Black Manta


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Real Identity: Kaldur'ahm "Kaldur"
Affiliations: Atlantis, The Team, and Justice League
Appearances (Episodes): Independence Day Part One, Part Two, Welcome to Happy Harbor, Drop Zone, Schooled, Infiltrator, Denial, Downtime, Bereft, Targets, Terrors, Homefront, Alpha Male, Revelation, Humanity, Failsafe, Disordered, Secrets, Misplaced, Coldhearted, Image (Illusion), Insecurity, Usual Suspects, Auld Acquaintance, Alienated, Depths, Darkest, Before The Dawn, True Colors, The Fix, Complications, Summit, Endgame, Princes All, Away Mission (Illusion), Triptych, Home Fires, Influence, Leverage, First Impression, Early Warning, Elder Wisdom, Quiet Conversations, Unknown Factors, Antisocial Pathologies, Terminus, Into the Breach, Nevermore, Tale of Two Sisters, Teg Ydaer!, Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!, Nautical Twilight, Ebb Tide, Emergency Dive, Leviathan Wakes, Forbidden Secrets of Civilizations Past!, Rescue and Search, Ego and Superego, Zenith and Abyss, Over and Out, and Death and Rebirth
Appearances (Comics): Stopover, Haunted, Hack and You Shall Find, Face Your Fears, By Hook or By Web, What's The Story?, Fears, Wonderland, Cold Case, Hot Case, The Pit..., The Pendulum, ...And The Penalty, Under The Surface..., ...Here There Be Monsters, Monkey Business, Gorilla Warfare, Last Rights, and Yesterday's Children: Memory Six
Appearances (Games): Legacy
Appearances (Audioplays): The Prize
Powers/Skills: Hydrokinesis, Electric Manipulation, Enhanced Strength, Underwater Survival, Armed Combat, and Unarmed Combat
Voiced By: Khary Payton

Kaldur'ahm was born in 1994 in the Atlantean city-state of Shayeris. He is the biological son of Sha'lain'a, native of Shayeris, and Black Manta. He was raised by Sha'lain'a and Calvin Durham, former agent of Black Manta. Calvin Durham was hardly home trying to find honest work while Sha'lain'a suffered from depression. A young Kaldur'ahm essentially parented her through the hard times. He even took odd jobs when Durham could not find work near Shayeris except with Krush's criminal gang. They eventually got their acts together. At age 12, he completed his education and began mandatory service in the Atlantean military, standard for all at that age. At age 14, Kaldur'ahm transferred to and studied at the Conservatory of Sorcery in Poseidonis, capital of Atlantis. Fellow classmates Garth and Tula were also his best friends. In 2008, Kaldur'ahm and Garth came to the rescue of Aquaman when their king was defeated by Ocean Master. Ocean Master was distracted long enough for Aquaman to regroup and save the day. Aquaman offered them to become his apprentices but only Kaldur'ahm accepted and he became Aqualad.

Aqualad can manipulate water through mystical skin icons, in the representation of eels, that power his primary weapons, the Water-Bearers. The Bearers then utilize water stored on Aqualad's backpack or any nearby water source. He became renowned for his unwavering loyalty to Aquaman and sharp focus in battle. His primary weaknesses are exposure to extreme heat and dehydration. He also has a need to show himself capable of being Aqualad and deserving of the title by making a difference. As Aqualad, he lives his dream of being an adventurer and visiting distant oceans and the surface world.

Two years later, on July 4th, at 6:02 Hawaiian Standard Time (HST), the 16 year old Aqualad and Aquaman defeated Killer Frost at Pearl Harbor. Aqualad pulled ahead of Aquaman and faced off against Frost alone. He rendered her unconscious with an uppercut from the Water-Bearers' frozen constructs.

After Speedy aired his grievances and left, Aqualad was uneasy with the secrets kept by Aquaman. When Kid Flash and Robin implied they were going after Project Cadmus unsanctioned, Aqualad agreed and felt it would be poetic justice the solve the Justice League's own case before they do. While Robin downloaded some files, the Guardian appeared and recognized the teenagers. Aqualad engaged Guardian in battle and stunned him with electricity while the others boarded the elevator. Once they found Superboy, Aqualad decided it was time to contact the League. Upon sending a signal from his belt buckle, Aqualad and Robin realized they were too deep below ground to broadcast a signal. They were captured but Aqualad was able to reason with and appeal to Superboy. However, they had to deal with Dr. Desmond, who transformed himself into Blockbuster.

Robin formulated a strategy to defeat the hulk. Aqualad laid down a pool of water on a spot designated for Blockbuster. Once there, Aqualad used the water as a conduit for his electricity. Blockbuster then became an easy target for the collapsing building. After some convincing, Batman decided to assign the four teenagers to a special black ops unit to run covert missions for the League, simply named "The Team." Despite some hesitance, Aqualad agreed to join Robin and Kid Flash in an unsanctioned mission to stake out the office of Selena Gonzalez in Central City on July 9th. Aqualad was one of the team members outfitted with new stealth technology. When he presses his belt buckle, Aqualad's costume shifts from red to gray. During the team's first mission, everyone approved of Aqualad as the leader. Aqualad accepted on the condition that Robin would one day assume the role when he was ready. On August 8th, Aqualad's nigh-immunity to jellyfish toxin was put to the limit when he fought Cheshire. Fortunately, he set up a diversion that bought enough time to defeat the League of Shadows.

On August 27th, after a failed mission, Aqualad returned home to Poseidonis, after a two month leave. He considered rejoining the Conservatory and professed his love for Tula. However, Tula revealed she and Garth were a couple. To compound matters, the city was under siege by Black Manta, who was planning to extract a recently discovered frozen giant echinoderm. Aqualad and Garth prevented the extraction. With his focus regained, Aqualad returned to the Cave in time for a new mission briefing. On September 5th, Aqualad extended an invitation to Superboy and Miss Martian to accompany him to Atlantis. This was in part to help him face Garth and Tula. They visited his parents, Queen Mera, and former classmates. However, Aqualad was troubled when he discovered old prejudices were tearing the Atlanteans into factions thanks to a group called the Purists. On September 7th, Aqualad, Superboy, and Miss Martian set out to investigate Old Roman's Trench but were ambushed. Aqualad anticipated this and was reinforced with several of his former classmates. After the battle, they set out to defeat Ocean-Master and save Queen Mera.

On September 7th, 19:20 National Standard Time (NST), he received a call from Red Arrow in Taipei. Aqualad supplied him with the exact height of Cheshire, who was speculated to be in position to assassinate an arbitrator brought to the Rhelasian peace summit. He then saw Miss Martian and Superboy off as they left to attend their first day at Happy Harbor High School. Some hours later, Aqualad teleported to Taipei to provide support for Red Arrow. Aqualad hid among the crowd present at the peace summit and protected them from Cheshire's next attempt. While fighting Sportsmaster, Aqualad learned of an inside source. He decided to investigate the matter quietly rather than risk unraveling the Team.

