Fisherman lays a trap for Aquaman, leaving Arthur Curry weakened and unable to escape! As the rays of the sun dehydrate the aquatic hero, he reflects back on his origins and childhood.
Through A Past Darkly
Aquaman returns to the Aquacave, in search of his wife, Mera. Unbeknownst to the Sea King, he is being monitored, from a remote view screen, by a mysterious, shadowy figure. Waiting for Aquaman, in his own home, is his old enemy, the Fisherman. Tasked by his current employer to remove Aquaman as a potential threat, the Fisherman quickly engages Aquaman in combat. Using an explosive fishing lure, the Fisherman herds Aquaman into position and drops a net over the Sea King. Aquaman is easily tearing his way free, when the Fisherman activates a depressurization field within the net, which gives Aquaman a severe case of the bends. With his foe doubled up in agony, the Fisherman gasses Aquaman into unconsciousness. Aquaman awakes to find himself lashed to a modified solar panel, one that has been placed in front of a lighthouse beacon. When the lamp activates, at dusk, it's light will pass through the solar panel, transmitting luminal energy intense enough to torch the King of the Seas. Though the Fisherman is intent on bearing witness to Aquaman's burning demise, he is radioed by his employer, and, reluctantly, leaves the scene. to complete his assignment. Weakened by his separation from the sea, Aquaman is unable to muster a strong enough telepathic signal to reach the ocean, and summon aid. Slowly, he comes to the realization that the lighthouse he is lashed to is the very one his father once owned, and where he grew up. Memories come flooding into the Sea King's mind.
His father, Tom Curry, had rescued a beautiful woman from the storm tossed sea. They fell in love, and produced a child, Arthur. Early on, Tom Curry realized his son was special. Arthur could breath underwater, swim incredibly fast, and dangerous marine predators did not threaten him. On her deathbed, Tom Curry's wife, Atlanna, revealed that she was from the fabled city of Atlantis. Their son had inherited her Atlantean abilities, and was destined to one day rule the seas. Tom Curry did his best to train his son in the use of his abilities. After many arduous years, Arthur mastered his telepathic control over marine life. On his deathbed, Tom Curry urged his son to use his abilities in the name of justice. Arthur swore to honor his father's request. Thus began Arthur's life as Aquaman. His memories of his father spur Aquaman into reaching down deep within himself to boost his weakened telepathic power. Reaching out with his mind, Aquaman summons a colony of hermit crabs, which scrabble up the lighthouse, and begin using their claws to tear away at the lashings holding Aquaman in place. Once loosened enough, Aquaman bursts free, just as the lighthouse beacon activates. With his strength and vitality renewed from submergence in the ocean, Aquaman spends a few more moments, gazing up at the lighthouse, lost in reverie. At last, he turns and heads out to sea, intent on bringing the Fisherman to justice.
Return To Disaster
In Atlantis, Mera pleads with Vulko to find a way to save her dying son, Arthur, Jr. Vulko states that here is nothing he can do, but her infant son may have one chance at life. Vulko has been in contact with Xebel, the chief scientist of Dimension Aqua, Mera's home dimension. Xebel has invented a miraculous healing device, one that could save Arthur, Jr.'s life. Unfortunately, the rift in dimensional space between Atlantis and Dimension Aqua is only big enough to effect communication between the two worlds. Vulko theorizes that a large enough discharge of energy might open the rift wide enough for Mera to travel between the two dimensions, and collect Xebel's device. Mera sets off immediately for the rift. Upon arriving, she uses her ability to command and manipulate water to focus tons of ocean water onto the rift. The resultant pressure has the desired effect, causing an explosion that widens the rift. Mera travels through to Xebel and finds herself in her old throne room. The palace is filled with armed guards, who immediately attempt to subdue their former queen. Mera fights back, but is overwhelmed. Soon enough she finds herself at the feet of Leron, the new ruler of Dimension Aqua. Mera is stunned to find the former traitor to the realm ruling over it. Worse, Leron has been aware of the communication between Dimension Aqua and Atlantis, and manipulated it as a lure to draw Mera back to her former kingdom. Leron reveals that he is holding Xebel prisoner, and that his fate will soon by shared by Mera.