Aquaman (3) #20
Title: Thy Keeper's Brother
Cover Title: Don't Call Him Aqualad Anymore!
Cover Date: May 1996
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Marty Egeland and Alan Caldwell
Inks: Howard Shum
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Dan Nakrosis
Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: Phil Jimenez
Cover Price: $1.75
Admiral Strom is quite angry with Aqualad.
OM tries to rally his people, but they are rather frightened of the ship that just saved Aquaman. OM blasts the ship and is blasted in return. Aquaman goes to help his brother, but OM escapes through a trapdoor.
Aquaman turns his attentions to Garth, who explains that he's aged three or four years, and tells Aquaman that Atlan says hi.
Atlan, in the meantime, jumps into some hot water in Tritonis. Kordax sends the people of Poseidonis after him.
OM's people demand answers from him, and he says he won't let them down.
Aquaman goes after OM.
Strom breaks free and goes after Garth.
Garth turns out to know more than Aquaman thought he did, thanks to Atlan. When they enter OM's main chamber, Aquaman tries to apeal to the people, but OM attacks him. When Aquaman knocks off OM's helmet, he sees what OM gave up to get his power, and is shocked.
OM has his people mentally attack Aquaman, Dolphin, and Garth.
Atlan runs from Kordax's slaves, and successfully hides, only to get zapped by Koryak.
Aquaman appeals to OM as a brother, but OM doesn't remember that Aquaman is his brother. Aquaman grabs OM's staff, and OM remembers everything. It drives him insane. He seems about ready to trust Aquaman, when Strom shoots Aquaman. OM pulls himself together and summons up all his power, and completely destroys the mountain.
The cover to this issue is absolutely gorgeous.
Ocean Master's relationship with the people is a bit complex. It's a shame that he destroys them in his madness, because he seemed to like them and they were a stable influence on him. He seems to be close to in love with Staci.
Atlan runs from Kordax, and it is clear that the two have met and fought before.
Strom knows that Atlan is behind Garth's sudden reappearance. Strom also has internal weapons systems that melt Garth's ice shield. Hmmm.
Ocean Master's people have "the power to psychically rend the very souls of their victims". Sounds painful. Another form of the telepathic violation that has become very common in this book.
When Arthur grabs Orm's staff, Orm remembers everything, including some stuff that never happened anymore. The whole past of the two growing up at the lighthouse, the whole shredded reality that was Aquaman's adventure at Thierna Na Oge, *EVERYTHING* comes back to him, and drives him completely over the edge. He's about to join his brother when Strom ruins it by shooting Arthur.
No letter col in this one.
Orm is almost likable as he begins to reconnect with his brother. Worth picking up.