Right now fans are seeing DC's latest crossover event, "Lazarus Planet" unfold across multiple tie-in comics and one-shot specials – including this week's Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods. The one-shot takes a look at various members of the core Justice League roster and how they are dealing with the game-changing event of the Lazarus Volcano erupting, spewing the power-altering Lazarus Resin all over Earth.
In Aquaman's story, a group of people walking by a nighttime beach finds the water stained with Lazarus Resin and three bodies washed up on the shore. They take one blonde-haired man into their home to help him, only to discover when he wakes that he's feral and dangerous. The man attacks the group, slamming one man into a wall, and biting another man's neck while kidnapping the family's dog to eat. During the fight, it becomes clear that the stranger isn't quite as human as he initially appears to be...
Aquaman arrives on the scene just in time to stop the group of people from retaliating and killing the stranger. The King of the Sea confirms that the Lazarus Volcano's eruption has somehow affected the mutated ancient Atlanteans known as "The Trench," transforming them back into their original humanoid forms. As the story ends, there's a clear setup made for the next Aquaman series to take on the story of Arthur trying to lead the Trench back into the world – without it spelling doom for both the surface world and the rest of Atlantis:
"The volcano eruption has changed the world, dragging them out of the trenches. I now see them as they truly are. My Ancestors. And if we can't show them how to share these shores... I'm afraid we'll see what they're truly capable of."
The upcoming "Dawn of DC" reboot will offer all kinds of new status quos for the DC characters – and this one is certainly an unexpected twist on Aquaman's lore. The Trench is a set of monsters that were introduced as a monstrous vision of what the people of Atlantis could become – now Aquaman could dip into X-Men vibes, with Arthur trying to lead a group of unique (and potentially dangerous) people that the world hates and fears. And if The Trench can't reclaim their humanity both internally and socially, Aquaman could find himself being the leader of a truly wild tribe.
Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods is on sale at DC.