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Written By: Dan Abnett Art By: Vicente Cifuentes, Juan Castro, Guy Major, Tom Napolitano Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: April 20, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Aquaman's been bringing Atlantis to the world of the surface dwellers........ well, he has some ideas about it, but really Mera's picking up his slack while he goes off and plays hero against a big bad water monster out and about murdering folks. This creature that our hero was hunting was being called Dead Water by the media and even though I'm not a huge fan of the name...... it kind of fits because this monster is able to use any water as a means to travel and kill its prey. The weird part about all of this is that this monster seems to come from a strange watery place, where the water itself is full of rage and makes you say things like otherness over and over again...... at least that's what I got from the last issue. It wasn't all "otherness' though because by the end of the issue we saw our hero overcome this threat after following it back to its source......... where apparently it's more vulnerable and it turns out that this demon looking Dead Water was actually a man before he came in contact with this.......... what I'll assume is water out of Flint, Michigan. Let's jump into this issue and see if FBI agents Irving and Ajar are less annoying than they were in the previous issue and if Aquaman can get to the bottom of Dead Water. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Scavenger getting a call from an FBI informant, telling him that Aquaman is hunting for his ass so our sub loving villain destroys all the records on whatever he was working on and high tails it out of there........ Now, this isn't much, but we do one of those weird time shifts to twelve hours earlier so we can get an idea of why Scavenger has gotten Aquaman's dander all up. The majority of this issue now becomes about interrogated the man who was Dead Water and we find out that his name is actually Jonah Payne. It's weird though because in the previous issue we saw Dead Water turn back into Jonah Payne after a good ass whoopin' from our hero Aquaman, but here it seems that his transformation into the monster is all about being hydrated and we spend this issue with Aquaman and the people of Atlantis who are working at the Spindrift Embassy torturing this character by keeping him dehydrated.
If torturing him by withholding water and keeping him under heat lamps isn't enough, we then have Mera naming off people who Dead Water killed to Jonah very unsympathetically and they all seem to be people who Jonah believed slighted him in his past........... Shit, if I became Dead Water, there would be a shit ton of people who that monster would be busting through water for. While you might not think that naming off people who Jonah might have killed when he was a rage monster all willy nilly is a problem, the final name on that list is Jonah's ex-wife and the mother of his son. Who knows, maybe Jonah's playing dumb and went after all these people on purpose when he was all monstered up, but even with him being all dehydrated, I think it would be in everyone's best interest if you didn't get that boy upset.......... Yeah, I know he's not the Hulk, but shit. Even with the dehydration protocols in check, somehow Jonah starts leaking from his eyes........ I assume, even though he said before that he couldn't cry from being so dehydrated...... which could also just be a ruse to hide the psychopath inside of him, Jonah turns back into Dead Water, putting Spindrift on high alert because they're still under the assumption that his powers are all water based and the embassy is rocking at least half of its floor plan in the ocean.
In the end, we head off with Aquaman and the FBI agents to look for Peter Mortimer aka Scavenger because before Jonah went and got all water monster on our asses, he told our hero that he had been working a pretty sketchy job for him. Even though we started this issue out with Scavenger getting the hell out of dodge because he found out Aquaman was looking for him, it only took Arthur four tries to find this villain, but it might not end well for our hero. I don't know if Scavenger said to himself that hiding out is for suckers or what, but it seems that he was laying in wait for Aquaman and is completely ready to take the King of Atlantis on because he's rocking his biggest, baddest underwater mech.
That's it for this issue of Aquaman and even though I've been a fan of where this story is going, I have to say that this issue is just kind of weird. Yeah, we get some background on the man who becomes Dead Water and why Dead Water murdered the people he did, but besides for that and his transformation maybe being connected to Scavenger....... we don't get much here. Hell, I'm not even sure if the characters in this story were all wrong and Jonah Payne is just a psychopath who can turn into a monster whenever he feels like it because the precautions our Atlanteans took didn't really do dick. Even the Scavenger part feels weird because it's just thrown in and as of right now we don't really have a connection to this "otherness rage void" that we spent the majority of last issue dealing with. It's cool to see Aquaman doing his thing and even coming across as a hero while dehydrating Payne because of how much he doesn't agree with it but has to do what he can to keep the people of Spindrift safe........ the rest is just a little boring though. Luckily, the art in this issue looks great and the FBI agents who seemed to just be in the last issue to act as over the top comedy relief have pulled back their silliness and actually act like pseudo professionals.
Bits and Pieces:
While I loved the art and the colors in this issue, this story just seemed to stop in its tracks while our heroes made wild conclusions about the villain without much of an explanation why. This is very dialog heavy and the dialog we get isn't really interesting and this whole issue just seems to come off as a way to prolong this story because we don't get any real answers to anything we had in the previous story, besides for the subconscious motives that our villain might have had about murdering folk........... but damn, do the artwork and colors look nice.