Dolphin (comics)

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Dolphin
Showcase 79.png
Showcase #79 (Dec, 1968). Cover art by Jay Scott Pike.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase #79 (Dec. 1968)
Created by Jay Scott Pike
In-story information
Species Human (alien-altered)
Team affiliations Forgotten Heroes
Black Lantern Corps
Abilities artificially adapted for deep subaquatic life: underwater breathing, superhuman strength, resilience to deep water pressures

Dolphin is a fictional character, a superheroine in the DC Comics universe.[1] Created by writer-artist Jay Scott Pike, she debuted in Showcase #79 (Dec. 1968).[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Dolphin was a very young girl when she fell overboard from a cruise ship (Secret Origins #50) only to be saved from drowning when a mysterious alien race abducted her to use as an experimental prototype for a subaquatic humanoid race. In the course of these experiments, she acquired gills, webbed fingers and toes, shining white hair, superhuman strength, resilience to deep water pressures, and a slowed aging process.[1]

When the alien scientists suddenly abandoned the experiment, Dolphin escaped their underwater lab. Oblivious to her former humanity, the feral young Dolphin scavenged underwater for her livelihood, eventually finding her trademark short blue-jeans and white shirt inside a sunken ship. She has always been alone her entire life, constantly swimming and enjoying her personal freedom. But she grew into young womanhood and she tired of living an isolated, lonely life. Then one day, the crew of an oceanology vessel saved her from a near lethal encounter with a dolphin-killing shark and then took her aboard their ship to help her.

Over time, the crew of the ship tried to educate and care for the girl they'd dubbed "Dolphin", but her utter lack of contact with either humans or Atlanteans had left her mute. Though she grew to understand spoken language fairly quickly, the act of speech itself remained beyond her. Then, a young female doctor on the crew had the bright idea to instruct her in sign language. Finally able to communicate, Dolphin explained what she could of herself and her story, and expressed her desire to resume her undersea life. At some point, Dolphin finally mastered spoken language, (especially when she started having contact with the superheroic community), but never lost her shyness and reluctance to speak. She has since been a woman of few words.

Crisis years[edit]

Dolphin has stayed mostly on the fringes of the superheroic community, although she was a member of the Forgotten Heroes until their dissolution, and fought alongside them during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Meeting Aquaman[edit]

During the Zero Hour events, she met Aquaman, and took part in the battle against Charybdis, a villain interested in the aquatic powers of the two heroes. When Charybdis, after robbing Aquaman of his telepathic powers, stuck Aquaman's hand in a pool of water teeming with piranhas, the normally passive Dolphin was forced to shoot the madman. She then carried both the wounded Aquaman and Aqualad back to Atlantis for medical attention, thus saving their lives and earning their trust and love.

Afterwards, she became a supporting character in the Aquaman comic book, and soon won the affections of an Aquaman embittered by the loss of his hand. Over time, she came out of her shell, and displayed a more energetic and bubbly, though naive, personality.

In issue #25 of Aquaman volume 5 it was revealed that Kordax, an evil merman ancestor of Aquaman's, had secretly set Dolphin free from the lab, and used mind control to prompt her to infiltrate the royal court and kill Aquaman as the agent of his revenge on the royal house of Atlantis. The strong-willed Dolphin broke free of his control, and her romantic involvement with the king of Atlantis grew into love.

Dolphin remained Aquaman's lover until Mera, Aquaman's wife, returned from her exile in another dimension called the Netherworld. In the same period, Aqualad, now calling himself Tempest, returned from several years of extradimensional magic studies with increased powers and confidence, winning Dolphin's heart with a kiss. Though initially taken aback, Aquaman blessed the relationship. Eventually, Dolphin became pregnant by Tempest, and the two were married in an Atlantean ceremony attended by Tempest's second family, the Titans.[1]

Starting a family life[edit]

Dolphin gave birth to a son, whom Aquaman named Cerdian (after Cerdia, a surface nation annexed by Atlantis). The weight of new familial responsibilities initially strained the relationship between Dolphin and Tempest. These tensions came to a head when Dolphin demanded Tempest choose between his duties as a hero and his duties as a father and husband. Tempest complied, and quit the Titans. When Aquaman was exiled for his role in the sinking of Atlantis, the family fell under suspicion as friends of the deposed king. The new sorcerous rulers deemed Dolphin and her family "collaborationists" and put them under house arrest. As of recent issues, this government had been overthrown, and Dolphin and her family had a brief moment of happiness in a free Atlantis.

Alone Again[edit]

Recently, when Tempest channeled the magic of all Atlantis' sorcerers to undo a spell that had turned Mera into an air-breather, he was noticed by the Spectre, who unleashed his full power on Atlantis. The resulting cataclysmic destruction obliterated Atlantis entirely. Tempest was missing and presumed dead, but Dolphin, sent away during Atlantis' destruction, may have survived, along with the young Cerdian.

One Year Later[edit]

Main article: One Year Later

Further evidence of her survival is given by the ghost of Vulko. Able to sense the passing of Atlanteans, he claimed never to have felt the passing of Garth, Dolphin, and Cerdian, so the three are possibly alive. However, despite having spent months researching his beloved ones,[3] Garth eventually reveals that he had found the bodies of his wife and son and reasons that Dolphin and Cerdian may have died during the evacuation of Atlantis, buried in the rubble while searching shelter. Slizzath, his necromantic uncle, confirms this version, hinting a possible return of Dolphin as a Black Lantern [4]

Blackest Night[edit]

Main article: Blackest Night

In Blackest Night #2, Dolphin, Tula, and Aquaman are raised at Mercy Reef as Black Lanterns tasked with killing Tempest and Mera. Tula and Dolphin contend for Tempest's affection and mercilessly taunt him for being unable to save either of them. At the conclusion of the conflict, Tempest is killed and subsequently raised as a Black Lantern.[5] Dolphin appears to battle the Titans. However, her body is soon destroyed by a burst of white light emanating from Dawn Granger.[6]

Other versions[edit]

In the Elseworlds story JLA: The Nail, Dolphin makes an appearance in Professor Hamilton's Cadmus Labs.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Dolphin", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 107, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  2. ^ Showcase #79 (Dec. 1968) at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50
  4. ^ Titans #15 (2009)
  5. ^ Blackest Night #2 August 2009)
  6. ^ Blackest Night: Titans #3 (October 2009)
  7. ^ JLA: The Nail #3

External links[edit]