AQUATICANS

Classification: Terrestrial aquatic humanoids (possibly a sub-species of humanity (see comments))

Location/Base of Operations: A city hidden within an undersea mountain, below the Indian Ocean

Known Members: Unspecified population of their city, including their leader, scientists, and guards (all unidentified)

Aliases: "Atlanteans" (see comments)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Doctor Druid

First Appearance: Amazing Adventures I#2/2 (July, 1961) [Weird Wonder Tales#22/1 (May, 1977) (see comments)]

Powers/Abilities: Possibly telepathic (see comments), the Aquaticans were amphibious ocean-dwelling creatures--they had large gills that allowed them to breathe water, and also lungs that allowed them to breathe air. Like many other aquatic beings, the Aquaticans probably had great strength and stamina, most likely about three times that of a normal human.

Traits: Although scientifically advanced, the Aquaticans were war-like; they were strong and vicious in mortal combat, but were physically clumsy in comparison to humans.

Type: Humanoid
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Five (including opposing thumb)
Toes: Unrevealed
Skin color: Green
Average height: 6'

History:
(Amazing Adventures I#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - The history of the Aquaticans is unrevealed, as they kept their presence secret from humanity and their fellow undersea civilizations. Their isolationist behavior was broken when they became aware of the world's largest ocean liner--the S.S. Luxuria--which was on a cruising tour of the Indian Ocean. Using their advanced science, the Aquaticans captured the ship in a huge air-bubble and brought it down to their secret city to study.

(Amazing Adventures I#2/2) - When word got out that the Luxuria had disappeared, divers and exploratory ships were sent out to see if it had sunk, but they found nothing after looking everywhere they could. Realizing that some mysterious factor was at work, the board of inquiry of the steamship line naturally called in Dr. Druid, resident master of the unknown. Druid sailed to the Indian Ocean and descended into the waves in his bathysphere and scuba suit. Once at the sea-bottom, he discovered an undersea mountain and a lever coming out of the rocks. Druid pulled the lever, and he was amazed to find that the top of the mountain opened.

   Swimming into the chasm within the mountain, Druid found a gigantic undersea city, and the Luxuria trapped within a giant bubble--he saw two Aquatican scientists studying the craft and observing the ways of the surface dwellers. A huge screen activated and revealed the face of the leader of the Aquaticans, who spoke of their plans to invade the surface-world for glory and conquest--Druid knew it was time to act.

   Guessing that the broadcast had come from a large palace-like building, Dr. Druid entered the structure and discovered electronic beams evaporating the water and filling the chamber with air. He located the broadcasting room and found the Aquatican leader and his guards, who immediately attacked Druid. The Aquaticans were savage but clumsy fighters, and Druid easily defeated them with judo; then Druid hypnotized the leader and forced him to activate the broadcast screen again. Appearing on the view-screen, Dr. Druid placed the entire Aquatican population into a hypnotic trance and made them forget all knowledge of the surface world; he then hypnotized the humans aboard the ocean liner and made them forget all of what had transpired, so as to prevent fear of traveling the seas.

   Shortly thereafter, Dr. Druid went back to the offices of the steamship line and reported that the Luxuria had merely gone off-course--although the board of inquiry did not believe the story he told them, it mattered not to Dr. Druid, for he considered the case closed.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist).

The jagged shape of the Aquaticans word-balloons kind of implies to me that they communicated telepathically (...which would explain how these supposedly-isolationist beings--who knew nothing of the surface-world--were able to speak to Dr. Druid in English).
--Ron Fredricks

When this 5-page story--From the Amazing Cases of Dr. Droom: The World Below!--was originally published in Amazing Adventures I#2/2, it featured Dr. Droom battling the Atlanteans; when it was reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales#22/1 (using the magic of retroactive continuity), it was redrawn and re-lettered to make Dr. Droom into Dr. Druid, and the Atlanteans became the Aquaticans (probably to avoid confusion with the Sub-Mariner's people).
--John Kaminski

Considering that Stan Lee did this story, the Aquaticans are a bit disappointing. I know that the space for the story was short, but it seemed like it could have been a lot better. None of the Aquaticans were identified, and we only get to see a glimpse of their city. They have so much undiscovered potential though, as their origin was never explained. The Aquaticans could be:

  1. An evolutionary offshoot of the Atlantean or Lemurian race
  2. A product of Inhuman or Deviant genetic experimentation
  3. An exiled clan of Inhumans (like Red Ravenís Bird People)
  4. An alien race that colonized Earth long ago and slowly forgot their extraterrestrial origins
  5. Human beings mutated into amphibious beings through some unknown factor (Like Dr. Hydro and the Hydro Men)

The Aquaticans are different from most of the water-dwelling beings, as they can breathe both air and water. They also have technology superior to human-level technology (...which would seem to lend a bit of weight to possibilities 1 and 4, although their hidden city and isolationist ways suggests that they are exiled Inhumans).

