Aquaman has had it better. His greatest rival, Black Manta, has recently become the leader of a very powerful evil group and sent a monster to attack Atlantis and Mera has to jump through hoops just to marry him. The US government thinks he’s a terrorist and his relationship with Superman and the Justice League is in question. Can he straighten all this out and still be the King Atlantis deserves? Is it good?
Aquaman #8 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“UNSTOPPABLE” part one! Arthur’s investigation into the mysterious Atlantean terrorist attacks on the surface is cut short when Black Manta taps his newfound weapons cache and unleashes an unstoppable weapon upon the undersea kingdom: a relentless behemoth from the deep that lays waste to anything in its path.
Why does this book matter?
Writer Dan Abnett has deftly mixed politics and fight comics with this series, strung along by strong dialogue. He’s effectively complicated Aquaman’s life while keeping him too busy to ever get comfortable. It’s one of the best Rebirth series so far.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
She is stone cold.
This issue opens with Mera encountering the steps required to become queen and it involves a very prudish looking old woman who’s indoctrinating her into a Widowhood. Clearly something is up, and it adds a layer of politicking similar to Game of Thrones. Mera isn’t going to be able to use her fists but rather her smarts, and that’s exciting. Clearly the deck is stacked against her–even Aquaman isn’t sure what she’s going to be put through, and it’ll be interesting to see the inner workings of Atlantean queen vetting.
Meanwhile, Abnett sticks a monster in Aquaman’s path that’s all rage and an unstoppable force. Abnett weaves in supporting characters who help Aquaman in his battle which remind us as king he’s not alone. It infuses the book with the right amount of action too. It comes complete with a clever cliffhanger that might force Aquaman to call the Justice League.
Scot Eaton draws this issue with solid layouts that are easy to follow. The monster is big and foreboding and suits this Halloween time of year. Most importantly you’ll worry for Aquaman, who gets beat to hell in this issue and pushed to the brink. One panel for instance, shows a shocked Aquaman staring in disbelief at his trident that was just bent. Eaton does well with the Widowhood old crone, making her look wrinkled and bitter. Every time she turns up you have to feel she’s got it in for Mera.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Overall Eaton does wobble a bit with the faces of Mera and Aquaman. It’s a minor quibble, but there was a panel or two that threw me off as Mera didn’t quite look herself from panel to panel.
This dude is big!
Is It Good?
Aquaman continues to be well paced, action packed, and interesting through and through. Abnett is making Aquaman complex and intriguing every step of the way.