Comic Vine Review

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Aquaman #19 - Death of a King, Chapter Two Review

3

Aquaman searches for the Scavenger and the "King of Atlantis" confronts Mera!

The Good

There's a lot going on in this issue. Lots of a set-up. We get our first glimpse at Topo, Aquaman's undersea partner as Aquaman tries to find where Scavenger is. Something sketchy is going on with Murk and Tula as we meet Swatt, an Atlantian that can't breathe underwater. In the midst of all of this, Mera is in the Bermuda Triangle and the "King" of Atlantis, as seen in the last issue, really needs someone to bow to him.

The Topo redesign is so awesome. Writer Geoff Johns and penciller Paul Pelletier took a pretty cheesy, but fun, silver age character and made him worthwhile and incredibly awesome. I love the combination of sea creatures in this design. We get the basic octopus design, along with crab features. I love the look here, and I'm really hoping we get to see much more of him in the future, especially since there seems to be some underlying fear, in other Atlantians, of Topo.

I beginning to really like Tula and Murk, who are supposedly sworn to protect Aquaman, but obviously, they're still working for Orm. We get a very cool scene as they meet and fight Swatt, who is apparently an Atlantian who needs to breathe air. There is definitely a plot building here to overthrow Arthur. This story really has me interested in the future of this book and the future of Aquaman.

Swatt is a pretty cool character. I think he has a very cool design. It has familiar Atlantian elements that really make him fit into the world, but he has his own distinct style. I really like the idea of his weakness being he can't breathe underwater. Who he's working with, I'm not too keen on, but it's overall a great start to a threatening relationship.

Very cool ending here. Paul Pelletier's art on the final reveal page is awesome, as well as the lead up to it. These are some great, stand-out moments where Pelletier proves he's the man for this job. I love the ship graveyard scene. His backgrounds are incredible, and once again, his redesign of Topo is amazing.

The Bad

The Mad Magazine variant cover is awful. I hate the clash of the Mad style and Aquaman, especially as a cover.

This issue is pretty heavy on the introductions to new characters, for a book that's 19 issues in: Topo, Swatt, the gentleman on the final page, and this is the second time we get to see the "King of Atlantis." While The Others were all also introduced in the same issue, they were all connected and in the same place. These characters are spread apart and have no relation to one another.

Because all of this issue is spread out over four different stories, it feels a bit chaotic. Everything here is a tad jumpy. I never felt like I got into a rhythm reading this book. Sometimes you exit and enter scenes on the same page and at other times we linger on for a tad too long. The book, overall, has some pacing issues.

The worst part is that there's a one month break here, and a new creative team takes over for issue #21. On the up side, it's an Others story, so it could be a ton of fun.

The Verdict

I liked AQUAMAN #19, but it's not my favorite of the series. It's a bit chaotic. There's a lot going on. Johns is setting up a few stories here and catching up on a couple things from previous issues. The events in this issue are bigger than the 20 pages the creative team is allotted. I think once you can sit down and read this issue and maybe #21 onward, it will play out a bit better.

There's a lot to love about this issue, but the pacing and jumpiness really dragged it down. Overall, I give this a mild recommendation.

24 Comments
Edited by Mucklefluga

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I'm dissapoint InfoEgo.

Edited by Mucklefluga

Although this seems like it isn't the best of the series i'm so happy with what Johns has done with the character. Aquaman is the new Batman!

Posted by inferiorego

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

lol... I love when people think "3" is the "1" of Comic Vine.

Lots of great build-up here though.

Posted by batfan916

@inferiorego: i agree 100 good issue but way to much going on. Not the best issue but still fun.

Posted by knightofthechronicle

O.O 3 stars? Today is a dark day...

Posted by Ghidoran

@inferiorego: It kinda is, though. This site is far too liberal with their scores, something that's supposed to be avoided with a 5 star system.

