Story 1: Aquaman's Secret Powers
A dying man gives Aquaman the power to transform himself four times. Each transformation will only last six hours, and can only be used once.
Aquaman uses the powers to stretch out and deliver a sick man to surgeons, then to become a balloon and rescue a sinking ship from a reef, then he transforms into a wall to protect a village from a tidal wave. He's tired, and about to tell Aqualad what the last power is, when a helicopter makes an emergency landing and tells him about a crumbling bridge.
His last transformation is into a ten thousand-ton juggernaut. He holds up the crumbling bridge until a school bus full of children can escape, then wedges the bridge into the mountainside. He starts his trek back to water, but goes very slowly. He's afraid that he's going to be out of water longer than his hour, but manages to divert a river onto himself. He gets back to the sea safely, having used up all his magical transformations.
Story 2: The Tyrant Ruler of Atlantis
Aquaman (with Aqualad as chaperone) has a date with Mera. He's promised to show her Atlantis. Mera asks if Aquaman is King, and he says he's not, it's just his ancestral home. Suddenly, an underwater volcano erupts, and Aquaman diverts a rock hurtling toward Mera, but it knocks him unconscious. Mera uses her powers to get the trio out, and Aqualad and Mera take Aquaman to Atlantis where the doctors tend to him.
When Aquaman wakes up, though, he seriously believes himself to be King of Atlantis, with Mera as his Queen. The doctors suggest humouring him, and Aquaman runs rampant. He orders the fish to battle each other for his and Mera's amusement. When Aqualad protests, Aquaman attacks him. Mera traps Aquaman so he can't hurt Aqualad, and the Atlanteans put him in a lake of dense water that he can't easily escape from, so he can't harm anyone. They hope he'll come to his senses soon.
He orders octopi to help him, but they can't. When they release him, he knocks his head again, and comes to his senses. Another earthquake strikes, and Aquaman realizes he's in danger. He gets swordfish to push a rock into the lake of dense water, which pushes him out. He returns to Atlantis, and makes it clear he doesn't think he is king any more.
Mera mentions that he could become a king... by marrying her.
This cover is striking, especially after the way Mera was flirting with Aquaman at the end of last issue. Now she's ready to abandon him to his death? Certainly makes you want to read more. Ironically, you have to read a completely different story first...
Aquaman uses his fourth transformation to knock over a mountain and divert a river to him. I have to wonder if that did any damage to the local life.
Aquaman makes a horrid king. But the whole concept of Aquaman as King with Mera as Queen is first introduced here. It actually fits him well when he's sane.
Mera admits to Aqualad that she wants to be married to Aquaman. The insane tyrant isn't what she was thinking of, though.
The Atlanteans put Aquaman in the lake of dense water, then just leave him there. They don't even post a guard. If he does come back to his senses, how are they going to know?
Shorts in this issue: half-page "Little Pete" cartoon, one-page text piece about "The Fish Our of Time", and a one-page service announcement about senoir citizens.
There is a circulation statement in this issue. It states that the law that makes it necessary was passed Oct 23, 1962. The date of filing is October 1st, 1963. I don't know how far ahead the comics were actually published, but the editor of this book is given as George Kashdan.
Two good stories, one with heavy foreshadowing of the future.