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Monday, September 12, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #6

"The Drowning Part Six: Out of His League" by Dan Abnett, Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessey, and Gabe Eltaeb.

Aquaman and Mera find themselves face-to-face with the Man of Steel. Things get worse from there, leading to punches being thrown. Aquaman, fighting for his life and his people, manages to get a couple of good shots in on Superman (as does Mera). Superman takes the abuse, until a low rumble that signals an invading Atlantean army is heard. But before things get worse, Aquaman asks his people to stand down. Aquaman and Mera head back for Atlantis, knowing this all has to be fixed--now. To be continued!

Nice to finally have Brad Walker back, and I enjoyed his work here just as much as I did in issue #1. Considering that most of this issue is just a big fight, I think it helps having someone with a fairly idiosyncratic style handle it. A lot of the poses are unique (like when Mera hauls off and knocks Superman off his feet) and he really gives the fight an extra level of visual interest.

While DC has done a lot to ramp up Aquaman's strength levels since the New 52, clearly Superman is humoring the Sea King here. I'm just not buying that the Sea King could even really get a shot in, so it's kinda nice of Clark to not make Aquaman feel too bad. It also seems like DC and/or Dan Abnett is re-positioning Aquaman, moving into the role Batman filled in the late 90s--namely, the good guy who's not totally on board and needs to be reined in once in a while. Not that Aquaman didn't have this shading previously, but the conversation he and Superman have throughout this issue reminded me of how Supes and Bats talked in The Dark Knight Returns.

There's also the developing sub-plot of Black Manta having been drafted into N.E.M.O. Of course, with Manta being the giant jerkwad he is, he thinks nothing of killing its leader and installing himself. Good to know that this new Black Jack is no more competent than the original 1940s version. Some things never change.

Aquaman #6 is on sale now!


Anonymous said...

Superman is always holding back that's a fact. Except when he's battling Doomsday. He could have easily used his heat vision to end this although I wonder if Aquaman had his indestructible trident he could have deflected Supes occular attack too?

Unknown said...

This was a great issue. I really like what Abnett is doing with the book.