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Terry Hooper-Scharf

Monday 13 February 2023

Hexagon Comics: The Lords of the Depths #1: The Sea King


Art by Mario Cubbino, Barbato; cover by Alfredo Macall.
 7x10 squarebound trade paperback, 
88 p. 
ISBN-13: 978-1-64932-184-8.

Underwater heroes and amphibian characters from Jules Verne’s famous rogue submariner, Captain Nemo and his myriad imitators, to Marvel’s Sub-Mariner and DC’s Aquaman (1941), have always proved popular with comic book aficionados.

Hexagon Comics introduced their own “Lords of the Depths” in six series, which we have sampled here in three issues. This is the first.

In this volume, meet:
The Sea King (1969), drawn by the incomparable Mario Cubbino, starring Daniel Cluny, an ex-captain of the French Navy, who was the subject of an experiment that gave him the ability to live and breathe underwater.

Bathy-09 (1978), a unit of the International Oceanic Force, created to police the undersea world, comprised of American skipper Tony Yale, French pilot Jean Pujo, and Italian navigator Bruno Valeri, cruising the seas aboard their submarine, the Shark-09.

It's interesting to see these stories that are definitely "of the period" because how many comics in the last 20 years have had the main, and other, characters puffing on a cigarette? Was it shocking? No. It's what people did and still do! 

These are comics reprinted in good quality that allow English readers to see characters they may never have heard of before. And it is interesting how Hexagon took what might be seen by today's comic readers as a tad "bland" to develop him to become...The Sea King!

The art on Bathy-09 I loved and its crisp and clean and the story had me thinking of DCs The Sea Devil's although sea adventures were highly popular in the 1950s and 1960s with TV shows such as Stingray patrolling for the WASP (World Aquanaut Security Patrol) and, of course, Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane aboard the Seaview in Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea.

I know there are comic fans out there who will collect specific themes/genres and the sea and and fighting underwater menaces is one of them so I hope they realise this book is out there and available in English. Some new characters to me at least.

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