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How Aquaman's Final Issue Showed Up At Two Different Comic Companies

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

A few different readers wanted me to re-visit a very old Comic Book Legends Revealed (from my very first year doing Comic Book Legends Revealed, all the way back in 2005!) about what happened to Steve Skeates' final script for Aquaman after the book was canceled with 1971's Aquaman #56, which I just wrote about earlier about how Skeates used it to address environmental concerns of the era.

Instead, I figured I'd spotlight the two issues that came out after the final issue of Aquaman where Skeates tried to keep the series going!

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To recap, Aquaman #56 was about runaway algae pollution being caused by a satellite that is bombarding Detroit with sunlight 24 hours a day, all designed to help a local Detroit superhero, the Crusader, deals with vision loss.

Aquaman finds himself having to barely save a little girl from some attacking algae...

Then we discover that the Crusader has died. When Aquaman sees that the Crusader was the scientist behind the satellite, he realized what was going on...

So Aquaman rushes to Powers' laboratory and destroys the satellite...

That was the end of the issue and the end of the series.

However, Skeates had written a story for the next issue. He didn't get to use it at the time. However, he wasn't going to let a good story go to waste!

First, over in the pages of Warren Publishing's Eerie, Skeates introduced (with artist Jaime Brocail) a new Atlantean hero named Targo...

At the end of the Targo story in Eerie #37, Torgo is transformed by radiation into a giant sea monster...

However, rather than continuing that story, Skeates instead used the script he had written for Aquaman #57 and had it star Targo in Eerie #40...

Soon after, Skeates was given the chance to write Marvel's own aquatic hero, Namor (who, to be fair, predated Aquaman). Since he had used his original final issue in Eerie, Skeates had a clever idea. He would treat the end of Aquaman #56 as a sort of cliffhanger. He then wrote Namor #72 (with artists Dan Adkins and Vince Colletta) as if he continued the story from Aquaman #56...

We see Namor reacting to pollution...

But then we see the satellite from Aquaman #56 blow up and the satellite debris mutates an ocean being into a monster...

Namor fights the creature, of course, and so after Namor defeated it, Namor's series was canceled, too!

And all out of the cancellation of one comic book!

If anyone has a suggestion for a future Knowledge Waits (basically, anything comic book related that you think would be interesting to see me write about), drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com

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