Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Aquaman #25 Review and **SPOILERS**



The Damp Knight

Story: Dan Abnett 
Art, Color and Cover: Stjepan Sejic 
Letterer: Steve Wands 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: June 22, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Did I read that right? Stjepan Sejic is handling the art in this issue? Suddenly, I feel sort of underdressed to read this comic book. Well, it’s guaranteed I’ll be blown away by the visuals here, but what about the story? You can find out by reading my review of Aquaman #25, right here!

Explain It!:

Man, Sejic doesn’t waste any time, does he? The opening splash is a long shot of glorious Atlantis, looking majestic but a little subdued under the dark magical awning known as the Crown of Thorns. You’ll remember that Corum Rath instated this as a defensive measure for Atlantis, when he claimed the throne and before Aquaman was killed by Murk. So Corum Rath has been in charge for a few weeks, and Atlantis seems to be okay with the new status quo, except for those living in the Lower Trides—Atlantis’ “bad neighborhood”—where pockets of resistance and tales of an ethereal Guardian Angel that juuuust might be Aquaman. But wait, Murk said he retrieved the body himself and buried it somewhere appropriate! Commander Murk wouldn’t lie to Corum Rath, would he?
He totally would, because Aquaman is right as rain and hanging out with underage rebels in seedy hovels in the Ninth Tride, which is like the worst part of the Lower Trides. Meanwhile, in Amnesty Bay, Mera has gone catatonic after seeing the love of her live stabbed to death by Murk before being shut off from Atlantis forever. Tula tries to care for her, but Mera does not sleep, she does not eat…and probably stinks to high heaven if she’s really just sitting by a window for weeks. In the Ninth Tride, Aquaman is fighting crime and supporting the rebellion, but from behind the scenes, cloaking himself with schools of fish and dark spaces like, as he points out, his buddy Batman. I love the idea of this, but frankly the executions we saw weren’t all that secretive. I mean, everyone thinks that their savior is the ghost of Aquaman, so he’s obviously not being that discreet. He has grown longer hair and a beard, though, so that’s something.
When Atlantis police, known as the Drift, begin terrorizing some rag-tag waifs conspiring against Corum Rath—including a mutated girl that slashes one of them—they enact their prerogative to kill all mutated citizens as well as generally be a dick to dissidents. But before they can shoot their laser staffs or whatever, Aquaman comes barreling in and tosses them all for a loop! Before reinforcements can show up, Arthur tells the white-haired mutated girl to scram with her friends, but she wants to stay with ol’ Orange Shirt, so he reluctantly grabs her and shoots off one way while the rest of her crew scrams in the other direction. At that very moment, Vulko contacts Mera using some illegal magic to say that Arthur is alive! She wakes up from her funk and resigns to go get her man, though she might want to go get a shower first if she’s hoping for some nooky.
This oversized issue is absolutely gorgeous, save for one splash page that was whatever one notch below gorgeous is, meaning it was still absolutely great. This had the feel of an original graphic novel. The story, however, doesn’t really rise to the visual occasion in this case. It’s okay, follows up from the last issue and gives Sejic ample opportunities to render underwater neighborhoods and cool-looking Atlantean crab-people, but the pacing is a little slow and bereft of cataclysmic developments that would warrant this kind of special—and specially-priced—issue. Still, it’s a good deal at four bucks. Even just for the artwork.

Bits and Pieces:

This beautifully-rendered book is a worthwhile buy based on the art alone. The story is a little flaccid, but does advance the story somewhat from last issue when Corum Rath took the Atlantean crown. Plus, Aquaman grows his hair and beard out as will be necessary for this crossover with Metal this Summer. So that's a thing.

8/10
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6 comments:

  1. This is a big step up from previous arcs. The creative team has the opportunity to breathe some new life into the Aquaman character. I'm hoping this artist will stick around for a while as I like the panel layouts in terms of the depiction of Atlantis.

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  2. The art style is like a more detailed Daniel Acuna I can't wait to pick this up today.

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  3. I believe this is Abnett's strongest story yet. It felt fast paced and the art made it feel epic. To me this is the most enjoyable Aquaman book of Rebirth.

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  4. My wig is snatched, my p*ssy is dripping, my depression is cured.

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  5. This art wasn't as good as I was anticipating . The colors were too monotone and dark and was hard to see what was happening sometimes . Maybe this would look better in deluxe oversized hardcover , I don't know . Something about the art and storytelling didn't flow for me . Maybe too fast paced . And the political allegory was too obvious but ok whatever .

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