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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Aquaman (Vol.6) #70 - Aug. 2000

Comics Weekend "Unification By Division"

After getting to see how the war between Atlantis and Cerdia ended, this issue deals with the affairs of state a king has to contend with.

The people of Cerdia, still amid their destroyed home, are surprised to see their new King arrive:
At first, the people of Cerdia are none too keen on having their bitter enemy as their king, but Arthur convinces them that, over time, they will come to believe in him--he has no desire to force anyone to be his followers. He promises the people of Cerdia a better life than they can ever dream of (yes we can!). And if he fails to do so, he will step down, and Cerdia can elect whomever they want.

Unfortunately, all is not kumbaya back in Atlantis. There is a group of Atlanteans who want no part of Cerdia, and are holding a protest to let their king know how they feel.

Aquaman, Mera, and Vulko watch the demonstrations, and Mera asks how Arthur plans to unite everyone. He says he won't:
...this was an idea I thought was long overdue in the history of Aquaman. With the constant tug of war between being King and being a superhero driving Aquaman to distraction, it only makes sense to turn to his most trusted partner, his Queen, to assume more of a leadership role in Atlantis.

But as this moment in Atlantean history is being born, we see that the anger towards Cerdia is taking a nastier turn than just protests--a group of Atlanteans commandeer a warship, with plans to blast Cerdia completely off the map!

As Mera talks to the protesters, Arthur goes to visit Garth and Dolphin (and their as-yet-unnamed son), reminding Garth that he is, for all intents and purposes, Atlantis' prince, and he has to assume some royal duties.

But the conversation is interrupted when Rodunn tells Arthur of the stolen warship. Of course, Aquaman heads out to catch up to them:
The rebel Atlanteans fire torpedoes on a Red Cross ship delivering supplies to Cerdia, but Aquaman knocks them off course so they miss their targets.

While the Cerdians think this is yet another attack by Atlantis, Aquaman swims right up the stolen ship's torpedo tube, knocking out several of the separatists.

When one of them sets the ship for self-destruct, Aquaman pilots the ship towards the sky, as high as he can get it before jumping out (along with the separatists), where it explodes without harming anyone.

Later that day, Arthur, as King, holds a ceremony for the people of Cerdia, along with Mera, Garth, Dolphin, and Vulko. As a gesture of good will, he introduces someone who will hopefully become a symbol of the unity of the two peoples--Garth and Dolphin's son Cerdian!:
Another fine issue, this story manages to deal with the enormous task facing any leader--how to deal with your people after a war is over.

So many times in comics, you have these giant battles between people, and then once the war is over, everything is fine again, which is of course not how it goes. Dan Jurgens manages to deal with what could be a dull subject, and builds a compelling story around the trappings of Arthur's office.

This issue was not drawn by the regular art team of Steve Epting and Norm Rapmund (it was by guest artists Gordon Purcell and Claude St. Aubin), but they will return next issue!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, this sounds like such an excellent series. I'd really like to try and track these issues down. I love the bit with Arthur and Mera....those two are just fated to be together, and it would be nice if DC would figure that out.:P