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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Aquaman (Vol.8) #23 - Oct. 2013

"Death of A King Chapter Five: Dead End" by Geoff Johns, Paul Pelltier, Sean Parsons, and Rod Reis.

Aquaman and Mera on the run (on the swim?) from Nereus' Xebelian army:
Mera reveals the details of her connection to Nereus, something Aquaman is less than thrilled over. Promising to discuss it later, it's up to Mera to open the dimensional portal between the two worlds, just as Nereus is trying to force it closed. It takes a supreme effort, but she gets it open just long enough for her and Aquaman to make it through:

...aw yeah, kissing!

While Aquaman and Mera head to Atlantis, the terrible trio of Murk, Tula, and Swatt make it ashore to free Ocean Master. Murk is more than ready to kill whoever gets in his way, something Tula is uncertain about. Just as their argument reaches its apex, a message comes in: Atlantis is under attack!

The Atlantean known as Urn fights with unparalleled fury and courage, and his faith in his King is rewards when Aquaman and Mera arrive to help fend off the Scavenger's men. Sadly, Urn is killed saving Aquaman, getting in the way of a missile fired at Arthur. Aquaman orders his army to fall back, so there is room for...
Thanks to Topo, the Atlantean throne room seems to collapse down on The Scavenger's head. But moments later, The Dead King, Nereus, and his army also arrive, using the powerful magical scepter to emit some sort of blast.

Aquaman collapses, and as he passes out, the last thing he sees and hears is Mera. When he wakes up, it's not to his wife, but to Vulko! Vulko is thrilled that his King has awoken, and has some startling news:
...oh, great, now we'll never get to Salty!

Gah! Aquaman and Mera are reunited just long enough for them to be (presumably) separated again! Geoff Johns, why must you toy with us? Have us Aqua-Fans not been good to you?!?

Separation anxiety aside, I did enjoy this issue. The cover was great (I liked the  old school action shot), and of course the two-page shot of Topo running amok made me think of those classic Ray Harryhausen movies. There are a couple panels that I think could have used a little more space to really have an effect (like Aquaman showing up in Atlantis, much to the relief of Urn), but there's a lot going on in this issue so it's understandable why some of the action feels a little cramped.

And the ending! I've seen Aquaman rocking the beard on later covers, but I didn't expect the whole Skyfall/"Six Months Later" bit. Not sure if I can wait two months to see what the Hector Hammond happened, but I guess we have no choice!

Post Script: We will be covering Justice League #23, since Aquaman plays a decent-sized role in it. Look for it next Saturday!


Earth 2 Chris said...

6 months? Wow, that's a long time considering the DCNU's compressed timeline. I think Aquaman just aged 20 years in New 52 time.

You just know there are going to be some continuity gaffs with Justice League, even with Johns writing both.


Count Drunkula said...

At first, I was disappointed that the first three pages of the issue were devoted to just two splash panels. I don't know if its a residual effect from "The Others" (or the fill-in issue a couple months ago), but Johns' stories on this title, while great, have felt overly long and drawn out. Now he's wasting three pages of storytelling real-estate on two images of Arthur and Mera swimming?!!

On the other hand, those pages are great! Ivan Reis is a difficult--maybe impossible--act to follow, but Paul Pelletier has been surpassing expectations pretty consistently since the end of "Throne of Atlantis".

I was weary about Aquaman with a beard again based on future covers, but I like this explanation.

Orin's dad said...

On the last page it seemed very odd to me was that Aquaman has been unconscious for 6 months, yet his wounds still haven't healed? They're still bad enough that blood appears to be seeping from under the bandages on several of them. What gives with that? Was he attacked and injured again while he was out? And since I'm being picky, why has Vulko trimmed his beard, but didn't bother to change/replace his torn/shredded pants? What kind of nursing services do they have here? lol