Jeff Parker is two issues in, and I really feel like he’s found his footing already in this book and put his mark on it. Of course, some may say it’s too soon to say that, but I’m a big supporter of what he’s doing here. In a nutshell, Aquaman fights the Karaqan, that giant sea monster, for most of the issue. It’s plotted out extremely well and bounces between that and Dr. Shin working with Triton.
Parker gives the reader a really fun ride with Aquaman fighting against the odds. This creature is huge and seemingly unstoppable. For the most part, Aquaman has been fighting one on one with someone or a horde of villains. I love seeing him up against a giant creature. It really adds a lot to the undersea world and lets the reader know there’s tons of mysteries under the sea. It also makes Aquaman feel like more of a savior of the people, rather than the dude who just hangs out on his throne.
Artist Paul Pelletier does a great job with his part of the book (Netho Diaz drew the latter half). Pelletier keeps this battle fresh and fun with his page layouts and provides a great sense of movement in scenes where Aquaman is trying to find any way to pierce Karaqan’s shell.
Where did this monster come from? That’s explained a bit here, and readers learn to find out that it’s a bit more complicated than the Karaqan just coming out of the water. It involves Triton in some way. Dr. Shin’s new role at Triton is extremely interesting, and a great complimentary piece to the main story.
The star of this book is the color work of Rod Reis. There’s a great scene where Karaqan falls into the seas and the amount of color and different shades Reis puts into these panels is amazing. He has been a stand out in the AQUAMAN series and really helped define the look and feel for the book, just as much as Johns, and the other artists on the series.
The art is split between Paul Pelletier and Netho Diaz and their styles clash. It’s incredibly obvious when Aquaman, battling the Karaqan, looks disheveled and on the next page, his hair is all nicely combed and well, he doesn’t look like Aquaman, aside from the costume. His forehead and chin become a lot longer. On their own, both artists are fine, but I can’t get behind switching artists halfway through an issue.
AQUAMAN continues to be a hit. Parker delivers an incredibly fun issue that delves deeper (no pun intended) into the world of Aquaman, while keeping some secondary characters in the spotlight. If you’ve ever wanted to see Aquaman go at it with a giant sea monster, this is an issue just for you, but there is more to it than that. Parker is building up to something greater, using some of these secondary characters. I was a bit bummed with the art change, but Rod Reis’ colors really nailed it home for me. This is still a fantastic book and worth your time.