Rich Peter Dudley is bored with life. The only place he feels comfortable is in the oceans. While diving, he spots and accidently captures Mera, hurting her arm in the process. He starts to take her to the surface, only to get attacked by Aquaman, who frees Mera. Aquaman accepts Dudley's apology, then he and Mera join him on the yacht above. They enjoy his hospitality, but Dudley has fallen head over heels for Mera.
A few days later, Doctor Ludorf arrives at the yacht. Peter Dudley has offered him a million dollars to build a hospital in Africa, if he will perform one operation. Dudley wants Ludorf to turn him into a duplicate of Aquaman.
The operation starts out smoothly, but Dudley starts to mutate into a beast version of Aquaman. As Ludorf attempts to reverse the process, Dudley breaks free and leaps from the yacht into the ocean, going after Mera. He sneaks into Atlantis in an ore-cart and attacks Aquaman and his family...
Aquaman rushes to defend Mera, but Dudley just laughs off his best punch. Dudley then beats Aquaman to the ground, pushes aside Aqualad, and grabs Mera. She uses her powers to imprison him, but he breaks free and drags her from the city.
Aquaman wakes up and immediately orders the fish to search for the pair. He then goes to Dudley's yacht, following a hunch, and learns from Ludorf what happened. Aquaman and Aqualad go to search for Mera, following the fish guides into the "forgotten place", a deadly maze that no Atlantean dare enter.
Inside the forgotten place, Dudley and Mera face the first danger, the Demonoids. Dudley fights them, but they zap him with helmet beams and capture Mera. Not to worry, she is freed by Aquaman and Aqualad. But that attracts the attention of the rest of the Demonoids, who ignore Dudley and stun Aquaman and Aqualad. Dudley grabs Mera and flees, while Aquaman and Aqualad are captured...
The Demonoids (which are actually sinister androids) stun Aquaman and Aqualad and are preparing to go after Mera and Dudley, unaware that Aquaman is sending out a telepathic call for help. A Kraken responds and battles the Demonoids, allowing Aquaman and Aqualad to awake and go after the pair themselves.
Dudley and Mera, meanwhile, enter the lair of Hammuri. Hammuri is an alien being who crashed on Earth long ago, and cannot leave the forgotten place because the magnetic field there keeps him alive. He decides to kill Dudley and have his computer absorb Mera's brain. Dudley battles him, and Hammuri takes Dudley over a chasm of intense current, to smash him. But Dudley breaks Hammuri's wings, and they both take the deadly plunge.
Aquaman and Aqualad reach Mera and rescue her. Mera vows to not forget Dudley's sacrifice.
Another striking cover (weren't the Silver Age covers great!) of Aquaman being beaten up by a monster version of himself.
Peter Dudley is arrogant and annoying, but when he captures Mera and accidently hurts her, his only intent in taking her to the surface is to patch up her arm.
Doctor Ludorf expects Aquaman to punish him for performing the operation on Dudley, but Aquaman forgives him because it was done to get money for a noble cause. Aquaman also forgives Dudley, and claims that the Aquabeast is not the same person.
At the end of the story, the captions ask if this is really the end of Aquabeast... and tells readers that the answer can only by told in future issues of Aquaman.
The letter column has letters about issues 32, and about Ocean Master in particular. One letter reminds me of the current fans (myself included) when the writer asks that Aquaman stop calling Aqualad "Little Sardine" or "Tadpole" because it "is not only out of character-- it is sickening!" The more things change...
Shorts and notable ads in this issue: A half-page Cap's Hobby Hints, a half-page Homer cartoon, a full-page ad about summer projects, and a full page Direct Currents (with ads for Wonder Woman #171, Lois Lane #75, and Teen Titans #10, among others).
An average story from this era, with a fun villain who could return.