Review: Aquaman #66
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Andy Lanning & Ron Marz
Art: Miguel Mendonca & Marco Santucci (flashback)
Colors: Ivan Plascencia & Arif Prianto (flashback)
Letters: Clayton Cowles & ALW’s Troy Peteri (flashback)
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Aquaman #66- “Endless Winter” Chapter Four! The Endless Winter comes to Atlantis and it’s up to Arthur and Mera to come up with a solution, but how does it impact the overall story?
With multipart crossovers, characters can often get shoved aside in order to tell the bigger tale. Aquaman #66 is nearly the exact opposite. While the flashback sequence that opens the issue clearly is telling a story that occurred in the past, and yes we are jumping in the middle here, Lanning and Marz are deft enough to provide just the right amount of exposition for the reader to understand without recapping everything or omitting too much. They actually almost tease enough to inspire the reader to see what he/she’s missing in the first three parts!
How do they do it? Once the issue shifts to the present, the issue follows directly from the events of Aquaman #65. After their nuptials, Mera and Arthur are hoping to get a honeymoon. Acknowledging the continuity and making the issue feel like the next day goes a long way in keeping Aquaman readers invested instead of producing an issue that is “all event.” In the early days of “The New 52” the crossover event, “The Culling” made this mistake. And on the flip side, it’s not simply a cameo like the “Crisis” crossovers that riddled the DC books during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Aquaman #66 strikes the rare balance- it fits into the continuity of the title while also being critical and productive to the crossover event.
Additionally, the character bits are spot on. Arthur feels like the normal and regular Arthur Curry. (Just got to visit the barber…still!) Mera is Mera. And, she’s great. She always finds a way to surprise Arthur and this issue is no exception. Mera is always a joy to read. While there’s certain to be debate, Mera is the one significant other that feels either equal to or greater than the protagonist. Aquaman works best as a Aquaman and Mera, and if DC ever changes the title to this…I’d like my cut please!
This extends to the ancillary characters, Vulko and Mother Ceta of the Widowhood, as well. Not only are their voices right on, but the bit they add to the continuity fits right in and even clarifies what’s transpired in Atlantis due to and along side Arthur and Mera’s wedding. The story moves the story along just enough. It really feels like Lanning and Marz took the time to understand what’s transpired recently in Aquaman and incorporate it fully into this chapter of “Endless Winter.”
I need to also acknowledge that regular series artist Miguel Mendonca is on hand for the modern part of the story. This keeps everything looking familiar and ensures the reader that nothing too distracting is going to happen. Mendoca brings his expected effort to the issue, ensuring clear storytelling and a well delineated tale.
More Viking Prince!!! I’ve got a soft spot for genre characters and Jon, the Viking Prince is one of them. I could easily have handled a bit more of him in this story. Notably, I wonder if the whole flashback sequence would’ve worked better as a story on its own without involving modern super-heroes and being broken up over so many parts.
Color me pleasantly surprised that despite being chapter four in a multi-part crossover Aquaman #66 reads amazingly well as the next step in Aquaman and Mera’s life. For Aquaman fans worried about an interruption, there’s no need to skip this issue. Plus, for those following “Endless Winter,” you might find yourselves interested in learning more about the erstwhile King and Queen of the Seven Seas- Arthur and Mera…and Andy too!