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Aquaman #1 (Second Mini-Series)

Cover of Aquaman #1

Aquaman (Mini 2) #1

Title: Aquarium
Cover Title: -none-
Cover Date: June 1989

Plot and Layouts: Keith Giffen
Script: Robert Loren Fleming
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: Al Vey
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: John Costanza
Editor: Barbara Kesel
Cover: David Devaje

Cover Price: $1.00
Continuity: IN


Aquaman returns home after months away, and finds the furthest outpost destroyed, a sentry dies in his arms, babbling about jellyfish. He rushes back, finding another outpost with all the soldiers dead. He finds a blob of tissue that appears to have come from a jellyfish.

When he reaches the city he finds that it has been conquered. He sees no sign of the conquerers, only the prisoners. He goes to try and break in through the salt processing plant, only to discover it's being dismantled. He can't figure out why, as salt is a valuable export commodity, which means the conquerers are not plundering the city.

He decides to pretend to be a prisoner trying to escape, and is caught and brought into the city. He ends up in the political prisoner division, where he is told the whole sordid tale.

Apparently Vulko died soon after Aquaman left. One group tried to put Pletus, a man with a tenous claim to the throne, in charge, but the army was behind Mera. It soon became apparent, however, that Mera was going insane. Aqualad left, and Mera was committed to an asylum, and it appeared the Pletus would assume control when the invaders attacked. The army took control, but the general was killed in the first attack. Pletus assumed command, and didn't have a clue. He misdirected the troops, and eventually surrendered. The invaders killed Pletus as soon as they'd occupied the city. Then anyone else who resisted. Aquaman learns that the prisoners wearing orange are the ones who gave up.

Meanwhile, the jellyfish plot. They intend to wipe out every human in the oceans, using a "final solution."

Mera wakes up and feels Aquaman near.

Aquaman tries to get out, and the man who told him the history of the invasion tries to stop him. He stops him long enough for the real resistance, led by Jared, to find him.


A good start, though the Jellyfish are a bit over-the-top. I'm not sure where Aquaman has been for months, nor why Mera is still pining after her dead son when she got over it in previous series. I suspect that a lot was retconned for this series, which is why the Pozner series is out of continuity.

The cover is one of my favorite Aquaman covers. The design is unique and feels like the sea.

The art throughout the book is excellent. That's what you get with Curt Swan, I guess.

Vulko died suddenly, off screen, in a flashback. Funny how he comes right back for the next series. That makes part of this series out of continuity now, too.

Mera goes out of her mind, very strange and annoying.

There is no sign of King Thesily here. Thesily was introduced in the Legend of Aquaman as the king during Aquaman's heroic return. He gave up the throne to Aquaman, who gave it up after his son's death.


At the end of this book is an essay by Mark Waid covering the origin of Aquaman from 1941 in the Silver Age. Among other things, it reprints the first ever page of Aquaman, from More Fun #73.


Rating: 7

Good book, interesting start.

Review Date: 30 August 1997, by Laura Gjovaag