Review: Aquaman #58
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Miguel Mendonca
Colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Ten months have passed since Mera gave birth. While she remains in a coma, Aquaman does his best to be father and husband? Meanwhile, Orm gathers forces around him in a play for the throne!
All of a sudden, with a haircut, Aquaman suddenly seems like the person he’s supposed to be. He still needs a shave, but it seems like the birth of his daughter and the ensuing ten months have magically gotten Arthur’s head out of his ass. All that “slacker” crap that has characterized Aquaman over the past year and a half appears to be gone. While there’s definitely a story to this in those ten months, the result in Aquaman #58 is refreshing and welcomed, even if it sort of appears out of nowhere. What really sells this is learning that Aquaman visits Mera every night at the Atlantean hospital, demonstrating the behavior of a respectable husband and father.
There’s no doubt, this generation’s Aquababy, Andy, is cute as a button. There is all the potential in the world for her to become an interesting and fun addition to the cast of the book. She’s not the only addition. Jackson Hyde’s mom makes an appearance, as well, and as a Xebelian, she has some insight into Andy’s Xebelian heritage. This growing cast could be a sign that family and character will drive this title and push Aquaman into a unique area.
Arthur is compelled to go along with Mera’s plan to solidify her power by legitimizing Vulko as her husband and thus, King of Atlantis. It’s a risky move that Tula isn’t exactly fond of, but something Arthur understands as necessary. Orm is back to his old ways…
It’s a little disappointing to see Orm unable to move beyond classic villain mode. His role in Mera: Queen of Atlantis was refreshing. He’s not like the Joker who is clearly incapable of redemption. He’s Arthur’s brother and has a natural connection that begs for reconciliation. Perhaps, he’ too good a villain, I’m not sure. No matter, it’s slightly disappointing to see him return to the classic trope after such a moving and powerful re-imagining in Mera: Queen of Atlantis. If you’re curious, it’s currently being reprinted in Aquaman Giant.
There is one indication that Andy may not be allowed to stay a baby for long. Jackson’s mother indicates that he grew at twice the rate of normal growth. One can only wonder what Arthur’s half-Atlantean DNA will mean for Andy. Will she grow even faster? It is concerning that she will be forced to grow up far faster than she should. It’s disappointing to think that all the potential for stories of Arthur and Mera as parents raising a child will be discarded. To introduce this information so soon doesn’t bode well for Andy. However, it’s fairly easy to imagine Andy becoming Aquawoman in the 5G, if that pans out as planned.
Two months ago, Aquaman #56 detailed a story that took place in the past and was a stark reminder of what we’ve been missing with Arthur Curry. Aquaman #58 shows every sign of integrating that characterization into the status quo that’s developed for Arthur’s supporting cast in Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run. This issue is a great extension of the emotional content of Aquaman #56, and appears to indicate that Aquaman’s ship has been righted and is headed in the proper direction…. Now if we could only get him that shave!