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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Know Your Villains: The Trench

Our fourth installment of Know Your Aquaman Villains focuses not on a single villain, but rather a group of mindless, rampaging beasts: no, not comic book fans--the undersea horde known as The Trench!

From a marketing standpoint, The Trench could not have been given an, er, splashier introduction: they were the first villains Aquaman faced in his New 52 form, getting to appear on the cover to issue #1 (Nov. 2011) right there next to the Sea King:
Some unknowing fishermen run afoul of The Trench, who have come to the surface looking for food. After chomping their way through them, The Trench see the lights from the nearby city and head there. After another late night attack, the local police ask Aquaman to get involved, which leads to even more trouble:
After killing one of The Trench, Aquaman carts the corpse to Dr. Steven Shin, whose autopsy reveals where they come from and how they use some of paralyzing goo on their enemies before the kill. Aquaman and Mera take off for the portion of the Mid-Atlantic that The Trench hail from, putting themselves into the lion's den.

Aquaman and Mera battle The Trench on their own turf, ultimately squaring off against the "queen", a massive, nightmarish creature:
Outnumbered, Aquaman determines the only way to escape as well as keeping the Trench from attacking again is to seal the fissure in the ocean floor that leads to the surface. With the help of Mera and an underground volcanic eruption, Aquaman uses all of his massive strength to move a giant chunk of rock, sealing The Trench in forever, dooming them to slowly starve to death.
But of course you can't keep a good rampaging mass of razor-tooth monsters down, and The Trench reappeared about a year later in the "Throne of Atlantis" storyline that ran in Aquaman and Justice League. This time, The Trench faced squared off against the League while Aquaman battled his brother Orm, who was attempting to take over the United States (Justice League #17, April 2013):
Aquaman, having defeated Orm, declares himself King of the Seven Seas, ordering all his subjects--even The Trench--to fall in line. Surprisingly they do, showing that they are not quite as mindless as they first appeared to be.

The Trench continued to hover around the margins of the Aquaman book following these two storylines. When Black Manta went searching for relics of the dead Atlantean king, we saw some ancient statuary that looked awfully familiar:
We learned in Aquaman #24 (Dec. 2013) that The Trench were, in fact, the end result of a sect of Atlanteans who were separated from the rest of the kingdom eons ago after Atlan destroyed it.

The Trench returned the next issue, under the command of Aquaman(!), when the Sea King needed extra reinforcements to defeat the Dead King and Nereus, who claims Mera as his bride (good luck with that):
This was the last we saw of The Trench--for now. Having been given such a powerful debut, there's no way that future Aquaman writers won't bring them back, possibly to menace Aquaman again, even though they currently recognize him as their king.

One appearance we can be reasonably sure will happen will take place in 2018, when the Aquaman movie hits theaters. Along with other Aqua-Foes, The Trench have been tapped to appear in that film, which ought to provide some good old fashioned nightmare fuel to Aqua-Fans worldwide.


The Trench Created by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado.

The Trench Appearances:
Aquaman (Vol.8) #s 1-4, 24, 25
Justice League #s 16, 17
Aquaman The Movie???

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