Mera is running into problems being Queen of Atlantis. She is incredibly bored and lonely, especially when Aquaman goes on patrol. She receives word from Professor Xeron in her world that he's partly fixed the gateway, and can send things through to Aquaman's world. He just can't bring them back yet. She orders him to send through her pet and a few of her friends.
Once in Atlantis, Mera and her friends become very unpopular, romping around the city. Aqualad goes to find Aquaman.
On the surface, an unethical showman, Taggert, has decided to capture Aquaman and some of his citizens for his show. He trailed a whale that Aquaman freed from his show back to Atlantis, and goes to Atlantis to meet his spy. He learns that they have a friend within the city.
The citizens of Atlantis tell Mera to send away her friends, or face a revolt. Nikkor, the cheif of Mera's friends, captures the citizens who intend to revolt, and sells them as slaves to Taggert without Mera's knowledge. His price: get rid of Aquaman so he can rule Atlantis.
Aquaman is freeing a giant squid from one of Taggert's traps when Aqualad finally finds him and tells him of the happenings in Atlantis. The head towards Atlantis, only to get captured by Taggert.
Aquaman can't believe that Mera has betrayed him, but he is used as a hostage to get the Atlanteans to perform.
Back in Atlantis, Mera wonders where Aquaman is, and Nikkor gives her another dose of potion, which makes her forget about Aquaman.
Aquaman arranges for his Atlanteans to escape during a performance, but is himself captured. The audience thinks it's part of the show.
Taggert puts Aquaman in a glass tank without water, and tells him to order the Atlanteans back, or die in one hour.
The Atlanteans retake the city from Nikkor and Mera, and put Mera on trial as a traitor.
Aquaman dies in the glass jar, and Taggert dumps his body back into the water.
Mera and Nikkor are sentenced to the Dungeon Depths. Aqualad, taking pity on Mera, goes to find Aquaman so he can pardon her. He meets up with a very much alive Aquaman, who rushes to the city. Mera has already been tossed into the depths, a pit from which nothing ever emerges. Aquaman follows her down.
At the bottom he finds her, and Nikkor. Nikkor admits to drugging her, and Aquaman and Nikkor start to fight. They stop when they are attacked by a monster. Nikkor and Aquaman battle it in vain, while Mera notices her mirror from her own dimension. Professor Xeron is there, and says he's repaired the dimensional warp. They can go to safety.
But the monster has Aquaman. Mera won't leave him, though Nikkor urges her to flee. Nikkor distracts the monster so Mera and Aquaman can flee to safety.
Mera says she won't get bored again, because she intends to go on patrols with Aquaman in the future.
The cover shows Queen Mera refusing to abandon Aquaman, even though a man in the background is telling her to come along and escape.
Xeron is shocked when Mera orders him to send over her pet. We find out why when the pet, a giant beast that she rides, arrives. It alone is enough to turn a lot of Atlanteans against her. Add in Nikkor, the fellow who wants to be king, and you've got genuine revolution going.
Taggert is a standard villain bad-guy, but he's smart. He figured out where Atlantis was and managed to enslave the population. When he dumps Aquaman's body into the water, he says he's going after the Atlanteans, but we don't see him again.
Aquaman survived an hour out of the water by having a sea bird turn the clock they were timing the hour on forward.
The Dungeon Depths remind me of the pit that shows up in the 1994 series, from which Mera emerges, and into which Atlanteans toss their dead.
Shorts and notable ads in this issue: a one-page public service cartoon about JFK, half-page text piece on "The Sea's Most Fearsome Creatures"