Showcase #79, DC Comics, December 1968.
I checked out that Batman V Superman film recently and I liked three quarters of it. If DC/Warner ever figures out a way to avoid 30 minute long over melodramatic Superman death scenes it could actually make some good movies.
For some reason I really liked the little clip of Aquaman: it was the perfect little teaser and it left me hopeful they will do the character right. Now I know that one pocket full of hope and another pocket full of nickels will buy you a cup of coffee but the clip left me with a positive outlook nonetheless.
This week I’d like to shine the Spotlight on a character that I think will benefit greatly from an Aquaman done right. This week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick is Showcase #79 featuring the first appearance of Dolphin.
The Dolphin is actually a young girl that fell overboard during a cruise and was saved by some aliens and experimented on to the point where she adapted to living in the ocean. Over time she came into contact with civilization and eventually she came into contact with other super beings including Aquaman.
Dolphin and Aquaman had a romantic history: she was Aquaman’s lover until Mera returned from her exile in the Netherworld. In an awkward turn of events she became romantically involved with Aqualad, with Aquaman’s eventual blessing! Aqualad (then going by Tempest) and Dolphin went on to have a son who was given the name Ceridian by Aquaman.
I know it’s just a quick little recap but it does show just how rooted this character is in Aquaman’s world. I fully expect Dolphin to play some role in Aquaman’s upcoming conquest of cinema and popular culture.
Dolphin has lots of potential in my view: she was created in the late 1960s and as a character unto her own, not some sidekick. Today female characters are doing so well; time to dust this one off and develop all that potential.
I swear you could not give this book away 5 years ago and now you can’t even find one to buy. As of this post there were none available on the GPA text links, though I did find one CBCS 9.2 available on eBay.
This comic is still around and in good numbers in established dealer’s Silver Age bins. Do some digging at cons and established comic shops and you’ll find yourself some nice copies.
The 46th Overstreet price breaks for this book is $37/$66/$95 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.
Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:
- First appearance Dolphin
- Significant yet little know character that would benefit from media exposure
Great pick, Walt! This one has been on my radar for a while. Another benefit I’d add is the 60s Mod-style good girl cover which is very striking. It’s “poster-worthy”. That solid green cover makes it super tough to find in high grade, so that would be my preferred grade to get.
I think there will be an growing market for these psychedelic or mod looking comics like this. Falling in Love #99, Star Trek #30 from Gold Key, Steranko’s SHIELD covers come to mind. The 60s vintage collectible market draws in your non-traditional collectors, many times are females who have a flair for stylish vintage collectibles, which could include vinyl, coffee-table books, concert posters and t-shirts, magazines and COMICS.
Tamara …Namorita…Dolphin …Ursula Andress……what is it about Super babes and the ocean that make them so appealing ?
Sea appeal ? Nice pick Walt….
.the cover reminds me of the Tower comics of the same era…Dynamo,Undersea agent ,Thunder agents.
oh and Aquaman named Aqualads son? someone should have a long talk with that boy…er, lad
Oh well, until Tippy Teen meets Lord Byrrah, make mine Comicbookdaily
“I think there will be an growing market for these psychedelic or mod looking comics like this.”
I just feel there is a “cool factor” to many of these trendy comics from the 60s and ones like Showcase 79 are sterling examples of “60s chic” and therefore get cherry-picked out of the bins first. Also keep in mind the increasing number of female comic collectors who may have a better eye for vintage style than a lot of us fellas.
I’ll admit, I’m a total sucker for 60s retro, so maybe I’m blinded by my own tastes. Throwbacks like Mad Men and DC: The New Frontier are right up my alley.
As for psychedelic art, the trippy compositions during the 60s and 70s from artists like Nick Cardy, Jack Kirby or Jim Steranko pushed boundaries that changed the comic medium forever. I can’t see how the style would not grow in popularity for generations to come. I just hope there are plenty of Ditko-inspired psychedelic landscapes infused into the new Dr. Strange movie. If not, it seems like a wasted opportunity.
shoot… meant to reply but it posted above
I’ve always felt that that silver and bronze gga covers are undervalued. Some of the romance books have incredible cover art. I doubt we will ever see Harley Quinn type numbers but the Showcase cover is nice to look at.
Walter, what happened to the comic culture radio show??
Hey Chris. Shekky has it in his rider that he gets summers off. We’ll be back at it in September.
Love this pick, though I’m not sure I’m convinced there’s factors on the horizon to drive it higher. Not the most common late 60’s DC book, it seems to me.
I don’t have a copy and have always wanted one since discovering the character in … wait for it… Showcase #100 (Walt, if that’s not an Undervalued Spotlight candidate, I don’t know what is!)
This pick makes me want to take swimming lessons.
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