Tsunami + Deep Blue

Created by Roy Thomas and Rick Hoberg
Deep Blue created by Peter David and Jim Califiore

NAME + ALIASES:
Miya Shimada

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Debbie (Deep Blue, daughter), Kinzo and Michi Shimada (parents), unnamed brother and sister

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
All-Star Squadron #33 (May 1984)

History

Miya Shimada was born a nisei — a Japanese American born in the United States of native Japanese parents. She was thus a full American citizen and grew up in Santa Barbara, California.

The racial prejudice against Japanese-Americans that Miya encountered during the start of World War II caused her to turn against America. She went to Japan to study for a few years and there she joined the cause of the Imperieal Japanese government. It was the famed Japanese naval commander Admiral Yamamoto who named Miya Shimada "Tsunami" (the Japanese word for "tidal wave") after her mental power to create and control such waves.

In early 1942, after the United States had entered the war against Japan, Tsunami was secretly brought to California by a Japanese submarine and she sought to convince Japanese-Americans to join Imperial Japan's cause. Tsunami soon found herself battling Liberty Belle and Starman of the All-Star Squadron, and when her father was seemingly killed in the skirmish, Tsunami went berserk but failed to defeat them and departed instead. (All-Star Squadron #33)

Shortly afterwards, Tsunami was summoned by Japan's Prince Daka to assist him in stealing Starman's powerful gravity rod. She again clashed with members of the All-Star Squadron but was appalled by Daka's ruthlessness and lack of honor. She found herself instead respecting the All-Stars and decided she could no longer side with Daka. Yet she was not yet ready to align with the Americans, either and she fled again. (#42-43)

Repentance, Acceptance?

One more time, the Axis powers attempted to recruit Tsunami, but by this time she had reflected upon and felt remorse for her actions. She declined an invitation by the German villain Sea Wolf to join the Axis Amerika and afterwards became depressed and contemplated suicide. At a critial moment, she met another undersea hero, Neptune Perkins, who convinced her to try another path. (Young All-Stars #1) Together they approached Green Lantern for his help to end the imprisonment of Japanese Americans. (#2)

Green Lantern took the two to meet the Squadron. Miya pled her case to the day's assembly, which also included President Roosevelt! FDR pleged to look into the matter of the detention camps then suggested that Tsunami and her new young friends travel the country on a cross-country war bond tour. She and the others were all given provisional membership in the All-Star Squadron and set off. (#3)

Some, like Sandy found it difficult to accept a former adversary, but Perkins was always ready to defend her. On one of their first stops, Miya came under attack by prejudiced bystanders in Los Angeles. The group helped her find her family in a nearby camp, where she elected to stay until they could be freed. (#4) She was soon forced to leave the camp when she learned that Axis Amerika and her former ally, Kamikaze, had attacked. (#6)

Naturally, Miya grew close to Neptune Perkins during this time.

A Legacy of Deceit

Miya continued her relationship with Neptune Perkins after the war, but at some point met a man who called himself Rhomus. Rhombus was in fact only the human host for a sentient gemstone (not unlike the black diamond that houses Eclipso; shaped like a rhombus, naturally).

Rhombus took human form and seduced Tsunami and by all accounts, he believed that he and Miya conceived her daughter, Debbie. After Debbie's birth, Rhombus revealed its/his sinister side and attacked Tsunami. Miya defeated him with the aid of the ancient Atlantean sorcerer, Atlan (father of Aquaman). Atlan stripped the gem from its host and banished it to space. Atlan and then also imbued Tsunami with new powers and renewed youth. (Atlan used a similar serum to extend he and his brother Haumond's lives for millennia. [Atlantis Chronicles #7]) Tsunami would now be able to sense the Rhombus' presence and was better equipped to defeat him. (#39) Many years later, Atlan himself would resurface claiming to be Debbie's father (making her Aquaman's sister). (#59)

Tsunami never did, in so many words, claim that Rhombus was Debbie's father, but she was farily clear that Perkins was not the father. Miya allowed both Neptune and Debbie to believe they were father and daughter. (#24) Debbie was born with blue skin and the power to increase the size of any sea life, then command it. She cannot breathe out of water. She first appeared during Aquaman's call to unite all the undersea nations, codenamed Deep Blue. (Aquaman v.5 #23)

After this Deep Blue became an ally to Aquaman and the Sea Devils and was breifly captured by Black Manta. (#28-30) When her real father, Rhombus reappeared, he captured Debbie and Tsunami sensed his arrival immediately. As fate would have it, Neptune Perkins was also nearby during the attack. Rhombus' nearly killed his daughter but the attack reunited her estranged family. Surprisingly, it was Aquaman's son, Koryak who destroyed Rhombus. (#38-39) There were sparks of romance between Debbie and Koryak, but this affair never took flight, as Koryak died during the Crisis. (Aquaman v.6 #38)

Both mother and daughter were on hand again to help Orin against Dr. Polaris and Maxima. (#40-41) Deep Blue was also kidnapped along with her new friend Power Girl by the mercenaries called the Body Doubles. (Body Doubles #2-4)

Debbie is a free spirit who is very open with her feelings. When Aquaman failed in a reconciliation with his ex-wife, Mera, Debbie apparently took interest in him and relocated from her sunken luxury liner home to Atlantis. She also began insisting to be called Indigo. (#55) While the two grew grew closer, Aquaman's father Atlan exclaimed that Indigo was the king's sister! Atlan asserted that he was in fact Debbie's father, but would not elaborate. She followed him through a portal and exited from Aquaman's life. (#60)

Both Miya and Debbie appears now and again in times of need. Their fates since the destruction of Atlantis is unknown.

There is no relation between Miya and another Tsunami, the Japanese martial artist who trained Green Arrow Oliver Queen.

Notes

It has never been definitively stated that Miya married Neptune Perkins, or that Debbie's last name is Perkins.

In Kingdom Come, the Elseworlds tale of the DCu's future, Deep Blue had a daughter with Garth (Tempest). Their daughter is named Tula, after Garth's first girlfriend Tula. Annotations for this series describe Deep Blue as "Mizuko Perkins," daughter of Tsunami and Neptune Perkins.

In Aquaman v.5 #50 (12.98), new writer Erik Larson wrote this strange caption: Deep Blue — Tsunami's daughter who also goes by her given name Debbie — and Indigo." This new name came from nowhere and didn't stick. When Debbie appeared next in the Body Doubles mini-series (1999), she was still called Deep Blue.

+ Powers

Tsunami could mentally cause and control tidal waves. She possessed superhuman strength and could swim at superhuman speeds.

Deep Blue was born with blue skin and the power to increase the size of any sea life, then command it. She cannot breathe out of water.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Aquaman v.5 #23-25, 38-41

Debbie only:

  • Aquaman v.5 #28-30, 34, 38-41, 50, 55-57, 59
  • Body Doubles #2-4

» SERIES:

  • Young All-Stars, 31 issues (1987-89)