May 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #261: Dolphin

You can thank Jimmy for reminding me about this one.

When Jimmy and I were chatting about the first Justice League two-parter to feature Aquaman for our DCAU chat series.  Somehow the topic of the DC Comics sort-of superteam the Forgotten Heroes came up, and there was Dolphin, another water-breathing DC hero.

So, here we are.

Dolphin, real name if she has one unknown since I can’t find it, first appeared in December of 1968 in Showcase #79.  She was a young girl on a cruise ship who fell overboard.  Some aliens found her, so, instead of drowning, they did something to her biology to make her someone who could survive in water.

From there, well, she popped around here and there for the longest time.  When the Crisis on Infinite Earths happened, Dolphin was among the handful of lesser, random heroes that Brainiac recruited to go talk to Darkseid about stopping the Anti-Monitor.  Did she accomplish anything in particular with this incarnation of the Forgotten Heroes?

Not really.  The group mostly just stands around looking scared while Brainiac and Darkseid negotiate or something until Darkseid decides to act.  The heroes don’t really do anything, but the Forgotten Heroes pop around here and there after that.

In the 90s, writer Peter David, after featuring a mute Dolphin as a member of an all female Justice League Take Force team, had her as a supporting character in the solo Aquaman title.  This was the era when Aquaman grew out his hair and beard, lost a hand, and tried to ditch the orange shirt.  Dolphin was a sidekick, initially something of a love interest for Arthur until Mera came back and then Dolphin became a love interest for Garth, the original Aqualad turned Tempest.

Those two would eventually get married and have a baby boy.

How sweet.

Then Dolphin and the baby were killed off in the Infinite Crisis somewhere off-panel when the Spectre attacked Atlantis.  They’d both come back as Black Lanterns in Blackest Night but were not among the lucky 12 to be revived when it was over.  Then again, Garth also died and didn’t come back when Blackest Night was over, so there’s that.

So, if she’s dead, is she finally gone?  Not quite.  She did reappear in Aquaman’s DC Rebirth title, this time as a mutated Atlantean with some minor shapeshifting powers.

She’s the one on the right.

That seems to be it for comic book appearances.  She did appear in the third season of the Young Justice animated series.  That season’s running plot had young teens with metagenes kidnapped by forces unknown, their powers activated, and then sold as soldiers to Apokalips.  Dolphin, a young girl from India, found herself unable to breathe air anymore, so when the heroes rescued her before she could go to the front lines, they also took her to Atlantis.

Will there be more from her?  I don’t know.  She’s mostly the white-haired girl in the skimpy clothes who swims around the oceans.  I’m sure someone will find something to do with her.

Maybe start with giving her a real name.