Posted by JLDoom

Even though this wasn't the best issue it's still a good issue. And the art is getting better and better!

Posted by manwithoutshame

#20 is a fill-in issue but Johns said they'd be returning for #21, or so I'd heard. I liked it too.

Posted by bladewolf

I agree with the 3/5. It wasn't a bad issue, but wasn't especially exciting or cool either. Like you said, the set-up may pay off later.

Posted by kilomac29

I decided to jump into this series with this issue. It sounds like there is a ton going on. I will definitely have to pick up the earlier trades.

Edited by Raw_Material

Nice review, Mat. My issues for this week were pre-ordered so I'm gonna be waiting for them in the next couple days. Will be making a review on this one as well.

Posted by Danial79

Yeah, this issue felt fairly "bridgey" to me--the connective matter between the good stuff. I would probably have rated it 3 as well. On the other hand, THE OTHERS ARE RETURNING!!!!!!! YAAAAYYYYY :D

@mucklefluga said:

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

lol... I love when people think "3" is the "1" of Comic Vine.

I assume 5-star ratings to mean: 1=terrible, 2=bad, 3=ok, 4=good, 5=great. I this case, I agree that the issue was ok :)

Edited by jwalser3

This sucked. Why even have the Ice King on the cover?

Edited by doordoor123

@mucklefluga said:

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

lol... I love when people think "3" is the "1" of Comic Vine.

Lots of great build-up here though.

Maybe you guys should start making the stars 1-3.

I'm not really excited for the Others arc. I thought their last visit in this book really knocked it down. Probably my least favorite story throughout this book. I just feel like the concept is getting force-fed to us. I honestly didn't care when any of them died. Boring characters with lame gimmicks.

I'm disappoint.

Posted by NathanXplosion

Man I miss Ivan Reis on this book.

Posted by HempKnight757

@nathanxplosion: I know just made the book impossible to miss. Pelletier hasn't been bad, but hard to compare. Very good in this issue & Ivan Reis couldn't have saved this one. I rushed out today to get these & like Iron Man 3 let me down.

Posted by longbowhunter

This issue definitely needed more focus. Aquaman has a history of reading too quickly for me anyway. That combined with all the different plots we're seeing left me unable to connect with much of the story. The character Swatt is interesting and Topo reminded me of the cover of Ween's nautical themed album the Mollusk.

Edited by Mucklefluga

@inferiorego said:

@mucklefluga said:

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

lol... I love when people think "3" is the "1" of Comic Vine.

Lots of great build-up here though.

Maybe you guys should start making the stars 1-3.

I'm not really excited for the Others arc. I thought their last visit in this book really knocked it down. Probably my least favorite story throughout this book. I just feel like the concept is getting force-fed to us. I honestly didn't care when any of them died. Boring characters with lame gimmicks.

I'm disappoint.

You guys do know i'm joking, right?

Edited by TheVowelO

Aquaman is the new Batman!

Let's not get nuts :D

Posted by Dernman

I really liked this issue. One of the better ones of the series. Did I read right. Does Mera have another husband? Not looking forward to the Others. I'm not really a fan of them at all and not interested in another "King of Atlantis" in this Ice Guy.

Online
Edited by tec79

Three stars is a fair score for this issue. Personally I could not be more excited for where this series is headed.

Posted by Rich711

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

Why is 3 stars, "hated". I enjoyed the book but wouldnt give it more than 3 stars, it was average. People give way too many 4 & 5 stars for average books. The ratings on here sort of lose their meaning.

Edited by Mucklefluga

@rich711 said:
@mucklefluga said:

OMG 3 stars!! I can't believe you hated this!!!

Why is 3 stars, "hated". I enjoyed the book but wouldnt give it more than 3 stars, it was average. People give way too many 4 & 5 stars for average books. The ratings on here sort of lose their meaning.

Look at my earlier comment, i said i was joking. I was mocking all the commenters that usually say 3 stars = hating it.