"Scavenger Hunt" by Dan Abnett, Vicente Cifuentes, Juan Castro, and more.
Aquaman has brought the man inside Dead Water back to Spindrift Station for examination. He's been kept inside a containment tube, with just enough water to keep him alive but unable to transform into the rampaging monster:
This borders on torture, but there's not much anyone can do under a way is found to keep Dead Water from resurfacing. The two members of the FBI working the case arrive, with info about the man--his life to this point, and the news is troubling:
The man, John Payne, has killed twelve people so far, but he has no memory of any of it. It seems as Dead Water he has been exacting revenge on all those people in his life who have crossed his path in a negative way, including ex-wife. The last thing he dos remember is working salvage for a man named Peter Mortimer. Aquaman knows that name, for it is the alter ego of the arch criminal named...The Scavenger!
Aquaman swims to a spot that the Scavenger might be using as an HQ, and after an attack by some henchmen, the Sea King's target arrives, bigger and badder than ever:
Back at Spindrift, Payne is so distraught of not being able to see his son that he begins to cry, despite being severely dehydrated. Unfortunately for everyone, that is enough for the transformation to occur, and Dead Water resurfaces, smashing out of the containment tube. Mera tries to stop it but is slapped down. Many miles away, Aquaman isn't having an easy time of it either:
...to be continued!
I thought this issue was a slight step back from the last two, mostly because it didn't feel like a story, just a series of random scenes. There's some good stuff in those scenes, the book just didn't hold together for me as much. Also, I know this is a superhero comic and all, but I wish the artists would tone it down a bit when it comes to Mera's anatomy, it feels like every month her waist gets smaller and her chest gets larger. I hope when regular artist Brad Walker takes over we can get away from the "lad mag" look into something a little less cartoony.
Spindrift Station, after just one issue, has turned into Aquaman's base of operations, akin to the Daily Planet or the roof of the GCPD, and that's a good thing. I have always thought to make Aquaman work as an ongoing headliner, he needed some of the more traditional trappings that some of his other, more regularly successful JLA pals had. SS is a good place to bring in the supporting characters, set up that issue's plot, etc. I hope it sticks around.
Despite any justifiable reasons, I have always liked The Scavenger as a villain and am happy to see him return, even if his plan doesn't seem to be anything more than "I built a bigger tech suit." Nevertheless, I will enjoy watching Aquaman paste him into the dirt next issue, like he always does: