#6: Aquamen – Brandon Thomas/Chuck Brown, Writers; Max Raynor, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray:I would have happily read more arcs of this book, but events intervened. With Dark Crisis in full swing, there aren’t going to be two Aquamen around anymore—but before then, the writing team has to wrap up a lot of subplots from the previous five issues. Although this could have been awkward, like so many quick wrap-ups, all plots are well balanced. The forces of Atlantis have successfully halted the invasion of the sleeper cells, but they’ve still been blamed for many terror attacks—and the world wants revenge. With Steve Trevor making an impassioned speech against war, the UN’s most powerful nations gather to discuss what action to take—seemingly unaware that they may be unleashing forces they can’t put back in the bottle. Atlantis is a place where everyone, from schoolchildren to leaders, waits for their fates in scenes that recall the Cold War.
Every major character is featured in this issue. But Black Manta’s character arc is my favorite. His relationship with his son has certainly improved, but not without effort—this is one of the best depictions I’ve seen about just how much WORK it must be for someone who was a villain for so long to try to turn over a new leaf. Mera discovers new uses for her powers, Arthur finally reckons with Atlantis’ violent past, and other characters finally find peace. But we all know what’s coming in the background, and when the news breaks, it’s delivered in a truly devastating fashion. Many panels are completely wordless and Max Raynor allows the emotions to speak for themselves. This is the first of the major books to actually show the character’s loss in real time—the other franchises have not caught up with Dark Crisis yet—and it delivers the tribute Arthur Curry deserves as his story ends for now.
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GeekDad was sent this comic to review.