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Friday, August 28, 2015

Aquaman (Vol.8) #43

Comics Wednesday "Gospel of Destruction" by Cullen Bunn, Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Marino, and Guy Major.

This opens with Aquaman talking to Mera, who doesn't take too well to being left in charge of Atlantis. In fact, she blasts her beau with her hard water powers, calling him a traitor!

When then flash forward to the present, with Aquaman, Garth, and the rest of the Atlantean wrecking crew temporarily ceasing their fighting to band together and take on the giant creature which just moments before popped out of the ground!

In another flashback, Aquaman goes to visit a temple housing Poseidon himself, who explains who these other "invaders" are, and deigns to prepare the King of the Sea for the fight by bestowing him some new powers, which we have seen on display in the previous issues.

Back to the present, and Aquaman and the gang fight off the giant. They call a momentary truce, and unbeknownst to Arthur, two people of great interest are watching the proceedings: Mera...and her twin sister Siren!

...To be continued!

As anyone who reads this site knows, I am bored to death of Atlantean jibber-jabber, and this issue has too much (read: any) of it. The place is just nothing but headaches for poor Aquaman, so, royal duty or no, if I was Arthur I would just hole up in Amnesty Bay with my super-hot redhead girlfriend and dog Salty and refuse to answer Vulko's calls. But I guess that would make me a lousy superhero.

I still really enjoy Trevor McCarthy's work, and like last month I'm disappointed he's not doing the whole book. If he has such difficulty doing a monthly book, I vote for doing a "Classic Aquaman" fill-in month (someone call Ramona Fradon, or Ivan Reis, or Paul Pelletier, or...) giving McCarthy time to catch up so he can deliver all twenty pages when the story resumes.

Speaking of the story, the addition of Siren is a welcome twist, and solves a lot of story problems if Cullen Bunn chooses to go that route. I'm still dubious about this whole post-New 52 revamp, but I feel like this installment was a lap in the right direction.

For Further Reading:


Gareth said...

This was the strongest book of the so far very short Bunn era (although that's not saying much as the first two weren't great) The stuff with Posidon for example wasn't bad. But I'm still not sold on him as Aquaman writer. One of the great things about the previous four years of the current series was the great sense of adventure and joie de vivre about the character. That's gone and I don't think that type of stuff is up Bunns alley anyway. Dark & grim are his bread and butter which to me doesn't suit the character of Aquaman. The guy rules 70% of the planet, let him get out there and have some fun kicking arse! The Siren twist was predicted by some people months ago. That said, I don't mind it and I'd like to see a really strong Siren. Aquaman needs a bigger rogues gallery so giving extra air to villains like Siren, Chimera etc can only help.
The art, Rob I reckon you're in the minority with your view mate. I still don't like it. Why do their heads always seem so large? The brightness and vividness was a plus previously in this series, now it's very scratchy and murky.
I'm with you though on the get Arthur out of Atlantis idea. Geoff Johns kind of made Aquaman the protector of Boston which wasn't a bad idea or as I said earlier, have him travel the globe helping solve problems and fight monsters and rogues.
For me, the change in creative on this book has been a massive misfire, I'd love Parker & Pelletier back but I doubt it'll happen. Until then, please give us the Arthur and Mera we know and love in both character and appearance. If the series continues the way it's going the future isn't bright.
6/10 for me.

BlUsKrEEm said...

Siren! I honestly did not see that coming. I'm still missing Parker, but I can see this run picking up steam. I'm cautiously optimistic at this point.

Lucien Desar said...

Great synopsis Rob (as always). There are some positives and negatives about this issue. The positives: I really like the flashback sequences with the gold pattern borders. It was a cool idea. The action sequences were great and I liked the reveal at the end. To me that followed a natural comic book plot which is why I like reading comic books in the first place. I like the art still, the style lends itself to action. They are not beautiful pieces like previously. Some of the Ivan Reis work I would just stop reading and just admire the work. Just incredible. The art now moves the plot along.

My negatives is what you highlighted; Atlantis politics. I kind of wish Atlantis would just disappear into Earth 2 or something for a few years. I also disliked the non-linear story telling. It is a modern way of writing that works sometimes in movies and TV shows (sometimes books) but comics it kind of gets annoying. The way the panels were laid out I got confused what is present or past. The editor should have made the change to have all past sequences happen first and then the present. I also would have added actual dates instead of "Now" or "Then". It is too vague. Plus, where were these scenes taking place at times? Maybe I am not quick in picking up references but if I have trouble then others that are new to the series would be even more confused.

Which leads me to one soapbox point for me. Why doesn't DC have a backstory page in the beginning of each issue? They always assume everyone just keeps picking up each issue but I think it hurts their sales. I am very hesitant to pick up anything new in the DC line because it gets really confusing to jump into a story. If they don't bother with a backstory they could then just have single issue plots or announce it on the cover. I saw another company actually advertise a comic "New Story Arc! Perfect Time To Jump In!" . That would be a perfect tagline for Aquaman.

