This first issue of "Malestrom" opens with Aquaman in search for something. But before we can learn what, we find Dr. Steven Shin being harassed by one of the representatives of Triton Base, who don't like the idea of their man just "walking away." Salty The Aqua-Dog intervenes (yay Salty!), and Shin is escorted to the docks, where our heroes are waiting for him.
Instead, they are thrown into the air, landing with a thud onto their king's royal craft. Aquaman tells them that he is within his rights as king to execute them all, but instead they are being exiled to a remote point near Antarctica, where they will be given the chance to form their own society. Aquaman challenges them to strive for more than never-ending violence, to aim higher. Meanwhile, down in the Atlantean archives, Dr. Evans and Dr. Shin are investigating the nation's history. They find an ancient touchstone, which shows them a sea of faces from long ago.
Soon, they find Aquaman, Mera, and some of the others, and explain what they think they've learned: that Atlantis is built upon the electrical impulses of all those who have come before, which acts as a safeguard to ensure no surface dweller ever rules. Aquaman, being half-Atlantean, is literally the cause of the sea quakes, but even so, his mother's essence should be part of Atlantis preventing such disasters. So what's going on?
Aquaman heads off to his mother's tomb, and we end where we began:
Very happy to see Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons back for a full issue, and only appropriate since this is the kick off of another major story arc. After several issues of wall-to-wall action, Jeff Parker changes things up by giving us more of a contemplative issue. As much as I have said I'm no fan of endless Atlantis-based arcs, I enjoyed the scene of Aquaman, Mera, and some of their advisers just sitting around talking, like regular people do. Scenes like this help humanize these larger than life characters, as does the humorous asides both Arthur and Mera spout from time to time. After years--decades--of Aquaman in the comics being a total sourpuss, it's nice to see him kid around.
Looking very forward to seeing where this goes!
By the way, we'll be featuring a second interview with Jeff Parker, talking about "Malestrom" and other Aqua-related topics. Look for it soon!