Aqua Force - part 1
All characters used here are, for the most part, TM and copyrighted to DC Comics Inc.
The time is always right to do what is right. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills. - Ambrose Bierce (well - here's one man who allegedly does - hence the name... AQUAMAN!)
AQUAMAN being traditionally a loner -and sort of a fish out of water in the fabled Justice League of America... unless he is the leader figure of the group- I would start my aquatic saga revolving around him and his beauteous queen Mera as a solo series - a seven-parter lead-in that would bring about the birth of... the AQUA FORCE. (Tentatively titled since... 1989! *lol* But that is another story...).
Some old scores to settle, one-on-one, first - before the Sea King leads his own private underwater Justice League (if not his underwater Legion of Super-Heroes! That is what I called it when I submitted this idea to DC in 1996 - a whole bunch of years before they had a one-shot Justice League Atlantis! Not the only such occurrence either - I submitted other ideas - and all were used in one form or another afterwards; by other creators! Oh well... we can't copyright an idea...).
The scores to settle though are NOT with the usual rogues gallery (the Ocean Masters, Black Mantas and Scavengers of this four-color world...) but rather with thinly-veiled metaphors - from the "surface world"! Over the years, AQUAMAN was disrespected by a few loudmouths, see? Time to even the score - in a most humiliating way too! As his saga develops, Aquaman will easily dispose of several allegedly huge threats only the League in full force can handle normally - and all of these are out of his element! Deconstructo (a villain that will look eeriely close to the likeness of... Tim Burton) will be the first to fall flat on his face before the might of the King of the Seven Seas! Following him, petty thief Angle Man (subbing -ha- for Kurt Angle; who else) will go down in seconds... Maxie Zeus (A bonafide Bob Costas clone!) is put back in his place ridiculously easily by the overpowering Sea King next... Supposed hero Loose Cannon (usually DC's cheap version of Hulk; here to be DC's version of Mark Wahlberg - for a day!) loses control - and is quickly set straight by AQ whose path he crosses - unfortunately for him! And I guess if Superman met Richard Pryor (in the painful to watch as to remember Superman III) and is buddy-buddy with Jerry Seinfeld... well, AQUAMAN can run across a Seinfeldesque character who happens to be hanging out with a Chris Rock clone... and bang their heads together as they stand in his way to the washroom! These two would be mere reporters desperate for a scoop from the Sea King - they won't get it!
In addition to all this, AQUAMAN would repeatedly bump into a strange scruffy bearded man - finally, out of pity, AQ would throw him some piece of gold he found at the bottom of the sea... That man would be no beggar though but truly a clod subbing for ALAN MOORE (it sure as heck is not AQUALUNG!) - Moore, whose disrespect for AQUAMAN reaches new lows with his clone of the Amalgam Mariner (Namor with Aquaman's looks) whom HE calls -totally unoriginally- ''Roman'' in the pages of Supreme - himself a Superman clone.
All of these surface world hijinks and antics come about because AQUAMAN is roaming the surface in search of... Thanatos!
The Lady of the Lake has told him that there is ample evidence that his old nemesis - now deceased - is much active still - acting from beyond! And he feels that the millions above the waters are easier prey than the ones below the waves - for Thanatos' thing is to wreak havoc with the minds of his victims; until death does ensue! (Maybe Thanatos should be the substitute for Bob Costas, eh? Thanatos is Greek for "death" after all - Costas could just as well spell out the death of TV - my set anyway! *lol* Again - another story entirely...).
AQUAMAN would finally square off with Thanatos - helped by Mera, Atlan and Nuada... alas, meanwhile, in the shadows of the seven seas evil is assembling to overthrow King Orin as the rightful monarch of Atlantis... or at least of Poseidonis surely... but I will want Atlantis united, as it should be... The ORIGINAL line-up of villains I had assembled comprised: a new revamped Fisherman... Ocean Master... Black Manta... Scavenger... The Shark... Starro... and even one magickal Sea Troll! The latter two would have supplied armies to the villains's forces - Starro via his usual enslaving of humanoid lifeforms with replicas of himself; and Sea Troll would have had resurrected the dead of the sea (and Lord Knows there are many!) and led those zombies in a massive attack (no pun intended) on Atlantis (yes - you can say it; Evil Dead / Army of Darkness Under The Sea!). NOW however... The Thirst, Gammemnae (I prefer to spell it this way - writer's and European's prerogative!), Devilfish (the true Dweller of the Depths...?) or Poseidon himself could replace this poor Sea Troll (who is a DC character indeed - they can have the silliest characters sometimes...). Fisherman and Ocean Master themselves would be arboring dark magical forces - so, we have no true need for Starro... although I would still keep him for the visuals! As these villains would congregate towards Atlantis - AQUAMAN would, fatefully, be reminded that there are a lot of underwater champions around the globe - precious aquatic allies he can rely on, if need be - if the need is great enough and the air-breathing, surface-dwelling Justice League is found to be simply... out of its element to help out and lend a hand! These allies cameo one-by-one;
Tuatara... Arion... Letifos... Lorena... Iqula... S'Ona... Ulla Paske (aka... DC's Little Mermaid! Don't ask...) - Neptune Perkins... Tsunami... Noble... Deep Blue... Among others! When time would come - Aquaman will have an army of resistants to levy as well...
And so, as Thanatos vanishes at the conclusion of this epic 7-issue story arc - a far greater menace lurks on the horizon... or should I say, comes with the new tide?