On September 14th, Aqualad participated in an op and attached a Proprietary Collar to Tommy Terror, of the Terror Twins. He later awaited in the cloaked Bio Ship with Red Tornado outside of Belle Reve Penitentiary while Superboy and Miss Martian investigated inside the prison. On September 22nd, Aqualad told Red Tornado about the mole investigation and wondered if he should inform Batman. While Aqualad was checking in with Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Superboy, they were attacked by Red Inferno and Red Torpedo. Aqualad and Miss Martian were imprisoned in a high heat cage construct, their elemental weakness. He managed to stay conscious unlike Miss Martian during the ordeal.

While Aqualad briefed Batman on the mole situation, Superboy overheard and confronted him. The Team was nearly divided over the secret and didn't know what to make of their leader. During a mission to India, Aqualad was plagued with doubt but after a conversation with Captain Marvel, took command and led to Team to save Marvel from the Brain. The Team eventually learned of his reasons and voted to keep him on as leader.

On October 1st, during a battle against the Injustice League, Aqualad decided to initiate his contingency plan. He put on the Helmet of Fate and was transformed into Dr. Fate. After the battle's end, Kid Flash was irate that Nabu would not allow Aqualad to take off the Helmet. Fortunately, Kent Nelson convinced Nabu to do so. After the failed training exercise, Aqualad was troubled that he acted as a soldier rather than a general. He resigned but took it back when it was apparent no one was ready to take the burden of leadership. On November 11th, Aqualad worked with Aquaman, Batman, Flash, and Robin to destroy a Flying Ice Fortress. On November 22nd, Aqualad did not go on the Qurac mission and was with Aquaman. On December 5th, Aqualad took a smaller unit, including Red Arrow, to track Sportsmaster in New Orleans. The mission was a failure.

On February 16th, 21:31 EST, Team Year Five, Aqualad and Nightwing were working in the Mission Room of the Cave when they were joined by Kid Flash and Artemis. Soon after, Batman gave them an assignment to find the kidnapped archaeologist Dr. Sandsmark. Aqualad called in the Team, except Bumblebee and Lagoon Boy whom were on special assignment. As the scope of the mission expanded, the Team procured two fragments of an ancient statue from Sportsmaster. Aqualad noticed magical sigils on the fragments and sent Aquagirl to the research center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to gather as much information on them as she could. Once a connection was made to Lex Luthor, Aqualad took lead of Alpha Squad and took the Bio-Ship to Santa Prisca. After reaching a rendezvous point, Alpha ran into Black Manta Troopers instead of Aquaman. Batman advised them to search for Atabey's Shrine, where Aquaman's last transmission was sent from.

Alpha encountered Bane and descended an ancient elevator to a drilling site overseen by Luthor with the help of Black Manta. Aqualad observed Aquaman being kept in a stasis chamber and that another fragment was found. Alpha freed Aquaman and defeated Black Manta. Before he passed out, Manta implored Aquaman to tell Aqualad the truth about something he kept secret for years. Aqualad learned Black Manta was his true biological father. He was angered Aquaman sought to protect him with a lie. Aqualad took lead of Alpha Squad once more when the Team learned Klarion had all the statue fragments and vanished with Aquagirl in pursuit. After Zatanna tracked Klarion's locus of magic to Bialya, Alpha fought through a heavily guarded desert canyon and gained entrance to the Esagila, a temple dedicated to Marduk. Aqualad became troubled when two paths presented themselves and requested Beta Squad to be formed and explore the northwest entrance.

After entering a chamber leading to the Sacred Well Room, Aqualad slashed at Teekl and made it drop the Tablet of Destiny. Klarion was irritated and demanded it back. Aqualad realized it was the key to stopping Tiamat and refused. Klarion sent Blockbuster after them but became further incensed when he was rendered unconscious. Klarion blasted Aqualad but the Tablet was broken in the process. Klarion cut his losses and left Bialya with Teekl. Aqualad and Alpha raced to the well room. To Aqualad and Tempest's horror, Aquagirl was dead having sacrificed her life to save the world. Left with unanswered questions about his origins, Aqualad took a leave of absence from the Team and left Nightwing as its leader. He left a message in the Cave advising Nightwing to lead well and make time for those he held dear. Some time after, Aqualad returned to the Cave. In the Grotto, he and Nightwing agreed to a plan to take down the Light once and for all. Aqualad's part was participating in a deep cover mission working for Black Manta in order to get closer to the Light. Only he, Nightwing, Kid Flash, and Artemis knew about the mission.

On January 5th, Team Year Six, Aqualad gathered the final shipment of Kroloteans and transported them to Malina Island. After reporting to Black Manta, Aqualad proceeded to phase two. Once sector three guards didn't report in, Aqualad quickly sighted intruders and alerted his men to attack. A mysterious Partner planted an alien bomb under the base and informed Aqualad he had five minutes to evacuate. After eluding the Team and Justice League, Aqualad attempted to make his escape but ran into Nightwing and Superboy. Aqualad proposed Nightwing to either stop him or the bomb. Aqualad vacated the island base and was picked up by the Manta Flyer. On January 7th, 07:07 Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST), Aqualad arrived at the Manta Sub and reported a mission success to Black Manta.

On March 19th, during the pre-launch sequence of the Earth-Mars-Communication-Satellite, Kaldur'ahm led a strike force to Cape Canaveral to destroy it. When the operation was altered by Lagoon Boy's interference, Kaldur'ahm neutralized him and had him taken away to serve as a specimen for Partner. Kaldur'ahm took control of the ground assault and fought against Nightwing and Artemis. Kaldur'ahm attempted to salvage the mission and destroy the rocket with his shoulder mounted miniature missile launched but Artemis intervened and destroyed it with one of her Trick Arrows. He played his part and pretended to kill Artemis by fatally stabbing her.

Kaldur'ahm left Cape Canaveral with his men back to the Manta Flyer and docked at the Manta Sub in the Atlantic Ocean on March 20th, 00:00 EDT. When Black Manta congratulated him, Kaldur'ahm admitted he had nothing to do with the rocket's destruction. Black Manta revealed he had a bomb smuggled aboard it and the mission was actually a test of character designed to observe how Kaldur'ahm would deal with failure. Black Manta declared it was time to take him to the next level and further into the fold with the Light. On March 20th, 04:00 EDT, Kaldur'ahm arrived in Bludhaven to meet in secret with Nightwing, Wally West, and Artemis Crock. Once Nightwing placed a Glamour Charm on Artemis, she left with Kaldur'ahm aboard his Manta Flyer.

The Light had one more test for Kaldur'ahm: capture Blue Beetle. Leading a small team of villains, Kaldur'ahm attempted to capture Beetle in El Paso on March 23rd but he and Impulse fled the scene with alien tech. Kaldur took this into account and the tech would disable security in the Cave. Kaldur and his team proceeded to collar everyone present and blow up Mount Justice. During the battle, Kaldur'ahm slipped a flash drive, filled with intelligence, to Nightwing. The destruction of the base and delivery of Blue Beetle, Impulse, and Beast Boy enabled Kaldur'ahm's approval from the Light. On March 30th, Kaldur'ahm went aboard a Reach Ship and was given a tour by the Reach Ambassador. He learned about their Meta-Gene research. When his question about Blue Beetle went nowhere, Kaldur'ahm informed the Ambassador another shipment of teenagers was on schedule. Soon after, he ran into Miss Martian and Beast Boy. Miss Martian performed a telepathic attack out of revenge for Artemis and left him in a catatonic state. In doing so Miss Martian learned the truth and was at a loss. Tigress admonished her and escaped with Kaldur'ahm.

