Aquaman #2. Dan Abnett- Writer, Scot Eaton- Penciller, Wayne Faucher- Inker, Gabe Eltaeb- Colorist.
***This review contains spoilers.***
Aquaman, while not having the quality Rogues Gallery as Batman or the Flash, still boasts a rather nice group of foes. This first episode of the post-Rebirth Aquaman features Aquaman’s top rogue- Black Manta. Since the “New 52” launch of Aquaman, Arthur Curry has been responsible for the death of Black Manta’s father. It’s a bit of a turn around from the pre-Flashpoint continuity in which Manta killed Aquaman and Mera’s son, Arthur, Jr.
With Aquaman #2, Dan Abnett provides a very strong resolution to Aquaman and Black Manta’s cycle of hate. The storytelling is a bit of a throwback as this is essentially a two-parter that fits in the middle of a much larger thread that will most likely continue for many issues. Manta believes that he’s succeeded in showing the world the truth about Aquaman and Atlanteans and that he’s successfully sabotaged Aquaman’s political mission. There’s a particular surprise at the end as well. Let’s get back to those Rogues. Abnett has chosen to rework Aquaman’s original Golden Age Rogue- Black Jack- who made his first appearance way back in More Fun Comics #74. This new incarnation appears to be promising.
The new character, Lieutenant Stubbs continues to be a nice addition to the Aquaman cast. Hopefully, she will continue to play a role in Aquaman’s quest to gain legitimacy for Atlantis in the eyes of the surface world. Despite there being a resolution to the Aquaman/Manta feud, it is done in such a way that it is clear there will always be enmity between them and their story is not over. Abnett allows the reader to understand how killing Manta’s dad has shaped him and taught him control and responsibility. Additionally, Aquaman and Manta are now positioned to be forever locked in an emotional clench that only ends when one of them dies.
Aquaman’s dialogue with Manta, while effective brings about the change in Manta a little too quickly. This is a minor quibble as the substance of the issue was excellent.
This is a very good comic. There is a nice balance between story, action and character. Abnett and Co. are developing characters and broadening Aquaman’s mission for the modern world. It’s a good time to read Aquaman and a great time for Aquaman fans. Aquaman is no joke. It’s not too late to jump on board.