NAME + ALIASES:
Ross and Miriam Perkins (parents, deceased), Arthur Gordon Pym (grandfather, deceased), unnamed grandmother (deceased)
Young All-Stars/All-Star Squadron, Old Justice
Flash Comics #66 (Aug./Sept. 1945)
HistoryIn gthe letters column of Young All-Stars #17 (), Roy Thomas revealed the inspiration for Neptune Perkins's backstory. The Dzyan (along with vague hints about the race itself) comes from The Book of Dzyan, a perhaps nonexistent work referred to by Madame Helen Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophic Society, in her nineteenth-century tome, The Secret Doctrine. The Vril is a notion which, according to a strange book titled The Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, "is mentioned for the first time in the works of the French writer Jacolliot, French Consul in Calcutta under the Seconq Empire"; we'll take their word for it. In the 20th century there was supposedly a whole Berlin group that called itself the Vril Society. Even the late rocket expert Dr. Willy Ley may well have been a member before he fled Nazi Germany in 1933. Arthur Gordon Pym, of course, is the hero of the novella by Edgar Allan Poe that includes his name in the title, and flashback events through the first three panels of page 20 are according to Poe, while Captain Nemo was the hero/villain of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The Aquaman Inheritance
In the early 1800s, seafaring explorer Arthur Gordon Pym discovered the lost Arctic civilization of the alien Dzyan. This race were masters of the Vril, a mysterious magical energy. Living with them, Pym mastered the Vril, and its power enabled him to mentally control the aliens — through it also magnified Pym's inherent evil tendencies. Pym had the Dzyans constructed a pirate submarine called Nautilus, with which Pym who now referred to himself as "Captian Nemo," plundered ships worldwide.
Eventually, the Nautilus was nearly destroyed, but Pym was not killed; instead, in 1890 he returned to the U.S. temporarily and, under the assumed name of Perkins, married a wealthy young woman who later died during the childbirth that gave Pym a son named Ross. Ross spent the first ten years of his life among the Vril, only to be sent back home by Pym, whose evil tendienceis the boy despised.
In 1910, with German backing, Pym built a mobile war-island called Leviathan and used it to sink the Titanic in 1912. He also captured some of the Titanic's gold and its survivors. Years later his son Ross became a newspaperman. He suspected his father of piratical feats and found his way to Leviathan. There, he met and married a Titanic survivor. Bent on revenge against Pym, the young couple conceived a child in the presence of the vast Vril power, hoping that the child would inherit some of that power and could someday be theri instrument of vengeance. (Young All-Stars #16)
When the Perkinses returned to civilization, their son Neptune was indeed born a mutant, a "human dolphin" with the severe deficiency of sodium salts that necessitated constant exposure to salt water.
Neptune grew up in California with his parents and was never told about his family's history. Regardless, once he reached his late teens, his parents were killed by Nazis who hoped to goad Neptune into leading them to Pym. But because Neptune had not yet learned about his grandfather's existence, he put the tragedy behind him and continued his career as an undersea explorer. In February of 1942, this brought him into contact with members of the All-Star Suqadron (All-Star Squadron #33-35)
He aided them but was not a joiner. Soon he also unearthed a uniform that allowed him to distribute salt water around his body, and when he next met the All-Stars, he joined them as a member of the "Young All-Stars." He also met and fell in love with a fellow hero, the Japanese-American called Tsunami. (#1)
A year before, in 1941, Hitler learned of the Dzyan's existence and invaded Pym's home among the Dzyan. Pym managed to send his mate, a female named Kalla to find his grandson Neptune. She succeeded in drawing the Young All-Stars to their home where the Nazis were waiting. Pym ultimately defeated the Nazis himself by using the Vril power stored in his body. The effort killed him and the remaining Dzyan departed from Earth. (#16-19)
A False Legacy
Perkins continued his relationship with Tsunami after the war and — to his knowledge — the two of them conceived a daughter, Debbie. Tsunami never revealed the truth to Neptune, that Debbie's father was actually the ancient Atlantean sorcerer, Atlan. Under unrevealed circumstances, their relationship came to an end. The sea then held too many painful memories for Perkins and he chose to make his home on land. (Aquaman v.5 #39)
Perkins was reunited with Miya and Debbie years later when Aquaman called all the undersea nations to unite. Since he'd last seen her, Debbie had taken her own codename: Deep Blue. (Aquaman v.5 #23) Soon after this, the villain called Rhombus reappeared claiming he was Debbie's father. Perkins and Tsunami were instrumental in his defeat, but Tsunami did not take the chance to set the record straight about Debbie. (#38-39)
After the war, Perkins became active in politics, eventually becoming a U.S. Senator (D-Hawaii). He used his influence in this position to team up with his old teammate, Dan Dunbar and form an legislative committee to monitor the teen group called Young Justice.
Neptune Perkins died during the second great Crisis when he was bitten in half by the Shark, a member of Alexander Luthor's Society. (Infinite Crisis #3)
Neptune Perkins could talk to dolphins and other sea mammals, and can hold his breath underwater for seven minutes. He had webbed fingers and toes which helped him swim.
He could not remain outside of water permanently without exposure to salt water.
- All-Star Squadron #33-35
- Aquaman v.5 #23-25, 38-39
- Flash Comics #66, 81
- Infinite Crisis #3
- Sins of Youth: JLA Jr. #1
- Young Justice #16, 18-20
- Young Justice: Sins of Youth #1
- Young All-Stars, 31 issues (1987–89)