Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #169


After doing a number of popular mini-series featuring Aquaman, Peter David finally began work on an Aquaman ongoing series in 1994, and he opened up with a dramatically different look at the character.

In the second issue of the series, Aquaman lost his hand!!

This did not put Aquaman in a good mood!

He replaced the hand with a harpoon.

He then gained a brand-new costume.

Besides the dramatic re-envisionment of Aquaman, what David's run was also noteworthy for his work on Aquaman's sidekick, Aqualad, who David also re-envisioned as a much more serious and powerful character named Tempest.

David devoted a great deal of time also to the inner workings of Aquaman's kingdom of Atlantis. He introduced a number of new interesting supporting cast members and the book became an intricate series of inter-woven stories, all with the new take on Aquaman at center stage.

After a few years on the book, David became a bit irked at how he was being handled on the title.

He was told he was to show more stories featuring Aquaman as a leader, but he also was to show more solo adventures and less of the supporting cast.

He was told to ramp up the political intrigue, but try not to have the book take place in Atlantis that often.

These frustrating, seemingly conflicting decrees were making David a bit batty on the book.

It all came to a head with a story David had set up to lead into the 50th issue of the book. In the storyline, Aquaman would take on Triton, God of the Seas and die defending Poseidonis (capitol of Atlantis).

Garth would then take over the ruling of Atlantis, but, after some time being "dead," Aquaman would return as the new DC water elemental, as a being made out of water.

Ultimately, David's plan was to have him returned back to human via the intervention of Mera, complete with his hand back. Garth would stay in charge of Atlantis, though, and Aquaman would travel the world as a sort of ambassador to Atlantis.

DC turned down the story, telling David that, after the Death of Superman, no one would fall for such a stunt again.

So David left the book, with his last two issues a greatly condensed and lighter version of his planned storyline (Aquaman fights Triton, is killed, but comes back from the dead to stop him).

I'm sure it brought Peter David a certain degree of satisfaction (or, at the very least, some amusement) to see what DC did with Aquaman a few years later.

First, they killed Aquaman off...

Making Garth the new head of Atlantis (Garth soon sends Atlantis away to protect it from the villain Imperiex)...

And then, after some time "dead," Aquaman returns as a being made out of water.

What an amazing coinky-dink!!

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