Bubonic Comics: Aquaman #3

Since Aquaman has gone through quite a few incarnations, let’s make sure you know which one I’m referring to in this installment. This Arthur Curry is Peter David’s long-haired and bearded man of action. Two crucial notes about this issue: Superboy guest stars and the controversial harpoon hand makes its debut.

Speaking of the pointy appendage, all of Aquaman’s friends seem to be rather wary of this decision to don a harpoon where his left hand once was. Aquaman ignores their doubts because he wants to go on the offensive. He orders portly Vulko (remember him?) to make this sawed-off, run-of-the-mill harpoon as close to invulnerable as possible. I sure wish I had tools lying around my home that could make things more invulnerable.

Cut to a scene of dolphins swimming and talking! A typical day, it seems, until the dolphins are caught in a Japanese boater’s cargo net. When they’re dragged up out of the ocean and dumped onto the boat, one of the dolphins opts to fly away (why, Peter David, why???) instead of remaining captive. Smart decision, too, since one fisherman stabs a harpoon completely through a dolphin’s body. I suppose even lowly fishermen have super strength in the DCU.

Anyway, back to Aquaman and his nigh-invulnerable harpoon hand. He takes Garth, still going by Aqualad, and Dolphin, dressed like an underwater Daisy Duke, with him to confront Admiral Strom about playing him for a fool in the last issue. Along the way, Aquaman makes use of his new appendage to spear some shrimp to snack on (no, Peter David, no).

They arrive at Strom’s military installation at Pearl Harbor and move to confront him when Superboy (fresh off his stint in the Reign of the Supermen) zooms in wearing pink sunglasses and making quips such as, “Well, well, well…looks like I got the catch of the day.” A fight between Teen Supes and Aquaman ensue, of course. I have no idea why Garth and Dolphin don’t bother to help out an overmatched Aquaman, but then, they might still be wondering why Superboy opted to wear pink sunglasses.

Superboy ends the fight as sailors with machine guns surround our heroes and, much like the Terminator, Aquaman promises he’ll be back. And just a few hours later, boy howdy, does he ever!.

Arthur, Garth and Dolphin return riding blue whales, which have somehow managed to create a tidal wave that staggers over Pearl Harbor!!! Seriously, they probably just killed at least fifty servicemen doing their assigned duty, but at least they entered with a wave of mutilation.

This tidal attack allows Aquaman to get the upper hand on Superboy and storm his way into the installation and to Strom’s office. Before they can enter, the door (to an office that apparently was flood-proof) swings open and Strom tells Superboy to let them enter. Strom quickly dismisses a befuddled Superboy (about the only redeeming part of this issue, unless you like watching dolphins get stabbed) and greets Aquaman with a cringe-inducing, “Made quite a splash, didn’t you?”

Before Aquaman can even explain why he wiped out Pearl Harbor to confront Strom, he is cut off with pressing news: Porm, Arthur’s surrogate dolphin mother, has been captured and they need to work together if she is to be rescued! Oh no – will Aquaman decide to partner with Strom? What has happened to Porm?? Where did Superboy buy those sunglasses???

All these questions and more will be answered in the pages of another ridiculous issue of Aquaman. But for the love of Poseidon, don’t go buy it to find out. If you do, you might end up like me, cursed to spend the rest of your days making sea puns at every available opportunity.

Then, you’ll be all washed up!

Someone, harpoon me. Please!