Legends of the DC Universe #27
Title: Reign of the Joker!
Cover Title: The Fishy Laugh Part Two of Two
Cover Date: April 2000
Writer: Steve Englehart
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Colors: Rick Taylor
Lettering: Sean Konot
Editor: Kevin Dooley and Bob Schreck
Asst. Editor: L.A. Williams
Cover: Tony Harris
Cover Price: $1.99
While the Joker revels in the chaos he's caused in Atlantis, Aquaman goes to the surface to seek out Batman. When he finds him, the Batman refuses to help, and Aquaman fights him ineffectively but refuses to give in. Finally Batman agrees to help, but only if Aquaman will give him the location of Atlantis.
Back in Atlantis, Aquaman beats the Joker, who is rescued by Felua, the scientist that fell in love with him. Later, Felua's body turns up in Gotham harbor.
The Cover: Part of me loves it, and part of me isn't really sure. I like the layout and color, but I don't think the Joker or Batman look quite right. Aquaman is very neat, but what is he doing? Still, an excellent cover in most respects.
The whole story is based on a faulty premise... sort of. According to several sources, the original story was supposed to take place before Aquaman had started his career as a hero, and long before he joined the Justice League. Editorial proclamation ruined that take, and the references to the Justice League were jammed in at the last edit. Had the story not been changed, it would have worked a lot better, though I'd still have a hard time believing that Aquaman was that naive, especially in the Silver Age continuity, where he grew up on land.
Batman wouldn't beat Aquaman in a straight fight, even if Aquaman hadn't gotten his "land-legs" yet. The best Batman could hope for is a draw, and if any one of Aquaman's punches landed Batman wouldn't have a face anymore. Aquaman wouldn't even feel most of Batman's punches: Aquaman is used to the pressures at the bottom of the ocean, Batman's hand would break if he hit Aquaman. But then, this is how Batman has been written for many years, so I guess the silliness of the fight doesn't bother me that much.
This issue was definitely more of an Aquaman story than the last issue, which was all Joker's show. Aquaman's headstrong reactions to the things around him got him into the mess, and his reflection and good decisions get him out.
Fun, though faulty.