The shorthand of it all was rather brilliant.
We were introduced to it through a floating... panda!
San Diego had fallen into the ocean and to emphasize the fantastic scope of it all, writer Will Pfeiffer shocked me into the fantastic.
Moments before, a city very much rooted in what we knew as reality, became irrevocably changed by a writer thinking it, "DC."
Victims of a powerful earthquake, San Diegoans suddenly were at the ocean's mercy, asking God to not let them die this way. Soon, the reality of it all set in. God did not let them go. The ocean wouldn't let them go, in fact, it embraced them.
Ordinary men & women suddenly found themselves thrust into a new world.
A world in which they, literally, breathed in the ocean.
Into this horror crept the realization that many of them were trapped into this with no warning and utmost in their minds, no way around this foreign land of floating pandas and curious fish.
That was until a lone man, born into this world, became their greatest ally, displaying why he was called, "king."
This city became the new domain of a hero, The King of The Seven Seas, Aquaman.
They panicked, they howled, they fought to get to the surface and he let the ocean do his bidding. The sharks kept the ones who tried to escape inside the ocean. The whales stopped dogs too wrapped in being dogs (not listening) from killing themselves. On the surface, the humans did what they could, tossing what animals they could back into the ocean.
Below, the king took their pain unto himself and delivered them news he'd heard himself many times before... they could never go home.
And with that, the ocean took their tears as surely as it had everything else.
This was Sub Diego.
This world was the stuff DC Comics were made of. A world into which Aquaman as king and character could thrive. A world where one ordinary San Diego girl becomes extraordinary, displaying the ability to breathe both above and below.
Sub Diego gave us Lorena Marquez, the current ( and IMHO, best) Aquagirl.
Sub Diego gave us an Aquaman at his very best, fighting to give the banished a sense of normalcy in a world without precedent.
This was a world without wizards and magical legacies set upon blonde haired children. This was world where mystical healing hands made of water were incorporated into the tapestry yet took a backseat to the needs of a new democracy suddenly beset with drugs.
It was a city. It was what DC did best.
The city became a character.
The city showed promise.
The city had stories to tell.
During 52: World War III, in what seemed to me, an afterthought, the stories were, I kid you not, "wished" away.
The story of Sub Diego ended as it began.
With tragedy... only minus the brilliance of a floating panda .