Aquaman (3) #46
Title: Fish Tartarus
Cover Title: Aquaman ...Against the God of the Seas!
Cover Date: July 1998
Writers: Peter David
Pencils: Jim Calafiore
Inks: Peter Palmiotti and Mark McKenna
Colors: Tom McCraw
Lettering: Albert DeGuzman
Asst. Editor: Dana Kurtin
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Cover: Ron Lim and Chris Ivy
Cover Price: $1.95
Aquaman, who is dead, finds himself in the Greek Underworld, where he goes to find Poseidon. From his attitude, you'd think he planned to get killed by Triton. Charon, the Ferryman, insists on payment, but Aquaman doesn't have change so he tosses Charon into the river Styx. He then collects an army of lost souls and storms the gates of Hades.
In the living world, Koryak's defense of the city is cut short as Triton takes control. He restores the city to a balanced spot on the ocean floor and kills Dardan, the religious leader of Poseidonis. Triton puts Tempest in a bubble and tells Dolphin to scream in fear or Tempest dies.
Aquaman rips off one of Cerberus' heads and flings it into Hades as a calling card. When he reaches Hades himself, he convinces Hades to free Poseidon. But Aquaman will owe Hades a favor.
Aquaman and Poseidon easily kick Triton's butt. Poseidon stops Aquaman from killing Triton, so he can do the honors. Aquaman explains to Dolphin and Tempest that he planned to be killed by Triton so he could save Poseidon. While they celebrate, another Aquaman, clean-shaven with both hands and the traditional costume, appears and demands to know what is happening.
I don't like this cover nearly as much. It doesn't fit the story itself until the end, and seems a little intense.
Aquaman wanted Triton to kill him with his trident, since that would deliver Aquaman into the Greek Underworld, instead of into regular death. Triton claims that his only mistake was allowing himself to be goaded by Aquaman.
Triton kills Dardan because he wants no one to worship anyone but himself. Dardan is a Shalakite.
Triton putting Tempest in a bubble was evocative of the way Manta killed Arthur Jr. In that story, Arthur Jr was in a waterless bubble while Aquaman fought Aqualad. Arthur Jr died from the extended exposure to air.
This is Peter David's last issue of the regular series. He is also writing the Annual which should be out in July.
A frantic wrap-up to a story that was original planned for six issues and had a very different ending.