Showcase #79 presented us with Dolphin, by creator writer and artist Jay Scott Pike. The striking cover caught my attention. Something worth checking out, after all, this is the series where a number of DC superheroes got their start.
|Here's some nice Dave Steven's art on Dolphin!|
Dolphin was a very young girl when she fell overboard from a cruise ship (Secret Origins #50) only to be saved from drowning when a mysterious alien race abducted her to use as an experimental prototype for a subaquatic humanoid race. In the course of these experiments, she acquired gills, webbed fingers and toes, shining white hair, superhuman strength, resilience to deep water pressures, and a slowed aging process.
When the alien scientists suddenly abandoned the experiment, Dolphin escaped their underwater lab. Oblivious to her former humanity, the feral young woman scavenged underwater for her livelihood, eventually finding her trademark short blue-jeans and white shirt inside a sunken ship. She has always been alone her entire life, constantly swimming and enjoying her personal freedom. But she grew into young womanhood and she tired of living an isolated, lonely life. Then one day, the crew of an oceanology vessel saved her from a near lethal encounter with a dolphin-killing shark and then took her aboard their ship to help her.
Over time, the crew of the ship tried to educate and care for the girl they'd dubbed "Dolphin", but her utter lack of contact with either humans or Atlanteans had left her mute. Though she grew to understand spoken language fairly quickly, the act of speech itself remained beyond her. Then, a young female doctor on the crew had the bright idea to instruct her in sign language. Finally able to communicate, she explained what she could of herself and her story, and expressed her desire to resume her undersea life. At some point, Dolphin finally mastered spoken language, (especially when she started having contact with the superheroic community), but never lost her shyness and reluctance to speak. She has since been a woman of few words.
"The Fantasy at 14 Fathoms"
US Navy frogmen cut into a sunken WWII Navy ship to retrieve documents from a vault, spotting a white-haired girl at the sea bottom. When she's brought aboard, she turns blue from suffocation - because she has gills. With regular dips in the ocean, she falls for Chris and learns some English. Dolphin's origin is a mystery.
As a storm kicks up and the wreck teeters, Chris ask her to retrieve the documents, but the wreck slips into the abyss. Still, she surfaces smiling. With the mission complete, they'll return to land. Dolphin can't go, and dives overboard - into her world.
Created, written, and illustrated by J. Scott (Girls' Romances, Jann of the Jungle) Pike.
Secret Origins #50
"Reflections of a Deep Fantasy"
Former Navy diver Chris Landau has spent twenty years trying to find Dolphin again, who now performs a marine park in Florida. He discovers that they were both part of an alien experiment.
Written by Bove (Batman) & Richard (Adam Strange) Bruning with art by Bove & K. S. Wilson
|Jay Scott Pike cover!|
|Jay Scott Pike cover!|
|Dolphin in later appearance in DC Comics.|
|Jay Scott Pike Dolphin-like tale from Atlas Comics|
Live Large My Friends!
|Pike also illustrated men's magazines & calendar pin-ups!|