Wanted by the government (and probably dead or alive sooner rather than later), Aquaman and Mera must escape back to their nation or die trying. Black Manta has been defeated and reduced to a sobbing man, but a new direction is in his path.
A lot is going on as we head into Aquaman #5, but is it good?
Aquaman #5 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“The Drowning” part five. Unjustly branded a murderer and a fugitive, Aquaman’s forced to defend himself against the might of America’s military. Meanwhile, Black Manta and the deadly underwater crime cabal known as N.E.M.O. advance their plan for revenge on Aquaman.
Why does this book matter?
Dan Abnett has kept the pedal to the metal with this series, introducing more complexity to the character while throwing one loop into Aquaman’s past after another. The man just wants peace, and has made a strong case for it, but the U.S. government wants none of it!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The problem with a lot of superhero comics is how action packed issues don’t add any complexity to the narrative. If it’s all punching and cool art what’s the point? That’s not a problem here because Abnett gives Mera and Aquaman a lot to say – like contemplating not getting married while punching an army – or we cut away at just the right moment to allow the reader to catch their breath. Abnett shows he has a strong handle on pace in this series and this issue, which makes for a page turning experience.
In the last issue, my major gripe was how evil the U.S. government officials seemed. Abnett improves on that in this issue, with a sympathetic government official questioning the actions they are taking towards Aquaman. It’s nice to see not everyone is a bigoted xenophobe and that there’s some reason on their side! It also makes you wonder if there’s someone pulling the strings.
She must work out.
The art by Philippe Briones is solid throughout, making every scene feel action packed and important. You’d be surprised how many ways Briones can make a tank being torn in two look cool, but he pulls it off splendidly. His style is reminiscent of John Romita Jr.’s at times and the amount of detail he puts into every tank and helicopter is admirable. If this issue is any indication Briones is someone to keep an eye on. Making heroes look cool while fighting an army is no easy task, but he pulls it off well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is a nearly perfect comic save for one page that has Aquaman jumping and shouting. The face is a bit too cartoony and it comes off as comical at best. It’s very minor, but it threw me off for a second!
Is It Good?
Aquaman #5 is a page turner. The creative team understands very well how to tell a visual story; it’s issues like this that make me want to see a movie written by Dan Abnett.