Saturday, May 31, 2014

Aquaman #31 Review

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 28, 2014

Surf and Turf

This issue of Aquaman continues from Aquaman #30 (obviously), but also Swamp Thing #31.  If you don't read Swamp Thing (shame on you), that issue ended with Aquaman jumping out of swamp water demanding to talk to Swamp Thing.  It's hard to look cool leaping out of a swamp, but Arthur pulled it off fairly well. However, it wasn't too effective since as this issue opens, he still hasn't found him.

Jeff Parker has done a solid job since taking over the book a half a year ago.  While I think of Parker mainly for his sense of humor, he has done well with the political intrigue that Geoff Johns made a staple of this book since the start of the New 52.  It doesn't hurt that recently that part has dealt mainly with Mera.  I love Mera and Parker has made her even stronger and more compelling than she has ever been.  She is Aquaman's plus one, and while he's been out fighting ancient beasts and demigods, she's been running Atlantis.  Parker upped the ante last issue when someone or something tried to assasinate her.  It was pretty cool and when Orm's sister showed up, we had ourselves an awesome cliffhanger.  To figure out what's what, Mera and some trusted friends head off to the Gotham Underground Atlantis Underrealm.  

Back to the main event, Aquaman finally meets up with Swamp Thing.  They don't see eye-to-eye and go through a little "my powers are better than yours" struggle that finally ends when Aquaman lets Alec know why he came.  For the record, my money was on Swamp Thing.

This issue ends with a nice visit to Triton Base.  Remember Coombs, the diver who got ripped apart by sharks?  Remember Dr. Orson and his experiments?  I have begged for more Triton Base fun and the cliffhanger promises just that.

This issue is pretty good, but it's pure setup.  Jeff Parker has been giving us a slow burn story so these type of issues are bound to happen.  However, it's hard to pinpoint a review score on this type of issue.  If you are reading this series then you will enjoy this issue and everything it promises.  If you are looking to jump in and see what's going on with Aquaman, this is not the issue.  Go back to at least the beginning of Parker's run, if not the beginning of the New 52.

If you want to see Paul Pelletier's best work, you have to go back a bit further as well.  This book was the place to come for huge, detailed slash pages that made your jaw drop.  The only thing dropping lately is the quality of his work.  Something is going on and to make that more obvious, there are two backup artists on this issue.  Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez do an okay job keeping up so that the transitions aren't too jarring.  DC really needs to get a new artist on this book.  

Bits and Pieces:

If you are reading Aquaman, then you will enjoy this issue for what it promises down the road.  If you are a new reader, you will see this issue for what it is...pure setup.  Aquaman and Swamp Thing are supposed to be the draw, but I'm more interested in Mera and Triton Base.  I can't wait until Jeff Parker brings it all together, I just wish it was with a different artist.


No comments:

Post a Comment