[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Atlantean gang-lord, Krush knows that the true King of Atlantis, Arthur Curry, is still alive and decides to use that as leverage against Corum Rath, the current king of Atlantis. Krush has sent his henchman Kadaver to capture Arthur, but Arthur doesn’t intend himself or his friend Dolphin to be captured.
Below the Royal Treasury of Atlantis, Vulko guides Ondine through a secret area, which is said to be guarded by specters of dead Atlanteans that have agreed to guard it even after death.
Locked out of Atlantis by ancient magic, Mera has brought Tempest with her try to find a way through. Though trained in magic, Tempest has long given it up due to its corruptive capabilities. But once he sees the magic barrier known as the Crown of Thorns that surrounds Atlantis he knows he must once again channel his mystical arts training.
Since he began Aquaman on issue 25, Sejic’s artwork has been phenomenal. The beautiful vibrant colors mixed with great facial expressions really pull the reader into Atlantis.
Seeing Tempest reluctantly return to magic is a great scene, but can potentially have serious repercussions in the future.
Vulko guiding Ondine under the treasury not only supplies the best artwork in the issue, but it also provides a lighthearted break from the action and tension.
There are a few minor things that I felt could’ve been improved upon. The showdown between Kadaver and Aquaman isn’t as important to the story as Aquaman vs. Corum Rath, however, I did expect more of a battle when the two finally met. It was a short battle that seemed too one sided.
While talking with Dolphin, we see that Aquaman seems to have this defeatist attitude at the moment. I’m sure it will be resolved by the end, but it feels disappointing to see a king/superhero being like this when he is supposed to be a leader. It almost makes me root for Corum Rath to stay King of Atlantis.
Which brings us to Corum Rath. He has been a very interesting character so far, but unfortunately he isn’t in this issue very much at all. It would be nice to dig deeper into his persona to show us why he is a villain and should not be king. At the moment, he seems to be a better king that Curry was.
Another great issue by Abnett and Sejic. This may be the weakest issue in the arc so far, but considering how great this arc has been, that isn’t too bad at all. It doesn’t move the storyline forward tremendously but it does have some great moments with Vulko and with Tempest. The cliffhanger makes me excited for Mera’s role in the next issue.