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Written By: Cullen Bunn Art By: Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Merino, Guy Major Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: August 26, 2015
There Is No Atlantis, Only Thule
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I have not enjoyed Aquaman since the new creative team took over and man is that a bummer because that's exactly when I started reviewing it. Aquaman has been cast out of Atlantis because an ancient city is forcing itself into our world and when it does, it begins poisoning the world it surrounds. So obviously, since the problem started in the ocean, Aquaman took it upon himself to destroy the threat, but in his quest of destruction he found that there were innocent people that were inhabiting these forceful cities. Since our Aquaman is a hero, he's all about saving the innocent, but this causes problems in his kingdom and all we know is that Arthur has been on the run from his people ever since........ Well, that and he has some bad ass new powers as well. This story doesn't sound bad when summed up, but each issue has been hard to follow with the tidbits it releases and the artwork hasn't done much to help you understand the story that we're dealing with. Hopefully that ends here and we can get back on the Aquaman trolley, but I'm not holding my breath. Let's jump ito this issue and check it out.
Our story begins with another flashback before shit went bad between Arthur and Mera and here we see that after Aquaman returned to Atlantis to tell Mera of these innocent people that are inhabiting these invading lands and how they need to save them...... Well, Mera flips the fuck out and begins attacking Aquaman for betraying her and the people of Atlantis because as we've learned from the previous issues, if that world lives, our current Atlantis dies. I don't quite understand how, but that's what I was told and I'm going with it. Even with Mera's concerns, it seems like she's flown right off the fucking deep end over this and luckily Aquaman escapes because it looked like his lady love wasn't about to let up with her attacks. Knowing that he would have to defend himself against his own people while going on the offensive against this kingdom known as Thule, Aquaman goes to the only place he can think to go to help him settle the seas........... Poseidon...... and goddamn, Poseidon is a great big catfish octopus monster. After pleading his case and trying not to make jokes about Poseidon being the Rocky Dennis of the Pantheon, the god of the seas grants Aquaman his powers so that he may take on this world that once was Atlantis before a sorcerer sect stole the kingdom away to a world that exists besides our own. So besides for Mera freaking the fuck out out of nowhere, this isn't bad so far.
Let's jump back to our present time where in the previous issue Aquaman was up against an elite group of soldiers that Mera put together to take the former king down. This group includes a bunch of undersea monsters, but most notably, Garth and a wanna-be King Shark and thankfully for a monster from Thule, this group and our hero will have to put their disputes on hold to team up to take this gigantic threat down. During the battle, it's a bunch of back and forth between this group that boils down to, "yeah, we're still going to kill you when this is all over Aquaman", but our hero uses his new powers of Poseidon to take the threat down and maybe impress his would-be assassins a little.
In the end, the group decides that Aquaman has earned a reprieve for now, but they'll take him out the next time they meet. All of this is being watched by Mera, who is surrounded by the Thule sorcerers that Poseidon was going on and on about and we find out that the reason that Mera was acting so out of character is because she's not actually Mera at all. At some point when Aquaman put Mera in charge of Atlantis when he originally went out to destroy Thule, someone took her place and took on her form. As the issue closes we see that Mera's chained up and that her captor/impersonator is someone who considers Mera a sister. This might just be a formal term, but I went and found out that Mera has a twin sister that I wasn't aware of named Hila, but I don't know how she would play a part in an ancient Atlantis that is now forcing itself back into the world that it originated from.
That's it for this issue of Aquaman and it wasn't as bad as the rest of this arc has been. I'm not going to go all ga-ga and say that it was great, but it had moments where I forgot that this has been a story that I haven't liked at all. Where before we were swimming blindly through this story, wondering why all the things that didn't seem right were going on and not being given any answers, here we finally see what Cullen Bunn is up to and it's greatly appreciated. While Aquaman just being given the powers of Poseidon came off a little anti-climactic, especially if this isn't just a "loan" situation, I like knowing where they came from and I liked seeing exactly when Mera flipped the hell out on Aquaman, even if I think it would have played better in an earlier issue, since by the end of this we know it's all a ruse....... Having flashbacks tell the majority of the story just feels wrong. Like the story, the art has improved in this issue as well and while I'm still not a big fan, the style is bearable because none of the characters look terrible because of it.......which was a problem for me in the previous two issues. All in all, I don't think that I'll ever really like this story, but at least here we begin seeing some semblance of a issue that's interesting and makes sense.
Bits and Pieces:
I have not liked this story at all, so believe me when I tell you that this is the best that we've gotten so far from the writing and the art. There are still problems throughout the overall story that I hope get resolved and the art is something that I'll never be able to get behind, but both aspects to this issue improve from what we've been given so far from this creative team.