Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Aquaman #11 Review and **SPOILERS**
But I Want My False Flag Operation Now!
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Philippe Briones
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennesy & Gabe Eltaeb
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: November 16, 2016
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
I want Aquaman to get an Aquacat. No, I don’t mean a catfish, I mean a new kind of sea life that has the body of a fish and the head of a cat. And maybe the two front paws of a cat, that would be cute. It could leap out of the water with a “mew!” and submerge all the way to Atlantis to curl up on Arthur’s lap. Should there be an Aquadog? I don’t think there should be an Aquadog. Just an Aquacat, that’s all that matters. I regret to inform you that this issue has no such Aquacat. But it does have some wacky Aquaman action and by that I mean you get to see him with his face swollen up like an overripe beet. But let me not give away everything in the intro! Read on for my review of Aquaman #11!
You’ll recall that last issue ended with Joanna Stubbs of the Royal Navy informing Mera that her betrothed was messed up, but good, during a squabble with Shaggy Man. So where do you think Aquaman is now? Why, at the local hospital, of course! I thought this was a nice touch, to have him set up in Amnesty Bay instead of on some gilded magic doctor in Atlantis that would scan him back to health. It highlights his air breathing heritage, as well as the town’s willingness to help Aquaman when he’s messed up. And I mean messed up. Mera finds out as much when she strides into his room and sees the state of him. It looks like his face has hemorrhoids. She’s very caring, in her assertive and curt way, and the two of them recap the last few issues for a couple of pages. Mera tells Arthur about the prophecy that the Widowhood warned her about, and Arthur says he’s not about to listen to no Widowhood, he’s his own man. World-killing prophecy or not, he’s going to have sex with her.
Mera tells Aquaman all about N.E.M.O. and Black Manta and all the other junk Joanna Stubbs told her at the very end of the last issue, when in walks the Justice League, like a bunch of big shots. “Oh, is this your private room, Arthur? You won’t mind if we just barge the fuck right in, will you? Doo dee doo!” I think this was supposed to be a tension-filled scene, like will the Justice League bust Aquaman for terrorism and such? And the obvious answer is, no they’re not going to arrest Arthur, particularly not out of a hospital bed, I mean these are heroes not Gestapo for crying out loud. Even Superman gives him a hearty handshake, and I’m wondering if I was supposed to really think they would turn their backs on him. Superman and Aquaman had a kind of mean-spirited battle, and Aquaman gave up his Justice League card to teleport Shaggy Man into deep space, but I didn’t think they were really mad at each other, you know? Sometimes people in close proximity with one another argue, but it doesn’t mean mommy and daddy broke up because you were bad. Where was I? Superman goes so far as to announce on the evening news that Aquaman is a swell guy, which probably landed him like a million endorsement offers.
At the penthouse headquarters of the nefarious N.E.M.O., Black Jack and Black Manta are watching Aquaman’s fortune with great and very evil anger. Black Manta is sick of pussyfooting around by sending Shaggy Man after Amnesty Bay and faking Atlantean terrorist attacks—he’s going to shame Aquaman and fulfill the Widowhood’s prophecy by launching a full-out phony Atlantean attack on dry land! Now that’s killing two birds with one stone! Back in Atlantis and looking less like a bunch of grapes, Aquaman and Mera are showing Joanna Stubbs—who prefers to be called “Jo,” though I may never call her that—around the place (she is wearing a super Atlantean visitor’s suit), and she’s suitably stunned. She explains that she knew about N.E.M.O. because her evil dad tried to recruit her to the team. She kept it under wraps because of her daddy issues, but decided to come forward and break his tender heart because, I mean, it’s Aquaman. Just then, without being ordered by Arthur, Atlantis launches a full-scale attack on dry land! Now you just know that’s the work of Black Manta!
So this looks to be the last of the decompressed issues before the big action, and I liked it well enough. All the pieces have to click into place, and it may sound strange but I felt reassured that Aquaman knows about N.E.M.O., instead of being punked by them for another eight issues. I’m also glad to see Joanna Stubbs hanging around, because she’s like Mera’s Etta Candy. “Crikey.” I also love how that seems to piss Jim off a lot. The whole Justice League reveal didn’t ring true to me, but really I never thought Superman and Aquaman were on the outs. I’ve enjoyed these last four issues, mainly because they weren’t redundant and didn’t keep trying to up the stakes with every issue. Still, I’m about ready to starting seeing shit blow up.
Bits and Pieces:
The final preparations are made for what looks to be a real humdinger of a city-destroyin' slugfest! This issue reads a little slow, but we learn some important information, and more importantly characters learn things we already knew. I've enjoyed this lull before the storm, now it's time for some good ol' over-the-top comic book action!