Editor's note: What unfolds before you is a Transmedia Comic. Perhaps the first of it's kind, officially. It's not simply a traditional comic that has been adapted to a web-based viewer, or even a webcomic. This is a comic that was designed–visually and in narrative structure– to be consumed via web browser.
Whereas traditional comics are designed to incentivize flipping the page, the transmedia comic relies on scrolling to unfurl a story. The "page" of an illustrated story is now singular. The auteur wants to encourage the reader to stay on the page for a long time and drift down it slowly, perhaps making more than one pass. The pull-down experience of the browser–physically dragging your finger downwards and being rewarded with an ascending story– is critical to the storytelling and to the readership experience.
Aquaman is used with the highest respect and regard for DC Comics, Paul Norris, Mort Weisinger, and Jason Momoa, but without their permission. He is used here strictly as a piece of fan-art meant to display the potential application of a bold new technology to the illustrated medium, which I love.
Press play and pull down. This is "Aquaman in Captivity", presented in stunning Transmedia!
Aquaman In Captivity
This is Superman's fault.
And Diana's too.
She is complicit in this. She is accountable for her silence.
But it was Superman's jealousy of our date that set the events in motion which ultimately lead me here (though I suppose she can hardly be held accountable for his jealousy).
Our date. Our one date.
We'd fought side-by-side for years, in the Superfriends and a thousand iterations of the League. I guess I generally didn't see as much combat as she did. Until Black Manta set the Kracken on Paradise Island and Wonder Woman herself couldn't stand alone before it's briny fury. So who'd she call? Not the alien. Not the great detective. She called the Sovereign Lord of %80 of the Earths surface. Aquaman sent the Kracken packin'. Diana was so grateful, she let me take her out to dinner.
She looked beautiful. She always looks beautiful. Beautiful like no one else on earth. And bold. Wise. Ferocious.
Around the office, she could be-- at times-- a bit... severe.
No work talk! We made a rule. After all those years of bullshitting at the water cooler, we were finally going to get to know each other. Not just as super-heroes but as human-beings (more or less).
I made her laugh before we even ordered. She never knew I had such a great sense of humor, she said. I never really knew that I did either, but it seemed really easy to make her laugh. Like she would just laugh at everything I said, so I'd just keep saying things to see her laugh.
"What's Atlantis like?" she asked.
"I can show you" I was about to answer, before she winced her brow, leaned forward and silenced me with a single mighty index finger.
It was Superman, speaking to her in a frequency only they could access. Emergency, he said. Toot sweet, she said. And she was gone.
I couldn't hit those frequencies, but with my limited telepathy I could ping the Manhunter.
J'Onn didn't even know their was a fucking emergency.
"Check with Superman!" I thought.
"Superman says you're not needed" he thought back. Long pause. "He says we'll call you if the fight spills into a river."
Even J'Onn is guilty of this, in his long and omnipotent silence.
That god-damn scumbag cocksucker. The most hateful bastard piece of shit to ever walk the earth. People argue about who would win a fight between Batman and Superman, but there won't ever be a fight. Because when Batman is ready, he'll sneak up on Superman and cut his throat while he's sleeping. Nevermind the fact he doesn't sleep, never mind the fact he sees all/hears all, never mind the fact his neck and the rest of him is impenetrable. Batman will do it when he's good and god damn ready. There won't be any fight.
Naturally it was that sick fuck who called me with my new assignment. I bet it made his dick hard to tell me I was going to be stationed indefinitely in Las Vegas.
I should have told him to go fuck himself. "Go to hell" I should have said, and set him up for some stupid comeback. I should have quit the League and walked into the sea. Resume the throne. The rightful King of Atlantis. My people would honor me. They would carry me to the throne, and call for justice for the crimes of man. The nuclear crimes, the oil crimes; the crimes of pollution and extinction. The crime of existence. My people would demand war! And I would give it to them!
Because I don't know any other way.
Then Superman would come for me. And Batman. And Wonder Woman. And they would kill me. Then they would either subjugate my people or allow Brainiac or Grod or Solomon Fucking Grundy to eradicate them. My people would scream for help while Mr. Freeze entombs them in ice or Black Adam boils the sea. And Superman would ignore them and I would be dead.
So I go to Vegas. I mostly pull drowning kids out of Lake Meade and do PR work. I play some cards. 15 years go by. Diana never says a word.
15 years in the desert, and you know what I learned? Koi fish are the single most vain species on earth, and dumb as shit. Every last one of them. "You think I'm pretty? You think I'm pretty? You got some fishy flakes for me? You think I'm pretty?" But the casinos are full of them. And you know what else I learned? There aren't a lot of fucking fish to talk to in the desert.
Then one day I'm having a beer in the sports book at Caesars, and this asshole taps me on the shoulder.
"Pardon me sir," he says "SMALL favor to ask of you..."
Sonofabitch hit me with a shrink ray.
That was 8 months ago.