Vandal Savage "lent" Psimon to Black Manta to help fix the damage done to Kaldur'ahm, who was unresponsive and bedridden. Tigress covertly rendered Psimon catatonic before he could go into Kaldur'ahm's mind. It became suspected that Miss Martian sabotaged telepath's minds and Tigress and Deathstroke brought her in to do the repairs. Miss Martian and Artemis went into Kaldur'ahm's mind and experienced Poseidonis in ruins. Artemis found Kaldur'ahm and managed to convince him to fix things together. Artemis pulled him from a whirlpool and brought him to Miss Martian. Together, the two started to rebuild Poseidonis and Kaldur'ahm's mind. After six hours, he recognized Black Manta as his father but Miss Martian reported it would take days to weeks to finish repairing his mind. Kaldur'ahm was completed healed but continued to fake his condition until a plan to save Miss Martian was composed and agreed on.

On May 27th, Cheshire attempted to kill Kaldur'ahm but Miss Martian intervened. When the security camera was disabled, Kaldur'ahm tried to tell Cheshire Artemis was alive and aboard the Manta Sub but she didn't believe him. Black Manta detonated an explosive charge and entered Kaldur'ahm's room. Kaldur'ahm was buried under the door hatch but was brought to the mental plane by Miss Martian. Miss Martian, Kaldur'ahm, and Artemis revealed the truth to Cheshire and Sportsmaster. Cheshire played along with the plan. While Miss Martian hoisted Black Manta and Cheshire up on the wall, Kaldur'ahm came to and tackled Miss Martian. After Cheshire and Miss Martian fled the room, Black Manta embraced his son happy to see he was well again. On May 28th, 17:00 EDT, Black Manta and Kaldur'ahm reported to Vandal Savage and the Reach Ambassador.

Kaldur'ahm was entrusted with security for a summit on Santa Prisca between the Light and the Reach. Just before the start of the summit, Kaldur'ahm took out Deathstroke and Miss Martian took his place. At the summit's start, Kaldur'ahm calmed tensions between both sides and inquired about the impending return of Superman, Batman, and the other Justice Leaguers from Rimbor. According to the Team's plans, Deathstroke shot and killed both Artemis and Kaldur'ahm when they were revealed. Kaldur'ahm played a recorded holographic message where he revealed the Light's manipulations - adding a neutralizing agent to the Reach drinks, intentially giving the Team access to the Bialyan scarab temple, and influencing public opinion. Once the Ambassador and Vandal Savage faced off, all of the Team revealed themselves and attacked the summit. Kaldur'ahm battled Black Manta. While admitting their was a nobility to Black Manta, Kaldur'ahm reiterated he would stand against his father so long as Manta remained a villain.

Kaldur'ahm knocked out Black Manta and admitted regret at not being able to end the Light and Reach. At Nightwing, Kid Flash, and Artemis' behest, Kaldur'ahm admitted it was a good victory. He then reassumed his Aqualad mantle. At 05:24 EDT, on the Watchtower, Nightwing officially returned leadership of the Team back to Aqualad. Aqualad believed it was was unnecessary as Nightwing performed brilliantly as leader under such dire circumstances. Nightwing agreed and added that's why he was giving back the responsiblility. On June 20th, Aqualad fought Black Beetle aboard the New York City Reach Ship but was knocked out. As part of the mission to disable the Reach's Magnetic Field Disrupters, Aqualad was assigned to Sigma Squad with Lagoon Boy. They were tasked with a Disrupter in the Atlantic Ocean. Aqualad admitted he always trusted Lagoon Boy, as that was why he took his place on the Team for the duration of the deep cover mission. He attended Wally West's funeral.

On July 4th, Aqualad accepted Nightwing's leave of absence and split the Team into three squads to answer a distress call from Mars, investigate LexCorp, and follow up on Batgirl's lead on Vandal Savage's next move. In Team Year Seven, Kaldur'ahm became the second Aquaman after Orin retired to focus on ruling Atlantis and raising his son. He joined the Justice League and was assigned the designation 27. Both Aquaman and Wonder Woman became co-chairs and led the League together. He was part of a secret task force dedicated to fighting the Light. They came up with a plan for Batman to lead a walk-out from the League in protest of the United Nations. At some point, Kaldur'ahm accepted a position in Orin's cabinet as Minister of Justice. On July 27th, 19:57 EDT, Team Year Eight, Aquaman zetaed to the Watchtower for an emergency Justice League meeting about the meta-human trafficking crisis. Superboy informed him the League was waiting for him. Aquaman admitted he was not looking forward to it. He invited Miss Martian to observe the meeting as leader of the Team and he could use the moral support.

Aquaman called the emergency meeting to order and deferred to Wonder Woman, who was present remotely by hologram. She stated they had confirmation meta-human trafficking had spilled into the galaxy and Earth's meta-humans were being deployed on multiple worlds as weapons of mass destruction. The conversation turned to the League's ineffectiveness due to increasing restrictions placed on them by the United Nations. Batman suggested it was time to acknowledge that the League has outlived its usefulness on Earth. Wonder Woman found that to be an overstatement. Batman clarified he was offering an alternative. Aquaman disagreed with disbanding because of all the good they do. Batman did not believe they were still accomplishing that. Aquaman insisted the League had a positive impact and was still an important symbol for truth and justice worldwide. Batman stated what mattered was the mission. He concluded if the United Nation was a roadblock to that mission, then they remoeve it by removing the League. Wonder Woman and Aquaman pleaded with him to reconsider.

Batman tendered his resignation to the League and stunned everyone. Green Arrow joined him along with Plastic Man, Katana, Hardware, and Batwoman. Black Lightning revealed he was also resigning but made it known he was no prior knowledge of the walk-out happening. Aquaman understood. He knew they had to issue a statement. Wonder Woman knew it was to disavow them. Aquaman also revoked Zeta-Tube access from the former members. On September 10th, after 12:01 PDT, Aquaman and Rocket backed up Shazam and Flash after Sportsmaster attacked the Star City Stateville Penitentiary transport they were driving incognito as prison guards. Aquaman wrapped Abra Kadabra in a water construct, pulled him backwards, and punched him out. Brick's escape was prevented and he bemoaned his bad luck. Aquaman insisted he had no idea how lucky he was.

On September 26th, the secret task force met in the Batcave. Aquaman noted Wonder Woman was late but Miss Martian pointed out she was calling from halfway across the galaxy. She soon checked in. Aquaman reported on the September 10th incident. At 02:24 EDT, Batman declared the task force managed to cripple the Branchwater chain of meta-human traffickers. They briefed Wonder Woman on what Branchwater was and what its methodology was. Aquaman explained the first of three links was acquisition: instead of creating meta-humans, Sportsmaster liberated existing metas from prisons and transports. He brought up Clayface, Livewire, and Mist as examples of liberated metas. At the end, Wonder Woman inquired about Livewire and Mist. Aquaman revealed they used Mad Hatter's control device to release them from his nanotech then noted since they were minors and thus, "salvageable." Wonder Woman was troubled by secretly coordinating allies without their knowledge or how far the task force was willing to lie to cover up their activities.