Then there's the submerged mountain deal. Perhaps they are descended from the human inhabitants of the ancient lost continent of Atlantis. Maybe the Aquaticans were once normal humans dwelling in an underground city beneath a mountain on Atlantis. When Atlantis sank, the people were saved from drowning by their enclosed city, and slowly mutated over time into the fish-like people they are today.

Since the Luxuria was cruising in the Indian Ocean, it seems more likely that the Aquaticans may have had some connection to the Pacific Ocean's Lemuria.
--Ron Fredricks

I think somebody should find the Aquaticans and their city again, like Namor or Stingray. They could even be tied into the whole Serpent Crown mythos.

I've got them listed as extraterrestrials in my notes, but I'm not sure where that came from. Also, these stories (in Amazing Adventures) occurred in the pre-modern era, back when Dr. Druid was Dr. Droom. When Droom became Druid, and he entered the Marvel Universe, I would consider these stories as part of the Earth-616 continuity.
--Snood.

Profile by Ben Peberdy, Spaceknight. Expanded by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Aquaticans have no known connection to:


Undersea mountain

A large rocky formation under the Indian Ocean, it covered a huge, water-filled chasm that contained the home of the Aquaticans; a nearby lever activated a mechanism that opened the top of the mountain.

While investigating the disappearance of the S.S. Luxuria, Dr. Druid discovered the lever and pulled it, causing the mountaintop to open; Druid subsequently swam into the chasm and found the city of the Aquaticans.

--Amazing Adventures I#2/2


Aquaticans' city

Hidden inside an immense water-filled cavern, within an undersea mountain, in the depths of the Indian Ocean, this metropolis was the home of the amphibious Aquaticans.

The city had numerous structures, including a palace where the Aquatican leader dwelt.

After discovering the secret entrance to the city, Dr. Druid swam inside, in search of the missing S.S. Luxuria.

--Amazing Adventures I#2/2


Aquatican leader

The ruler of the amphibious race of Aquaticans, he dwelt within a palace located in their city.

He was in a broadcasting room in his palace, where he addressed his subjects via a huge view-screen, and his promises of conquest of the surface-world elicited cheers from the throngs of Aquaticans.

When Dr. Druid entered the broadcasting room, electronic beams evaporated the water, and air was pumped in. Druid confronted the leader and his two guards, and fought them off with his judo skills.

Druid placed the leader in a hypnotic trance and forced him to activate the view-screen again; then Druid appeared on the screen and mesmerized the entire populace of the city, to make the Aquaticans believe that the surface-world was only a desolate wasteland.

--Amazing Adventures I#2/2


S.S. Luxuria

The world's largest ocean-liner, it mysteriously vanished while it was cruising in the Indian Ocean.

The Luxuria had been captured by the sea-dwelling Aquaticans, who utilized their technology to trap the ship inside a massive air-bubble, then brought it down to their underwater city so they could study it and the humans aboard.

But the Luxuria was later rescued by Dr. Druid, who used mass-hypnotism on the Aquaticans to convince them that the surface world was an uninhabited wasteland; Druid also hypnotized all aboard the Luxuria to make them forget about their capture by the Aquaticans.

Druid operated the Aquaticans' air-bubble mechanism and released the entrapped ship, which floated back to the surface; when the surrounding air-bubble popped, all aboard the Luxuria were blissfully unaware of their undersea captivity.

--Amazing Adventures I#2/2


images: (without ads)
Weird Wonder Tales#22/cover (Aquatican dragging Dr. Druid to undersea city)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p3, pan3 (two Aquaticans studying S.S. Luxuria; Dr. Druid in scuba gear (background))
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p4, pan3 (Aquatican guard (left) and Aquatican leader (right) in broadcasting room)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p4, pan4 (Dr. Druid uses judo to battle three Aquaticans)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p2, pan5 (Dr. Druid pulls lever on undersea mountain)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p2, pan6 (top of undersea mountain opens)
Weird Wonder Tales#22/1, p3, pan1 (Dr. Druid swims through Aquaticans' city)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p4, pan1 (Dr. Druid swims toward Aquatican leader's palace)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p3 pan4 (Aquatican leader addresses his people on view-screen)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p4, pan5 (Dr. Druid (left) hypnotizes Aquatican leader)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p3, pan2 (S.S. Luxuria trapped within huge air-bubble)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p5, pan3 (Dr. Druid uses Aquatican technology to release S.S. Luxuria)
Amazing Adventures I#2/2, p5, pan5 (air-bubble bursts as S.S. Luxuria returns to surface)


Appearances:
Amazing Adventures I#2/2 (July, 1961)  - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks) - [original, as Dr. Droom and Atlanteans]
Weird Wonder Tales#22/1 (May, 1977) - same as above, including (for splash-page) John Byrne (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks); (for cover) Dave Cockrum (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks) - [reprint, as Dr. Druid and Aquaticans]


First Posted: 10/24/2019
Last updated: 10/24/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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