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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Aquaman (Vol.8) #30 - June 2014

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

When last we left Aquaman, he was about to be smashed into tiny orange and green bits by none other than the Hercules!

After a quick side-trip to the Triton Base, where nefarious experiments are taking place, we catch up with the Sea King, and it's not good:
As a surprise to all, Aquaman does not end up in the hellish other dimension, but lands with a thud on the ground. At the last second, Dr. Evans--the man who stole the Sea King's trident and started this mess in the first place--used it to close the portal, saving Aquaman's life for the moment.

Aquaman asks Evans if another portal can be opened up, and the answer is yes. While Evans tries to do what he is asked, Aquaman has to try and fend off an even more enraged Hercules!

Meanwhile, under the sea, more trouble:
Mera's attackers are they themselves attacked by...Tula? Yes, Tula who, being the sister of Orm, heard of the plot to assassinate the queen and stepped in, saving her life. Good job, Aquagirl!

Back on land, the completely mad Hercules grabs Aquaman by the neck, who begs not to be drowned. Herc drags the Sea King like a rag doll into the water, which of course is exactly what Aquaman wanted all along:
Aquaman uses his home field advantage to pound away at Hercules, who is held in place by the King's finny friends. Finally beaten into unconsciousness, Aquaman hauls his foe back to the surface. Evans has opened up a new portal, and just as Aquaman throws Hercules in, he awakens, and screams helplessly until his cries are gone. Aquaman promises to try and rescue Hercules one day...but not right now.
A short time later, Aquaman and Mera talk via an Atlantean viewscreen, and the other members of the royal council are sure once he hears about the assassination attempt, all hell will break loose. Surprisingly, Mera says nothing, deciding to use her leverage with the others to improve security, an act that Tula heartily agrees with.
Even later, Aquaman clues in his JLA teammate Wonder Woman about what happened:
...to be continued all over the place!

This might change over time of course, but I feel as though this was my single favorite issues of the Parker-Pelletier Aquaman to date. I can't even say what it is, exactly, since this is just a part of a continued story. But this issue feels more assured to me, the way Parker juggles the sub-plots, and then reconnects them with a (mild) twist at the end. I'm also very happy that Tula is continuing on her path to become Aquagirl (or at least some New 52 version), and that Aquaman--who has been kicking serious ass lately--gets to pull a Batman-esque trick on the bad guy.

On the art front, and I know I've been saying this virtually every month (here and on The Fire and Water Podcast), but I feel as though the art of Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons is getting better every issue. Page fifteen (seen above), is particularly good, with nice, moody colors by Rain Beredo. After all the hot reds, oranges, and yellows for two issues, this page (and the ones with Mera) are a nice visual break and work quite well.

And on top of all that, we're led into future team-ups with both Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing! Outrageous!


Joseph Brian Scott said...

I really enjoyed this issue as well. There was a lot happening; brisk action but plenty to think about. The Mera pages were superb. What the heck kind of fish were they riding? Was it prehistoric? I think it's neat that the Atlanteans know of have access to bizarre, giant forms of sea life not generally seen.

r duncan said...

"Please don't drown me, Hercules..." I liked it. The ploy had a Greek mythology vibe to it. I also liked the way it was established that Atlanteans actually speak underwater, not just use telepathy. I don't know if that has been explicitly stated before.

This issue and the class reunion one are the first ones I've actually enjoyed. It still seems like all the idiots get off the hook too easily, like Dr. Evans, but I suppose he may still get his comeuppance.

Good review Rob.

Anonymous said...

I was talking with Jeff Parker yesterday at C2E2 and he said the following: "DC can go as dark as they want to with their comics, but that darkness doesn't have to come from the hero. It's there for the hero to respond to." He then went on to describe his Aquaman as "Heroic." I think this sums up why I'm responding to it so well!

Russell said...

When I saw the cover I thought, "Oh no, another ongoing subplot where Aquaman gets thrown into the pits of hell. (sigh)." Luckily, the issue went totally the other way! Loved it!! Although I'm not a great Swamp Thing fan, I'm looking forward to next issue. Should we be picking up ST to know what's going on? Waitaminute...IS there a Swamp Thing series? Shows you how out of touch I am in this not-so-new-anymore 52 thing...!

BlUsKrEEm said...

It really was a great issue. I've finally warmed upo to the coloring in this run, and the story moved along quite well. The Mera subplot was definately the highlight of the issue. I'm not a big crossover fan, but I really enjoyed Wonder Woman showing up at the end.