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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Aquaman (Vol.8) #29 - May 2014

Comics Weekend "Olympian" by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, and Sean Parsons.

This issue of Aquaman opens with a familiar exclamation from the Sea King:
Across the world, we catch up with our trident thief, Dr. Evans, who is about to snap Aquaman's trident into place, but does not get the result he wanted or expected:
...there be monsters!

As the beasts reduce the crowd into bite-sized chunks, what seems to be the head nasty explains that they are Atlantis' great enemy, a race of beings so vile and horrible that they were locked away into another dimension for all eternity. The Atlanteans were so afraid of these creatures that didn't even dare speak of them.

Meanwhile, Mera attends a royal meeting in place of her husband. They tell her of a giant algae bloom that, if it happened again, could destroy most ocean life. One of Atlantis' top scientists cannot explain why it happened, only that it seemed as though all the plants on the planet suddenly decided to act as one...thing.

Back at the Azores, Dr. Evans is about to be devoured, when:
The creatures work to keep Aquaman busy long enough to give the rest of their brood time to escape through the portal, including one being in particular that Celeanna seems determined to set free. Aquaman fights the creatures with savage fury, until he finds himself face-to-face against...Hercules? Yes, Hercules!
...as you might expect, to be continued!

Hercules? Now there's a development I don't think anyone saw coming! 

All kidding aside, it seems writer Jeff Paker is determined to beef up Aquaman's standing in the DCU, in terms of pure muscle: sure, at the end of this issue he's about to be tossed like a rag doll into a flaming pit, but he still had Aquaman going toe-to-toe with the Hercules for several pages. Not too shabby.

Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons turn in some terrific work--I loved the gruesome silhouettes they used to suggest the stomach-churning carnage going on in the wake of the creatures escaping, but not actually show that much of it. It's like H.P. Lovecraft stepped in to guest write this issue of Aquaman, which works just fine with me.

My one problem with last issue is how Evans so easily nabbed the trident--that seemed like such a stupid mistake I didn't really buy Aquaman would make (what did he do, leave it on the kitchen table next to the mail?). At least he has Arthur chastising himself mightily this time around. Somebody needs to put in an Aqua-Cave, stat!


Tegan said...

I love how he upturned the couch to look for it. "Uh, did I kick it under the couch?"

J.P. said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. It was fun and adventurous, and a bit scary in a few moments. The demonic creatures escaping through the gateway kind of reminded me Aquaman teaming up with the Demon in J. Michael Straczynski's issue of Brave and the Bold. One serious irk. I can't stand how Mera is now being referred to as Aquaman's 'partner,' and not as his 'wife,' as she was until just recently. Supposedly, editorial swooped in and says that in the new52 they were never married.