Aquaman has been on quite the journey since the events of Drowned Earth, learning about old Gods and ancient conflicts during his newest adventure Unspoken Water. Now that Namma has been dealt with though it's time to figure out who he is, and his friends have him drink the magical water that he once saw Mera's reflection in. What he finds is far more than just his memory of Mera though, and the revelation has some big ramifications for the character going forward.
Spoilers incoming or Aquaman #48, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned. For those who have been keeping up, Aquaman ended up on the shores of an island after the events of Drowned Earth, and most of his memory was gone even after he recovered. After he goes under here we seem him encounter the being known as Mother Shark, who escorts Arthur to the Sunken Forest, a place where memories are collected.
Mother Shark even shows Arthur pieces of his memory and says the others are safe as well. When Arthur asks how they got there, Mother Shark's answer packs a wallop, saying "The same way they all get here...you left them here when you died, Arthur Curry."
It turns out Arthur died during those final moments in Drowned Earth, and typically beings who die pass through Mother Shark to the other side, but she saw something in him and there happened to be a need for a champion by the Old Gods, and so she sent Arthur to the island to be that champion. It was also a test to see if he was truly a hero, even without his worldly attachments, and he passed the test.
That's why Mother Shark gives him a choice. She already restored some memories, and she chose those memories because they were essential to who Arthur is. Either he can return to his life from before with only those few memories regained, or he can harvest more of his history before he leaves. The latter comes with a caveat though, as this process is only typically a one-way deal, so it's never been reversed. If he goes to gain more of his history, it could drive him insane.
Arthur chooses to learn more, starting with the identity of Mera, and it appears she might have been part of the reason he's dead.
You can check out the spoilery images above.
"On the cusp of recovering his lost memories, Aquaman must overcome one final obstacle—a terrifying journey into the heart of darkness itself—the lair of the mysterious Mother Shark! There, Aquaman will face his greatest challenge yet and look into his past, present and future—that is, if he has any future at all!"
Aquaman #48 is in comic stores now.
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