[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Pencils: Robson Rocha
Inks: Daniel Henriques and Danny Miki
Colors: Sunny Gho
Urcell and Leot decide the king has gone too far and decide it is time to organize the others within the Royal Palace to remove the king from power.
While they do that, Aquaman leads the Undercurrent and the underworld gangs against Rat’s elite force The Drift. The battle leads to Aquaman coming face-to-face with Murk, the man who attempted to kill him when Rath became King.
After last issue’s terrible artwork, it’s nice to see they picked it up a notch with this issue. Robson Rocha’s artwork is dynamic and detailed.
Watching the Undercurrent and the Underworld gangs work side-by-side to lead a resistance against Rath is exciting. When the dust settles it will be very interesting to see how these two groups will part ways. Will they go back to being enemies or will they find a way to co-exist?
Corum Rath has been largely benign since the beginning. The Atlanteans were all resisting on the possibility of him becoming evil and not on any evidence that he actually was. I never liked that since they were condemning him without a crime. I’m glad to see that in last issue Corum Rath actually became evil and now we begin to see the depths of his newfound evil and what he has in store for Atlantis. But you need to wonder, if they never pre-judged him or resisted for no reason, would he have become this monster, or did they actually create what they feared he would become?
The best part of the book is the revelation about Murk. Murk is the one that gave Aquaman what appeared to be a lethal blow. But we discover Murk actually avoided killing him on purpose. Murk still believes Aquaman is a weak leader, but he also didn’t believe he deserved death. This adds a new depth to the character that we didn’t see before and it makes me curious to see how the dynamic of Murk and Aquaman changes going forward.
Even though the artwork is a step up from issue #34, in trade paperback format this arc will feel inconsistent. They really should’ve concluded the Corum Rath saga with either Stjepan Sejic or Riccardo Federici for the sake of consistency.
I’m glad to see Aquaman being a strong leader with confidence in his decisions again, but the inconsistencies of his character in the last two arcs are frustrating. Rather than growing into a confident leader, he actually goes back and forth which causes the causes the story to suffer. It supports the bad guys who wanted to overthrow him Aquaman. They feared he was a weak leader and this kind of thing proves that he is. I’m not sure it works well for Aquaman the King of Atlantis. Decide his character and stick with it.
While this is a step up from the last issue, I think we are ready to see the final confrontation between Aquaman and Rath. It’s being stretched out a little too long in my opinion. But this issue was an exciting and action-packed issue that also had some big reveals.