There is an earthquake in Atlantis. Aquaman reassures the population, then starts rebuilding. He, Mera, Aquababy, and Aqualad are searching for coral blocks for the rebuilding in a quarry. A sudden stampede of sea-life threatens Aquababy, but he is rescued by Topo.
Aquaman and Aqualad search for the cause of the stampede, and Aqualad spots a giant eye. He tells Aquaman, who doesn't believe him until a giant hands bursts from the coral and holds him up above the water.
Nothing can move the giant hand that holds Aquaman above the water. Even Mera uses her powers, and can't move it. Just as Aquaman is dying from the lack of water, the hand abruptly lets go and vanishes back into its hole.
Within Atlantis, they discover that a fissure opened by the quake has revealed an old building from before the sinking, which contains the lab of Dr Tryton. Aquaman picks up a crystal rob which fires a burst of energy, barely missing Aqualad.
Aquaman thinks the name Tryton is familiar, and does some research in Atlantis' old library. He discovers that Tryton was the man who created the dome over the city, and that he built it by becoming a giant. He was buried in the final earthquakes that sank the city, a fate he didn't fight because the same method that turned him into a giant would eventually turn him into a raging ogre.
Aquaman goes to kill the ogre that is now under the city with the crystal rod. Instead, Tryton grabs him and throws him down a hole where he finds a US Missile. While he's pondering this development, a familar ship bursts through the whole. Ocean Master has returned!
Ocean Master, who thinks Aquaman is afraid of him, leaves his ship and goes toward the rocket, which he stole. Aquaman learns that it's an atomic warhead, and warns Ocean Master that it is booby-trapped. Ocean Master scoffs and tries to retrieve it. Aquaman convinces Ocean Master to let him defuse it first, now realizing that Tryton was trying to warn him of the danger.
Ocean Master shoots Aquaman and takes off with the missile. Aqualad wakes Aquaman, and they chase Ocean Master. The needn't have worried, as Tryton bursts up from the sea floor and grabs both the missile and Ocean Master's ship. He starts crushing the ship, and Aquaman uses the crystal rod to save his brother. Tryton takes the missile into a chasm and detonates it.
Ocean Master gets away.
This cover just looks different from the rest. Aquaman is being held in a giant pink and purple hand and Aqualad is attacking desperately.
Mera relies on Aquaman to save Aquababy during the stampede, apparently forgetting that her own powers might rescue him much more easily by throwing up a shield around him.
Aquababy talks on page 5, apparently the stampede of sea life shocked him into words for the first time. His first words are "Nice Fishies" and his next words are "Me Okay" to reassure his parents.
Why don't Mera and Aqualad bring water up to Aquaman instead of continually trying to move the hand back under water?
The letter column now has it's official title: Aqua-Mail. There are only three long letters. The second one, complete with story idea, is from Mark Evanier.
Shorts and notable ads in this issue: a half-page Direct Currents column and a one-page public service cartoon (which I've seen before) about doing your work right.
There is a circulation statement in this issue. Here are the numbers: The first column is the average over the preceding twelve months, the second is the exact numbers for the issue nearest their filing date (October 1st, 1966). The total number of copies printed: aver=376,000 and exact=420,000. The total subcribers: aver=1,403 and exact=1,468, and through dealers: aver=227,000 and exact=290,000. Total paid circulation: aver=228,403 and exact=291,468. Free copies sent out for both columns was 330, which made the total number of copies distributed: aver=228,733 and exact=291,798. Leftovers: aver=147,267 and exact=128,202. Compare these numbers to today's sales numbers for a bit of a shock.
A good story that gives insight into Atlantis' history.