Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aquaman #65-69 (March-July 2000)

Dan Jurgens must have really been trying to boost sales on Aquaman with a five issues stay for the JLA, aided by pencil artists Steve Epting and Paul Ryan.

King Arthur had been drawn into conflict with the island nation of Cerdia in the mid-Atlantic, a war which supposedly leveled "Atlantis" (more likely just the city-state of Poseidonis, but writers push it sometimes.) Further, the former Aqualad Tempest's infant son had been kidnapped. When Aquaman attempted to apprehend Queen Charlanda of Cerdia for these misdeeds, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Manhunter from Mars interceded on her behalf. Superman in particular noted, "...the JLA is not now--nor has it ever been--in the business of choosing a country's political leaders!" This of course forgets Superman's own "relations" with the terrorist nation of Qurac, and Arthur reminded Supes of his own sovereignty.

Supes ignored Aquaman's status as a regent by ordering GL to intercept Poseidonian bombs headed for Cerdia. Wonder Woman urged Arthur to discuss the matter peacefully, so the king pulled his forces back temporarily. Viewing the wreckage of Aquaman's nation, Superman found no evidence that Cerdia was responsible, a sentiment echoed by Diana and J'Onn. Batman had analyzed the two bombs that helped provoke the hostilities, and they both contained Atlantean technology.

Suddenly, Atlantean Shriek Fighters began attacking Cerdia, with all communications jammed. The JLA flew into action, disabling both Atlantean and Cerdian forces. Manhunter was shown lifting a Cerdian submarine out of the ocean, before telepathically discovering the code needed to call off the Atlantean forces.

Meanwhile, Aquaman and Tempest broke away to chase down Queen Charlanda, only to uncover longtime foe Ocean Master as being behind the plot. After a brief skirmish, Arthur found himself lying in a ruined section of Cerdia, faced with a mob of its angry citizens. The League eventually arrived, but found that Arthur had already talked the aggressors into simmering down. To reinforce Arthur's command, J'Onn J'Onzz projected Aquaman's thoughts into the minds of everyone within Cerdia, especially his still attacking Atlantean forces. As Tempest noted, "The Martian Manhunter's telepathic link did more than simply convey Arthur's message. For a moment, every soul for miles around touched the mind of Aquaman..."

A second run-in with Ocean Master led to the release of Tempest's son, eventually to be named “Cerdian.” Inexplicably, the JLA then joined together to rebuild Poseidonis without any kind of breathing apparatuses. Soon, that same League were shocked to learn that Aquaman had claimed Cerdia as his spoils of war before the U.N.

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