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Cover of Aquaman #37
Aquaman #37 (1962)

Title: When the Sea Dies!
Cover Title: When the Sea Dies...
Cover Date: February 1968
Indica Date: Jan-Feb 1968 (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

Aqualad, Imp, and Tusky are playing rough with Aquababy, and Imp accidently tosses him too far, at some rocks. Before the child can be smashed against the rocks, he is rescued by Ocean Master. After some words, Ocean Master tosses Aquababy aside and Mera catches him with her hard water powers.

Aquaman is about to attack his half-brother when Aqualad pulls him back. But Ocean Master wants to be attacked, so he shoots a giant turtle. Aquaman knocks the missile aside, then attack Ocean Master, and they tumble down an incline.

An enormous explosion interrupts their battle, and when the water clears Ocean Master is gone and the water appears to be rotting. Aquaman hears engines and guesses that something is approaching...

Part 2

The ship is in the shape of a scorpion, and the driver identifies himself as the Scavenger! He claims to have infected the waters in order to get the Time Decelerator. When Aquaman attacks his ship, the Scavenger claims that nothing can harm it. Aquaman summons a bull whale to smash it, but the whale has no effect. Other fish attacks also fail.

The Scavenger insists that Aquaman show him where the Time Decelerator is, but Aquaman has no knowledge of it. The Scavenger tells Aquaman that the seas will rot until Aquaman gives up the secret, and then wanders off.

The Ocean Master has witnessed the whole event, though, and attacks the Scavenger with a thermal torpedo. But the Scavenger's ship confuses the missile, so the Ocean Master attempts to close under the screen of some dye missiles. But he instead falls into one of the rot-holes in the seas and crashes. Aquaman and Aqualad see it happen and rush toward him.

Part 3

When the Ocean Master awakes and discovers that Aquaman could've killed him but didn't, he agrees to a truce until they defeat the Scavenger.

In the meantime, Mera and Aquababy are captured by the Scavenger. He tells Aquaman that unless he is given the Time Decelerator, Aquaman will never see his family again. Aquaman tries everything to get in the ship, but fails.

Ocean Master appears and says that he's found the Time Decelerator, and leads the Scavenger to it. When the Scavenger's ship enters the cave, Ocean Master starts to detonate a booby trap, but Aquaman and Aqualad stop him. They enter the cave, where the Scavenger has activated the Time Decelerator. It de-ages him to nothing.

When Aquaman destroys the Scavenger's ship with Ocean Master's booby-trap, the seas go back to normal.


A great cover, with Aquaman holding the dying Mera, and Tusky and Aqualad dying in the foreground and background.

The first appearance of the Scavenger, but not the last, despite his fate.

The letter column has more on Aquagirl, and several concerned letters about the development in issue #35 that turned Atlanteans into air-breathers.

Shorts and notable ads in this issue: a half-page Cap's Hobby Hints, a full-page Freddie the Frogman cartoon, a half-page Professor Eureka cartoon, and a one-page Direct Currents (with ads for Lois Lane #80, Superboy #144, and Teen Titans #13, among others).


Rating: 5

An Ok story, with only the art to recommend it.

Review Date: 29 Nov 1998, By Laura Gjovaag