On September 29th, 09:00 MDT, Aquaman announced the official opening of the first Meta-Human Youth Center, located in Taos in cooperation between the League and S.T.A.R. Labs. He explained it was for children and teenagers abused by meta-human trafficking then he introduced the center's newly named director, Dr. Eduardo Dorado Senior. On November 4th, 08:24 MST, Aquaman held a press conference outside the Taos Meta-Human Youth Center. He reported the Justice League's discovery of Goode VR Goggles being used to secretly test users for the Meta-Gene then play subliminal messages in the goggles' content to direct metas to discreet depots for abduction, meta-gene activation, enslavement, and eventual sale on the black market. He then stated to save lives placed in immediate danger, the League took swift action to shut down all trafficking centers then those rescued would be counseled and rehabilitated at the youth center. As a representative of the League, he called on the governments of Earth to investigate Goode World Studios for their role in such a heinous plot against humanity.

On November 16th, 21:21 EST, Aquaman was present for a Team meeting on the Watchtower to remind the squad it was a covert mission and reconnaissance only because League was not allowed in Russia without prior consent. Tigress explained the squad was being assigned to investigate Russia's Area 52 base to verify if there was a government-sponsored meta-program in operation. Geo-Force assumed it was the Russian equivalent of the Bedlam Syndicate. Aquaman cautioned against prejudging based on Markovia's bad history with the former Soviet Union. He agreed it could be a Bedlam-equivalent but he countered it could also be their equivalent to Taos. On November 17th, Aquaman spoke with Belle Reve Penitentiary's Warden Economos about three dangerous felons who escaped under his watch. Economos admitted nothing, stated the situation was being handled, and promised to send someone to explain. At 10:10 CST, Aquaman oversaw the transfer of Black Manta, Captain Boomerang, and Monsieur Mallah back into Belle Reve's custody.

Manta was disgusted to see him wearing the colors the Aquaman. He quipped it was fortunate he could not see them from his prison cell. He then hailed Tigress on comms and asked how the new Team members performed. She pointed out they would hear. He confirmed he knew that. She reported Halo got banged up but the rest did okay. Beast Boy asked if a press conference was next. Aquaman deduced he wanted him to announce Belle Reve was not as escape proof as advertised. Amanda Waller arrived and recommended he not say that. Aquaman expressed surprise at seeing the former warden. She stated she was doing her job when the League wasn't interfering. Aquaman knew the felons were working for her. Waller clarified they were working for the U.S. government, which she represented. Aquaman inquired if she did so by tapping into Belle Reve's previously untapped source of meta-individuals. Waller explained it was for hazardous missions they would not risk their people on. He could not believe she would risk loosing Manta on the world. She hinted at carrots and very persuasive sticks then noted their operatives know they are extremely expendable.

Aquaman understood then asked what happened if her "Suicide Squad" were caught or killed. Waller replied they were disavowed and Task Force X did not officially exist. Aquaman asked why she would reveal it to him. She called it clarity then issued an ultimatum: if he exposed her operation, she would expose the Team then noted the League had more to lose given the current public opinion. Beast Boy thought she was bluffing. Aquaman surmised they all had secrets to keep. Tigress understood but Beast Boy was not pleased. At the beginning of December, Aquaman received a tip from La'gaan about a missing Reach warship being salvaged by Intergang. They teamed up and conducted a raid on the ship. They captured Ugly Manheim but Whisper A'Daire got away with three Warbugs. Oracle discovered she was planning to spark a bidding war on a darknet black market auction by demonstrating the Warbug's power on Brooklyn, Maine. Aquaman agreed to throw a fight against them so Miss Martian could send the Outsiders knowing Blue Beetle would be their best bet against the Reach tech.

On December 4th, 19:09 EST, Aquaman was present for a meeting on the Watchtower initiated by Beast Boy. He revealed his decision to form a new public team of young heroes to mitigate the dwindling public opinion of the divided Justice League already hampered by Luthor's grip on the United Nations as its Secretary-General. He stated the League lost the hearts and minds of the people they are trying to protect. He pitched his team would break the rules the League could not, connect with the people in ways that can't be blocked by governments, quiet the fears of the public terrified by the Meta-Gene generation, and inspire that generation because they were part of that generation and could empower them to conquer their fears. Miss Martian was still skeptical. Beast Boy presented all the social media reactions to them and pointed out how they generated hope and inspiration that spin campaigns could never touch. Aquaman noted they gave them much to consider.

Beast Boy clarified he could either get onboard or get out of the way to Superboy's chagrin. Static, Kid Flash, Geo-Force, and Wonder Girl stood in unison with him. Aquaman gave up resisting but proposed his team would still covertly answer to the Justice League through Miss Martian, the Team's leader. Beast Boy agreed. On December 7th, 19:37 PST, Miss Martian brought a report of an alien invasion in Brooklyn to Beast Boy's attention. The team gathered and realized the aliens were Reach and Aquaman was already present but losing the battle. He tried attacking a Warbug but the other two opened fire on him. He put up a shield construct but the impact knocked him off onto the road below. He was then blasted into a discount store. The Outsiders arrived and worked on shutting the Warbugs down. Aquaman escorted Sheriff Maguire and Gaby Gabrielli to safety. Mayor Thomas had the Outsiders arrested for vigilantism because the League did not go through the proper channels. Aquaman clarified they were not with the League. Beast Boy ordered everyone to comply. However, the mother ship locked onto a distress signal from one of the Warbugs.

The U.S. Air Force's drones were no match. The team was concerned the military would opt to just bomb the ship out the sky which would flatten Brooklyn. Aquaman stated his hands were tied. They broke free of their restraints and tried to shut down the ship from the inside. As promised, Beast Boy and the others surrendered to Sheriff Maguire. Maguire, however, cited Brooklyn Statue 1616 or "The Good Samaritan Law" and told them they were free to go. Gaby Gabrielli, a young citizen and witness of the incident, asked them who they were. Beast Boy stated they were something new to help the people and they don't answer to bureaucrats or bay guys trying to twist what they do into crimes against the system. He added those same types could get on board or get out of the way. She thought that sounded like a revolution. He declared they were all Outsiders. Aquaman was pleased. On December 8th, 00:01 EDT, the secret task force met in the Batcave to discuss the debut of the Outsiders. Aquaman suggested adding Beast Boy to the task force but Miss Martian did not believe he was ready and believed he had his own mission to fulfill. Aquaman found it most promising and a boon to their own mission.

