Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aquaman #7 Review and **SPOILERS**



The Road to Considering the Planning of Action

Written By: Dan Abnett
Art By: Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered By: Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: September 21, 2016

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

The thing about politics is that it is so flipping boring. And it must have been designed that way, right? Core principles have been obfuscated by layers of interpretation and bureaucracy, so that even the great accomplishments or nefarious misdeeds of our representatives have little palpable effect. At least in the immediate sense. Government policy of the last several decades has hinged on putting off until tomorrow what should be considered today, allowing the platforms of successive candidates to be built on correcting the mistakes of their forebears. Am I emulating C-Span yet? This issue of Aquaman begins a new story arc, and you know I was no great fan of the previous one. But I believe every yarn is a new opportunity to dazzle and delight me, or at least not bore me to anger. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Explain It!

Aquaman and Mera have made it back to Atlantis, which is good because I’m betting they really had to pee. We saw practically their every step for six issues (plus a Rebirth!) and not once did they excuse themselves to the rest room. Though it’s quite possible the clothes they wear rapidly wick away moisture for the times they emerge topside and there are no beach towels handy. So in Atlantis, Arthur’s council of nerds and warmongers are trying to crowd into the doorway of his Royal Chambers like a Three Stooges routine. Mera is keeping them at bay, and eventually expels them and turns to her man, whose office has an incredible undersea view. She’s all “Whatcha thinkin’?” and he’s like “Dunno,” and wonders how the fact that Superman threatened him changes his standing with other heroes in the world. Arthur takes out his Justice League membership card and notices that he’s one punch-out away from a free Frosty at the Watchtower cafeteria, and this makes him wistful. He also wonders about the recent subterfuge that landed Aquaman in Federal Prison for forty minutes, in order to make Atlantis look culpable on an attack on land-walkers (is that what they call us?) Just then Elder Koah rushes in and says Mera must do some ceremonial trials in order to be worthy of marrying the king. This is pretty funny, since Arthur is biracial, but Arthur doesn’t find it so funny and tells Koah to scram.
This somehow opens the business day at AtlantisCo, and Arthur begins receiving his council members in order, except that Murk totally cuts the line to debrief Artie on his findings at the freighter wreck that started this mess. Last we saw these guys, they had been discovered by…uh, I guess U.S. Forces or whatever, but Murk explains that they got away because they know what the minnow knows. He says they found old Atlantean armor and weapons there, deliberately planted to make Atlantis look guilty. Arthur examines the helmet and notes that it has been modified…to fit scuba gear! And it was wired for stereo sound!
On Sant’oderzo Island in Venice, Italy, Black Manta is murdering some recalcitrant members of the super-secret conspiring maritime organization N.E.M.O., since they refute his new appointment to CEO since he killed the previous executive last issue. His buddy Black Jack likes the cut of his jib and helps him commit bloody murder in front of a room of about thirty people, definitely proving that these two have the steady hands and level heads to run N.E.M.O. Black Manta essentially says, “What’s the craziest shit you guys have cooked up, what’s the thing you plan to unleash for the ‘doomsday scenario?’ Let’s see that.” Over at the Penitentiary Vault in Atlantis, Aquaman and Mera pay a visit to Corum Rath, a leader of the anti-dry-lander (is that it?) terrorist group the Deluge, captured in the Rebirth issue…or, at least, he was referenced as having been captured. Point is, he’s restrained so Arthur walks right to him and ask if the Deluge is behind the sinking of this freighter; Corum applauds the effort, but confesses that it was not engineered by his people. He tells Arthur the reason his crew doesn’t like him (Artie’s a nerd) and they trade a few more nanny boo-boos and nyeah nyeah nyeahs before Aquaman and Mera swim away, all “Why don’t you just swim away, Corum? Oh, you can’t! Loser!”
Arthur contacts one of his oxygen-sucking (tell me, what is it that the Atlanteans call us non-Atlanteans? It’s killing me!) buds from before Rebirth, an FBI agent named Reagan Irving. So…has Lieutenant Joanna Stubbs of the Royal Navy been cut from this book? She was hanging around the first couple of issues…wonder where she walked off to. No matter, of course Agent Irving agrees to help Aquaman with this mystery despite the danger to her livelihood, and immediately asks a co-worker to get a pertinent case file. Very secretive, Reagan! Finally, the scene shifts to N.E.M.O. headquarters, where they launch whatever last-ditch weapon they’d been saving for a rainy day. It causes a seismic shift in the Atlantic Seabed, and seems to awaken a giant Kaiju monster—headed straight for the densely populated and forebodingly unaware Marketplace of Ninth Tride, Atlantis!
Even though Aquaman literally just talked to people the whole time, I did find myself drawn into this issue. A lot of stuff from the previous arc was resolved, and while I would have liked it to have been resolved sooner it does make me feel like the story is moving forward again. Scot Eaton’s art I never have a problem with, everything looks perfectly fine, and there are a few wide scenes of undersea beauty that are especially nice. I enjoyed this, and I’m interested to find out what happens next. Just please, let something happen next?

Bits and Pieces:

Some dangling threads are sewn up, others are pulled, and the stage is set for an interesting mystery tale, despite the fact that we already know the culprit. Though there's a lot of dialogue, much of it fleshes out the world of Atlantis and explains some of the thinking behind those for and those against collusion with the surface dwellers. Would have been nice to see some more action, but Scot Eaton renders some terrific undersea landscapes that definitely kept me more tranquil and calm. Maybe Aquaman can be my personal therapeutic fish tank.


7.5/10
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3 comments:

  1. I been enjoying the political nature of aquaman him trying to bring his nation into the light abd the struggles that come with what i havent been enjoying is N.e.m.o and black manta the original plan they had is interesting but there name is dumb and having black manta find out and then just take them over is stupid they been around in secret for years but this clown id taking them from an illuminati type organization to a terrorist military type organization working in the open. Aquaman yaa black manta meh

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    Replies
    1. Huh...I feel the reverse way! Though I do enjoy some of the Atlantean political intrigue, but I think there's too much of it and it drags. This issue had the best use of it thus far, I think.

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  2. I like this issue a lot I've like the whole series so far but Aquaman is one of my all time favorite so I'm biased

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