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When a mysterious stranger abducts Mera, Aquaman and Aqualad begin a quest to find the missing Queen. They stumble upon a group of magicians whose own Queen looks exactly like Aquaman's missing wife!

En route to Atlantis, the Atlantean royal family is suddenly beset by rapidly churning seas and swirling eddies. Despite the lack of visibility, the quartet pushes onward. A sudden malaise washes over Aquaman and Aqualad. Lost in the whirling miasma of sand and sea, Aquaman is on the verge of unconsciousness when he hears the cries of his wife, Mera. Shaking his head clear, Aquaman can just make out three shadowy figures making off with his wife. Before he can act, he is powerfully struck down. Alarmed at Aquaman's absence from important Atlantean functions, Aquagirl sets off in search of the royal family. Soon enough, she locates Aqualad, Arthur, Jr., and a still unconscious Aquaman. Upon reviving, Aquaman informs the others of Mera's abduction. All Aquaman can recall is that his attacker clearly had super-human strength, and wore a ring with a five-sided stone. They return to Atlantis. Once Aquaman gets his infant son settled, he leaves Arthur, Jr. in Aquagirl's care. Aquaman and Aqualad set off in search of Mera. Traveling out for more than a day, the two discover a strange, walled medieval village, that shimmers and wavers like a mirage. Investigating, Aquaman and Aqualad are stunned to find Mera leading a procession through the center of town. The inhabitants bow to her as she passes, as if she is their queen.

Aquaman is revealed as an outsider, when he fails to show the proper respect as the queen passes. The village's entire populace raise arms against him, and a fierce battle ensues. When Aqualad attempts to aid his mentor, he, too, becomes a target for the mob. While Aquaman is able to, easily, hold his own, Aqualad doesn't fare as well. The young hero suffers a serious stab wound. The cruelty of the attack enrages Aquaman, but moments later he is, finally, brought down. Aquaman recovers to find himself, and Aqualad, imprisoned in a dungeon. Aqualad bravely down plays his injury, but Aquaman is concerned with how pale the boy looks. Suddenly, all the water is pumped out of the cell. Aquaman determines that, with such a severe wound, Aqualad won't last half an hour without water. Aquaman telepathically summons a giant bull whale, which crashes through the village wall, before demolishing the entire building housing the dungeon. In the ensuing chaos, Aquaman and Aqualad slip away. Succumbing to his massive blood loss, Aqualad slips into unconsciousness. Aquaman races his young partner back to Atlantis. Once Aqualad has been tended to, Aquaman departs Atlantis to return to the strange shimmering village. Fatigue gets the better of him, though. Just outside the village, Aquaman pauses to rest. Asleep, he is oblivious to the sinister shadow that falls over him.

Aquaman awakes to a terrifying scaled horror looming over him. Aquaman immediately puts some distance between himself and the creature. Noticing that, like the village, the creature, too, shimmers like a mirage, Aquaman ascertains that it's some kind of guard. Aquaman leaps to attack the creature, which fades away as Aquaman passes through it. It truly was a mirage. Aquaman re-enters the village, and quickly determines the location of the queen's palace. Outside the queen's bedchambers, Aquaman is stopped by the village sorcerer. The mage pins Aquaman against the wall in a nimbus of mystic force. Marshaling all his strength, Aquaman begins pushing against the pressure holding him back, inexorably moving forward, inch by inch, step by step. At last he reaches the sea sorcerer and beats him into unconsciousness. Entering the queen's bedchamber, Aquaman confronts the queen. It is here that Aquaman notices that the queen's eyes are a different color than Mera's. The queen is a dead ringer for Mera, but it isn't her. Aquaman has hit a dead end in his search for his wife. She isn't in the strange shimmering village. Departing the village, Aquaman resumes the trail of the ring.

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