|"Aqualad's Deep-Six Chick!"|
|First Published:||June, 1967|
|Previous Issue:||Aquaman #32|
|Next Issue:||Aquaman #34|
"Aqualad's Deep-Six Chick!"Edit
On patrol, Aquaman and Aqualad are on hand to rescue the passengers of a jet, which has crashed into the ocean. While Aqualad maintains the morale of the passengers through song, Aquaman gets a signal to the Coast Guard. Aquaman spends a few moments basking in the media coverage generated by the rescue, before returning to Atlantis. News of the rescue has even reached the fabled underwater city, and so, Aquaman receives a hero's welcome from the Atlanteans, and his wife, Mera. Aqualad, dejected at the lack of acknowledgement he gets as Aquaman's sidekick, sullenly wanders the streets of Atlantis. Suddenly, he is accosted, and kissed by, a beautiful young Atlantean girl. She is Tula, a childhood friend of Aqualad's, all grown up now. Tula convinces Aqualad that the two of them should set out together, to make their own mark on the seven seas, away from Aquaman, Mera, and Atlantis. Tula fashions herself a costume, and Aqualad dubs her "Aquachick". The two aquatic teenagers approach Aquaman and Mera, on the throne, and declare their intention to leave. Mera is outraged at their audacity, but Aquaman, reluctantly, lets them go. As the two teen adventures reach coastal waters, they discover "Dr. Dorsal's Deep Six Discotheque", an underwater go-go dance club for teenagers. The adolescent patrons party for as long as their oxygen supply holds out, then return to the surface. Aqualad and Tula hit the dance "floor", attracting the attention of the establishment's owner, Dr. Dorsal. Recognizing them as Atlanteans, Dr. Dorsal offers the pair jobs as house dancers in his club. The two readily accept. Dr. Dorsal also reveals that he, too, is a water breather, though not Atlantean, only pretending to be a surface dweller, so as not to alarm his patrons.
Aqualad and "Aquachick" are quickly introduced to Dr. Dorsal's prize possession, a mutant, two-headed eel. The eel has powerful hypnotic abilities, and quickly mesmerizes the two Atlantean teens. While under the eel's sway, Dr. Dorsal makes a few "suggestions" regarding what the teen duo might do for "fun" after hours. Enlisting the surfacer dwelling club kids in their "merriment", Aqualad and Tula lead a raid on KIng Pier. There, the teenage gang engages in acts of hooliganism, robbing the box office of a diving horse show, as well as the attending audience. Handing the ill-gotten gains over to Dr. Dorsal, Aqualad begins having a crisis of conscience. Dr. Dorsal quickly gives Aqualad another round of his eel's mesmerism. Dr. Dorsal intends to plunge Aqualad, deeper and deeper, into a life of crime, until he can never go back to his former life. In this way, he will have no choice but to always serve Dr. Dorsal. To that end, Aqualad, Tula, and the teenage club goers, now called the "Aqua Kids", are sent on another after hours raid. This time their target is a posh yacht club ball. Again the gang commits acts of vandalism and thievery. This time, though, they must elude pursuit from the enraged yacht club members, as well as the Coast Guard. With Aqualad and "Aquachick" running interference, the "Aqua Kids" escape. The Coast Guard informs Aquaman of his former sidekick's activities. Aquaman asks that he be allowed to bring the boy in alone. The next day, a man calling himself "The Old Shellpicker" approaches Aqualad, Tula, and the "Aqua Kids", hiding out on the beach of a secluded cove. The man brings the group warning of a nearby Coast Guard cutter that is rapidly closing in on their location. Spying the cutter, The teen gang dives into the ocean, taking "The Old Shellpicker" with them.
Aqualad informs Dr. Dorsal, that, for saving them from the Coast Guard, "The Old Shellpicker" is now part of the gang. Dr. Dorsal immediately sees a use for the aged beachcomber, as coastal surveillance. Dr. Dorsal's suspicion is aroused, however, when he finds "The Old Shellpicker" wandering about his laboratory. Dr. Dorsal gives the "Aqua Kids" their next assignment, a raid on the Naval submarine base at Surfport. The "Aqua Kids" balk at the idea, citing it as too dangerous, but Aqualad brings them all in line. Dr. Dorsal then informs them all that their previous raids have already made them all criminals, and that there's no going back now. Anyone who doesn't follow his orders will be turned over to the authorities. Overhearing the plan, "The Old Shellpicker" swims to the surface, and places a message for the Coast Guard inside a buoy. Dr. Dorsal witnesses "The Old Shellpicker's" ascent to the surface and follows. Intercepting the message, he realizes there is a spy in his midst. Dr. Dorsal shows the message to Aqualad. Aqualad and Tula ask "The Old Shellpicker" to accompany their raid on the submarine base. Aqualad uses a magnetic "sponge" to draw off the voltage from the electrified net surrounding the submarine base. He then cuts a hole in the net big enough for everyone to swim through. Looming before them is an underwater mine field. The "Aqua Kids" see no way through it. "Aquachick" though, does. She shoves "The Old Shellpicker" into the field, causing a cascade detonation of all the mines. A mask falls away from "The Old Shellpicker's" face, revealing him to be Aquaman. Aqualad is horrified at the sight of his lifeless mentor's body. Tula, too, is aghast at what she's done. The shock breaks Dr. Dorsal's hypnotic hold over the two teens. They immediately set off for Dr. Dorsal's discothèque, to avenge Aquaman's death. Without the two heroes protecting them, the "Aqua Kids" are easily rounded up by Navy divers. Wielding a spear, Aqualad makes short work of the eel, then goes after Dr. Dorsal. Dr. Dorsal flees through a dimensional gate, back to his home world. Aquaman arrives, revealing that he was only stunned by the exploding mines. Aqualad and Tula are beside themselves with guilt for what they've done. Aquaman understands that their criminal acts were conducted while under the eel's spell, and, largely, forgives them. He informs them that the "Aqua Kids" will be remanded back into their respective parent's custody. Aqualad and Tula are to accompany Aquaman back to Atlantis.
"Aqualad's Deep-Six Chick!"Edit
- Aquagirl (First Appearance)
- Dr. Dorsal (Single Appearance)
- The Aqua-Kids (Single Appearance)