Aquaman and Mera race to Atlantis, but along the way find Aqualad locked in combat with Bugala. Meanwhile, Narkran's tyranny continues to escalate as Aquagirl attempts to control the rising anger of the rebels! NOTE: This issue has been reprinted in black and white.
Come The Revolution
As Aquaman and Mera race to Atlantis, Narkran's tyranny continues to escalate. Disgruntled Atlantean youth move towards revolution. Aquagirl attempts to persuade the revolutionary leader to have patience, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. In short order, the revolutionaries attack an Atlantean armory. En route back to the great domed city, Aquaman and Mera come across Imp, Aqualad's seahorse. Imp is wandering near the vicinity of an old underwater colony, once visited by Aquaman. The Monarchs of Atlantis decide to look for Aqualad there. In Atlantis, the insurrection gains momentum. Identified as a possible rebel collaborator, Aquagirl is arrested by the Atlantean authorities. Brought before Narkran, Aquagirl finds herself being forced, at sword point, out onto the palace balcony. Narkran orders the revolutionaries to lay down their arms or Aquagirl dies.
Having developed an emotional attachment to Aquagirl, in the weeks leading up to the revolution, the rebel leader, Mupo, prepares to surrender. Mupo's decision is challenged by one of the rebels, and the two men begin fighting. Aquaman and Mera approach the decaying village of Eldfur. Aquaman is surprised to find the colony in ruins. He remembers the valley being lush with vegetation, the town teeming with life. Seeing no signs of the populace, Aquaman wonders if the colonists have abandoned Eldfur. Hearing voices just over the next rise, Aquaman and Mera investigate, only to find Aqualad in pitched combat with the monstrous Bugala. The men of Eldfur stand passively by, watching, as the Bugala snatches Aqualad in it's great claw. The youth has lost the fight and is about to die. In Atlantis, Mupo is put down by his brother-in-arms. The rebels storm the castle. Outraged by the siege, Narkran's grip on Aquagirl slips, and the teen heroine attempts to flee. Narkran reacts quicker than Aquagirl anticipated, and runs her through with his sword, sending the girl plummeting from the balcony parapet. Mupo recovers in time to see Aquagirl fall to the sea floor. Horrified at the severity of her wound, Mupo turns Aquagirl over to the learned Vulko, for care taking. With his blood boiling, Mupo storms the palace, and violently confronts Narkran. The Atlantean despot shrinks back in terror, as the rebel leader begins, mercilessly, beating him. It seems the revolution may soon be over.
The Adventures of Aquaboy
This story was originally published in Adventure Comics #268
On patrol in the South Pacific, Aquaman rescues a blind old man, whose outrigger has capsized in the storm. The old man, however, fights against Aquaman's rescue efforts, professing his desire to die. Finding safe harbor on a coral shelf, Aquaman questions the old man's intentions. An accident robbed the man of his sight. He spent twelve years gathering pearls, with which to pay for a procedure to restore his vision. Alas, he accidentally dropped the chest of pearls into a deep ocean abyss. With no means to retrieve them, the old man has elected to die. Aquaman offers to retrieve the pearls, but the man suspects the Sea King of villainy, and refuses to give up the location. When Aquaman explains who he is, and what he can do, the man scoffs at the absurdity of the notion. No man can do the things Aquaman claims he can do. There's no such thing as an "Aquaman". It is then that Aquaman suddenly remembers that he had encountered this man once before, long ago, when he patrolled the seas as Aquaboy. The old man was the captain of a freighter, that had collided with another ship, in the fog. The freighter's hull was compromised. Aquaboy summoned two whales to lift the damaged section of the freighter out of the sea, to keep the ship from sinking. Despite the amazing rescue, the man refused to believe that Aquaboy had done the things he claimed. It was his belief that the freighter's cargo had merely shifted to the stern, lifting the bow out of the water. All these years later, the old man doubts the encounter even happened. The old man holds fast to the notion that Aquaman is merely a thief out to steal his pearls.
Wrestling with the conundrum of how to prove his identity and good intentions to the old man, Aquaman recalls times in the past when he had a similarly hard time establishing his existence. In his youth, as Aquaboy, he used his body to plug a hole in a dike, long enough for the fishermen in the town to repair it. The superstitious townsfolk, though, were terrified at Aquaboy's presence, believing him to be the ghost of the little Dutch boy, who once saved the town in a similar fashion. In another adventure, Aquaboy helped a crew of oceanographic archeologists locate a sunken Roman galley, lost on the sea floor, by posing as it's figurehead. The scientists, however, mistook Aquaboy for the actual figurehead, which they unearthed soon after discovering the shipwreck. A sudden seaquake destroys the coral reef Aquaman, and the old man, had come to rest upon. Aquaman summons a whale, instructing it to hold the old man in it's mouth, to keep him from drowning, while they journey to the shore. Though blind, the old man can feel the whale's teeth and realizes that Aquaman truly does command the creatures of the sea. He gives up the location of the chest of pearls, which Aquaman then retrieves for the old freighter captain.