[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artists: Lan Medina, Vicente Cifuentes
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Steve Wands
After the Sea Gods returned to Earth, Aquaman and Wonder Woman sought out Poseidon to find out how they were defeated before. Poseidon immediately impales Aquaman with his trident. But Rather than kill him it sends Aquaman on a dream-like test.
Aquaman sees his father again in the dream and together they reflect on Aquaman’s past as well as how he can defeat the Sea Gods.
Lan Medina’s pencils drive the story more so than Abnett’s writing in this particular issue. Since it is a dream, nothing from a storytelling standpoint is required to make much sense, but the artwork still needs to deliver compelling visuals and I think Medina achieves that. One moment Aquaman and his father would be sailing in calm waters, the next they are being attacked by demon-like whales, or a giant Black Manta. Or Aquaman might hallucinate and see Mera. There doesn’t need to be a rhyme or reason to it, but Medina’s art delivers.
I very rarely enjoy the all-too-common issues or episodes in episodic storytelling when the protagonist enters a dream and the answers are found when they reflect on their past. It always feels like filler and a lazy way to have the protagonist find the answers without the writer creating something imaginative. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how it feels with this issue. This issue is meant to be a tie-in to the bigger Drowned Earth arc and since Aquaman was stabbed at the end of that, Abnett was very limited with his storytelling options. I feel it would’ve been a better choice have Aquaman #42 be an actual part of the arc so they could progress the story in it rather than call it a tie-in and give us such a pointless issue.
While the Drowned Earth arc has been a refreshing and different type of Aquaman story, this issue fails to deliver anything meaningful to either Aquaman or the Drowned Earth story. I’m still looking forward to upcoming issues of Drowned Earth due to it’s potential.