Wednesday, October 22, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Showcase #79

Showcase #79 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) introduces us to Dolphin in a cover by romance artist Jay Scott Pike.

"The Fantasy at 14 Fathoms" is written and drawn by Jay Scott Pike. Not only is this Pike's only non-romance artwork for DC, this is his only writing. In this, the origin of Dolphin, Chief Petty Officer Chris Landau and his partner Ben Harkey are assigned the task of recovering documents from a sunken U.S. Navy ship that has been underwater twenty three years. During their search of the ship, they discover a girl who can breathe underwater. They bring her back to their ship and name her Dolphin. She has gills that allow her to breathe water, but her lungs cannot sustain her in air for long, so she returns to the water.

While Landau and his team work to open the safe containing the documents, a typhoon approaches. The seamen convince Dolphin to help them get the documents out of the sunken ship's safe. The typhoon strikes before she can finish the job and the wreck is pushed into a deep chasm. Landau returns to his ship believing Dolphin and the documents lost forever. He is surprised when the girl surfaces with the papers in hand.

As the ship leaves the area to avoid the harsh weather, Landau invites Dolphin to return to home with him. However, the girl indicates that she belongs at sea and dives back into the water. It would be ten years before Dolphin would appear again and then only in the character-packed pages of Showcase #100. Then in 1984 Dolphin would reappear as one of the Forgotten Heroes in the pages of Action Comics #552 and #553. Dolphin would last appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985-1986.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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