Monday, May 23, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.8) #52


"Out of Darkness" by Dan Abnett, Vicente Cifuentes, Juan Castro, and Guy Major.

When last we left Aquaman, he was being crushed underfoot by the villainous Scavenger. He's tricked out in a giant mech-suit, but of course it takes more than that to defeat the Sea King:


While Aquaman tries to find out about the Scavenger's connection to John Payne (aka Dead Water), back at Spindrift Station, Mera is trying to contain the aforementioned Dead Water, who has burst from the containment tube Aquaman left him in:


Using one of the seawater ducts, Dead Water escapes. Aquaman continues the fight with Scavenger, demanding to know what he knows about Payne. Naturally, Scavenger isn't interested in helping out, driving Aquaman to lose his patience and simply reach into the mechsuit and pull his foe out by the face:


Left with no other options, Scavenger fesses up to how he knows Payne. A while back, while doing some deepwater work for hire, Payne and his sub hit a patch of "strange water", a section of the sea connected with strange phenomena. Finding themselves stuck with no way out, Payne and his crew turned on each other for survival. Payne made it out, but disappeared without a trace after that.

Before Scavenger can continue, Dead Water arrives, leaving Aquaman to fight him again, ending with the Sea King ramming his trident through Payne's chest. This leaves Scavenger in the hospital, with Aquaman asking to be informed if/when he wakes up, since the "strange water" is still out there.

Later, in Amnesty Bay:


The End...for now.

With this, this current Aquaman title is no more (once again we Aqua-Fans are denied seeing Arthur get a book past 75 issues!). Nothing to be too sad about, of course, since we will be getting an all-new Aquaman #1 just next month, with Dan Abnett returning as writer!

Abnett had just a few issues to reestablish some of the footing lost during the previous creative team's run. Rather than re-inventing the book, as a lot of writers tend to want to do, he brought back many of the bedrock elements Aqua-Fans liked about this New 52 iteration while adding some new stuff of his own devising. I've mentioned before how much I like Spindrift Station, and Mera's new role as ambassador. I would still like to see her return to her classic outfit, and not just be dressed as a distaff Aquaman--but we have time for that!

Pre-New 52, I never thought in a million years that Aquaman would end up such a major star, but he hit the ground running (thanks to the gangbuster team of Johns, Reis, Prado, and Reis of course) and for the most part never looked back. Now with a major motion picture on the way, the Sea King is here to stay, which is best of all possible news. Looking very forward to Aquaman: Rebirth followed by the new Aquaman series, in just a few weeks!


1 comment:

KJ Sampson said...

This issue felt like a stumble to me, not really close to the quality of the rest of Abnett's run. But that's probably as much due to having to wrap this up ahead of Rebirth as anything. Glad to see the title back on good footing after that just-north-of-horrid Bunn divergence.