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Cover of Aquaman #39
Aquaman #39 (1962)

Title: How to Kill a Sea King!
Cover Title: Die, My Love, Die!
Cover Date: June 1968
Indica Date: May-Jun 1968 (published Bi-Monthly)

Writer: Bob Haney
Artist: Nick Cardy
Lettering: Nick Cardy
Editor: Dick Giordano
Cover: Nick Cardy

Cover Price: $0.12
Page Count:


Part 1

A mass of seething energy falls into the ocean and transforms itself into the beautiful Aliena. She reports that her target has been spotted...

Aquaman, Aqualad, and Mera are riding their seahorses. Mera dumps Aquaman from his mount, and he gets annoyed at her games. Aliena, hiding behind some rocks, uses a ray to duplicate Mera's hard water powers and enclose Aquaman in a bubble. She then sends him hurtling toward the mountainside. Mera is helpless, but Aquaman thinks she is at fault.

Aliena saves Aquaman just before he crashes, and Aquaman confronts Mera. She protests her innocence, but Aquaman is angry because the girl who saved him is badly hurt. Mera leaves crying, followed by Aqualad.

Aliena wakes up and tells Aquaman that she's from a water dimension, and that she needs him to bury a deadly substance that will kill her. Aquaman, charmed by her looks and helplessness, buries the substance. She is delighted, and kisses the startled Aquaman.

When she is alone, she reports that her mission is accomplished, and is ordered to kill Aquaman.

Part 2

Aliena activates a volcano to kill Aquaman, but is caught in a bush. Aquaman goes back to free her, and rescues her with the help of some giant sea turtles. Now Aliena doesn't want to kill him...

In a flashback, we learn that Aliena was sent by the evil Venusian villain Ka'arl. The authorities chasing him sent the substance, Uritrium, to kill Ka'arl, but he used Aliena to trick Aquaman into burying it.

When Aliena greet Ka'arl, Aquaman is not far behind. Aliena shoots him when all others miss...

Part 3

Aqualad sees the whole thing, and races to avenge Aquaman's death. But Aquaman isn't dead. He rescues Aqualad just before Ka'arl shoots him, then he and his finny friends battle Ka'arl. Ka'arl has Aquaman on the ropes when Aliena brings in the Uritrium and kills them both.


The cover to this one is a little confusing, what with some purple-haried woman shooting Aquaman and the caption. You know it's not Mera, so what's up?

Aliena is a bit of an obvious name, isn't it?

It's hard to believe that Aquaman and Mera's marriage is so rocky all along that Aquaman would believe Mera tried to kill him. Whatever happened to trusting his wife? Just because she's the only one around with hard water powers doesn't mean she'll always be the only one around. There's a whole dimension of people with that power.

The Letter Column format changes with this issue, and there is an introduction by the new editor: Dick Giordano. He mentions that the book will have a new writer and artist starting the next issue, Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo. He also mentions that the book will be going in a new direction.

Shorts and notable ads in this issue: The ever-present Cap's Hobby Hints half-page cartoon, and a full page Direct Currents.


Rating: 4

Unbelievable that Aquaman would abandon Mera for another pretty face.