|"And the Walls Came Tumblin' Down"|
Death of a Prince
|First Published:||July, 1978|
|Previous Issue:||Aquaman #61|
|Next Issue:||Aquaman #63|
"And the Walls Came Tumblin' Down"Edit
At long last, Aquaman returns to Atlantis. His is not a welcomed homecoming. Arriving during the funeral ceremony for his infant son, murdered by the Black Manta, Aquaman finds that his wife, Mera, blames him for the death of their son. Believing that his son had died, Aquaman immediately took off to exact vengeance on the killer. In truth, Arthur, Jr. survived, but was in dire need of very special medical treatment. Mera traveled to her native Dimension Aqua to retrieve the necessary device to save her son, but, by the time she returned, Arthur, Jr. had died. Now, Mera holds Aquaman accountable for the boy's death, accusing him of putting his life as an adventurer over his duties as a father. Mera lashes out violently at Aquaman, with her water controlling abilities. Aquaman telepathically summons the octopus, Topo, to gently restrain his wife. Vulko asks Aquaman to leave the funeral ceremony, as his presence is only upsetting Mera. Angrily, the Sea King departs his son's funeral. Meanwhile, many miles away, Aqualad, also long absent from Atlantis, is en route back to the great domed city.
Aquaman and Topo are swimming away from Atlantis when the octopus is suddenly struck by a miniature wrecking ball. Aquaman turns to see a strange submersible craft releasing dozen of demolition drones into the water. Fueled by a mix of grief and rage, Aquaman violently vents his frustrations out on the drones. When the drones prove to be more formidable than Aquaman expected, he summons electric eels to short circuit the robots. Boarding the vessel, Aquaman comes face-to-face with a new adversary, Seaquake. En route to Venice, with plans to destroy the city, Seaquake has paused to kill Aquaman, in the hopes of establishing a greater name for himself. A pitched battle ensues. Seaquake maneuvers Aquaman onto a floor grid, then vents the ship's exhaust through it. The intense heat quickly dehydrates Aquaman and renders him unconscious. Aquaman awakes to find himself chained to a weapon called "The Quaker". Seaquake's submersible channels intense vibratory energy through "The Quaker', powerful enough to demolish entire cities. Prior to sinking Venice, Seaquake has now decided to destroy Atlantis, and sets sail for the undersea kingdom. Aquaman telepathically summons tortoises to bite through his chains, but the process takes too long. Atlantis is already looming before him.
To give "The Quaker" time to properly charge, Seaquake releases his demolition drones, into the waters around Atlantis, to deter the city guard. Mera intervenes, and destroys all the drones, creating solid water constructs to batter them to pieces. Though Mera can see her husband chained to "The Quaker", she makes no attempt to rescue him. Seaquake pilots his vessel through the great glass dome, and activates "The Quaker". Despite the horrific vibratory onslaught, Aquaman fights through the pain, and finds the strength to break his chains. Unfortunately, as he falls to the sea floor, "The Quaker" brings an Atlantean building down on top of him. Seaquake ramps the power up on "The Quaker", and makes plans to loot Atlantis in the aftermath of its destruction. Suddenly, Aquaman appears back on board the ship. At the last moment, Mera had projected a hard water shield over her husband, protecting him from the falling debris. Aquaman lays into Seaquake, literally punching the villain's head off. Seaquake, like the demolition drones, is another robot. Aquaman destroys "The Quaker" controls, onboard Seaquake's vessel, than collapses in exhaustion. Aquaman awakens in his bedchamber. His wife, Mera, has come to reconcile with her husband. Though the road ahead of them will be difficult, they both resolve to walk it together. Unfortunately, their first obstacle chooses that moment to rear it's ugly head. The Ocean Master has come to Atlantis, for a reckoning with Aquaman.