Comic Vine Review


Aquaman #18 - Death of a King, Chapter One Review


Arthur deals with becoming king and has a little chat with Vulko. Mera learns about law and order in this very special issue of AQUAMAN.

This review contains minor spoilers

The Good

Aquaman has a lot on his plate, in this issue. He's trying to take over the role of King of Atlantis. He's dealing with Vulko, who is in his custody. He's trying to find out who is selling Atlantian weaponry. And he has to keep tabs on what's going on with Orm, as his sister, Tula stands by his side. On the surface world, Mera learns about respecting law and order.

While I really enjoyed the overall issue, I found myself loving the couple of scenes featuring Mera on the surface world. They were brief, but the fleshed out the character of Mera a bit more. While she lives on the surface world now, she really doesn't understand it or how things run up there. The second scene leads to the end of the book where we see the old Atlantian man, from the last issue, once again. It's pretty obvious that this was once an Atlantian ruler, but how did he survive? Who is this guy?

Scavenger?! We saw him in the last issue, briefly, but we get to see a bit more from Peter Mortimer AKA Scavenger, in this issue. This isn't an extremely popular Aquaman villain, by any means. He only really appeared in a few issues of an older Aquaman volume and a run in Warlord, but I like that writer Geoff Johns is pulling from the depths (pun intended) to resurrect some classic characters.

Artist Paul Pelletier and colorist Rod Reis do a wonderful job during the Atlantian scenes here. There is a great flow here with Atlantian architecture and the clothing/armor. Everything comes together as believable as a real civilization. Reis' colors, in these scenes are awesome. He has a fantastic color scheme here, adjusting everything to fit into these underwater scenes. These guys work well together to make underwater scenes feel, well, underwater.

I have a new least favorite character in this book: Murk. Geoff Johns does a great job at making this guy a despicable character. He has a "take no prisoners" attitude, which really doesn't fit with how Arthur's personality. He hates the surface world, but serves his king. You can sense a mutiny coming, and Murk seems like a character you do not want to mess with.

I'm extremely glad Vulko is still around. Maybe I'm a bit crazy, like Vulko, but he's the most interesting character in this book. He's pledged his life to his world and it's true ruler. His devotion is undying, and even though he could be facing death, he's still willing to help Atlantis and its leader. That's pure dedication.

The Bad

In the last issue, I was under the impression because of the stubble, that Aquaman would be growing a beard. My assumptions were completely wrong. Aquaman is clean shaven in this issue. I was really hoping for a beard here.

Everything feels shrouded in shadows, in this issue. There are many times where half or even a whole character's face is inked out. It works fine now and again, especially in the scenes underwater, but I feel it was overused here, especially on that final reveal page.

The Verdict

AQUAMAN #18 is another hit. There's a lot thrown at the reader in this issue, but it's all fantastic. It's a straight-forward book the reader will enjoy. While this may not be the best place for a new Aquaman reader to jump on, they won't be too lost. The book does a pretty good job at keeping the reader updated on the events.My only real problem here, aside from Aquaman's 5 o'clock shadow being gone, was that too many times, faces and bodies were buried in shadows.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

12 Comments Refresh
Posted by Brit


Edited by Trodorne

I highly recommend this series.

Posted by Mucklefluga

Dammit Aquaman found his razor!

Posted by Raw_Material

K, now I really need to go down and pick up issue # right away!

I'm a lagging program at the moment. Just been bug hunting and forum posting on CV all morning!

We get to see the reappearance of Tula!

As well as going more in depths with most intriguing character (in my eyes) Murk, who I believe resembles the side of Atlantean's brute force and nature.

Great Aquaman Review Mat!

Posted by Black_Claw

I wonder if Tula is gonna stay alive in this continuity.

Posted by ElectroComics

I could see this issue is the start of something big in the next couple issues of Aquaman

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Damn, Tula and Murk scheming something up. Mera on ice wtf! Glad I tried 18 after the Throne crossover, probably going to get the TPB now!

Edited by KnightofSteel

I thought this series was gonna take a step down quality-wise post Ivan Reis/Throne of Atlantis but keeps on truckin' along as one of DC's best series.

Posted by SmashBrawler

This was a pretty good issue... but I was disappointed by the lack of beard as well. Dammit, Johns.

Posted by feargalr

This is probably my favorite series of the New 52, soooo good.

Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

Probably my favorite New 52 book, I've been enjoying each issue since day one. Sure Reis isn't around anymore but Paul is just as good for the book. It's great seeing everyone in Atlantis be so conflicted on Arthur as King but now with the old ruler resurfacing it's going to be a great ride! BTW that Tula redesign is pretty awesome.

Posted by AdrianSchultz

By far my favorite New 52 book. Before Geoff Johns I was never interested in Aquaman, neither as a character nor in his series. Now I simply can't get enough Aquaman! I've become a fan of both the character and the current series and I hope both Johns and Pelletier keep delivering the same high quality comics each month