Aquaman (3) #27
Title: The Rising Sun
Cover Title: -none-
Cover Date: December 1996
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Marty Egeland
Inks: Howard Shum
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Albert De Guzman
Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: Jim Calafiore and Peter Palmiotti
Cover Price: $1.75
On the first page we get a familiar name. Tanaka, the man who played with Lobo. A man named Kimon is using powers given to him by Tanaka...
Aquaman, Dolphin, and Koryak attend Porm's funeral. Dolphin and Aquaman turn back when the reach the point at which the dolphins ask them to go no further, but Koryak tries to see where the dolphins are taking Porm's body. He is stopped and repelled by a large whale with zigzag marks, Nemek.
Aquaman decides that they must deal with the situation in Tritonis before avenging Porm's murder. In Tritonis, the misplaced Poseidonians greet Aquaman as their king and defer to him. He tells them that despite being controlled by Kordax, their action are inexcusable. He tells them that they will repair the city, then serve the people of Triton in whatever capacity King Iquila wishes, for however long King Iquila wishes. Koryak stays behind to share in the penance, as he was their leader when disaster struck.
Aquaman goes to the American consulate in Japan and asks what the significance of the symbol branded on Porm is. The consulate connects it to Raiden Industries, a S.T.A.R. labs type think-tank. Aquaman demands to be taken there.
At Raiden he questions Mr. Tanaka, a scientist, who denies everything until his brother, Kimon, appears. Kimon explains that he tracked Porm through a subcutaneous transmitter that Dr. Shinobi implanted in her. Her murder was revenge for Aquaman leaving him, Captain Tanaka, to the sharks, made possible by his brother, who used him as a test subject and transformed him in Demon Gate.
Aquaman and Demon Gate fight, with Dolphin helping out, until the Japanese military declares that Aquaman is under arrest for assualt and destruction of private property. The American consulate manages to calm the situation down, and Aquaman pleads his case before the Japanese Ministry. They tell Aquaman that no crime has been committed, and he cannot bring Demon Gate to justice. He tells them that if Demon Gate is not handed over to him within 24 hours, Japan will be forbidden to use the oceans or seas.
They do not turn Demon Gate over to him, and as he orders sea creatures to destroy Japanese vessels, Dolphin asks him if he was bluffing. He says he wasn't, and in order to carry out his plans he must retake Poseidonis.
The cover is painful to look at.
Aquaman has his priorities straight. First take care of his people, then take care of himself. Considering that the world almost ended, the people probably need taking care of. Even better, Koryak takes responsibility for his actions and stays with the Poseidonians.
Demon Gate is a terrible enemy. Augmented and powerful, he's also got it in for Aquaman personally. Without Dolphin, Aquaman might have lost the fight.
When Aquaman told the Japanese Ministry that they had 24 hours to hand over Demon Gate or they would be forbidden to use the water... well. That wouldn't be nearly as nasty a threat to almost any other country, but Japan depends on the waters for much more than just commerce. I thought the threat was a high point of comics. Aquaman is ruler of the seas, he can make such a threat and enforce it. So there.
A good story all around. Aquaman is showing his new personality, and it's not a pleasant one.