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Cover of Aquaman #9
Aquaman #9 (1962)

Title: The Secret Mission of King Neptune
Cover Title: The Secret Mission of King Neptune!
Cover Date: June 1963
Indica Date: May-Jun 1963 (published Bi-Monthly)

Writer: Bob Haney
Artist: Nick Cardy
Lettering: Nick Cardy
Editor: Murray Boltinoff
Cover: Nick Cardy

Cover Price: $0.12
Page Count:


Chapter 1: The Secret Mission of King Neptune

As a favor to his old friend, Captain Crane, Aquaman searches for the entrance to the kingdom of King Neptune. Aquaman finds the entrance, with the help of his finny friends, and let's Crane himself go first. But a whirlpool envelopes Crane, and an explosion pushes the Aqua-duo back. They race to help Crane, only to be confronted by an angry King Neptune, who refuses to let them pass.

They battle Neptune, who uses his magic to transform a fish into a winged sea-horse, then rides after them.

Chapter 2: The Menace of the Aqualad-Creature

The Aqua-duo manage to lose Neptune by raising a cloud of sand, and then they return to the cave entrance. They search for Crane unsuccessfully in the cave, finding his gear, but no sign of him. They also find a plaque that depicts an underwater volcano. They decide they must find Neptune and force the truth out of him.

Neptune is on the surface, disrupting shipping. Aquaman and Aqualad help out his victims, then try to take Neptune's trident, the apparent source of his powers, away. But Neptune catches Aqualad in the act and turns him into a sea beast that attacks Aquaman.

Chapter 3: The End of Aqualad

The surfacers have decided to bomb Neptune, and will give Aquaman until noon to solve the problem his way before the bombs come down. Aquaman remembers the volcano plaque Neptune's cave, and goes back to see if he can find some answers. The plaque is the cover to a vault, which contains a letter that explains the whole plot.

Long ago, Neptune was a sea sorcerer who patrolled the seas, much like Aquaman does today. But as he grew older and was nearing death, he predicted an undersea volcano that would destroy the world. He decided to use his powers to give some future adventurer his powers and a mission: to protect life after the eruption. And Crane was the man who became Neptune.

Aquaman rushes to save Crane and Aqualad from the bombs. He has some whales make up a sign to warn off the pilots. They are still in the area when the volcano erupts and sends a massive wave toward the shore. Neptune acts quickly and disperses the wave harmlessly, then turns back into Crane. Aqualad too turns back to normal.


Another good cover. Maybe I just like seahorses or something...

Crane is a bit of a nut. His house is built like an old sailing ship. He's a friend of Aquaman's though, and Aquaman says he is steeped in the lore of the sea.

Aquaman spends a lot of his time fighting "sea beasts". This time, it's Aqualad as Sea Beast. Aqualad looks like a big lobster with purple eyes and a lot of hair.

Neptune's tale is told in a flashback as Aquaman reads his note. You'd think he would've left the note in a better place so folks could figure out what was happening sooner.

Shorts in this issue: one-page public service cartoon on doing jobs well, one-page cartoon "Records of the Sea", and a one-page text piece about bugle calls, quarantines, and tattoos.


Rating: 6

A bit contrived and silly.

Review Date: 5 July 1998, By Laura Gjovaag