Aquaman (1994) #67
Title: Clash of Kings
Cover Title: none
Cover Date: May 2000
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Steve Epting
Inks: Norm Rapmund
Colors: Noelle Giddings and Digital Chameleon
Lettering: John E Workman
Editor: Tony Bedard
Cover: Mike Kaluta
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: 15 March 2000
Order Code: JAN00 0215
Orm captures Aquaman and Tempest and takes them to an underground grotto to finish them off. Aquaman goads Orm into bringing Charlanda into the grotto. With Orm's attention on Charlanda, Aquaman and Tempest get help from Topo and use distance to break Orm's control over them. They then attack Orm and Charlanda.
While Aquaman battles Orm, Tempest tries to learn where his son is from Charlanda, who is worried about the Atlantean forces destroying her country. Above them, the JLA stops the war, but not before the grotto itself is damaged, and Tempest and Charlanda are buried under a ton of rock.
Orm and Aquaman battle under the water, and Orm gains the upper hand. He shows Aquaman a glimpse of Tempest's child... before teleporting him into the middle of an angry mob of Cerdians.
The Cover: At first glance it seems a little confused, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. The whole concept of brother versus brother conflict is practically celebrated in the linking motif of the piece. Again, Kaluta doesn't do Aquaman's face justice in my opinion, but the design is flawless.
I'm really getting tired of the framing sequence, and irritated by the hints about the future. I'd rather not have evidence that Atlantis was completely destroyed, that Garth is no longer a water-breather, and all that. Just get on with the story and leave the framing sequence to the future.
Orm is one of the most under-rated villains in the DC Universe. He should be very smart (he's got the same father as Aquaman), but rarely has anyone put brains into his head. Most of the time he just acts nuts. This version of Orm, however, has got it together. He's not simply evil, he's cunning and he fully understands what he needs to do to accomplish his goals. He also fully understands how much his actions will hurt Aquaman. This is a far cry from the Orm that once saved Aquababy's life in the Silver Age, but it works.
The use of the JLA was effective and interesting. They didn't overpower the main cast, nor did they get shorted as far as time and ability. Green Lantern showed his quick thinking, and Martian Manhunter came in useful as another resident telepath.
This issue felt faster than previous ones, more excited, more emotional. If there's been any fault with Jurgens' Aquaman so far, it's been that it seems slow and a little boring. This issue moved past all that. If every issue had this level of action combined with the plot movement and strong story, Aquaman would outsell Superman.
Epting's art was stronger than in previous issues. The figures were more dynamic and several panels stand out. The scene of Topo rising up behind Aquaman is beautiful.
A very good issue.