AQUAMAN by SKEATES and APARO to Get Second Hardcover Collection

Following up on The Search for Mera…

Some of the most beloved Aquaman stories ever told were by writer Steve Skeates and artist Jim Aparo — and it looks like DC is planning a second hardcover collection of their collaboration.

Aquaman: Deadly Waters — The Deluxe Edition, is planned for an August 2020 release, according to a listing on Amazon.

Check out the official description, along with placeholder art:


Black Manta shows up to take advantage of Aquaman’s desperate situation after Mera, the queen of Atlantis, mysteriously disappearers.

Fifty years ago, writer Steve Skeates and artist Jim Aparo began their acclaimed tenure on Aquaman with their epic nine-issue tale of Mera’s disappearance and Aquaman’s frantic quest to get her back, including issues #40-48. Now the next installment of classic Aquaman features Black Manta and Ocean Master. Collected for the first time in a new Deluxe Edition, which includes Aquaman #49-56.

A few thoughts:

— That placeholder cover art is by Nick Cardy, from 1971’s Aquaman #56 — the final issue of the Sea King’s first series. (It would be revived six years later, continuing the numbering.)

— Aparo himself didn’t take on Aquaman cover duties until the Swift and Powerful Monarch of the Ocean moved to Adventure Comics in 1975, with Issue #441. So, like the Search for Mera hardcover that came out in 2018, Cardy’s cover art could adorn a book drawn by Aparo. That’s kinda strange when you think about it. Sure, that’s normal for individual issues but I think it should be different for collections.

— Standard caveat: The hardcover, which lists for $39.99, has yet to be officially solicited by DC, so things can change. And as fans are aware, even DC’s solicitations can be a moving target. Just check out the latest drama surrounding the Englehart-Rogers Batman collection, the Aquaman Silver Age omnibus and the Super Friends comics hardcover. (Click here.)

— So while you wait for all this to play out, dig this classic page from Aquaman #50 — and all those names!


— APARO, SKEATES Left Out of AQUAMAN Movie Credits. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: A JIM APARO Birthday Celebration. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The Skeats-Aparo Aquaman run has been criminally underappreciated historically. All the major DC heroes were undergoing dramatic changes in the post-BATMAN TV series years, so DC’s Bronze Age really began around ’68-69. Hope they follow this up by reprinting the Aquaman stories from Adventure Comics.

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  2. Aparo will always be “the” Aquaman artist for me. I started reading comics in 1974, caught the tail end of the amazing Spectre run in ADVENTURE COMICS, and continued with the title when the Sea King took over. Great stuff. IMO Aparo was at his best at this time–in this title, B&B, ‘TEC, PHANTOM STRANGER, and wherever else he ventured in the DCU.

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  3. I’m a die-hard Jim Aparo fan, but I thought the first Skeates/Aparo collection, THE SEARCH FOR MERA, which featured only Nick Cardy covers (since he was still doing them) and even sported one of those on the front of the hardcover collection, was perfect. After all, those who paid attention noticed that Aparo adopted Cardy’s style, at first. Slowly transitioning the art of the series to his own style (a smart move, actually). So a Nick Cardy cover for the second collection — one that will collect the rest of the Skeates/Aparo collaborations on “Aquaman” — would be perfect (after all, Nick Cardy is a brilliant artist in his own right, and waaaay overdue for a DC-published collection — or two,or three — of his artwork; and his covers for this series are brilliant).

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    • By the way: the PERFECT cover for this collection would be issue 49 — can’t post the link, I already tried, but you can find it at Comicvine or elsewhere on the web.

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