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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Aquaman (Vol.3) #4 - Sept. 1989

Comics Weekend "The Tide of Battle" by Keith Giffen, Curt Swan, Robert Loren Fleming, and Al Vey.

The battle between the alien invaders and Atlantis is at a stand-still:
Food has become scarce, rationing has begun, and the crime rate soars. Outside, the alien invaders choose to wait for Atlantis to self-destruct before making their next move.

Meanwhile, inside the royal palace, once again stands Aquaman:

Atlantis is waiting for Aquaman to readjust to being king again, but he is having a difficult time of it--Atlantis doesn't have a lot of options, and so he spends countless hours sitting in an empty throne room trying to figure out what to do, as well as mourning the loss of his wife.

He screws up the courage to visit the body of Mera, as it lies in state:

As he mutters an apology to her, something...unexpected happens: Mera rises from her coffin, ready to resume her attack on her husband!

After an off-hand comment about her unique physiology, Mera prepares to lash out again. But Aquaman stops her long enough to explain that she has accomplished her true mission: to make her husband hate himself for what happened to their son.

Mera pauses at that realization, and then disappears:

Aquaman collapses into a heap, sobbing over the death of his son, and his inability to stop it.

Meanwhile, outside, some of the alien invaders wait outside Atlantis' dome, making the Atlanteans inside tense, constantly on the alert. Finally, one of the generals decides to launch an attack at the aliens, a plan that Aquaman, once he's informed of it, vehemently disagrees with.

But when the general asks Aquaman for a better plan, he's stunned into silence. This begins to snap Aquaman out of his funk:

Aquaman spies his subjects bravely ready to head into battle, on what will be not much more than a suicide mission. He swims atop a nearby building, trying to formulate a plan:
...to be continued!


Joseph Brian Scott said...

I don't like dissin' this mini because it seems like everyone worked really hard on it...no one sets out to make a bad comic, right? But...ugh. I don't like it any more than when I actually paid money for it. No one involved with this was right for the character. And of course I remember it as the story that took Mera away from comicdom for years!

Joe Slab said...


Have you covered the story behind the story on this one on the Shrine?

How the original plan was for Mera to be truly dead, but Dick Giordano had a fondness for the character and used editorial intervention to give her an out back to her own world?

rob! said...


You're absolutely right. I generally don't like being negative, because as you say no one tries to make a bad comic. I address that a bit on the last post later this afternoon.


No, I haven't covered the back story to this. I didn't know that about DG, another reason I love the guy!