The Menace Of The Marine Marauder
Whle Aquaman battled to reclaim the Atlantean throne from the Shark, a new marine menace introduced himself to the surface world. A cargo ship, bound for Europe, is hijacked by the Marine Marauder. Surrounding the vessel with a pod of whales, the Marine Marauder threatens to have the whales crush the ship if his demands are not met. He puts the entire crew off in life boats, then takes the ship, with it's cargo of medical supplies, for himself. The Marine Marauder has stolen a shipment of swine flu vaccine, intended to stave off an epidemic, threatening to break out all across Europe. Responding to an alert from his Justice League of America communicator, Aquaman receives a message from the Flash, informing him of the situation. A second shipment of the vaccine is already en route to Europe, this time with a NATO escort. Once again, the Marine Marauder appears on the horizon, riding atop a sperm whale. Sending out a telepathic command, the Marine Marauder is joined by an entire pod of sperm whales, which rapidly bear down on the NATO convoy. With the Marine Marauder focused on the attack, he is unaware that Aquaman has stealthily climbed onto the Marine Marauder's whale. Mera, using her ability to create hard water constructs, erects a barrier between the pod and the ships. Mera's presence tips off the Marine Marauder that Aquaman, too, must be in the vicinity. He quickly turns to find Aquaman sneaking up on him. Issuing forth a telepathic command, the Marine Marauder has Aquaman knocked off the whale's back by attacking dolphins. The ramming power of the pod prove too much for Mera, who lapses into unconsciousness as the whales batter through her defenses. With both Aquaman and Mera together in the water, the Marine Marauder telepathically commands one of his whales to devour them.As the whale's jaws closed over them, Aquaman, at the last moment, leaped forward, carrying Mera, so as to avoid the whale's teeth. This still left the heroic duo trapped inside the gullet of the whale.
As the whale proceeds ever deeper beneath the waves, the Marine Marauder's hold over it weakens. Finally, the whale responds to Aquaman's telepathic command to release him, and Mera. Returning to the surface, the pair find they are too late. The Marine Marauder has successfully sank the cargo ship carrying the vaccine shipment, thus doubling the worth of his stolen shipment. Conferring with the NATO commander, General Horgan, Aquaman discovers that, just before the attack, all the ship's sonars began acting erratically. This gives Aquaman an idea of how to track down the Marine Marauder. Meanwhile, in Atlantis, Aquagirl convinces Aqualad that, with Vulko now ruling the fabled city, the time for concern is over. Little does she suspect, though, that a shadowy figure is laying in wait for them. Back on the surface, the NATO command ship's search, of the surrounding sea, has turned up an area where their sonar doesn't function properly. Spying a wooded cove in the distance, Aquaman goes to investigate. Beneath the waves, Aquaman discovers an group of dolphins, guarding the entrance to the Marine Marauder's hidden lair. While the Marine Marauder's telepathic control of sea mammals is strong enough to counter Aquaman's, Aquaman still controls the fish. His own army of octopi and sharks makes quick work of the Marine Marauder's dolphins. Realizing he's been discovered, the Marine Marauder flees the scene. Before he goes, however, he issues forth one last telepathic command, to his sperm whale, ordering it to sink the cargo ship, still holding the original shipment of vaccine. As the whale begins it's ramming run, Aquaman reaches out with his telepathy and orders it to turn back. Pushing his power to the limit, and beyond, Aquaman is finally able to override the Marine Marauder's telepathic control over the whale. The Sea King collapses in exhaustion for his efforts, but Mera is there to catch him. Though the Marine Marauder has made good his escape, the vaccine has been recovered. Back in Atlantis, the man stalking Aqualad and Aquagirl steps forth from the shadows, and takes the pair at gunpoint.
Back Up Stories
Mission: Catch A Killer
On Mars II, a special ceremony is underway. For the second time, J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, has been elected leader of the Martian colony. As R'es Eda hands J'onzz the Scepter of State, he is suddenly assassinated. As Eda lies dying in the Manhunter's arms, he whispers that the killer was from "Sol". As "Sol" is the Earthling word for "Sun", the Martian Manhunter determines that the killer must be from Earth. The only Earth men who even know of the existence of the Martian colony, on Mars II, are the Manhunter's former colleagues in the Justice League of America. The Manhunter sets out to avenge the death of his friend, R'es Eda, even if it means battling his former comrades. N'or C'ott, the commander of the Martian army, forbids J'onzz from leaving the colony. J'onzz defeats the few soldiers who rise against him, then makes for the Martian spaceport. The lone spaceport guard attempts to deter J'onzz, but is no match for the Martian Manhunter. J'onzz leaves Mars II, piloting one of only two ships left in the Martian fleet. J'onn J'onzz makes his way to Earth, on the trail of a killer. Unbeknownst to the Manhunter From Mars, he too is being pursued. N'or C'ott follows him to Earth, piloting the last of the Martian space craft. N'or C'ott will bring J'onzz back to Mars II, or die in the trying.