"Prelude To Armageddon"
The Black Manta informs Karshon, the new ruler of Atlantis, that Aquman has discovered that the Black Manta has been smuggling laser weapons into Atlantis. Unconcerned, Karshon continues forward with his scheme. Karshon sends two highly evolved, telekinetic sharks to abduct Mera and Arthur,Jr. The pair are playing with the octopus, Topo, outside the Aquacave, when the sharks attack. Mera uses her ability, to create hard water objects, to fend the sharks off, but their telekinetic blasts destroy everything Mera throws at them. The sharks gather Mera and the baby up in their jaws, and return to Atlantis. Meanwhile, in the Mississippi Delta, Aquaman sends Aqualad and Aquagirl back to Atlantis, to confront Karshon with the Black Manta's smuggled Atlantean laser rifles. Aquaman continues his investigation into the gun smuggling operation, in Mississippi. Information garnered from a contact within the Coast Guard, leads Aquaman to A. Habb's Confederate Emporium, ostensibly a manufacturer of Old South souvenirs. Avoiding the night watchman, Aquaman does a quick search of the premises, and discovers several crates filled with Atlantean laser rifles. The Sea King has tripped a booby trap, however, and finds an iron cage dropping down over him. Aquaman breaks free of the cage, as several thugs enter the room to subdue him. The battle is brief, with Aquaman the clear victor. As the last man falls, Aquaman turns to find his old enemy, the Fisherman standing behind him. Aquaman leaps forward, landing a powerful roundhouse blow on his nemesis. The Fisherman, however, is only a cleverly designed dummy. It explodes on contact, rendering Aquaman unconscious.
Aquaman awakes to find himself suspended by a hook, over a laser grid. The grid is being generated by the same laser rifles that the Fisherman, and the Black Manta, have been supplying Karshon with, in Atlantis. The Fisherman slowly reels out the hook line, lowering Aquaman towards the laser grid. Aquaman begins swinging the line back and forth, narrowly avoiding the laser grid, until the apex of his swing takes him over the pole, from which he has been suspended. Balancing with one arm on the pole and his feet against the wall, Aquaman wrenches the hook from his shirt. He hurls the hook down into one of the rifles, altering it's position so that it's beam lances up, cutting through an overhead steam pipe. The steams ruins the rifles delicate mechanisms, restores Aquaman's waning strength, and provides cover. Accustomed to seeing in cloudy waters, Aquaman has no difficulty navigating through the steam filled room, to stealth attack the Fisherman. Even fighting blind, the Fisherman proves to still be a threat, as he manages to hurl one of his explosive lures into the combat. It's all for naught, though, as Aquaman handily defeats his old enemy. Back in Atlantis, Karshon's sharks arrive with Mera and Arthur, Jr. Karshon boasts, to the Black Manta, that his final duel with Aquaman is close at hand. Soon enough the former KIng of Atlantis will find out who Karshon truly is.
While the Creeper struggles against a telekinetically animated mannequin, called "Manfred", the unconscious body of paraplegic physical therapist, Dr. Joanne Russell, leaps from the 12th story window ledge, of her private hospital room. Breaking away from the combat, the Creeper leaps out the window. With an amazing display of acrobatic prowess, the Creeper not only catches the doctor, mid-fall, but manages to land on his feet, 12 stories down. The mannequin climbs down to the street. As it closes, the Creeper rips a lamp post out of the ground, and quickly strikes "Manfred" with all his strength, shattering the mannequin. The Creeper resumes his alter-ego of Jack Ryder, and rushes Dr. Russell to his car. Ryder heads to the nearest police precinct. Meanwhile, Vernon Maddox, the telekinetic behind "Manfred's" animation, arrives at the hospital. Maddox puts "Manfred" back together, and loads the mannequin into the trunk of his car. The police derisively scoff at Ryder's ludicrous story of telekinetic murders and rampaging mannequin assassins. Leaving the station house, Ryder resumes his Creeper identity and goes to confront Maddox. The Creeper runs Maddox off the road. Russell, upon awakening, quickly realizes that Jack Ryder is the Creeper. As the Creeper battles against Maddox, Russell screams out a warning, from Ryder's car. Maddox has re-animated "Manfred', and it comes storming out of the trunk of his car. The Creeper tries to subdue Maddox, hoping to break his control over "Manfred". The mannequin lifts up Ryder's car, and shakes Russell out of it. Though a paraplegic, Russell suddenly finds she can run, and flees, with "Manfred" in pursuit. She makes it to an elementary school's playground before "Manfred" is upon her. The Creeper, however has seen her peril, and intervenes. The Creeper slams into the mannequin. It stumbles backwards, collapsing into a "Jungle Gym", and bringing the twisted metal structure down onto Maddox, killing him instantly. Russell reveals that, she too, incredibly, has developed telekinetic powers. Subconsciously, she was able to use them to "run", and also to slow "Manfred's" attack down, long enough for the Creeper to rescue her. Russell intends to keep her newfound abilities secret, as well as her knowledge of the Creeper's secret identity.