A Kingdom To Rebuild
With his young partner's life in peril, Aquaman pushes his telepathic power, to the limit, to force the Bugala to loosen it's death grip on Aqualad. Then, Aquaman goes into action. The sea king attacks, and attacks again, striking the monstrous sea serpent from all angles. For several pitched moments, Aguaman continues his merciless assault on the leviathan. At last, it turns away,stalking off into the ocean depths to lick it's wounds. From a nearby coral ridge, the men of Eldfur cheer on the Sea KIng's efforts on their behalf. The victory though is merely a stall for Eldfur's waning populace. In a year's time, the Bugala will return. On that day, Eldfur's warriors will have to learn to rely on themselves, if their civilization is to survive. In Atlantis, the insurrection against the tyrant, Narkran, continues unabated. Within the royal chambers, Mupo, the leader of the revolution, is locked in mortal combat with Narkran. A sudden seaquake allows Narkran to gain the advantage, but it is fleeting. Soon enough, Mupo has the despot at his mercy. Aquaman, Mera, and Aqualad arrive in Atlantis. The mere appearance of the true king is enough to quiet the violence in the streets. Narkran's loyalists, however, are quick to target the royal family for assassination
Narkran's loyalists are the same trio that engineered Mera's abduction to the surface world. Without the advantage the syndicate's artificial whirlpool generator provided them, during the kidnapping, the three men are no match at all for Aquaman, Aqualad, or Mera. The fight ends swiftly, and decisively. Aquaman's chief advisor, Vulko, brings the Sea King up to date on all that has occurred in Atlantis, in the royal family's absence. Narkran's descent into tyranny and madness. The steady threat of the seaquakes. The rise of the revolution. Aquagirl's near mortal wounding at the hands of Narkran. Aquaman swims for his royal chambers and a reckoning with Narkran. Within, Mupo, having toyed with the dictator for several moments, prepares to deliver the deathblow. Mupo immediately drops his sword, though, when Aquaman enters the room. Narkran, in a cowardly fashion, tries to paint Mupo as a traitor. Another seaquake rocks the palace. Aquaman strikes Narkran down. Narkran pleads his innocence, in all wrong doing, before the king. However, once Mera and Aquagirl step into the room, Narkran knows the truth of his betrayal is known to the king. Narkran breaks down, weeping, as the Atlantean guard take him away. Aquaman and Mera chastise the rebel leader, Mupo, for the rashness of his actions. Conferring with Vulko in the aftermath of the insurrection, the idea is put forth that the mounting seaquakes may be the first sign of a prophecy being fulfilled. One that could see Atlantis rise, once more, to the surface. With that notion in mind, Aquaman puts into motion plans to rebuild Atlantis.
How Aquaman Got His Powers
This story was originally published in Adventure Comics #260
A new Naval vessel drops atomic depth charges into the ocean. Aquaman intercepts the explosives. The Sea King summons electric eels to jam the explosive's guidance frequencies. He commands whales to create turbulence in the water, with their tails, to slow the bomb's descent. Then, Aquaman mounts each depth charge and removes all the warheads. On the surface, Aquaman confronts the Navy commander, and respectfully requests that he conduct his military tests far away from these particular waters. When asked why, Aquaman reveals the tale of his birth. During a hurricane, a lonely lighthouse keeper spied a girl, clinging to a raft, in the violently churning seas. This man, Tom Curry, at great risk to himself, rescued the woman. It was love at first sight. The two married, and a year later, Aquaman was born. Soon enough, Tom Curry, realized that his son was special. At just 10 months, his infant son was a better swimmer than his father. When his son turned two, Tom Curry found him beneath the waves, playing with sea shells and a tortoise. The boy had been under the water for an hour. When his son turned three, Tom Curry found him, playing in the sea, with several sharks. Horrified, Tom begged his wife, Atlanna, to explain why his son had such an affinity for sea life. Atlanna would wait until she was on her deathbed to reveal the truth about herself, and their son. Atlanna was an Atlantean. Her interest in exploring the surface world had led to her exile from the great domed city. Her son had inherited her Atlantean abilities to breath underwater and command sea life. It was this ability, she whispered, that would one day make their son the Ruler of the Oceans.
Tom Curry built a special salt water tank and filled it with every denizen of the deep he could find, so that his son could hone his telepathic control over marine life. One day, the young Aquaman spied a giant squid trapped beneath a roman galley, on the sea floor. Summoning a crew of octopi to man the oars, Aquaman instructed the mollusks to row, until the galley had moved enough to free the squid. The young hero began to widely broadcast, to all the fish in the sea, that he was there to help them. A month later, every single living creature in the oceans, came to pay homage to the boy king. For days they paraded past him, pledging their total obedience to the future King of the Seven Seas. Tom Curry, for his part, did not let up on his son's training. As Aquaman grew to adulthood, so too did his swimming speed, diving ability, and knowledge of the ocean depths. Aquaman also excelled at his studies at school. Soon, he began to patrol the seas, doing good deeds and helping those in need. Upon his father's death, he took on the mantle of "Aquaman", and pledged his life in service to the sea, as well as all those that dwell above and below the waves. The Naval commander is suitably honored that Aquaman would share the secret of his origin with him, but fails to see why that should sway him from conducting his tests in this vicinity. Aquaman shares one final secret. The underwater city of Atlantis lies several fathoms below the Naval vessel's position. The Naval commander understands. His crew lines up to pay tribute to Aquaman, before their vessel departs for the open sea. Aquaman descends beneath the waves, swimming by Atlantis, before resuming his role as protector of the seas.