Friday, June 24, 2005

New Venice


New Venice
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

So, some people thought I'd forgotten my "Forgotten Fictionopolises" series.

Fools! The utter fools!

Decades before half of San Diego sunk into the sea, Aquaman patroled: NEW VENICE!

In September 1959 (Adventure Comics #264), DC introduced New Venice in "Aquaman and His Sea-Police!"

New Venice was "a coastal town", whose streets, as a result of a seaquake, were just under sealevel. It's unclear from the story whether the town changed its name after the incident, or whether the founding fathers were just ASKING for trouble. The latter, I bet.

This being the Silver Age, in the first two panels we learn the situation, the reason for Aquaman's involvement, and the nature of the problem he must solve. Gods, I miss Silver Age pacing. These days, if a waitress asks Aquaman whether he wants coffee or tea, we won't hear his answer until four months later (during which time it will have been spoiled by Previews: "Look for Aquaman to take a few lumps in October...but no milk or lemon!")

Naturally, the little seven-page story focuses on how ingeniously Aquaman uses his finny friends (I love saying that phrase) to foil neovenetian scofflaws (I love saying that phrase even more). But it adds a nice touch at the end. The city has become accustomed to its new waterways and doesn't want to give them up, so when the water starts to recede, Aquaman rearranges the sea to keep them waterlogged. Obviously, the town's Tourism Bureau is more on the ball than the Homeowners Association.

In 1980, Crazy Bob Rozakis revisited New Venice (World's Finest #263), where they've constructed an Aquaman Museum (a la Central City); isn't that cute? In subsequent issues, Arthur and Mera move into town, and Aquaman kicks Dr. Light's behind for him. Light had the brilliant idea of attacking Aquaman with a device powered by FISH; geez, it's almost like somebody lobotomized the guy, or something!

The coolest thing that happened in New Venice was Black Manta's attempt to blow it up with a nuclear missile, while Mera died or went crazy again or the like. Don't ask.

New Venice (now clarified as being in Florida) returned in the 1986 Aquaman mini-series (you know, the one with the pretty blue outfit), courtesy of the late and lamented Neal Pozner. And if you comb through your back issues of the Justice League Animated comic book, you can see that New Venice is there, too; it shows up when Batman's doing some research on Aquaman.

It was a very clever idea (no matter what H says) to create an American city that Aquaman could police while still living in the sea. That's why we now have Sub Diego. Sub Diego is much more interesting than New Venice, but because it's underwater things move MUCH more slowly there, and it takes four months to get a cup of tea.

But let's have DC acknowledge that New Venice still exists. And it doesn't need Aquaman to be its hero; there are lots of good superfish in the sea. Who do YOU think should patrol New Venice?

14 comments:

David Campbell said...

I think Florida Congresswoman Katherine Harris should patrol New Venice. She is hot.

Scipio said...

In a bathing suit? That would work.

She could work with a partner:

aerial superhero and U.S. senator
BLACK CONDOR!

k26dp said...

But wouldn't her four layers of make-up run?

Jhunt said...

Hmmm...New Venice, Florida? Located in a state infused with the Miami Sound Machine-esque plulsations of Latin flavor? It's gotta be Vibe. Gold chains, yellow and green "grape-smuggler", neon shades... oh yes. I smell a solid-gold hit! Oh wait, that's just Vibe's aftershave, "Solid Gold Hit".

H said...

Who cares what that crazy old H says. Who listens to him anyway?

I like Sub Diego a lot more than New Venice, but I'm willing to let New Venice exist as an occasional location as long as it isn't a base of operations.

And if you need a super-hero and a politician to watch out for New Venice, than you have no choice but to go with Senator Neptune Perkins.

Anonymous said...

Forget Senator Perkins. How about
Swordfish & Barracuda
? NOBODY remembers those two. They have that whole caribbean thing going for them.

Scipio said...

K26dp: No. No, they wouldn't.

jhunt: VIBE! Yes, we all love Vibe. Teensy problem with that idea, though; I don't think Vibe's powers would be very effective in New Venice...

h: Don't diss, H, meng; he's a great man, just confused. But I'm taking up a collection among other bloggers to hire someone to kidnap and deprogram him from the Kirby Kult.

We NEED more Neptune Perkins! More superhero Senators! Like BLACK CONDOR!

Scipio said...

Swordfish and Barracuda? Good lord, I cannot WAIT to get to them...!

Anonymous said...

...I've just noticed that Barracuda's tights seem to be CROTCHLESS. So another point in their favor. She probably flashes criminals with her dishtowel while Swordfish sneaks up from behind and hamstrings 'em.

Martin Wisse said...

Dolphin!

She got that whole innocent thing going for her.

Scipio said...

Innocent?

DOLPHIN?

The only guy in Atlantis she hasn't slept with is Vulko...!

N said...

There ought to be some "Oceanic League of Justice" or "Water Friewnds" or something like that --- a water-based group (Dolphin, some living Aqualad version, etc etc) to patrol all the seven seas and their homebase could be New Venice.

What a brilliant idea.

Julio Oliveira said...

Why not the Sea Devils?

Scipio said...

Sea Devils!

Smart...!