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Cover of Aquaman Secret Files 2003
Aquaman Secret Files 2003

Title: There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, The Waterbearer, Family Ties
Cover Title: Aquaman Secret Files & Origins
Cover Date: May 2003

Writer: Rick Veitch and Steve Conley
Art: Norm Breyfogle, Dennis Janke, Rob Haynes, Darryl Banks, Bob Petrecca, Carlos Pachecho, Jesus Merino, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond, Peter Pachoumis, Aaron Sowd, Mike Kaluta, John Totleben, Yvel Guichet, Mark Propst, Tom Nguyen, and P Craig Russell
Colors: Tom McCraw, Rob Haynes
Lettering: Mike Heisler, Rob Haynes, Kurt Hathaway
Editor: Ivan Cohen and Dan Raspler
Assistant Editor: Valerie D'Orazio
Cover: Alex Maleev

Cover Price: $4.95
Release Date: Mar 2003
Order Code: JAN03 0223


There's A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea

This first story is by Rick Veitch and follows on directly from the events in Aquaman #4. Norm Breyfogle handles the pencilling chores, with Dennis Janke on inks. Twenty-three pages.

While Aquaman ponders the damage he's done to Atlantis, the Atlanteans are doing more damage of their own. The sorcerer class is using prisoners to try to join sea life with Atlanteans, and mostly failing. And Vulko is with a group of soldiers taking prisoners to die on Traitor's Reef. When he realizes that the prisoners are not true criminals, he has a sudden case of soul searching to deal with. When Rodunn appears and tells him that Orin is still alive, he realizes what side he's always been on, and decides to take action. He goes bravely to his death, only to be saved by one of the sorcerer's rejects, a man merged with a stinging man o' war. After the troopers are killed, Vulko frees the prisoners and sends them to Shayeris. Vulko returns to Atlantis to work at freeing his people from within, and the Man O' War swims off to unknown adventures.

The Waterbearer

A two-page recap of the series so far by Rick Veitch with art, colors, and lettering by Rob Haynes.

Family Ties

A slightly different look at the new Atlantis by writer Steve Conley, with Darryl Banks and Bob Petrecca on art. Six pages.

Bonimar, an Atlantean reporter, visits his father Malerik to find out why the mutations of sea life are still happening, only to discover the sorcerers are behind it. Bonimar doesn't learn that his father is part of the new order before he is killed by a mutated sea horse that was his childhood friend. Malerik, now the minister of communication, reports his son's death.

Profile Pages

Steve Conley wrote all the text for the profiles. Aquaman by Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino. The Lady of the Lake by Michael Wm Kaluta. Tempest by Tom Nguyen. McCaffrey and Sweeney by Sal Velluto and Bob Almond. Hagen by John Totleben. Rodunn by P Craig Russell. Mera and Vulko by Pete Pachoumis and Aaron Sowd. The Thirst by Yvel Guichet and Mark Propst.


Cover Review: I love the cover. What more is there to say? The original cover as seen on Previews was a major heart-lifter for a long-time Aquaman fan, and seeing it on an Aquaman book is good.

There's A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea

I doubt it was intentional, but Rick Veitch managed to hit every single "happy" button on this reviewer's keypad with this story. A gorgeous Aquaman, sensitive Tempest, and loyal Vulko. A new meta in Atlantis, whose motives might be good, but who knows for sure? My attempts to review this story have failed, as every time I read it I go into happy-mode and can't think of anything to say. Sorry.

The Waterbearer

Little more than an extended profile page. This has a blocky stylized artwork that isn't bad for a quick review, but would get tiresome if it were much longer. As a story, it's not much. It works as a promotion for the series.

Family Ties

Conley and Banks are showing a different Atlantis. The best way I can associate this with the Atlantis that Aquaman sees in his journey as a fish with Garth is to think of this story as having taken place right after the return. There are a few major flaws, the biggest is showing Bonimar and his father on land in the Obsidian Age. Gamemnae kept the future Atlanteans underneath, building a foundation for the surface Atlantis.

Profile Pages

Overall, pretty good. A nice group of artists.


I'm going to go gleefully re-read that first story again...

Review Date: most of Apr 2003, By Laura Gjovaag