DC Gives Aquaman's Powers To Black Manta

The Justice League is getting walloped by a mysterious new force, and they also happen to be the reason that Aquaman can no longer protect the seas.

Spoilers incoming for Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned.

For those who have kept up with Drowned Earth's preludes and opening issue, DC introduced The Ocean Lords, a group of ancient gods of the sea that were imprisoned by our universe's Poseidon with the help of Atlantis. The story has become sort of a myth to Atlanteans but it appears there is much more truth to it than anyone believed, and Aquaman, unfortunately, was not one of those who was informed.

He is captured by the Ocean Lords and made to watch them drown the Earth in retribution for losing their sea kingdoms after being imprisoned, but they aren't just intent on making him suffer in one way. It turns out it was the Legion of Doom who helped them gain a foothold here, including a certain Black Manta, who cut a deal with the Ocean Lords in return for his help.

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(Photo: DC)

As we learn in this issue, there is more to Aquaman's abilities and power than he's been led to believe, a power so great that it was part of what kept the Ocean Lords imprisoned for so long. Part of their plan was to continue to break him so that power would continue to show itself, and as he battles Manta and watches Mera in peril they seem to be content with the result.

Fleet Admiral Tyyde tells Arthur that they "needed to draw out the true power of The Life Energy imbued in you by the ocean itself. We needed to push you to your limits, draw it forward in its full strength. That power was key to locking us away in the Graveyard of the Gods all those eons ago. But like I said...the tide takes what it must, and it gives as well."

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(Photo: DC)

She draws the power from Arthur and transmits it to Black Manta. Arthur then grabs his chest and says "it's gone...I can't feel...I can't hear the ocean anymore...". Black Manta, on the other hand, is quite happy with his new power, and takes the moment to chide Arthur on just how much power he never used, saying "This...this is how you felt all the time Aquaman? You had this much power...and you used it to speak to fish?!"

That's cold Black Manta, but probably really really true. Aquaman then sinks to his knees and is powerless to stop the drowning of the world.

Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is written by James T Tynion IV and drawn by Howard Porter with covers by Porter and Frank Cho. The official description can be found below.

“Drowned Earth” part one! The Ocean Lords—ancient sea gods with a grudge against Aquaman and Wonder Woman—invade the Earth with an alien army and flood the globe. As Batman, Superman and the Flash race to stop the waters from rising and turning everyone into aquatic monsters, Mera seeks the advice of an old enemy, and Arthur must face down Black Manta…or lose his connection to the ocean forever!"

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Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is in comic stores now.

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