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Friday, May 07, 2010

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #47 - Jan. 2007

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Sword of Atlantis Friday "Coral Song" by Kurt Buisek, Phil Winslade, Karl Kesel, and Butch Guice.

Part Two of the "Crown of Thorns" flashback story, Aquaman is hot on the trail of King Shark, who he believes might be involved in a plot against an ancient holy order known as the Crown of Thorns:
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Reef's End emissary Jesset reveals that King Shark has returned, captured Vulko, and taken off.

Aquaman demands the owner of the Dragon's Den, Ptero, come with him. Ptero agrees, but does so to reclaim his "property"--in this case, the girl known as Nenomi--rather than to follow his king.

In a abandoned ship, King Shark is questioning both Nenomi and Vulko. Turns out that it is a plot--King Shark's father commanded him to kill six of the priests to bring about the prophecy.

Shortly thereafter, Aquaman sees who the thinks might be Nenomi, and follows her to the wrecked ship:

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King Shark throws Aquaman into some coral, and when some of Aquaman's blood is spilled, it drives King Shark into a murderous frenzy. For Aquaman's part, he's finding it hard to concentrate, because of the powerful "reefsong" emanating from the magical coral. Ptero watches this from afar, refusing to help.

Just as King Shark is about to strike again, the reefsong gets into his head, too, and causes him immense pain. Aquaman uses that moment to free himself and deliver a knockout blow:
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Later, we see Ptero telling his customers a story about he freed Nenomi and Vulko, and how Aquaman assisted him in defeating King Shark! What?

He goes back inside his bar, and Aquaman and Mera are there. Aquaman has allowed Ptero to claim to be a hero, in the hopes that having a moral example so close will help clean up Reef's End a bit. Also, Nenomi is no longer Ptero's property, something he agrees to. Members of the Thorny Crown also have arrived, ready to take King Shark with them.

Nenomi mentions that she did not lead Aquaman to King Shark's hideout, so who was it that Aquaman saw? Everyone else brushes it off, claiming the coral "plays tricks on a man."

But as Aquaman, Mera, and Vulko take off, we see a female-looking being, hidden among the coral. She folds her arms, and is slowly absorbed into the coral, until she disappears...

Meanwhile, back in the present:
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Even though this issue's final panels lead directly into the next issue, this story is an ending, of a sort. It features Butch Guice's final work on the book, which is too bad--I thought he did superb work on Sword of Atlantis, and I hated to see him go.

That said, Phil Winslade did excellent work on these two issues--his Aquaman is heroic and tough, simultaneously regal and rough around the edges. His fight scene with King Shark is dynamically staged and beautifully rendered.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

I always loved the visual look of the coral girl at the end. It would be cool if they could use her or something like that again in the future.

Louie Joyce said...

Yeah, i really enjoyed these two issues and Busiek's time on Sword of Atlantis overall. I think if he'd stayed on long term we would have gotten some great stories.