aquaman looking out for him.
Showcase #30 (Feb 1961): The Creatures from Atlantis- Aquaman stars in his first book length feature! For the first time since his silver-age series began, Aquaman interacts with the citizens of Atlantis when he and Aqualad go to their aid against alien invaders bent on world conquest! Aquaman's origin is recapped.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #55 (Sep 1961): The Monster that loved Aqua-Jimmy - Jimmy temporarily acquires Aquaman's super powers when Superman and the Marine Marvel go on a interplanetary mission. Of particular interest is the cameo by Lori Lemaris, Superman's mermaid friend from the "other" Atlantis.
Aquaman #1 (Feb 1962): The Invasion of the Fire-Trolls- At long last Aquaman stars in his very own comic book! Another supporting character, Quisp, the Water Sprite, is added to the series.
The DC Showcase Presents series, as well as Marvel's Essential series, are black and white reprints presented at a very affordable price. This book features great Aquaman art by Ramona Fradon and Nick Cardy! Enjoy!