A dynamic team up in this week’s AQUAMAN Annual as we get a cameo from the long-time friend and Greek Goddess herself Wonder Woman. The epic two part side story finds the Atlantian King and his Queen getting one on one fight time with the Amazon princess, battling some rather disgusting ancient monsters loose from the deep.
The issue is a little side story from the main arc with the guest appearance of the famous Wonder Woman. Having worked together many times, it didn’t surprise me to see the female jump into yet another 52 story-line, having already joined forces with many DC heroes across a few story arcs since the 52 rebooted. It was wonderful to see old friends reunite fighting some familiar foes to them. The volume is stuffed full of action and adventure with mythical beasts and magical elements to ward off the evils, as well as a good dose of smash and bash. As a side story, it was enjoyable to see the Atlantian duo have some time with Wonder Woman. Both Mera and AQUAMAN got their own spotlight story, not as the clingy couple most associate them to be. The heroes have been able to show a bit of their own unique strengths as Jeff Parker wrote to each of the characters talents.
It is a pleasure to read anything from AQUAMAN, as the artwork entrances the reader with such beauty and majesty only fitting to the story. It accompanies the mythic theme with bright colors and bizarre creatures that are clearly not from this world. But not only is the artwork in both color and detail stunning to the eye, the paneling is clever and well balanced. Each page is carefully thought out and placed to let your eyes wander in a fluid motion, either following the end of a monsters tail or the tip of a water spout down into the next panel. The glittering nature of the water only adds to the sensation that this truly is an AQUAMAN volume and compliments the royal spirit of the characters, making everything they do almost ethereal.
The artwork is always a stunning feature of any AQUAMAN issue. Nathan Eyrings use of color makes each page pop to life with sparkling effects and vision. I loved seeing the contrast to other DC comics that are primarily heavy in dark tones, while AQUAMAN is always bright and delivers on the fantasy elements he faces. It was also wonderful to see the detail taken with the monsters that the heroes fought. Greek mythology was blended smoothly into both stories and gave a clear link to Wonder Woman’s sudden appearance as well. It was crafty written and the wavy speech bubbles to the monsters were a nice touch. They only enhanced what possibly these creatures could have sounded like to anyone reading the issue.
For a one shot story, the issue had a few misfires. I found that Yvel Guichet seemed to draw Wonder Woman quite masculine especially during the AQUAMAN arc. Sometimes the artists forget she’s one of the most beautiful woman on earth and that despite her strength, she does embody the highest beauty. Also the introduction to the story was slight disjointed, as we are suddenly thrust into a strange situation with little background explanation. It’s hard to cram a story so large into so many pages without seeming on the text heavy side, which AQUAMAN has been rather notorious for. It would have been nice to have had a bigger purpose than just investigation in some victims they were tipped off about.
The little story arcs are quirky and entertaining, showing another side of AQUAMANS life. Out of the oceans depths, the issue is another exciting chapter to the Sea Kings adventures with an old friend who has always been ready to lend a hand to both King and Queen of the sea.