With a nasty ancient sea creature hot on his heels, AQUAMAN continues his quest to save Atlantis and defeat the foes that beckon at its ancient gates. With the help of his wife Mera, his royal advisers, and even the old Dr. Shin, he calls on everyone’s talents to save not only his home, but his own life.
The issue is half action, half research, but the touching uniting of Arthur and Mera gives everyone that warm and fuzzy moment we long for. It was an exciting start, rolling on from the Mera-heavy previous arc, as Arthur is getting another whiplashing from the sea. It always seems like he has the raw end of the stick no matter what he does, which makes me just want to jump in the water and give him a hand. Arthur upholds the true face of the underdog, fighting like a champion to untangle himself from the Chimera’s controlling force. Coming from an older Aquaman who was a boisterous comic relief, he has developed into a powerful character in the New 52. Unafraid to defend his kingdom, this Aquaman can take more than just a punch or two, and isn’t hesitant to deliver them back with an inspiring vigor.
The artwork has only become more beautiful with each volume focusing on the glittering armor, the gore of the sea creatures and the tumbles of water spouts. I love that the water isn’t bright and clear; it’s dark and full of hidden creatures or cascading intricate buildings. It adds to the dramatic effect of the horrifying situations happening constantly in Atlantis, which is definitely not the safest of all places in the sea.
The artwork is undeniably glorious; Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons and Rain Beredo really capture the true fantasy that is the underwater kingdom. It was the biggest draw card for the comic, and has drawn readers in since the beginning with its magical elements. The artists really do fill the panels up as well: it’s like you asked for one thing and got twenty more as a bonus. With its creatures, treasures, and overlapping images and flashbacks my eyes just linger on each page, reading more of the story in the drawings than the speech bubbles.
Not to say the script is lacking. Jeff Parker has reignited the spark in AQUAMAN fans. He isn’t just the butt of everyone’s joke anymore, as Jeff really tests the limits of the hero with sophisticated conversations and passionate statements that only kings can deliver.
Although I love a good hunk of story, my eyes need to adjust to the heavy amount of text squeezed into each AQUAMAN issue. I always seem to miss a speech bubble here and there because the conversation jumps with at least 5 bubbles minimum. It’s not a quick read in the least, and the script crams in a few panels of action, then it’s back to the talking again.
As an entry in one of the better New 52 books that have been realized, this issue doesn’t disappoint. With the powerful character designs flaunting in the pages, readers will continue to root for AQUAMAN and his quest to live up to his name as king of the seven seas.