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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Atlantis Chronicles #2 - April 1990

Comics Weekend "The Atlantis Chronicles" by Peter David and Esteban Maroto.

Much time has passed since the first installment of the Atlantis Chronicles. The man then in charge of keeping Atlantis' history, Albart, has killed himself. His nephew, Britton, has taken up the task and was the one who found the second volume of official history in the lap of Albart's corpse.

Albart committed suicide because he felt cut off from the world, trapped, he felt, in the domed city of Atlantis:
After the great cataclysm, things in Atlantis have not been so peaceful. Factions have broken out--people of a more secular nature, and those who are the devout followers of Shakalo.

Orin breaks up a fight personally, telling all his subjects he will making a formal pronouncement that night (an arbitrary construct, ever since the cataclysm). The time arrives, and Orin announces what he plans to do:
Shalako says that using a series of underground tunnels that have remained intact, he and his followers will travel to Atlantis' other main city, Tritonis, and take up residency there. Orin reluctantly agrees.

Days later, Shalako and his people arrive at Tritonis. When a giant barrier is opened for the first time since the meteor, water comes pouring in--but Shalako turns to the gods:
Shalako's wife Loma cannot believe her husband's power, thanks to the god Suula. Shalako admits that he has forsaken Suula, ever since she allowed the great destruction. He know communes with other beings, ones that "have no easy names."

Shalako says its these gods who have given him power, but at a price: his wife, Loma! Plunging a dagger into her chest, he leans in for a goodbye kiss. Loma spits in his face, enraging Shalako, who slaps her and then delivers another, final, blow.

As Shalako's people emerged from the tunnel, they see a miracle: a dome over the city! The people also see the dead Loma, but they believe Shalako's story that the gods took her. The only one who is suspicious is their son, Dardanus, who eyes his father with great suspicion.

Back in Poseidonis, Orin's wife Narmea is sure that Shalako turned Loma. Orin tacitly agrees with her, but says he cannot interfere lest a civil war break out, the exact thing he has been trying to avoid.
As time passes, things get worse in Poseidonis. The people, stuck with each other, start to turn violent, even insane. Meanwhile, outside, the denizens of the deep circle Atlantis' dome like the target it is. In between fighting each other, they even start to work towards a common goal: smashing the dome open, to get at the meaty center!

The dome gets cracked, and Orin sends his men to repair it and fight off the seaq creatures struggling to get inside. Some are killed in the effort.

Orin consults with Alloroc (whose son Bazil has become betrothed to Orin's daughter), and shows him what he and his scientists have been experimenting on: the ability to breathe under water!

Having successfully experimented on a dog, they now move on to a human trial: Orin himself! Orin's wife is horrified he would take such a risk, but Orin looks at it as the duty of a leader to lead, despite the risks.

The next day, in front of his citizens, Orin heads outside the dome, and:
In what seems like a miracle, volunteers line up to be given the serum. The citizens of Poseidonis begin to grow comfortable living under water--working, playing, living.

Orin and some others travel to Tritonis, where they offer to show Shalako a miracle of science. Some of Shalako's people like what they hear, but Shalako is having none of it: he says this is another affront to the gods!

Shalako's people break with him, and line up to take the serum. Eventually, Shalako is left in his palace, all alone, with no one to lead. In his chambers, he communicates with the gods:
Some of the mutated people of Tritonis turn to Shalako for help, but he dismisses them, saying this what they get for defying the gods. But he is countered by his son, who tells them his father is at fault, for bringing a curse down upon his people.

The people of Tritonis go mad, and attack Shalako. Not content with that, they destroy everything in the city connected to him--including members of Shalako's family, who they butcher. The only one to get away is Dardanus, who knew where to hide.

Shalako tries to escape himself, but:
...to be continued!


Wings1295 said...

This issue was easier to follow, even if it was dark and mystical. Interesting stuff, forgot how epic this comic was.

Joe Slab said...

Wow! Beautiful art in this series.

Orin's dad said...

I always loved this mini-series. Thought both the art and the story were excellent.