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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aquaman (Vol.6) #16 - Jan. 1996

"Kings" by Peter David, Martin Egeland, and Howard Shum.

Yes, as the prophecy has foretold, Atlantis has risen:
Dolphin spies Aquaman standing atop the dome, communing with sea birds. While he looks happy; he's a bit unsure: he's had visions where this came to pass, but not exactly in this way. He speaks to Dolphin of destiny "branching off" and wonders if his son Koryak didn't have something to do with it.

Little does Aquaman know how right he is, for at this moment Koryak is face-to-slimy-face with Kordax. Everyone else, more familiar with Atlantean history than Koryak, is stunned beyond words, but when Kordax orders Koryak to bow in subservience, he refuses.

Meanwhile, Aquaman sees the approach of the Justice League jet. Most of the team believes that the raving Thanatos is really Aquaman gone mad, but Wonder Woman defends her old colleague. They make their way into Atlantis, where they're met by Dolphin:
Below Tritonis, Kordax makes quick work of Koryak and the Atlantean soldiers, immediately demanding all the Atlanteans obey his word, which they agree to. Using a mystical symbol on a wall, he drops them all into a pit, and then follows right behind, laughing all the way.

Back in Atlantis, the JLA asks him about the worldwide broadcast "he" made, something of course he knows nothing about. Still, the world governments are worried, and have asked the JLA to investigate. Aquaman denies them this, but one of the JLAers, Obsidian (Obsidian???) goes ahead, using his powers to disappear into the level below.

He is quickly zapped by some sort of defense mechanism, which enrages Martian Manhunter. He lays a hand on Aquaman, which quickly escalates into a brawl:
Dolphin takes on Wonder Woman, but of course she's no match, and Diana ends up knocking Dolphin across Atlantis.

Aquaman is fighting Guy Gardner, and pauses to trip some sort of switch, allowing water to pour into the room, the building, the entire dome! The JLA realizes it needs to get out of Atlantis, fast, and Aquaman allows them to go.

Now outside of the city, Wonder Woman decides to leave Aquaman alone...for now. Later, Aquaman and Dolphin reach the end of a very long couple of days
To be continued!

Although I was taken aback at how angry and unnecessarily confrontational Aquaman is here--especially to his old friends Diana and J'onn--it is undeniably cool to see Aquaman on his home turf, being so thoroughly in command. The JLAers' inability to deal with this personality change in their friend mirrors that of many longtime Aquaman readers, me included.


Wings1295 said...

Add me in there, too. Aquaman was never this... loose cannon, angry ass before. Hopefully he won't be going back this route, either.

David J. Cutler said...

He seems much more his old self again in Brightest Day (thought I could do with the return of his sense of humor) but I have to say, the further we get away from this era the more I like it. People go through dark periods, and after what happened with Hal shortly before, you can see why the JLA would be so quick to believe Arthur'd lost it, too. And I still like Pirate Aquaman's pants.

KJ Sampson said...

This was the issue that sold me on Aquaman as a character to be taken seriously. But I'm with you guys.