Black Manta goes after another of The Others, The Prisoner, who can summon the skills of deceased soldiers, although there is a psychological toll. Using his manacles, he fights off Black Manta, but after he is injured, he flees.
In the jungle, Aquaman and Ya’Wara battle Black Manta’s men, one of whom shoots and kills her panther. She summons two leopards to exact her revenge. Once Manta’s men are dealt with, Ya’wara recalls how she and Arthur were once lovers, but Arthur remains faithful to Mera.
Back at Stephen Shin’s lab, Mera demands he tell her about his connection to Black Manta. Shin reveals that he was stranded at sea and was rescued by Tom Curry, Aquaman’s father. Later, Tom brought young Arthur to Shin to help him master his burgeoning powers. He restates that Arthur’s mother was the Queen of Atlantis, but that Tom never saw her again after Arthur was born. Shin wanted to go public with Arthur in order to establish a name for himself, but this angered Tom who took Arthur and all of Shin’s research on the boy and vanished, leaving Shin a failure in the scientific community. Desperate, he turned to one man who would believe him… Black Manta.
Tom Curry suffered a heart attack and died after he and Arthur were attacked by Black Manta. In retaliation, Aquaman commited a startling and violent act.
I must admit, I’m really surprised at the dark twist this book has taken. It’s well-written, but after seeing a patient, kind Aquaman at the start of this series, learning of his shady past makes me unsure what to think of the Sea King! I wish there were a few more answers this issue, but this story is still evolving and this was a pretty action packed installment with some real shockers! The art is fantastic as usual. Another solid issue in one of the best straightforward superhero books out there!
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis