|"The Wife of Aquaman"|
|First Published:||December, 1964|
|Previous Issue:||Aquaman #17|
|Next Issue:||Aquaman #19|
"The Wife of Aquaman"Edit
With the passing of King Juvor, the people of Atlantis select Aquaman to be their new king. Once enthroned, enormous pressure is placed on Aquaman to select a bride, one of Atlantean heritage. Delaying the selection process, Aquaman, along with Aqualad, embark on their patrol of the seven seas. On the ocean's surface, they spy Queen Mera, being chased by a man riding atop a strange creature. As Aquaman moves in to engage, the man creates another creature, out of the ocean water, to fend Aquaman off. Aquaman summons several eels that he forms into a large chain, with himself as a link. Spinning the eels about, Aquaman launches himself over the creature, landing in the water next to Mera. The two creatures rapidly close in on Aquaman and Mera from opposite sides. At the last second, the heroic duo dive deep beneath the waves. The creatures are stunned by the power of their collision. Mera, though, has timed her dive a little too late, and is herself rendered into unconsciousness by the impact. Aquaman and Aqualad take her to the Aquacave to recover. Before Mera awakes, Aquaman confesses to Aqualad of his great love for Mera, and how torn he is that, as King of Atlantis, he must choose another to marry. Upon waking, Mera explains that the device that allows her to travel from her native Dimension Aqua to Aquaman's world was on the verge of total systems failure. It could only open one last door between the worlds. Unable to live in a world without the love of her life, Mera abdicated her throne to be with Aquaman. Mera was followed through the portal by Oceanus, a romantic admirer who hoped to make Mera his Queen in this new world. When Mera spurns him, Oceanus blasts her with a Xebelian weapon, one specifically designed to remove the water manipulating powers of the inhabitants of Dimension Aqua.
Aquaman tells Mera that they can never marry. Before he can explain why, though, Mera, in tears, bolts out of the Aquacave. Aqualad pleads with Aquaman to go after her, but the crestfallen monarch decides that it's best to let Mera go. Ultimately, he must marry an Atlantean woman. Heartbroken, Mera surfaces on the shore of a small island. Immediately, she falls under attack by another of Oceanus' hard water creatures. Oceanus boasts of how easily his creature could slay Mera, but when she offers no resistance, Oceanus dissipates his construct as a show of his love for her. Oceanus feigns great loneliness which draws Mera to him. Feeling he may actually have a chance of winning her heart, Oceanus declares that he has found a kingdom for the two to rule, then sets off to claim it for her. Oceanus journeys to Atlantis, demanding the Atlantean people recognize him as their king or else face death. When the Atlanteans oppose him, Oceanus creates an army of hard water torpedo soldiers to lay waste to them. Overwhelmed, the Atlanteans surrender. Oceanus leaves to fetch Mera. Returning to Atlantis, Aquaman and Aqualad are met by the torpedo soldiers. After a pitched battle, the duo are on the verge of triumph when they are suddenly encased in ribbons of hard water. There before them, on the throne of Atlantis sits Oceanus, right beside his queen, Mera.
Oceanus intends to execute Aquaman and Aqualad. The Atlanteans plead with Mera to intervene, but her heart has grown cold to Aquaman. Upon the Atlantean throne, Mera callously watches, as Oceanus constricts the hard water ribbons tighter and tighter around Aquaman and Aqualad, slowly crushing them. Mera decides that a simple execution is not a suitable enough revenge for her. She instead has Oceanus enslave the two heroes. They are forced to become palace servants, tasked with all manner of menial labors. Mera agrees to marry Oceanus, but only after a temple, akin to the one she had in Dimension Aqua, is constructed. Oceanus adds enormous statues of himself and Mera to the building project. With Oceanus thus distracted, overseeing the day-to-day construction of the temple, Aquaman decides there's no better time to escape and mount a counter-offensive. Summoning sawfish to the dungeon, Aquaman instructs the fish to cut through his, and Aqualad's, chains. Aquaman then directs octopi to topple the statue of Oceanus, drawing the dungeon guards away. Aquaman and Aqualad attack Oceanus in his bedchamber, only to discover that the Oceanus they have struck is merely a hard water decoy. The real Oceanus enters, armed, followed by Mera, and another of his hard water construct creatures. He directs the creature to slay Aquaman and Aqualad. Mera's deep love for Aquaman resurfaces. She disarms Oceanus, turning the Xebelian weapon that stole her powers on him. Oceanus offers to dissipate the hard water creature & leave Atlantis forever, if she will only stay her hand. The bargain struck, life in Atlantis rapidly returns to normal. With Atlantis' traditional law explained to her, Mera accepts the reason why Aquaman cannot take her as his bride, and prepares to depart the great domed city. Aqualad proposes that Mera be named an honorary Atlantean, for her part in deposing the usurper, Oceanus, from the throne. As King of Atlantis, Aquaman decrees that Mera is now, in fact, an honorary citizen of Atlantis, and proposes to her. Mera readily accepts. Plans are immediately made for a royal Atlantean wedding. It is attended by all of Atlantis, as well as Aquaman's surface friends in the Justice League of America.
"The Wife of Aquaman"Edit
- Xeron Kreon (First Appearance)
- Tumol (First Appearance)
- Justice League of America