A Kingdom to Re-Build
Aquaman uses his telepathic powers to get the Bugala to release Aqualad. While Mera races to help the injured boy, Aquaman battles the creature. The Eldfur express hope that Aquaman will destroy the Bugala once and for all, but their hopes are dashes when he simply drives it off.
Aqualad warns the couple to get away from the Eldfur, and they leave. As they leave, the king decides that his people must take their fate into their own hands. Aqualad, Aquaman, and Mera rush back to the city.
In Atlantis, the revolution rages. In the royal chambers, Mupo and Narkran battle. Even when Mupo is disarmed, Markran still fears him. In Vulko's lab, Tula regains consciousness and she and Vulko discuss the earthquakes and the revolution.
As Aquaman enters the city, the factions stop fighting. He orders them back to their homes. They obey, except for the lackeys who kidnapped Mera. They attack the trio, but are easily defeated. Vulko arrives, and updates Aquaman on the situation.
In the royal chambers, Mupo gains the upper hand and is about to kill Narkran when Aquaman arrives and stops him. A violent earthquake jolts the city as Aquaman punches Narkran's lights out. He then orders Narkran taken away. Then Aquaman and Mera chide Mupo for not waiting for Aquaman longer.
Vulko explains to Aquaman that the earthquakes will continue, and that the city is slowly rising. Aquaman decrees that the buildings that have collapsed be rebuilt earthquake-proof, and the process of rebuilding the Kingdom begins.
How Aquaman Got His Powers
Aquaman prevents an American submarine from detonating atomic depth charges on the ocean floor. He asks the captain not to test the weapons in this area, and when he protests, Aquaman tells him the story of his birth.
Tom Curry, and ex-sailor, was a lighthouse keeper who saved a woman during a hurricane. The woman, Atlanna, became Tom's wife and gave birth to Arthur. On her deathbed, Atlanna explained that she was an exile from Atlantis. Arthur exhibited his unusual powers, and eventually became ruler of the seas.
The captain is shocked, but asks what it has to do with his tests. Aquaman then whispers the secret, that the test area is the location of Atlantis, ancestral home of his mother, and the bombs would destroy the city. The captain swears to conduct the tests elsewhere.
The first page of this issue has no words at all in the panels, just Aquaman racing to save Aqualad.
The Eldfur, the purple guys that captured Aqualad to battle the Bugala for them, decide to act for themselves in the future. It's a bit late for that realization.
Mupo is actually about to kill Narkran when Aquaman appears. Aquaman doesn't reward Mupo for battling the tyrant, instead he basically tells him that he should've endured the injustice until Aquaman got back. How was Mupo to know that Aquaman was ever going to return? For all Mupo knew, Aquaman was already dead, killed by Narkran.
The last panel of the story has Aquaman and family, including Tula and Vulko, watching the rebuilding. As a Vulko fan, I quite enjoyed this little scene.
"A Kingdom to Re-Build" is reprinted in Adventure Comics #499 (May 1983). "How Aquaman Got His Powers" is reprinted from Adventure Comics #260. The inclusion of Aquaman's Silver Age origin story in a reprint makes this book slightly "hotter" than the other issues this late in the run.
Not exactly a satisfactory conclusion to either storyline. I would've preferred Mupo be rewarded for fighting injustice.