Anonymous said...

Mera and her twin sister Siren... a Soap Opera style plot twist... are you kidding me?!?!?!? Talk about being very easily amused by such crappy writing that a 5 year old would be surprised at...

The flashback scenes has to be one of the worst things about this storyline, it's such a lazy way to change a character. Bunn seems to lack the talent or effort to go into a really in-depth storyline to truly explain why Aquaman has changed. Instead he just gives only a few panels of it.

Ander said...

While I feel this issue was a step in the right direction, it is still plagued by bad dialogue, and cringe-worthy art. While it's gotten better, it's still far from acceptable. After having both stellar artists on the title for the past four years, it's a shock to see the muddy, uneven art we see with McCarthy. I mean, it's almost hard to see what's being represented because it looks rushed at times.

I actually liked the flashback scenes, but now, there's really no point for them after this issue, and I can see why it's not catching on with readers. The framed story mechanic isn't really working well here.

I actually thought it'd be Siren months ago after thinking that this couldn't possibly be Mera who was being represented, especially after that godawful preview we got in May. But I figured it was too obvious, so I didn't think much on it until it was revealed that it actually was Siren. While I'm relieved that Mera isn't the one who's after Arthur, I'm not blown away by the reveal as well.

I think the plot has potential to be interesting, very interesting in fact, but right now, it's not. I'm hoping this series gets better, because after two months of disappointment, I finally got a sliver of hope back that it could go back to being the enjoyable Aquaman book that we loved for the past four years.

I guess I'm actually in the minority here with the Atlantean politics. I love the world building, and that's why I hated the idea that he was on the run, AGAIN, from Atlantis. I could see how some of it could get boring after awhile, so I'd be ok with them splitting up arcs where he's dealing with Atlantean politics, and others where he's being the hero we all love.

While this issue is a step in the right direction, it needs some improvements, pronto. This series could use a new creative team, so I'm hoping that whenever Rise of the Seven Seas comes out (sooner rather than later) a new creative team comes with it.

Score: 7/10

Anonymous said...

Garth helping Aquaman?
Is a good! He still a hero!

Mr. Brooks said...

The art definitely needs to step it up. Too stiff and sketchy.

Anonymous said...

One by one the characters are getting destroyed, 4 or 5 year of character growth down the drain. Aquaman has been turned into a psychopath who has no problem committing genocide and what's the explanation for such change???? Who the hell knows, Bunn is playing charades with his readers.

Mera (the good one) has been reduced to Lois Lane, a weak damsel in distress all tied up that needs to be rescued. All her abilities are being ignored just for the sake of a poorly written plot...

You people are like bums who jump for joy when there only given scraps or crumbs of food.

Little Russell Burbage said...

^ Those comments seem harsh given 1. the majority of comments above are critical of the issue and 2. you don't give your name. Next time you want to bust us for trying to see positives in a heap of crap (it's good for the compost!) sign your name. Step up or step off.

Words Seem Out of Place said...

I think the art in the sample panels and pages you shared here looks really nice! I wasn't overjoyed with what I saw of the first issue online or flipping through it in my LCS, but this seems better than that to me. Still might hold off on this storyline for a bit, maybe check it out in a trade.

I'm unfamiliar with Siren - is she new or has Mera always had a twin?

Anonymous said...

Siren has been around since the Silver Age. She just rarely has appeared. And though I wanted to see her in the new52, I am not feeling this run enough to care because I knew this was going to be her impersonating Mera.

Also, how's Mera being turned into something Lois Lane-esque? Just because she is a badass woman doesn't mean she can't be overpowered and put in a bad spot.

Bleak said...

After being spoiled by Johns and Reis followed by Parker and Pelletier, I cannot get into this new creative team. I don't know much about Bunn so I'm hesitant to comment on his work, but he's following two legends. And I do not like the artwork AT ALL. No offense to Merino but this stuff does not work for me. It's actually distracting compared to some of the stellar art we've seen previously in this series.

Unknown said...

I loved this issue and looking forward to the rest of the Bunn-Mcarthy run. The art is pretty good it's just not in that classical Pelletier style and I like the whole flashback deal and not having everything chronological order, and last but not least I love that Aquaman got some new powers thanks to his new trident. Apart from the 1st annual where he uses his trident to absorb/reflect magical attacks he has barely been shown using it in battle. So I like that he's been using this new trident and is not just carrying it around as in most issues.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mera went from fighting Ya Wara, a possessed Wonder Woman, defending Aquaman from Nereus, manipulating the water by turning it onto sea creatures, a larger version of herself, ocean whirlpools, holding it still (Moses style), leading the Justice League United to... being unable to get out of her hands being tided... Mera deserve better than this...