Aquaman (3) #32
Title: Sea of Green
Cover Title: Toxic Wasted!
Cover Date: May 1997
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Jim Calafiore
Inks: Peter Palmiotti and Mark McKenna
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Albert DeGuzman
Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: John Totleben
Cover Price: $1.75
While examining a sunken corpse, Aquaman witnesses the materialization of Swamp Thing. Aquaman attacks Swampy, and is easily neutralized by the elemental, who proposes an alliance to investigate the strange deaths that have been occurring lately.
In the meantime, the Mayor of Star Bay is urging the town council to take the threats of a terrorist named Toxin seriously. When one of the council members dies during the meeting, choked by the greens he is eating, the council decides to give into the threats. Swamp Thing observes.
Aquaman, meanwhile, reflects on the new attitude the fish have toward him. He thinks that he has not used his powers for evil, and does not understand why the fish are now scared of him and won't talk to him. To alert him to the danger of Toxin, the fish sent Nemek the lightning whale to talk to him, because Nemek was the only sea creature willing to face him.
Swamp Thing reports what he has seen to Aquaman, and the two formulate a plan. While Aquaman takes on the henchwoman, Swampy takes on Toxin (who turns out to be the Mayor of Star Bay). The bad guys lose, and while Aquaman unwittingly controls the mind of the henchwoman, Swampy wraps up Toxin. As Aquaman tries to figure out what is wrong with the henchwoman, Swampy enlightens him to what is happening.
And Aquaman finally asks for help...
The cover to this issue is gorgeous, but why is Aquaman flesh-colored?
I actually don't mind the green Aquaman. As long as he doesn't stay that way forever.
As they carry it out their plan, Aquaman notices a drunk, and the Swamp Thing compares Aquaman's loss of control over his powers to the drunk's loss of control. Aquaman doesn't buy it, nor does he seem interested in Swamp Thing's offered help.
The final page of this issue has a lot of meaning. Aquaman's hands become those he loves, the branches of his life. Aquaman's legs become roots, rooted in the city of Poseidonis. The Swamp Thing tells Aquaman that it is his roots that are corrupting him. Aquaman will have to go back to his roots to find and (hopefully) fix the problem.
Swamp Thing is now the planet elemental, and has much more than control over just the plants. His presence in the book probably means that Aquaman is much more of a danger to the world than he knows. Swamp Thing wouldn't get involved just to take on Toxin, who is a minor and inexperienced villian. Swamp Thing is there to tackle the problem of Aquaman.
This issue is probably a good one to pick up if you're interested in how Aquaman is going to regain control over his powers. The Toxin plot is somewhat silly and almost contrived, but the character of Aquaman is further explored, and the doubts and fears he has are finally brought to the surface with the help of Swamp Thing, who is a good authority on such matters, so I've heard. It is an issue that lets us see the light at the end of the tunnel for our hero.