On December 21st, 10:12 EDT, on the Watchtower, Miss Martian informed Zatanna that the Outsiders not attending Joan Garrick's funeral would be investigating a meta-trafficking lab in Santiago de Cuba overseen by Klarion. Zatanna was aghast they were going in alone with no support. Miss Martian believed they could handle it. The second Aquaman, Kaldur'ahm, pointed out the mission was potentially too public for the Team and neither the United Nations nor Cuba would allow the Justice League to intervene. Zatanna pointed out they were going up against Klarion. She told Aquaman if he could not find Dr. Fate, she was going to help them. He reminded her she was a Leaguer and they could not risk an international incident. Zatanna promised to stay under the radar and zetaed off the tower. At 16:51 MST, Aquaman was present at the Meta-Human Youth Center when the Outsiders arrived with the trafficked meta-humans who were not Cuban and wished to leave the country. Beast Boy took Aquaman aside to show him a special case in the Bio-Ship's hold. He met a meta-human girl who was a water breather and understood special arrangements needed to be made. He was pleased when Eduardo Dorado Junior was voted into the Outsiders but raised an eyebrow when he overheard Wendy Jones playing them a Stargirl clip that announced the Outsiders were now more popular than the Justice League.

After Oracle sorted her way through Lexcorp shell companies and found a factory in Dublin, it was investigated by Nightwing, Aquaman, and Miss Martian. They discovered Lex Luthor was using it as storage space for his weaponized Spider Bots. A plan was devised to use it to publicly embarrass him. On January 1st, 21:10 EST, Team Year Nine, the secret task force held a meeting in the Batcave to discuss their role in crafting the Outsiders' Dublin mission without their knowing. Wonder Woman thought staging false events and creating fake news to make their opponents look bad was crossing a line but no one else agreed or spoke up. On January 2nd, 06:18 MST, in the S.T.A.R. Labs Erdel Initiative Zeta Lab, Kaldur'ahm apologized to the water breathing meta-human for the language barrier and keeping her cooped up in a tank for the last few weeks. He asked her if she was ready to go. She nodded. Kaldur'ahm called her brave then nodded to Eduardo Dorado Senior. She was assigned the designation A-41.

They zetaed to Poseidonis at 11:19 UTC-2. He let her out then cast a translation spell. She wondered if he was speaking Hindi or if she was speaking English. Kaldur'ahm answered they were actually both speaking Atlantean. She was surprised she could speak and understand it then thanked and hugged him. He introduced her to High King Orin and Wyynde but she did not want to reveal her name. Orin told her it was all right because she was starting a new life in Atlantis and when the time was right, she could choose a new one. She thanked him but was curious why he stopped being Aquaman. He noted ruling Atlantis was more than enough responsibility for any person and it was always his intent for Kaldur'ahm to succeed him when he was ready. Orin believed he was most certainly ready. He was honored. Orin complimented his work with the League and it honored all of Atlantis. He revealed news of the Outsiders already reached Poseidonis and he and Queen Mera were impressed, particularly with their defeat of Professor Ivo.

Kaldur'ahm agreed they did admirable work under difficult circumstances then apologized about ending their conversation but they had a prior rendezvous. Orin understood and wished him godspeed. They arrived in Shayeris. Kaldur'ahm introduced the girl to his parents and she learned she would be staying with them. Durham was sure he could help her adjust because he was from surface world originally. She thanked them then asked for a moment alone with Kaldur'ahm. He thought she was not happy with the arrangement. She quickly told him she was grateful and it was more hospitality than she ever received on the surface but she really wanted to talk about why he lied to Orin. She deduced he thought lying made him a bad man but she knew bad men and they didn't feel bad when they lied. She told him he was a good man, kissed his cheek, and swam away. He cheered up. He held hands with Wyynde as the girl swam around with Sha'lain'a and Durham.

On January 21st, 23:28 UTC-2, Kaldur'ahm and Wyynde watched Sha'lain'a and Durham swim around with the girl, now going by the name Delphis. Wyynde thought she seemed very happy. Kaldur'ahm called the sea a great healing force. Wyynde knew he was downplaying his role in putting her on a path to healing. Kaldur'ahm thought it was a good sign she chose "Dolphin," the happiest creature in the Seven Seas. He was hailed on his comm by Oracle. She informed him it was almost 24 hours since Nightwing and Black Lightning went missing while performing reconnaissance at Gretchen Goode's home in Hollywood. Kaldur'ahm noted the illegal nature of the mission prohibited League involvement and asked if any other member of their task force could handle it. Oracle noted everyone else was preoccupied. He agreed to leave at once. Wyynde offered to come as back up but Kaldur'ahm told him it was not necessary. Wyynde mused it was time to see the surface world anyway. Kaldur'ahm told him it was dangerous. Wyynde retorted he went through the same military training and stayed in sorcery school, so he could beat his ass any day of the week. Kaldur'ahm was amused.

After 17:32 PST, Kaldur'ahm released a Beetle Mini-Drone for Oracle so she did not lose track of them. To Oracle's surprise, Kaldur'ahm took a direct approach and rang the front door's doorbell. He implored Goode to call him "Kaldur'ahm" and introduced Wyynde. She invited them in then asked why they came. Kaldur'ahm stated two of his friends paid her a visit and disappeared. Goode clarified they broke into her home illegally and asked if he came to bring them to justice. He asked her to take them to where they were and they would discuss it. She looked at the mini drone then asked Overlord to do it. They were transported to a X-Pit, a place for correction and discipline. Goode believed Nightwing and Black Lightning learned their lesson and gave permission for them to be taken. Wyynde activated his skin icons then instructed Kaldur'ahm to do so to neutralize some of the pain. Wyynde also took a Mother Box and they returned to the home. Kaldur'ahm thanked Goode for her hospitality.

Before they could leave, Goode stated she did not say they could leave with the Mother Box. Kaldur'ahm refused to leave a living being behind. Goode declared the agreement was breached and wanted to send Wyynde to the pit. Kaldur'ahm defied her. Goode decided he, too, needed correction. She sent the enthralled Nightwing and Lightning after them. Kaldur'ahm got Lightning in an arm lock. His skin icons absorbed Lightning's attacks. Goode ordered Overlord to target the Mother Box. The Mother Box's anguish attracted the attention of Victor Stone and Violet Harper. They boomed to Goode's home. Harper healed the Mother Box then cleansed Nightwing and Lightning. Oracle fired a missile using a Bat drone. Everyone exited in the Boom Tube. Beast Boy wanted to fight Goode but Kaldur'ahm convinced him they would another time. Nightwing was tended to by Dr. Jace at the Hub. Wyynde tried to comfort Kaldur'ahm by telling him he was the only appeal of the surface world.

On January 22nd, Dick Grayson continued to suffer after effects of being imprisoned in the X-Pit even though Black Lightning was fine. The Bat Family paid Grayson a visit. Grayson was stabilized with an ice compress. Bruce Wayne asked Kaldur'ahm and M'gann M'orzz for a conference. Lightning realized they were colluding in secret and were responsible for manipulating several incidents like Brooklyn. Kaldur'ahm tried to downplay it but Lightning knew it was all a lie. He yelled at Wayne and Kaldur'ahm in the kitchen. He was angry they weren't even sorry. Kaldur'ahm was sorry he felt that way. It made him angrier. Wayne stated the mission is what mattered. Brion and Tara Markov returned with news Dr. Jace betrayed them and turned Violet Harper over to Gretchen Goode. Lightning heard enough. Kaldur'ahm tried to plead with him but he did not want to be followed. After two days straight, Grayson convinced Barbara Gordon to go home. Unbeknownst to him, she made Kaldur'ahm promise to watch over him.

