Aquaman (3) #0
Title: A Crash of Symbols
Cover Title: -none-
Cover Date: October 1994
Crossover: Zero Hour
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Marty Egeland
Inks: Brad Vancata and Howard Shum
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Dan Nakrosis
Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: Marty Egeland and Brad Vancata
Cover Price: $1.50
Dolphin manages to get Aquaman and Aqualad to Atlantis, where they are cared for. Aqualad recovers quickly and shows Dolphin the city. Aquaman begins to have terrible nightmares, including one involving Atlan, his father. Fish surround his bed and carry him off, Dolphin and Aqualad follow them. They end up in the Aquacave, where Aquaman shows off his new "Symbol", a harpoon attached to his left arm where his hand used to be.
Dolphin's interaction with the dolphins that help her get Aquaman and Garth to Atlantis is pretty neat. As the series continued, I got more and more comfortable with the way PAD has his animals express themselves.
Note that the dolphins will not enter Atlantis. They call it the "bad place" and claim the Aquaman doesn't know about it. Hmmm... I wonder what they are talking about...
Vulko shows up for the first time this series. Yeah! He's one of my favorite characters, even if Egeland draws him to look like a human Christmas tree. He and Dolphin talk about Aquaman's status as a symbol of all that is right in Atlantis. Funny way to talk about a maimed man who is having horrid nightmares. I'd say the city is in bad shape, then.
The Garth and the Doctor scene has the worst art I've seen in this entire series, with maybe the exception of the cover of #6. Yuck.
Aquaman first has Dolphin clawing his heart out, then Mera hanging with Manta and ripping her face off, then his Dolphin brother dead of a harpoon wound (an event that did happen), and Aquaman stretched out on a cross, with Arthur junior on one side, and Garth on the other. In yet another dream, he is de-aged and his mother eats him, then turns into Nuliajuk, mother of sea beasts. Finally, Atlan pops in and gets Arthur riled up enough to break free of the dream, mostly.
And what about that last page, huh? It really Hooks you.
The letter Col has a nice tribute to Neal Pozner.
Lots of symbolism, lots of information, lots of foreshadowing. Hard to read, but then, it is the book in which Aquaman gets his hook.