[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Scott Eaton
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Arthur and Mera are coming home to Atlantis. They have been away for a while and are happy to be coming home. Unfortunately, the rest of the Atlanteans are not as keen. In fact, they have released Corum Rath and The Deluge. Yikes. How do you think that will go? Not great. Duh. Corum Rath’s name says it all.
I am a HUGE political junkie and this book is right up my alley. In the Rebirth era, team Aquaman has gone out of its way to make sure that the Superfriends version of Arthur is left behind. He is not a dude who talks to fish and does nothing, he is a strong, smart, mixed race man who wants to do what is best for both of his races. How can one be loyal to one group while not alienating the other? How can one be a true believer while being cautious? Arthur and Mera walk this line in each issue and it is all coming to a head in this new story arc.
I am always amazed by artists who handle standing around talking. We think that talking and tense dialogue is reserved for non-superhero books, but in the Rebirth universe, these heroes need to reintroduce themselves and to do that, they need to talk. Artists, who are excellent at action sequences…
…must also find a way to keep us interested when 70 percent of the panel if full of word bubbles. Scott Eaton does a masterful job of showing angst. There is a lot of angst in this issue. There is smugness, indignant scowls and all around pigheadedness. Sure, Abnett’s dialogue lets us know where everyone stands, but even if a person who could not read a word of English picked up this book, he or she would know exactly what is going on. Well done Mr. Eaton.
I am lucky that in this week’s reviews, I have books where people stand around and talk. I like that kind of story telling. In Aquaman, there is a lot of floating, bickering, swimming, talking and angry faces. This book is a political thriller. If one is looking for a smash up, whale vs shark; swords vs trident battle, they will be disappointed after page 5. It is my jam, but I can see this being not really fun for everyone.
The beginning of a taught, underwater political thriller has begun. Here is a line from the book that sums it all up perfectly.
“We see their wars. Their poverty. The corrosion of their culture. Their wild metahumans and their degenerate leaders. You think yourself progressive, but you are part of the blight we seek to avoid.”