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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Aquaman (Vol.8) #28 - April 2014

"Triton" by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelltier, and Sean Parsons.

As Aquaman, Mera, and the rest track the mental impulses from the Karaqan, they stumble across something they didn't expect:
Aquaman's first concern is the undersea diver being turned into chum by a school of sharks (which we saw last issue), but his quick thinking is misinterpreted as an act of aggression by one of the men inside. He orders missiles to be fired on the Sea King, which causes Dr. Shin to try and stop his colleague's foolish actions.

Aquaman manages to fight off the sharks and save the diver, bringing him inside the base and calling for a doctor. Despite having just saved one of them, Aquaman is met with guns and threats. Dr. Shin tries to calm him down, leaving Arthur to seethe.

Things are better a few hours later, back in Amnesty Bay:

Arthur tells Mera about his upcoming high school reunion, and why he doesn't plan to attend. Ostracized as a teen after he put one of his schoolmates in a coma (the consequence of the kid showing cruelty to a dying whale), Aquaman feels he has no kinship with these people. But of course Mera talks him into it, because...well, she's Mera!

Despite everyone betting they won't show, Arthur and Mera make quite the, er, splash:
While Arthur reconnects with some of his old schoolmates (both in good and bad ways), Mera gets to know Katie, a girl Arthur dated briefly. After a few awkward moments, the party moves to a campfire on the beach, where guards are lowered and bottles are opened.

Meanwhile, many miles away, the same man who seemed to be snooping around town looking for Aquaman is on some sort of archeological dig. He has stolen Aquaman's trident, and uses it as a key, placing it inside a runestone. It begins to glow, and voices from out of nowhere start to talk of a door being opened. Uh-oh, to be continued!

I thought this was an enormously fun issue, with the reunion being a chance for Arthur not to be so dang grim all the time. The idea of having a superhero in your graduating class is fairly novel, and who the heck wouldn't want to go back and show up all the dinks you went to school with when you'd have someone like Mera on your arm?

On the art front, I was glad to see Paul Pelletier on board for a whole issue. This panel on page two jumped out at me:
Classic, iconic, and reminds me a lot of the old Murphy Anderson pose. And you can't beat that. Plus, Salty!


r duncan said...

I agree Rob. Fun story.

I especially liked the lack of blood and guts in this issue. Well except for the poor diver and the title.

Hopefully Parker is trying to show that a comic can be enjoyable without a gratuitous body count and killers disemboweling random innocents.

Joe Slab said...

I too love the HS reunion concept but am struggling with the books shift in tone and quality...
For example since when can't Aquaman order sharks to leave the scene and find food elsewhere
? Punching a shark may be cool, but we already saw that scene in issue #0 and it made sense because Arthur was young and his powers had not fully developed.

And gosh the loss Rod Reis was even worse than I feared. The texture & glistning effect of Aquaman's scale armourn is gone and replaced with a matte, garish neon tangerine. Oh and hey Jeromy Cox, Mera's not Poison Ivy, her eyes are blue (like the sea).

Gone also is the cinematic,widescreen approach to storytelling that made Aquaman the crown jewel of the new 52. Written to be drawn withb digital formatting in mind where are Pelletier's breathtaking splash pages silent scenic views? Parker has replaces replaced with more panels per page than Aquaman has seen since the 70's and lots and LOTS of dialogue. Certainly not the less is more approach.

On the bright side, I did enjoy Parker's hidden nod to More Fun #73 and he enjoyed that the Shrine was the 1st to catch the easter egg and promised us more hunting in future issues.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Aquaman's Trident should be the equivalent of Thors's hammer in the MU and should be too heavy for a mere mortal to pick up and use?

Randy said...

I am really enjoying Jeff Parker's run on Aquaman. I loved the high school reunion and am very glad to see Aquaman and Mera return to land. Hopefully, that will be more than just this issue. Too much Atlantis gives me the bends.

Shellhead said...

I found this to be the most enjoyable issue of Aquaman in several months. It's nice to have a "slice of life" issue once in a while.
And you just KNOW that SCUBA guy will end up as a new (or revamped) Aqua-villain.

Lucien Desar said...

This was a great issue. I am so glad there was a breather issue of "normalcy" instead of high stakes story one after another. I might not be popular in saying this but I like Jeff Parker's writing better than Geoff Johns's for Aquaman. There is now more emphasis on the hero and less on the villain. There definitely is a build up of a major story arc coming which I am excited about. I give it 4 seashells out of 5!