The Atlantis Chronicles #2
Title: The Vanishing Sun
Cover Date: April 1990
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Esteban Maroto
Colors: Eric Kachelhofer
Editor: Robert Greenberger
Cover: Esteban Maroto
Cover Price: $2.95
The second installment of the Chronicles starts with death. The first chronicler, Albart-son-of-Yarrow, has committed suicide and left only the note, "I must see the sun again."
Atlantis has sunk beneath the Ocean, and the inhabitants are still getting used to the idea of being trapped in her depths. The second chronicler, Britton-son-of-Cole, is ill-fated, and lucky, enough to witness civil strife, the exodus of the Shalakites from Atlantis, insanity, and the eventual change that allowed the descendants of Atlantis to become one with the sea.
Taking place within the time-frame of the first generation, the story tells of fighting between the religious followers of Shalako and the technocrats led by Orin. Eventually, Shalako leads his people into the tunnels beneath the city to a sister city of Poseidonis, Triton. Shalako has gone insane, and turned to the dark gods of Atlantis to feed his anger with his brother. He creates a magical dome to protect Triton, a dark reflection of the technological dome of Orin's that angered him so much.
During this exodus, Orin has been preparing to help his people deal with the fact that they are stuck under the ocean, by allowing them to become one with it. He develops a serum that will allow his people, and Shalako's too, if they want it, to breathe underwater. When the people of Triton accept this gift from Orin, Shalako curses them, making their legs grow scales. In anger, they kill him and his entire family, except for his son Dardanus, who hides after inciting them to riot.
Orin is forced to watch his brother die, unable to help him. It is clear that even after all that has happened between them, Orin still loves his brother.
Dardanus is a sneaky little brat, and his revenge on his father for murdering his mother is the riot that kills his whole family.
This is a dark tale, full of evil, death, fear. These are not comic books for children. But I recommend it to anyone who likes a good story, incredible art, and a sense of continuing wonder. Even if you've never read a comic book before in your life.