This jerk was supposed to have been decapitated according to last issue's cover.
The Others get in contact with Mera easily enough since they have the Operative on the team. She joins them by swimming across the ocean in a few seconds and then riding a water spout up into the Operative's plane. From what I've seen of Mera's powers, I'm beginning to think this series has the wrong character's name on it. Mera is a fucking badass.
I have to agree with Ya'wara here. Aquaman has been acting like I'm used to Aquaman acting through all twelve issues. So he must have been different before he met
Meanwhile in the Tomb of the Dead King, Black Manta has uncovered the Scepter of the Dead King which somehow holds the key to humiliating Aquaman. I think it also holds the key to defeating Aquaman but Black Manta seems more keen on the humiliation part. On a ledge high up in the cave, Aquaman watches Dr. Shin refuse to help Black Manta. And even though Aquaman has harbored some intense hatred and blame for Dr. Shin concerning his father's death, he finally sees that Dr. Shin has never meant him any harm. And he remembers a time when things were much easier.
"Go on, Arthur. Don't mind that one Piranha in there. He's cool."
Arthur doesn't really do much in this fight. He tries to throw Dr. Shin aside and then Black Manta smashes the hell out of everything with one blow of the scepter. Aquaman is pinned under a rock and Black Manta raises the scepter for the killing blow.
At this point, one has to wonder if Aquaman has finally met his match. Is he really going to be beheaded by Black Manta? Is there no one that can save him in this desperate hour of need? Oh, wait! I forgot the other people in the story that Aquaman couldn't quite trust with his life. The guys he abandoned time after time. The guys who lived out the last few years of their lives in desperate pain, agony, and loneliness because Aquaman seemed to have been the one integral person in keeping this group of friends together. I guess they just didn't have anything to talk about once he left. And in The New 52, making fun of Aquaman separates you from the cool, intelligent kids who have always liked Aquaman before it was cool. Otherwise their shared joy of making talks with fish riddles and deep sea knock knock jokes and what good is he on land or in space burns would have kept them together.
Vostok X: "I am so lonely all of the time. But at least I do not go on dates with lobsters!"
Kahini: "Do not feel lonely, Vostok. We are all your friends here. I see many, many years of good Aquaman jokes told together in our future. But I will not ruin the punch lines of any of them!"
Prisoner-of-War: "How many Aquamen does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Vostok X: "How many, Comrade?!"
Prisoner-of-War: "None because Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, or Green Lantern have already changed it!"
Ya'wara: "One time when Aquaman and I were fucking the shit out of each other in a lagoon, he came so hard that all the dolphins in the area came at the exact same moment. The White Tide lasted for the better part of a week."
Everyone Else: *blink* *blink* *gag*
Where was I? Oh yeah! Mera and the Others arrive just in time to save Aquaman's life! Boo! Hiss! I mean, Hooray!
Speaking of a return to making fun of Aquaman! When I first began reading The New 52, Aquaman Shrine began following me on Twitter because I was saying how much I liked the book. But then a few months later when everyone was raving about Aquaman, I tweeted how I was going to be the first one back on the making fun of Aquaman wagon. And they stopped following me. Fuck you, Aquaman Shrine and your super love of Aquaman bordering on the creepy and perhaps bestial! I don't need you! I don't need anybody! I'm going to start making extra fun of Aquaman to balance out your love for him. The Universe demands it!
Apparently the fight against Black Manta and his men is so easy that Mera and Aquaman can have a deep discussion about their relationship during it.
Save it for the counseling session, you guys!
If only Justice League International could have made Rocket Red's death half as meaningful.
But then I turn to the last page which is really just a gigantic waste of space. Although it does tell me that Black Manta will not be going into hiding at all. He'll get to dance with Aquaman in one more issue! Will he die this soon in The New 52? I highly doubt it. I imagine he'll be maimed and near death but somehow slip away.
Seriously? A full page for this? I guess the bigger you make the hero's face, the more serious they are about whatever it is they're saying. Aquaman is super dead serious about this murder plan!