- Having lived in the sea all my life, I feel most at ease when traveling in my own element.
- — Neptune Perkins src
In the early 1800s, seafaring explorer Arthur Gordon Pym discovered the lost Antarctic 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 "Captain 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 tendencies 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 their instrument of vengeance.
When the Perkinses returned to civilization, their son Neptune was indeed born a mutant, a "human dolphin" with a chronic deficiency of sodium salts that required his constant exposure to salt water. His parents purchased a houseboat near the Pacific Ocean in order to allow Perkins to live and thrive in such an environment. As a result, he developed a physique conditioned towards the rigors of undersea living, including a proficiency in swimming.
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 Squadron.
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 agent Tsunami.
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.
Much of Neptune Perkins' history between 1942 and the 1990s is largely unknown, although he did join Hawkman in two adventures in the late 1940s.
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.
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. 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.
After the war, Perkins became active in politics, eventually becoming a United States Senator (D-Hawaii). He used his influence in this position to team up with his old teammate, Dan Dunbar and form a legislative committee to monitor the teen group called Young Justice. Dunbar and his allies come to respect Young Justice and soon realize they don't need such a degree of monitoring.
- Sodium Deficiency: Requires him to be constantly immersed in salt water. He wears a special suit that allows him to retain sodium for long periods of time before needing immersion.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- Neptune Perkins' career after the war mirrors that of real-world historical figure Daniel Inouye, who was also a World War Two veteran who was elected senator for Hawaii as a Democrat.
- 49 Appearances of Neptune Perkins (New Earth)
- 8 Images featuring Neptune Perkins (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Neptune Perkins (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Neptune Perkins (New Earth)
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