America is finally at peace with Atlantis which means Aquaman needs to visit for foreign dignitary events. Perfect timing to attack him, which is what happens in this issue!
Aquaman #17 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“WARHEAD” part two! An ambassadorial visit to New York City is cut short when Aquaman senses a malevolent telepathic signal coming from deep within the city. An investigation pushes Arthur into the clutches of Warhead, a ferocious monster awakened during Atlantis’s war with the surface.
Why does this book matter?
Dan Abnett has written a compelling Aquaman due to the development of new supporting characters. Based on the last issue his aquatelepathy is playing a key role in the bad guys’ plans and it’s not involving fish!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
He can’t take it personally if he’s dead.
This issue opens well with Aquaman getting attacked by civilians with no explanation at all. It’s a wtf moment for sure and segues well into the next scene where everything is calm and the American Secret Service are totally cool with Aquaman. Given the last arc, this is a big swing in how he’s been treated, but based on those opening pages it’s only going to get worse soon.
Much of the issue is about Aquaman now being a fan favorite in America right down to Aquaman totes and costumes being worn by the public. Mera and his allies watch as he speaks at the U.N. but of course things go very bad very quickly. It’s fun to see how his telepathy is being used in the story–in this case against him–and it’s clear war is very much a possibility soon.
Scot Eaton draws this issue and the page composition is on point. The villain looks great (see below) though he doesn’t make too many appearances. The fans of Aquaman are a highlight of the art with the many different types wearing all sorts of visually engaging Aquaman swag.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The plot of this issue, save for the opening, is rather sluggish. It’s probably why action was moved to the beginning because this issue takes its time to unveil the attack on Aquaman. It also reveals very little. You get a sense of the doom that could be coming Aquaman’s way, and how messing with his aquatelepathy is putting him off guard, but not much happens beyond that. Essentially three pages are repeats of the same thing: Aquaman faces a civilian with a gun, the gun goes off, Aquaman breaks the gun. Altogether there isn’t a lot to the issue.
Is It Good?
Save for a smashing opening and some interesting ideas of how Aquaman is perceived in America, this issue is too sluggish. The plot barely pushes forward with more time spent showing Aquaman disorientated or facing a similar threat over and over.