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Cover of Aquaman #23
Aquaman #23 (1962)

Title: The Birth of Aquababy
Cover Title: The Birth of Aquababy!
Cover Date: October 1965
Indica Date: Sep-Oct 1965 (published Bi-Monthly)

Writer: Bob Haney
Artist: Nick Cardy
Lettering: Nick Cardy
Editor: George Kashdan
Cover: Nick Cardy

Cover Price: $0.12
Page Count:


Part 1

Mera is pregnant, and Aquaman learns that there is a genetic defect in his family. Any baby will die, and so will the mother, unless a serum is taken that counteracts the effects of the malady. And Atlantis has run out of the supply of the serum.

Aquaman goes to acquire more of the serum, with his partner Aqualad. Aquaman imagines a strong young man who can take over his patrols eventually, and even become King. Aqualad imagines a strong young man who will exile him from Atlantis.

The enter the Gulf of Terrors, and Aquaman is immediately attacked by Sirens who try to lure him to them. Aqualad lashes him to his mount, and they continue on. Next their mounts are scared off by something, and they have to walk across a bed of lava. But the lava sucks them in... Aquaman calls for help and a giant squid comes, but is it in time?

Part 2

The squid pulls them free, and they continue on, watched by a malevolent force that decides to challenge them directly. It tells them that they must pay for invading its domain, and then attacks. It is a shape-changer. Aquaman tricks it and hits it hard enough that it turns into its natural form: Sinquo, another exile from Atlantis.

Sinquo decides to give Aquaman the serum, for defeating him fairly. And Aquaman and Aqualad speed back toward Mera. They are caught in a colcanic explosion, and trapped. Aquaman manages to get the serum to an octopus, who passes it from fish to fish to get it to Atlantis in time.

Part 3

As Mera lies dying, a tiny fish manages to get the serum to her, dying with the effort. Aquaman arrives shortly after, having been searching for the serum. Aquababy is safely born...

...and presented to the people. And immediately creates a giant fish that attacks Aquaman. He also shoots out bolts that poke holes in the dome. The Atlanteans exile him, and Aquaman, Mera, and Aqualad leave the city.

Aquaman leaves the exiles to gather food, and returns to find Aqualad and Mera asleep while Aquababy fights off Horrkas (undersea apes). Aquababy's powers give out before he defeats the last one, and Aquaman saves him. The exiles return to Atlantis.


The cover, besides proclaiming the joyous occassion, also demonstrates that Aquababy is going to be a handful for his parents, as he can create monsters out of hard-water (just like his mother).

Aquaman has just heard that Mera is pregnant, and she can't be far along since she displays no signs of it, and he is told that "there is little time". It's all relative, I guess... I can't help but wonder if the whole quest isn't just an excuse to get Aquaman out of the city for a few months.

Aquaman offers Sinquo a pardon. This after the guy just tried to kill him.

They don't know what caused Aquababy to have powers. But the powers didn't last long. Aquaman suspects a prank by Sinquo. You would think that it might have to do with Mera's powers, and how she just got them back.

The Atlanteans exile Aquababy, which horrifies Mera. This is long before the Aquaman as exile origin, but after Aqualad was exiled for his purple eyes. When you think about it, Atlantis has a long history of exiling anything that doesn't fit their worldview.

The Horrkas are trying to invade Atlantis when Aquababy stops them. Seems they have another hero in the family already.

Shorts and notable ads in this issue: another one-page Cheerios cartoon ad featuring Rocky and Bullwinkle, a one-page public service cartoon about pollution, a one-page text piece entitled "History on the Rocks", and a half-page "Little Pete" cartoon.


Rating: 7

Aquaman has a son, and a rather pointless quest to get him.

Review Date: 11 July 1998, By Laura Gjovaag