Geoff Johns, Paul Pelletier
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Let me start off by saying that Geoff Johns certainly knows how to set up a story. He’s mastered the art of making everything seem epic, from the nearly Shakespearean dialogue from the Atlanteans to the grandiose action sequences. Which is great, because Aquaman is finally getting his due. I mean, it should be larger than life. The guy commands a majority of the planet, which, until now, most people didn’t even know existed. So, that being said, if you’ve missed out on this title, feel free to pick up this issue and join in on all of the fun. And that is exactly what this comic series is each and every issue. Fun.
The story starts out with Arthur, the newly-appointed King of Atlantis, enlisting the aid of Topo, a giant (and not to mention terrifying) creature who lives in the depths of the ocean. Even the other Atlanteans are afraid of the monster, but Aquaman stands his ground when asking him to help capture a man who is threatening to use Atlantean weaponry for his own personal gains, which would inevitably spark another war between Arthur’s people and the surface world. Speaking of which, Arthur’s brother, Orm, is currently being a Mr. Grumpy Pants (and rightly so) because of his impending trial for the murder of countless surface dwellers. We only get one page of the would-be world-conqueror, but it is perfect for setting the stage for things to come. Which leads us to the two renegade Atlanteans who are planning to break him out of prison. But they’re not the only ones in the spotlight this issue, because we also get a glimpse of a man composed of water proclaiming to be the true King of Atlantis, the Scavenger harvesting Arthur’s soldiers’ organs, and the appearance of a man claiming that Mera is supposed to be dead. And he would know, because he’s also claiming to be her husband.
So this title has me all sorts of giddy for a number of reasons. The first being that I know that Johns and artist Paul Pelletier will not disappoint me. The second being the overall enjoyable factor of reading such a great comic each month. But the third thing that makes me excited for the future is the possibilities of what is to come. How will these events tie into the impending Trinity War? Is that water-looking dude Poseidon? And does that mean there’s going to be a Wonder Woman team-up (or smack-down) in the near future for Arthur and company? And just how will this trial for the former King play out? Though my one minor gripe (which is the fact that Aquaman seems to be a secondary character in his own title most of the time) is something that might turn off some readers, I am starting to think that it is a strength of Johns as a writer. He doesn’t just write a good superhero book. He writes great superhero team books. This isn’t just Aquaman’s story. It also belongs to Orm, Mera, the Scavenger, and all of the other countless men, women, and fish they encounter along the way. Hopefully a majority of them survive the impending climax.
My Rating: 4.5/5
I think Johns has a long-term plan for Aquaman, much like he did for GL back in the day and when he brought Barry back as well. I think he's managed to give Arthur a stable voice as well – something many writers just couldn't do. And since he is writing both this title and JL, the voice is also consistent which is good when trying to re-energize interest in a character. I really enjoyed this issue as well – something I never thought I would say.
I've always liked Aquaman, but I felt the same way with both Wally West and Barry Allen when Johns completely transformed them (or at least made me care) about them when they were respectively the Flash. He's just a good writer who actually seems to care about his characters. And making others feel the same way.
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