On January 25th, 14:28 PST, he deduced Harper was taken off-planet since Sphere, Mother Box, and Stone could not sense her anymore. They were paid a surprise visit from Vandal Savage. He offered the coordinates to Harper's location and in exchange all they had to do was make it known to the abductor he sent them. Kaldur'ahm decided to go with the Team strictly as back-up and affirmed Miss Martian was the lead. On January 26th, 01:17 UTC, Kaldur'ahm and Superboy took out a pair of Parademons. Terra and Forager were split off into Beta Squad with Geo-Force and sent to Harper while Alpha Squad provided a distraction. Kaldur'ahm noticed the Javelin and realized they were on the Orphanage, Granny Goodness's asteroid base. Alpha took on Parademons, Gilotina, Lashina, and Mantis. Superboy and Kaldur'ahm took on Mantis and Gilotina. Miss Martian's psychic link shared Nightwing's fever dream to everyone and they experienced his hallucination of Kid Flash.

After losing the psychic link with Beta, Miss Martian briefly sensed Martian Manhunter but his mind was not his own. Kaldur'ahm told her to be ready to brain blast everyone and render them all unconscious. Superboy pointed out that would not work on those under Granny's sway since they were just puppets. Kaldur'ahm suggested she do to them what she once did to him but Superboy objected and was concerned about how that would affect Miss Martian. Miss Martian believed she had to since the universe was at stake. It was not enough and they were overcome by the device's Anti-Life, too. Luckily, at 02:48 UTC, Victor Stone boomed to the Orphanage after Gretchen Goode during an Outsiders mission happening at the same time. He witnessed Goode and Granny merge then liberated Harper from the Cerebral-Leash. She focused, took on a rainbow aura, and unleashed a pulse that freed everyone from the Anti-Life. They quickly destroyed the device. Superboy informed Granny they found her thanks to Vandal Savage. She roared then boomed off the base. At 06:54 PST, Harper and Stone boomed to the Hub with Kaldur'ahm, Geo-Force, and the Team. Stone was inducted into the Outsiders and he chose the code name Cyborg.

On February 15th, 18:35 EST, Aquaman was present in the Batcave with Batman, Wonder Woman, and Robin watching news coverage of the Markovian coup. On February 24th, 19:00 EST, the Justice League, the Team, the Outsiders, and the Anti-Light met on the Watchtower. Nightwing told everyone about the dubious activities of the secret task force and Aquaman and Wonder Woman, both members, resigned as co-leaders of the Justice League. Miss Martian resigned as Team leader. To his surprise, Black Lightning was nominated as the next leader and swiftly voted in. He accepted on the grounds that Batman and Nightwing's teams would merge back into the League and Team and no more secret manipulations and coordinations being kept from others would take place ever again. On February 28th, 16:16 EST, Kaldur'ahm and Wyynde attended a private party at Bibbo's Diner in Metropolis for the original members of the Team and their significant others and children.

On February 23rd, after 14:16 EST. Team Year Ten, Kaldur'ahm zetaed to Lucas Carr's home in Happy Harbor for Conner Kent and M'gann M'orzz's party before they left for their wedding on M'arzz. He teased Kent thir long trip was a long time coming. Crock thought they all knew it would happen eventually. Kaldur'ahm teased they all knew before Kent did. The festivities were interrupted when Roy Harper hailed Will Harper on comms to report a squad of meta-felons kidnapped Harlan Matthews. It was revealed Matthews was a rehabilitated Clayface. After Harper listed the felons, Kaldur'ahm realized the felons were a squad from Task Force X, and thus, they could not openly act or risk being outed by Amanda Waller and in addition they could not mount a covert mission without the League's permission. Will Harper noted that Bowhunter Security had no pact of mutual non-aggression with Waller, and came up with an idea to disguise everyone as temporary Bowhunter employees.

At 16:16 CST, they sabotaged the Manta-Flyer a few miles short of Belle Reve Penitentiary thanks to Bio-Ship. Kaldur'ahm fought Black Manta. Manta did not take well to the indignity of his son dressed up like a mall cop. He replied he kept his dignity on the inside and asked Manta where his was. Some time later, Kaldur'ahm took him out with an uppercut. The Task Force X was turned over to Belle Reve and the party in Happy Harbor resumed. Kaldur'am asked Harlan Matthews if he would be interested in joining the Justice League, but he declined and cited he already had a job. They all toasted to Kent and M'orzz.

On March 26th, Dick Grayson and Kaldur'ahm went to Star City to tell Will Harper and Artemis Crock in person that Conner Kent died on M'arzz. Only the former was home. Crock returned in the evening and knew something was wrong immediately. On April 9th, 21:17 EDT, Grayson and Kaldur'ahm talked at the Grotto memorials on the Watchtower. Grayson asked him if he was okay. He admitted it was hard but they notified Kent's friends and family, attended multiple memorial services, and attended the lighting of his hologram but it still did not seem real. Grayson suggested taking a moment to process. Grayson recalled he immediately went undercover when Tula died and when Wally West died, he got the whole Team dumped on him. Kaldur'ahm said he understood. Grayson continued, he earned the mantle of Aquaman but also led the Justice League through some of its darkest hours and now Conner Kent's death. Grayson admitted Kaldur'ahm was always the leader and the rock, but even he needed to take a break before he broke. Kaldur'ahm claimed he would be fine and had to. He excused himself to prepare for the annual conference of Atlantean city-state delegates the next day.

On April 20th, 15:56 UTC-2, King Orin began the opening ceremonies of the conference. Kaldur'ahm entered the room just before Queen Mera cast a translation spell so they all spoke in one tongue. Orin introduced his cabinet. After the ceremony was adjourned for the day, Sha'lain'a suggested showing Delphis around in Poseidonis. Wyynde immediately agreed to host her. Kaldur'ahm agreed. Delphis noticed how much shinier it was than in Shayeris and realized there was a conflict of haves and have-nots. Kaldur'ahm agreed it was one of King Orin's greatest challenges but Wyynde suggested saving the politics for the conference. They went to an algae bar. Minkis brought them an order of Black Gold. Kaldur'ahm instructed her to squeeze and chew but warned to go easy because Wyynde always ordered the hard stuff. Wyynde didn't see the point in bothering with anything else. Delphis was amused they could get drunk on algae. They spotted Lori Lemaris at the bar and went to say hello and introduce Delphis.

