Review: Aquaman #13

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciller: Scot Eaton
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

The Justice League has arrived in Atlantis to intervene. Instead of a cliché brawl between teammates, cooler heads prevail and Aquaman is able to present his evidence to the League that shows a third party is instigating the war between Atlantis and the United States. They formulate a plan that requires Superman to go to the White House with Tula to present the evidence to try and get a cease fire.

Meanwhile back in Atlantis, N.E.M.O. is attacking cloaked as U.S. submarines and Mera is seeking guidance from the Widows. Mother Cetea advises Mera that even though she is not actually queen, she is linked as closely to Arthur as any queen would be and that she shouldn’t take any action lest she bring about the prophecy of the Deluge.

Aquaman sets out to engage N.E.M.O. with the goal of capturing an agent. He is successful in stopping the attack, but when he gets his hands on Lt. Stubbs’ father, Black Manta sends out a signal that kills all the crew. Aquaman alerts Tula and this information is not helpful to her cause in Washington. The White House officials recess to discuss, but it results in Chief Meddinghouse giving the order to assassinate Aquaman.

All too often an issue like this could’ve been mired in the Justice League fighting Aquaman.  Thankfully, the plot moves forward and maintains the momentum of the story.  This conflict would normally be a crossover with  Justice League, but keeping it contained in Aquaman keeps it more about Aquaman.  The way in which Superman is chosen to be the one to go to the White House to intervene is done well as it uses Superman’s status almost against him as it is clear he doesn’t seem like he wants to be the one to do it.  Mother Cetea’s advice to Mera almost makes it seems like she is in league with N.E.M.O.  And Meddinghouse’s lack of trust of the Leauge makes it appear he also might be an agent of N.E.M.O.

While the conflict between the U.S. and Atlantis is a very high stakes situation, the conflict is based on misunderstanding.  This type of conflict creates a false conflict as the real conflict is with N.E.M.O. for both Atlantis and the U.S.  It becomes aggravating that the conflict is not rooted in a real issue between Atlantis and the U.S.

This story line continues to move at a rapid pace while building the tension throughout.  There is no shortage of excitement, but it will get even better when N.E.M.O. is revealed to the world the U.S. and Atlantis can get over their misunderstanding.

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