Geoff Johns, Paul Pelletier
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Continuing the “Death of the King” storyline, Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier show us that they’re not quite done making Arthur’s life as difficult as they possibly can. Before we get started on the review, can I just say how awesome that cover is? Seriously. I know a lot of people think covers like this are lazy or would even argue that the banner and all of the other words such as the creative team, issue number, barcode, etc. are taking up a majority of the cover but hey, it works for this one. It just shows how much Aquaman is going to have to go through in the coming issues. So call it lazy. Call it boring. But for once, a cover actually captures the interior art and story.
But enough about the cover. I was glad to see that Mera was not in fact married before she wed Arthur, but was actually just engaged to the crazy person introduced at the end of the last issue. It was also awesome to see Aquaman showing how much of a badass he really is (some more) and still maintaining humility in the form of his narration and inner thoughts. Johns really knows how to write a realistic king. Powerful, confident, but still very conflicted in almost every single thing he says, thinks, or does. We get a brief glimpse of the Scavenger, and a little bit of attempted justification for the murders he’s about to commit in Atlantis’s (or is the surface world’s?) name. And we even get a scene with the “king” from issues past confronting Arthur in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle and asking him how he can’t remember him. And, of course, some more mystery behind just where did Mera come from.
So not a whole lot happens in this issue, but that’s okay with me because the pacing is obviously set up this way on purpose. There’s just enough action to keep me turning the pages, just enough mystery to keep me guessing, and just enough “oh shit!” moments to keep me coming back for the next issue. One of which is the cliffhanger ending, wherein the Scavenger locates and proceeds to invade Atlantis. Even though this is a rational course, for some strange reason, I guess I just thought Aquaman would stop him before he even got there. It’ll be interesting to see just how Atlantis fares in the wake of the war between Orm and Arthur and the rest of the surface world. And what ramifications will follow when it’s all said and done.
My Rating: 4/5