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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Aquaman (Vol.8) #10 - Aug. 2012

Comics Weekend "The Others Chapter Four" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Andy Lanning, and Rod Reis.

This month's installment of Aquaman opens with another member of The Others on a covert mission, doing a sort of John McLane thing. Cutting through an air shaft, he drops down into a room, and finds it filled with some familiar objects:
...who would have guessed Manta has all those extra helmets?

Anyway, the man known as The Operative begins to search through Manta's computer, initially finding nothing. He then turns to a safe, but is interrupted by some of Manta's armed goons. He seems to be able to handle them, but when one of them gets a shot off, it rips into The Operative's side and he leaps out of the building, several stories up!

He is rescued by a low-flying plane, which sends out a zip line to catch him. He drags himself inside, and takes off his mask, revealing a much older man than would be expected:
Back at Amnesty. the discussions between Shin and Mera are not going well. The Queen of the Sea just doesn't believe him, but Shin manages to turn it around and plant a seed of doubt about Aquaman reminding her that he did not mention anything about The Others--specifically Y'Wara--to her.

He sticks the knife in further by suggesting "He's not the man you think he is", leading to this gangbusters double-page spread of the Sea King and Manta squaring off:
(click to embiggen, you won't regret it)

As they fight, Prisoner of War and Y'Wara catch up regarding Manta's plan. Y'Wara wants to stop Aquaman from killing Manta before they learn why he wants to steal all The Others' powerful relics.

As their fight continues all over town, we flashback to two different moments: one, when Arthur's father had a heart attack, and how he whispered something in his son's ear just as he died. We also see Arthur, seeking revenge, when he found Manta's boat:
Arthur's careless act locked he and Manta in "a circle of vengeance", in Shin's words, and we see their battle get more and more intense. Y'Wara wants to stop the fight, and Prisoner of War is concerned with possible bystanders.

When they get close, Manta fires his harpoon gun, and
To be continued!

Another propulsive, exciting issue of Aquaman, with the art team of Reis/Prado/Reis bringing the goods. That double-page spread is them swinging for the fences, and firmly landing the ball in the parking lot.

I like how weasely Shin is, turning things around on Mera by throwing a shadow of doubt over their relationship. This is another reminder that we're in a new world and that this is a new version of Aquaman and Mera: these two have only been together less than five years, so their relationship hasn't endured the test of time like the old one had.

Part of me is still digesting all these changes; since I had always assumed the Aquaman we saw in Brightest Day would be retained in the Sea King's solo series afterward, but that's obviously not the case. In the end, I think I'm glad the sad history of Arthur Jr. has been wiped away, I think his death at the hands of Manta was just such a huge black mark that the new 52 was a perfect time for a fresh start. Flipping the dynamic so that Aquaman is the one with the blood on his hands is an interesting idea, I'm of course excited to see how it all plays out!

There was a new issue of Justice League as well this week, come back at noon for a look at Aquaman's involvement in that story!


Anonymous said...


Rock Roche said...

So exicted for the next issue and to see Ocean Master's debut.

Johns is doing the sea king justice.

As for Arthur Jr. being wiped away, I think that still happened; Johns might just revisit that in a future storyline. I doubt he'd want to bring it up during this arc. One more "Other" to meet - Vostok.

Joe Slab said...

I wonder if Mera's "battle tiara" (I have no idea what to call it)is also one of the golden relics of Atlantis. It's pictured on Black Manta's computer...

Russell said...

A very very good issue. Moves along nicely, sets up LOTS of potential stories (such as the items Joe, Rock, and Anon mention above) and introduces another Aquaman universe supporting character. My guess is that the son (nephew?) and the older gentleman are about to switch roles.
Next issue is the Battle Royale, or is there another issue to go?

Wich2 said...

What is the fascination with Arthur's chompers in all the covers, though?


Joe Slab said...


LOL - the ONLY complaint I have ever had about Ivan Reis' Aquaman art is that we don't need to see Arthur's gums on every cover!

Loran Skinkis Art! said...

I bougt the first "New 52" issue of this series and liked it but it didn't make the cut for me to pick up on a monthly basis. I've been reading a lot of good things about this series lately so I decided to pick up #10 to see what everyone is talking about. WOW! Not only is it "that good" but I plan on tracking down #2-#9 and adding Aquaman to my monthly pull list.

Ryan said...

Honestly getting better each issue. Bought 3 copies just for the cover. Considering the New 52 has been poor over all, it just makes Aquaman being great even more impressive.

dannyagogo said...

I was sort of annoyed by the flashback-within-a-flashback. That part was a little difficult to follow. Reminds me of a Simpsons episode - except for all the blood and killings of course ;-)