Review: Aquaman #12

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Philippe Briones
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

N.E.M.O. has attacked the United States masquerading as Atlantis. The U.S. quickly declares war on the undersea civilization and Aquaman wastes no time in making a decision, albeit an unpopular one, with many Atlanteans and seemingly Mera as well. Aquaman tells his people no attacks against the U.S., only defensive posture after the U.S. shoots first. Aquaman has his people searching for N.E.M.O. and trying to capture someone that he can use as proof of N.E.M.O.’s underhandedness.


N.E.M.O.’s strategy is to hit-and-run the cities on the Eastern Seaboard causing as much mayhem as possible quickly. As Aquaman prepares to go out and capture a N.E.M.O. agent he is interrupted by the Justice League that are clearly not happy.

While this story hinges on a case of mistaken identity (N.E.M.O. masquerading as Atlantis), the stakes are so high- a full out war between Atlantis and the surface world- that the expected hand-wringing comes across accurately. The tension is just perfect. Unlike some stories, the main character is aware of the subterfuge and has a clear mission to prove Atlantis’s innocence. Having Mera appear to be hawkish about the situation seems to indicate some underlying distrust and dislike for the surface/U.S.


This is quite an unexpected muddle, since she also has issues with Atlantis and the hoop-jumping she’s doing to be accepted as Arthur’s wife. With the wedding on the horizon, Aquaman and Mera are going to face a lot before getting to the other side of the mountain. Finally, this is perhaps the largest conflict Aquaman has ever had to face and it will be a true challenge for the character.

Move along folks, nothing to see here…..

If you aren’t reading Aquaman you are missing some great comics. Abnett has laid such wonder groundwork on these characters that it makes this action/military story work and they character moments are a seamless part of the overall narrative. Don’t miss the opportunity to read a unique and exciting Aquaman tale!


Matthew Lloyd

Matthew Lloyd

Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Louisville. Doctorate in Progressive Rock from Genesis and Rush. Father of 2 awesome daughters, husband to 1 amazing and understanding wife. Post-Doctorate in Comics from Heroes Aren't Hard to Find (Charlotte, NC) and Parts Unknown (Greensboro, NC). Managing a restaurant pays the bills.