There's a storm coming...
It’s Aquaman versus Manta in this explosive tenth issue but with more of Arthurs troubled past floating to the surface our view of the golden boy is slowly beginning to get more and more distorted. Who should we really be rooting for in this circle of vengeance?
This is just one of the many questions Geoff Johns has readers asking themselves on board this voyage of renewal for the Aquaman series. The mystery of Atlantis continues to encompass the entire story. All avenues and sub-plots taking place here seem to lead or somewhat link to this lost, underwater metropolis. The varying scope of motives for finding this ancient city is helping to build the growing tension and conflict which is waiting to boil over. I think the series is waiting for that really big issue, the game changer, which will cement Aquaman’s place as a hero to be taken seriously.
Issue ten introduces us to another member of The Others, the Operative. He’s an aging man, clinging on to his last few moments. Not enough of him is shown to really create an endearing character just yet but no doubt he will play a big part. The Prisoner, on the other hand, continues to be one of the most intriguing characters in this story arc. There is something quite tragic and depressing about his life even though we know very little of him but there is undeniable righteousness about the character which warrants further exposure.
Putting everything else aside, this issue doesn’t just tease with its cover, it delivers an all-out war. Ivan Reis’ artwork is extremely dynamic and theatrical here. This isn’t just two men with a grudge fighting it’s more like a glimpse into the eye of a thunderstorm. He does a great job of neutralising the two, never giving the upper hand or favouring one character in particular. There is a double page spread which fully showcases his unbelievable talent and flair. It is a super detailed spread and it captures all the ferocity and drama of this titanic clash.
As said before, the nature of this clash is what makes it so fascinating. Manta has legitimate reason for this feud and Aquaman’s history is continuing to look more bleak and dark. It’s a credit to Johns writing. He has expertly weaved all these layers into the story but has never let it run away with him.
Aquaman has had a torrid time over the years but now, is earning his right to be one of DC’s bestselling titles and a worthy member of the current Justice League. There are no gimmicks and silly gags here, just great storytelling and some amazing artwork. Give Aquaman the respect he deserves and pick up this title!
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