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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aquaman (Vol.7) #8 - Sept. 2003

Comics Weekend "Paint It Black" by Rick Veitch, Yvel Guichet, and Mark Propst.

Taking a momentary diversion from the ongoing Thirst storyline, this issue opens with a familiar, er, face to Aquaman fans:
Oh yeah, that's right---Aquaman's been turned to gold!

With the help of the Elbe Sister's army of warriors, Tempest is able to fight off The Thirst's legion of undead fighters while also trying to keep his former mentor safe while he's in such a vulnerable state.

The Thirst, having exposed the Rhine Sister's treasure (hey, that sounds kinda dirty), asks--more like demands--that she come aboard his ship. Feeling she has no choice, she does, and The Thirst drains her, reducing her watery body to something he slugs down his gullet.

Meanwhile, the battle temporarily halted, Tempest uses his powers to purge the chemicals surging through Aquaman's body:
This fragile peace is shattered when Black Manta's manta ship rises out of the water, blasting away!

Aquaman heads for the ship, and Tempest reminds him of The Thirst problem. Aquaman's response? "He can get in line!" (One of my favorite, if not the favorite, moments in this whole run)

Aquaman climbs aboard the ship and basically just starts pounding away on Manta's giant head. Losing control of his ship, it sinks like a stone, and Aquaman jumps off, carrying Manta with him.

Tempest and the warriors catch up with them, and it appears that Manta--who appears to be in some sort of addled, mutated form--is dying. Garth asks if Aquaman's water hand couldn't heal him. Arthur thinks it could, but is seriously considering taking this moment to finally get his revenge on the man that took so much from him.

Tempest talks some "sense" into Arthur, who finally relents and helps Manta, undoing whatever sorcery changed Manta so drastically. Aquaman then probes Manta's mind:
...to be continued!

How Arkham Asylum has not been closed yet is beyond me: the place never cures anybody. Not only does it leak like a sieve, but it manages to turn even mildly disturbed people into murderous supervillains! Is there no AMA in the DC Universe?

Like I mentioned in previous posts, there was so much mystical hugger-mugger in these Thirst issues that I got a little lost. I think taking time out to reintroduce Black Manta, while hardly original, was a good move on writer Rick Vetich's part; it grounded the book a bit while also presenting the Aquaman vs. Manta feud in a new light.

Though I would have told Garth to pound sand and let Manta die. I guess that's why I'm not a superhero.


Wings1295 said...

Yeah, I guess Arthur and Garth are more the heroes than I would ever be. Manta wouldn't look so happy by the end of this issue had I been there.

David J. Cutler said...

I actually found the Manta origin story to be pretty sympathetic (if a little baffling) so my decision would be the same as Arthur's. But is this characterization of Black Manta (specifically the repeated-words dialogue) remotely consistent with any incarnation we've seen before? At this point in DC continuity I have zero certainty as to the in-cannon backgrounds of Aquaman, Ocean Master or Black Manta.

Tempest127 said...

This is one of those tales which validified the fact that Arthur needed Garth in the way that Batman needs a Robin: It kept him human. Sure, Manta didn't deserve any consideration, but heroes still don't kill.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, this is the most pointless and worst written Aquaman story EVER. To me, this volume ( which i consider no. 4 taking only ongoings into account...) started in American tidal. This nonsene? Never happened.

JD said...

This Thirst story just played out in an unsatisfying and nonsensical way, and the extreme look of Guichet's art (with lots of lines and shadows on everyone's faces) didn't help either. The American Tidal and Sub Diego stories were much more enjoyable but also had annoyingly clunky looking art.