Adventure Comics #448
Title: Crown, Crisis and Cataclysm
Cover Title: Who will Kill Aquaman?
Cover Date: November-December 1976
Writer: Paul Levitz
Art: Jim Aparo
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Joe Orlando
Cover: Jim Aparo
Cover Price: $0.30
Page Count: 17 pages
Aquaman returns to the Aquacave and finds Mera and Artie Jr missing. He's then attacked by Manta, in the cave, who takes him prisoner for Karshon. Vulko is in the same prison when he awakes, and brings Aquaman up-to-date. In the meantime, Karshon pays Manta the fee for his work, a map to the city of the lost tribes.
Aquaman is taken to the throne room just before Aqualad, Mupo, and Tula arrive to free Vulko. In the throne room, Aquaman confronts Karshon, and they battle, but Karshon has prepared a trap for Aquaman. But before Karshon can declare victory, Aqualad and friends arrive, and Vulko's mere existence tells that Karshon has been lying to the people.
But Karshon isn't through yet. He transforms into The Shark, and tells Aquaman that Mera and Artie Jr are doomed unless Aquaman consents to a hunt. So Aquaman becomes the prey, and tricks the Shark into some dumped radiation, transforming him back into a regular shark.
The story ends with Vulko taking the crown of Atlantis, so Aquaman can be free to be a family man and hero.
The Shark faced off against Superman and Green Lantern before Aquaman. In this story arc he set up one heckuva trap to just be able to hunt Aquaman. Among other things, he took over the Atlantean council with his telepathy and figured out how to nullify Mera's powers.
A subplot is set up for future issues when the action jumps to a farmhouse outside the dome, and we learn that a man named Mcaan is after Aqualad.
Karshon told the people of Atlantis that Vulko had died in his sleep, but imprisoned him instead. As usual, the people of Atlantis are extremely fickle and immediately call for Karshon's head once the truth is revealed. It's not a wonder that Aquaman doesn't want to be king anymore, after the way they've treated him.
Mupo is a good shot. He frees Aquaman from Karshon's cage with one shot. You may remember Mupo from a story-arc in which he led a rebellion in Atlantis. In any case, he's on the good side in this one, helping Aqualad and Tula.
Well, the mystery is solved, and a new era of Aqua-stories has been set up with Vulko as the king of Atlantis.