I’ve been following the Aquaman title since the reboot. I think it’s the last of the “New 52″ books that I’m still reading. This is the best issue since the first one that set the tone for the book. This has action, humor, and some nicely executed character work, as well as some beautiful artwork.
Aquaman has established an embassy for Atlantis on the surface world to make himself and his country more accessible to the surface world. This gets taken advantage of almost at once by two really entertaining FBI Agents who catch a very strange case. These two, Irving and Ajar, get some great scenes and lines throughout the issue.
The story is split between Aquaman assisting the FBI and Mera, now calling herself Aquawoman, holding a press conference to open the new embassy. Aquaman shows himself to be the hero that he is, dealing with the problem in a way that shows both power and compassion. He doesn’t take what he sees at face value, and impresses the agents, and me. Mera, meanwhile, does an amazing job at the press conference and her dialogue is phenomenal throughout. Mera is assisted by Garth in her efforts to address the press.
It would have been easy to use the FBI agents as merely viewpoint characters, like “This is how this strange Atlantean stuff seems to a human,” or even just for comic relief. While they do get some wonderful lines, they are actual characters, not punchlines.
Plot: This was a great issue. The new set up for Aquaman and Mera (it’s going to be a while before I start calling her Aquawoman) is a great potential plot hook for many future stories. The monster was nicely done, and the obvious love between Aquaman and Mera was nice to see, especially after the last story arc had them at odds for so long. I’ll give the plot and overall writing a 4.5 out of 5.
Art: The art is very well drawn. Mera’s new look is great, and the scenes of the big fight, and where it ends up, were dramatic and gorgeously rendered. I’ll give the art a 4 out of 5.
Positives: Pretty much everything. The dialogue was great, making me laugh often. The FBI Agents were good new characters that I hope stick around. Mera was in charge and had her duties well in hand.
Negatives: I’m not quite sure how Garth here squares with the one over in the Titans Hunt book, but I’m willing to let that go for now. I really could have done without the Batman v Superman cover crowding the star of the book off the page in his own title. Like those two don’t get enough coverage?
This was a really nicely done book celebrating 50 issues of Aquaman’s adventures since the reboot. I’m looking forward to many more.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Both, Rapmund, and Dalhouse
Batman V Superman cover: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez & Moreno Dinsio