Aquaman (3) #30
Title: In Darkness He Waits
Cover Title: Out Of His Depth!
Cover Date: March 1997
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Marty Egeland and Jim Calafiore
Inks: Howard M Shum and Peter Palmiotti
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Albert DeGuzman
Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: Marty Egeland and Howard Shum
Cover Price: $1.75
Aquaman descends out of range of the Sea Devil's tracking devices. He has hooked Manta and is dragging him along, despite Manta's best efforts to break free. Aquaman explains that the cord is linked to him cybernetically, so Manta crawls down the cord to kill Aquaman and free himself. As they fight, they are interupted by a telepathic sending that knocks them both senseless as they try to sort it out.
Deep Blue, meanwhile, uses her powers to "grow" a fish which frees her. She heads out to find Aquaman.
Aquaman and Manta hit bottom. They are so deep that they are both woozy, but Aquaman is able to free himself from the jaws of the dead beast. As he tries to clear his senses, Manta attacks. They fight, and Aquaman is about to kill Manta when another telepathic sending interrupts them, this one making sense. It forces them to approach the source of the sending.
The sending is coming from a dead leviathon, a creature that is basically one of the gods. Manta tries to control it, but is attacked by the ancient parasites feeding on the giant corpse. As Aquaman starts foward instinctively to help him, the ghost/consciousness siezes him and tries to make him stay with it and keep it company. He tells it that it and its kind are dead, but it doesn't believe him.
Aquaman uses his formidable mental powers to stun it, then leaves. On his way up he runs into Deep Blue, who is very relieved to see him. She gets a good look at his face however, and is stunned...
The cover is a real shock.
Aquaman is quite prepared to kill Manta. Something he has never really been able to do before.
The sending is typical PAD mysticism, and although it is interesting, it is very difficult to understand in any way shape or form.
Deep Blue is a strong female character who is able to free herself without needing some guy to rescue her. She's on the way to help Aquaman when they meet at the end.
Manta presumably dies, but we don't see the body. We must not forget the number one rule of comics: no body, no death.
One thing to realize about the entity, it's one of the dark gods, or one of their kind. Peter David is not implying that evolution was a choice made by a bunch of creatures at some point. These creatures aren't regular beings, and the ones that took off and went to the land aren't the forefathers of humans or anything like that. So there.
On the last page, Aquaman appeared to have scales on his arms. Since he was mostly in shadow, I couldn't really tell. But my first instinct was that he had become Kordax. And I could only wonder how this was going to play out...
It's not a good jumping on point, and it is almost skippable if you don't like wierd dream sequences.