Aquaman (Mini 1) #4
Title: Thicker Than Water
Cover Title: The Epic Conclusion!
Cover Date: May 1986
Writer: Neal Pozner
Pencils: Craig Hamilton
Inks: Steve Montano
Colors: Joe Orlando
Lettering: Bob Lappan
Editor: Neal Pozner and Dick Giordano
Cover: Craig Hamilton and P Craig Russell
Cover Price: $0.75
Orm taunts Aquaman then leaves. While Aquaman rages, Nuada urges him to clear his head and think. Aquaman bitterly sums up the situation, trying to think it through, then suddenly realizes that Nuada is a magician, and asks why she doesn't help. She says it isn't here fight, which Aquaman doesn't understand. He rages some more, which makes the watching Orm quite happy.
Orm attacks the city of Tlapallan and takes their crystal, bringing his total up to six.
Aquaman entreats Nuada to help, and she tells him that he must fight, and that victory will only come if he stops behaving like his brother.
Orm starts to raise a city from the ocean floor.
Nuada explains that magic is based in emotion, and that by constantly raging around, Aquaman has given his brother more power. She explains that Orm's power is based only in hate, and is therefore more narrow than her own magics, but it also is very intense. She cannot fight it without Aquaman's other emotions to play against the collected hate of Ocean Master.
Orm lifts his city into the air, ready to destroy the surface world. Aquaman's presence arrives, freed by Nuada's magic, to fight him. While Aquaman and Nuada work through Aquaman's emotions, Aquaman battles his brother. As Aquaman realizes that his anger isolates him, and he is angry because he is isolated, the tide of battle turns in Aquaman's favor. When he finally admits to himself that he loves his brother, he wins the battle and Orm and his city crash back to the ocean floor.
Nuada and Aquaman reach the city and find the missing crystals and Orm's mask. They head for home, Aquaman pledging to remember what he has learned.
Neither of them see Orm's hand, reaching for help from the rubble.
Aquaman's battle with his own emotions is a high point in comics. The art and the ongoing struggle with Orm makes it work to a high degree. It would work even better if later interpetations of Aquaman had paid more attention to it.
Note the flying city. Elements of this series were later used by Peter David as a tribute in his own ongoing Aquaman series. The flying city is something that the current Aquaman has in his own book. If we link it back to this series, thinking that PAD may be trying to make a point, it throws a sinister light on the current Aquaman.
Although this mini series was well-received and the costume was liked by many, a regular series never materialized.
For readers of the current series, this book is worth picking up. Peter David includes frequent tributes to this series in his own verison of Aquaman, intentional or not.