Aquaman’s Sub Diego, Pt. 2

Yesterday, we saw Detective Aquaman in action.  His case: half the city of San Diego had sank after an earthquake, but all the survivors suddenly could breathe underwater – and no longer out of water. The current culprit: a giant machine sea slug.  Probably not the real villain.  Plus, in part one, we didn’t see a single act of violence.  Will Aquaman muster up his aqua-strength and punch that angry monster into a goo that used to be monster?

Nope.  An explosion, certainly, but no butt kicking.  Though even Superman doesn’t always break up drug gangs, sometimes he gives them stern lectures while dangling them off skyscrapers.  Well, this is Aquaman’s stern sea slug lecture.  Oh, and his talking-to-fish powers.  Though as writer Geoff Johns stated in Aquaman #1, volume 7, he doesn’t really talk to fish, but it’s more a strong connection to sea life.  Good vibes or something.  I skimmed the issue.

With his third major revelation, something creeps into Aquaman that we haven’t seen yet.  Rage.  And it’s beautiful. You never thought you’d see these words, but don’t mess with Aquaman.

That’s my absolute favorite entrance into a private residence I’ve seen in comics in a long time.

Superman would stop her at this point, reminding the young teenager that just because this man committed evil acts, we shouldn’t commit those same atrocities to him.  Justice, not revenge.  But Aquaman isn’t Superman.  He takes the Batman approach.

Aquaman totally waterboarded our bad guy, a maneuver that’s been declared as legitimate torture by the United States government.  But c’mon, let’s hear our villain out.  He did it to save everyone.

And after all the world’s land has been submerged in water, no one will be laughing at Aquaman then! They’ll all be begging for Aquaman’s help after their plans to make rafts out of sea bass fail.

Normally I don’t show flashbacks.  I try not to put up more than a third or so of the pages in an issue or arc.  But I have to show a piece of this flashback, because Aquaman had the best 1990s costume of all the superheroes.  Y’see, comics were changing from the 1970s and 80s.  Superheroes were getting darker, angsty, and wearing leather jackets with spikes.  The whole comics-aren’t-just-for-kids thing.  And while in retrospect, it all looks silly and overly dramatic, I support them 100% for trying something new.  Plus, we saw a good decade of Aquaman looking like this:

Full beard, long flowing hair, a golden hook hand, and half a chestplate.  Oh, it’s glorious.  Superman’s mullet or Azrael’s mecha-Batman don’t even come close.  Aquaman, you’re the king of Atlantis, surely you can afford armor that protects both your pecs.

Instead of shipping our bad guy off to Guantanamo Bay, he does the responsible superhero stuff. Redemption and all that jazz.  First up, time to humble this mad scientist.

And then to put him to work.

Not exactly a happy ending.  Though Lorena does become the new Aquagirl.  Unfortunately, the dude didn’t design any cures, plus with the changes in their biology, it’s probably permanent anyway. And since the new aqua-civilians don’t have aqua-strength or aqua-swimming powers, Aquaman’s forced to obligingly take control of the situation.

Here, let him explain the future of the newly named Sub Diego.  After all, giving us hope is what superheroes are truly best at.

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