Lemaris still held onto an old grudge from the Purist incident ten years ago. Wyynde admitted he was an idiot then and ashamed of his actions but hoped to prove to her he had changed. She saw some hope since Kaldur'ahm loved him. Nanau'e stirred things up by bringing up how he annexed the lower territory of Tritonis. A fight broke out between him and Lemaris but Kaldur'ahm intervened and hit Nanau'e with an uppercut. He advised them to save their grievances for the delegates' table and reminded them they were once friends and classmates. Nanau'e stated he respected his strength but did not hold out too much hope for the conference. Lemaris agreed. On April 21st, discussion of the disparity of wealth went on a tangent about Kaldur'ahm's biological lineage. He stated Black Manta was immaterial and he considered Calvin Durham his father in every way that matters. Ronal implied that he was the reason why an Atlantean of low status and dubious history got a seat at the table. Lemaris told him stop being such a pompous codfish for once. He was mortified and apologized.

Durham admitted what was said was true and agreed the wealth that begets opportunity seen on display in Poseidonis was largely absent from the other city-states. They were suddenly attacked by Ocean-Master. Kaldur'ahm landed a blow but Neptune's Trident was too powerful. He was about to blast Kaldur'ahm but Delphis defended him and cast a blinding light. La'gann, in puffer mode, decked him. Wyynde, Kaldur'ahm, La'gaan, and Delphis charged but he unleashed another powerful blast. A stranger intervened, narrowly saving Kaldur'ahm's life. Kaldur'ahm vowed to find Ocean-Master. On May 14th, 07:42 UTC-2, Kaldur'ahm returned to the still-wrecked conference building and reported to Orin that he could not find Ocean-Master then apologized. Orin stated no apologies were necessary and reminded him he knew Ocean-Master was always a slippery fish and was aware Black Lightning pulled him away twice to lead Justice League missions. Orin was still bothered by Ocean-Master's sudden change in methods and sowing chaos for chaos sake.

Kaldur'ahm speculated he just wanted revenge. Orin countered with why would he wait so long if that were the case. He asked La'gaan for his report. La'gaan revealed there was unrest nearly every city-state. Orin assumed the most was in Xebel. La'gaan confirmed King Ryus Nereus was inciting it and Poseidonis' reconstruction efforts made it look like the other city-state's needs were not as important. Orin believed they could not leave Poseidonis in ruins and repairs came from the general fund anyway, not the Atlantean treasury. He was annoyed it was an issue of perception. He remembered when he was Aquaman, everyone complained his focus was not on Atlantis and when Atlantis was his sole concern, no one was ever satisfied with his decisions. Kaldur'ahm understood the old adage "Heavy is the head that wears the crown" applied to the situation. Orion took some solace he got it. Kaldur'ahm returned home and commended Delphis on helping with the relief effort and welcomed her to stay with them as long as she wished.

Delphis was grateful then asked him to call his parents because they were worried about him but did not want to be a bother. Kaldur'ahm was a little embarrassed but Wyynde suggested giving him some privacy and left with Delphis. Kaldur'ahm made the call and asked Sha'lain'a an Durham if they were well. Sha'lain'a deduced they had Delphis to thank for the call. Kaldur'ahm claimed he would have called on his own. They laughed and Sha'lain'a joked he would have, eventually. They were concerned he had no time to mourn Conner Kent while he was hunting Ocean-Master and going on Justice League missions. Sha'lain'a reminded him they talked before about his habit of taking on too much. He claimed he only did what had to be done. She stated he always did more than that and always did. Durham reckoned he learned to be responsible because of them. Sha'lain'a added it was because they were not good role models. Kaldur'ahm stopped them and stated they were wonderful parents. Durham admitted they gave him love always. Sha'lain'a believed he forgot how it really was. They believed he always was the adult in the room and told him he needed to take time to just be himself. Kaldur'ahm declined to do so until he found Ocean-Master. They sighed.

The call was interrupted by Child manifesting a pillar of fire near Poseidonis. Kaldur'ahm found Orin and saw Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Thirteen, Khalid Nassour, and Mary Bromfield depart in an ankh portal. Mera formed a protective bubble around herself, Orin, and Kaldur'ahm and briefed them on the threat at hand. Orin used his telepathy to warn the sea life to stay clear of the pillar and the red waters around Poseidonis. He then issued a priority alert to all city-states and ordered every to stay inside the city's dome. Kaldur'ahm took over maintaining the bubble while Mera focused on fighting the pillar. Ocean-Master came to lend the power of Neptune's Trident but Kaldur'ahm and Mera already assumed he would try to kill them after. It was still not enough but the stranger returned and they successfully dissipated the pillar. Atlanteans recognized it was the Prophecy of the One True King. As expected, Ocean-Master turned on them and Kaldur'ahm was knocked out but he was defeated by the stranger again. At Mera's behest, he revealed he was Arion, the first ruler of Atlantis. Delphis had no idea who he was. Kaldur'ahm reckoned he answered an ancient question but raised a thousand questions more.

On June 1st, after 17:28 UTC-2, Orin tasked Kaldur'ahm with taking a covert squad to Xebel to search for Arion's crown in the Undersea, a vast subterranean pocket ocean beneath the city-state's sea floor, without drawing any attention. He stressed the mission needed to be a success to prove or disprove the Prophecy of the One True King once and for all. Wyynde was upset Kaldur'ahm took on the mission after promising to take a break after Ocean-Master was caught. He insisted on someone else taking on the mission. Kaldur'ahm could not, having been entrusted it by Orin. He took solace in Wyynde and La'gaan coming with him. Delphis eavesdropped on them and wanted to come along but Kaldur'ahm turned her down, citing her volunteer work and not being properly trained for such a mission. He told her to call his parents if she needed anything. She wondered if he needed anything. Wyynde felt validated. Kaldur'ahm sighed and they departed.

On June 2nd, after 15:07 UTC-2, Kaldur'ahm's squad easily entered Xebel thanks to the ongoing rioting and unrest. They went to the Grave of Legends and Kaldur'ahm began penetrating the thinnest point with a drill construct. King Nereus's watch approached but they swam off to investigate a bright light. Kaldur'ahm recognized the light. Delphis made her presence known. He sighed and asked her if she would like to join their mission. She teased she already did. At 15:23 UTC02, they entered the Undersea but the tunnel behind them caved in. They had no choice but to continue forward. On July 3rd, 19:00 UTC-2, the squad adeptly neutralized another thermal vent eruption. La'gaan worried about Coral giving birth while he was away. Kaldur'ahm reminded him to stay fully focused on the mission. Wyynde tried to downplay Kaldur'ahm's bluntness but La'gaan understood what he meant but wished he had his strength sometimes. Wyynde noted Kaldur'ahm was exhausted and still hit hard by Superboy's death.

They were suddenly attacked by Karkinos, a gigantic crab. It attempted to suck the squad into its mouth. La'gaan spotted a column, shifted to Puffer mode, and made a move for the column. He was sucked in with a big piece of it. Karkinos burped La'gaan out and left the area. They headed deeper down and came upon a skeleton. Their skin tattoos lit up and they found Arion's crown. However, a giant serpent named Leviathan suddenly appeared to La'gaan's chagrin. Kaldur'ahm managed to embed one of his Water-Bearers in its back and implored the others to get on. They used the Leviathan to leave the Undersea and return to Xebel. Kaldur'ahm decided they would maintain radio silence. They discovered Arion, who was really a clone created by the Light imprinted with the mind ingrams of Ocean-Master, was elected to be the next High King. "Arion" summoned the crown to him. Luckily, the Lords of Order refused to allow an agent of Vandal Savage to have the crown and immediately vaporized him. Mera was chosen as the next High King. La'gaan believed Kaldur'ahm was fine but Wyynde was still concerned.

