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Friday, July 08, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #2

"The Drowning Part Two: Full Circle" by Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Gabe Eltaeb.

Just two weeks later, and we have another issue of Aquaman! Outrageous!

After a flashback to the event that brought Aquaman and the man who would become Black Manta together--the death of Manta's father at the hand of the Sea King--we return to Spindrift Station with the two arch enemies in mortal combat. To that end, this issue is mostly a fight, as the two duke it out with the assorted dignitaries and reporters watching.

While I'm not sure I totally buy these two trading philosophies of life back and forth while trying to skewer each other, I was pleasantly surprised--shocked even--that writer Dan Abnett wrapped up this particular angle so quickly, in the second issue of the title! I'm so used to stories being dragged out well past their organic end (the better to fill a trade) that when Manta stood down I was "Wow, that's it? Cool!"

This doesn't solve Aquaman's problems of course--not only does Manta get busted out by a group of mysterious n'er-do-wells, but some of Arthur's fellow Atlanteans don't exactly cover themselves in glory when dealing with Surface Dwellers ("We don't need help from your kind!"), a plot thread I'm sure will resurface down the line. Plus the whole thing is a PR nightmare, eight are dead, Mera gets injured...all in all, not a good day for Aquaman, even with Black Manta's stand down.

We knew that Brad Walker couldn't be doing the work for this second issue, now that Aquaman is a bi-weekly title. I found the work of Eaton and Faucher to be okay, but not terribly distinctive. Some of their figure work is stiff, which becomes glaringly noticeable in a story that is mostly two figures battling it out. Still, I'm glad to see this story "resolved" so quickly, and for what comes next, "Mr. Curry Goes To Washington." If Aquaman thinks Black Manta is evil, just try Congress!

Aquaman #2 is on sale now!

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