[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciller: Scot Eaton
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Upon Aquaman’s return to Atlantis, he’s got a lot of business to deal with. However, Aquaman’s main focus continues to be discovering the real perpetrators of the attack on The Pontchartrain. Aquaman tries to handle some of the minor business being brought by his advisers, but his attention quickly turns to The Pontchartrain when he meets with Murk. Subsequently, he interrogates Corum Rath of The Deluge to find out if they were behind the attack. It is a bit of a hostile questioning, as we learn why Rath is not a fan of Aquaman.
On the surface world, N.E.M.O. goes through some growing pains as Black Manta executes his own hostile takeover of the organization. Black Jack falls in line quickly and Manta is soon calling the shots.
Murk’s report of the attack on The Pontchartrain leads Aquaman to believe that air-breathers were behind the attack in an attempt to point the finger at Atlantis. Aquaman turns to his acquaintance at the FBI, Reagan Irving. He enlists her to feed him information that might be helpful in finding buyers and sellers of Atlantean weapons and gear. While this is a small win for Arthur, N.E.M.O. launches a distraction at Aquaman that appears to be…unstoppable?
While this issue was slower paced, it was nice to see Aquaman thinking through the problem. Also, the complexity of Corum Rath’s position was intriguing. He isn’t just a simple villain and his comments made Mera and Aquaman think. When an issue takes place nearly completely beneath the surface of the ocean, it makes one consider the world in which it exists. Aquaman’s world is a different place. This lends strength to the conflict of the main story; Atlantis vs. the Surface World, Rath vs. Aquaman, Black Manta vs. Aquaman.
There’s nothing really negative about this issue, it’s just a different kind of issue. In a series that’s been big on action and conflict, this issue slows things down to reset before the next adventure begins. However, it’s an issue that shows a common sense break. It’s logical that Aquaman would have to stop and reassess the situation.
Solid issue that pushes the story forward and sets up the next act of the larger narrative. There’s enough here for a new reader to jump in and get a good sense of what’s going on, as well. Aquaman continues to be a strong title for DC in the Rebirth era.