At the palace, Orin revealed he planned to return to the Justice League as Aquaman. Kaldur'ahm offered the mantle back but Orin believed a League with four Green Lanterns and two Flashs could embrace two Aquamen or three. La'gaan was shocked by the nomination. Orin believed it was time. Kaldur'ahm congratulated him then announced he was taking a leave of absence. He and Wyynde kissed. On July 4th, Kaldur'ahm visited the Watchtower grotto memorial and admitted to Black Canary that he was holding a great deal inside for a very long time. While he felt overweening pride for having a part in the founding of the Team and thought it was a major turning point in his life, many of his teammates paid the price of his hubris and perished over the last decade. He believed he had to come to terms with the deaths in order to return to the life he was leading. After a month on leave, he came to terms with Conner Kent's death.

On September 6th, 01:36 UTC-2, Nightwing and Rocket zetaed to Poseidonis to talk to Kaldur'ahm. He went to the Warehouse with them and studied their notes proving Conner Kent was alive and trapped in the Phantom Zone. He asked what they needed from him. Zatanna wanted him to act as the fifth anchor for her spell. They gathered in the Tower of Fate at 00:16 EDT to summon Klarion for access to the Phantom Zone. Tigress and Aquaman voiced concern he would not cooperate. Zatanna was confident he would not leave the summoning circle and step foot into the Tower. She was wrong and he handily defeated them with duplicates of himself. Zatanna invoked the Holy Balance to charge him with honoring his debt to her. He instead spared their lives and left, musing being trapped in the Tower would be worse than that bus. Zatanna remembered Klarion possessed a school bus after Teekl was killed and tasked Nightwing with finding it. On September 9th, 19:47 EDT, they pulled into a scrapyard in Metropolis. However, the bus had already been compacted into a cube.

Kaldur'ahm climbed up, made a path of flowing water, froze it, and guided the cube down to the others. Zatanna summoned Trogowogs to restore it to working shape. Kaldur'ahm quickly and easily caught one with a Water-Bearer. One held out but Tigress bribed it with Nightwing's bag of Chicken Whizees to his chagrin. To add insult to injury, they also wanted his SUV. Kaldur'ahm was amazed by the Trogowog's abilities. Inside the bus, he fed his power to Zatanna to help her open a portal to the Phantom Zone in the bus doors. They each put on a Space Belt and flew in. On September 13th, 21:34 UTC, they made visual confirmation of Superboy outside Dru-Zod's fort in the Phantom Zone. They approached but Superboy was still under the effects of the Zone Sickness and pledged loyalty to Zod. They were surrounded by Zod and his loyalists. Kaldur'ahm tried to convince Kent that House of Zod were criminals and he could be fixed by Miss Martian. Kent was afraid to go anywhere near her out of fear he might hurt her. He believed he killed Superman thanks to the Zone Sickness.

Zod wanted to verify the things Kent told him. Kaldur'ahm confirmed Krypton was destroyed over 40 years ago. Zod lamented their sentences would last an eternity. Kaldur'ahm proposed creating a probationary court to consider each of their cases individually. Zod agreed to go through with that after they were released since their sentences were served in full. He asked they be released as a sign of good faith. Kaldur'ahm was silent. Zod concluded they feared their power under a yellow sun and not much had changed. A fight broke out. Jax-Ur tossed Kaldur'ahm. He managed to block Jax-Ur's punch and electrocuted him. Due to their lack of experience fighting in the Zone, they were defeated. Nightwing called on Zatanna to cast a glamour spell and they retreated. From a high point, they observed a Boom Tube appear. They modified their mission to prevent the rest of Zod's loyalists from entering it. On September 14th, 00:04 UTC, they made their way to the tube but its properties neutralized the glamour.

Kaldur'ahm ordered them to stay focused for the sake of the galaxy. He and Tigress agreed it resembled the Spartans at Thermopylae. Nightwing went through alone to see where the destination point was. Faora Hu-Ul broke through and solidified but Kaldur'ahm snagged her with a Water-Bearer and pulled her back. They found themselves under attack by Lor-Zod from the other side of the tube. The Boom Tube began to collapse from being open too long, forcing Zatanna to open the portal back to the bus. At 00:16 EDT, only Tigress, Zatanna, and Kaldur'ahm returned to the bus. A few hours later, Tigress drove the bus while Zatanna cast a glamour spell that allowed it fly and rendered it cloaked. They arrived at Planet Circle and rammed Lor-Zod. Still hidden by glamour, Zatanna sneaked up on Ma'alefa'ak and projected fire around him. Kaldur'ahm used a water dragon construct from the sewers to snag the Kaizer-Thrall and the Mother Box affixed to it. As a result, the Boom Tube to the Phantom Zone shut down. Kaldur'ahm charged Dru-Zod but Superboy tackled him.

Dru-Zod ordered Superboy to kill him. Baby, the progeny of Bio-Ship, intervened and blasted Zod and Superboy. Kaldur'ahm continued to keep Dru-Zod occupied and they traded blows. Eventually, Zod tossed him into Zatanna. They both lost consciousness. In the end, Superboy's mind was restored to normal by Miss Martian, Rocket returned in a Time Sphere repaired by Metron, Zod and his forces were sent back to the Phantom Zone, his wife Emerald Empress fled the planet, and Lor-Zod escaped in the Time Sphere only to learn it was preprogrammed by a vengeful Metron to return him to the moment of the Gene Bomb explosion of M'arzz. On September 16th, Kaldur'ahm was one of Conner Kent's groomsmen at his and M'gann M'orzz's wedding in Happy Harbor. Some attendees discussed the Kryptonians before the ceremony started. Kaldur'ahm believed they should be freed from the Zone because they served their sentences. Chameleon Boy disagreed because freeing them in the 31st century is what led ti the disaster and the string of months long incidents in the present. Clark Kent suggested relocating them to Trombus and Raquel Ervin proposed they be monitored by the Justice League, New Gods, and Green Lantern Corps. Kaldur'ahm declared the matter was settled. The wedding went off without a hitch.

On November 12th, 12:00 EST, Lex Luthor told Otis and Mercy about Miss Martian sparing Metallo's life and called it a class move but he suddenly vanished from their sight. They searched for him in the office, unaware he was still present but in Rocket's force-bubble which was concealed by Zatanna's glamour spell. Luthor noted Rocket, Zatanna, Cyborg, and the second and third Aquaman were present. Rocket asked how he would prove it. Zatanna asked who would believe him. Aquaman (Kaldurah'm) got to the point and clearly stated Queen Perdita Vladek was part of their family and was now off-limits to the machinations of the Light and its members. Luthor scoffed at the notion of them trying to intimidate him. He brought up how he faced down Superman. Aquaman simply responded with a "yes" and Zatanna returned him to his previous place.