Supporting Cast

Phineas Pike

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Phineas Pike


Residence: Mobile
Occupation: Amateur marine biologist, detective
First Appearance (Golden Age): Adventure Comics #140 (May 1949)


Little is known of the early life of Phineas Pike prior to his appearance in 1949 when he applied to the City Aquarium for a position.  Despite demonstrating considerable knowledge of marine biology, the Aquarium had no open positions and he remained unemployed.  When Aquaman arrived to donate a new fish species to the facility, Pike appealed to the hero to be made useful.  As they spoke, the police arrived with a message in a bottle and Pike leaps to assist, using his knowledge of the local marine currents to estimate to Aquaman the bottle’s likely origin.  Following PIke's projections, Aquaman finds a kidnap victim and routes the gang but the leader escapes.  Pike shortly arrives on the back of a large marine turtle and announces his new vocation: Sleuth of the Sea.  For his next trick, he shows Aquaman how to use phosphorescent algae to track the escapees, allowing the hero to catch them by surprise.  When they refuse to tell him who their contact is, Pike uses the species of barnacles on the hull to determine that the dock in Blue Bay and Aquaman takes off to confront them.  As he rounds them up, he credits Pike’s read of clues as essential.  As he gloats, Pike loses his balance and falls into the water, revealing his fundamental weakness: He can’t swim (Adventure Comics #140).

Undaunted, Pike hangs up a shingle at a local dock.  Aquaman teases that he still can’t swim and offers to teach him.  As they paddle in shallow waters, Aquaman spies a fishing vessel and takes a break to warn them that the local waters are barren.  As he approaches the ship, he is dismayed to caught up in a net and introduced to the captain: His arch-enemy Black Jack.  The pirate has groomed an Aquaman impersonator and throw the real Aquaman into a steel locker and dropped into the sea.  When Aquaman does not return, Pike becomes worried when a fish nips his knee.  Pike recognizes that fish a niche species of Black Bay and riding his turtle Myrtle, heads for the area.  Seeing large bubbles he sees the steel box and pulls it up, freeing Aquaman.  Following Pike’s guidance, Aquaman trails the ships oil leak to a sea carnival where the fake Aquaman has escaped with prized pearls. When the imposter refuses to talk, Pike provides clues to find Black Jack.  The pirate does not realize that the approaching Aquaman is in the real thing, making him an easy mark for a quick arrest.  Aquaman returns to find Pike swimming but see he has water wings and still can’t swim a stroke (Adventure Comics #141).

Continuing his business, Pike purchases a motor boat.  As he test drives it in the open sea, he loses control and wrecks in on a deserted island.  Knowing from his studies that it is uninhabited and well off the beaten path, he quickly starts to assemble shelter as a modern “Robinson Crusoe”.  In the weeks that follow, he establishes a home and uses the local marine fauna to meet his needs.  Meanwhile, Aquaman is seeking him but learns that Black Jack has been raiding the local pearl beds and abandons the search to pursue his nemesis.  He catches the pirate with his loot and summons fish to mire the ship.  Not to be out-foxed, Black Jack dumps tar onto Aquaman and his fish, freeing his vessel and making an escape.  His hideaway, it turns out, is the very island where the Sea Sleuth is marooned.  Seeing the criminals, Pike uses his knowledge of underwater acoustics to send a Morse coded message to Aquaman, revealing his location. Aquaman ambushes Black Jack and his men, defeating them quickly and then finds Pike, still sending Morse Code underwater.  Somewhat despondently, Pike abandons the home he has become attached to (Adventure Comics #143).

His later life and activities are unrecorded.


No other versions of Phineas Pike are known in any timeline that Earth-Two


Adventure Comics #140-141, #143