Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Aquaman #28 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Story By: Dan Abnett 
Art, Color and Cover By: Stjepan Sejic 
Lettering By: Steve Wands 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 20, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

You know, I still haven’t gotten accustomed to this comic book being monthly yet. It’s been like three months, too, but with every new issue I feel like I have to dig deep into the recesses of my memory to recall what last happened. And it was only four weeks ago! I think the longer lead time allows us to have Stjepan Sejic’s art in the book, however, so that’s a big win. Let’s see if my review of Aquaman #28 will jog any memories about the story!


Explain It!

Despite the title of this comic book, it’s unclear who the main character is at the moment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. Sometimes chaos can be engrossing, like some kind of relentless action-packed blockbuster movie or the final level on some retina-searing video game. Other times, it can leave you feeling a little bereft, like an Archie comic strip. This issue of Aquaman sort of hangs in the middle: compelling enough to want to keep reading, but there are too many things competing for my diminished attention.
There are really three things happening in this issue, somewhat simultaneously: One, Aquaman and Dolphin escape Kadaver, then have a heart-to-mute heart about Aquaman feeling unwanted by Atlantis. This makes crime boss Krush revise his proposed bargain with Corum Rath: if he cannot produce Arthur Curry, then he will broker the information that he’s still alive. Which, without actual Aquaman, probably isn’t worth that much, but it’s better than nothing. Two, Vulko and disgraced member of the Widowhood Ondine skulk around the royal treasury to get magic items that will really ensorcel up the place. On the way, Vulko is able to dispel the guardian ghosts by speaking their names, until he can’t—and we leave that there for this issue.
The third thing, which might actually be the main thing, is that Mera and Garth are outside Atlantis’ Crown of Thorns, and Mera has convinced him to use his magic to break through the barrier. This does not go unnoticed by Corum Rath, who sends out an elite magical guard to intercept them. Mera is really an interesting character here, showing a kind of tempered anger—tempered, I’d like to think, by her concern for Arthur. Mera is one of the most-developed characters in the DC Universe since the New 52, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say that she’s poised to take center stage of this title, at least for a time. And I’d also say that I would be okay with that.
Indeed, after reading the parts with Mera and Garth, the rest of the book—and in particular the parts with Aquaman and Dolphin—seem tame. I suppose that as we slide pieces into place, they can’t all be humdingers. Puts a little bit of drag on the issue, but luckily we have the incredible talents of Stjepan Sejic to close the gap.


Bits and Pieces:

There's a lot going on in this issue, but there's really one thread that feels active, and it ain't about Aquaman. There are worse things, however, and I'll be glad to see how these different parts converge for what I hope will be a satisfying ending. We can enjoy the pretty pictures along the way.

7/10
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1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly agree with Reggie here. The story is your basic Aquaman battle for the throne type of stuff. I've been really enjoying the world of Atlantis' underbelly of thieves and smugglers. It feels a bit like the Mos Eisley cantina with Krush being the resident Jabba. While Mera has been a stand out character lately the real star here is Stjepan Sejic. What can I say about his art except it's truly amazing. The facial expressions are so detailed that you can tell what is going on with a character even if they don't speak. The colors are just as amazing and often look like watercolors which work well in a book called Aquaman. Solid 7 for me.

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