Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Aquaman #4 Review and **SPOILERS**

Now They Got Me in a Cell

Written By: Dan Abnett
Art By: Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered By: Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: August 3, 2015


I wonder if Arthur Curry ever did any antiquing as a kid. One thing New England is great for is antiquing. Actually, the main thing New England is good for is folksy wisdom and meandering driving directions based on seasonal landmarks. But after that, it’s antiquing. There are entire farmlands devoted to wholesale antiques. You’ll find anything that ever existed at these farms. It might be a little broken and full of ants, but you’ll find it. Like, those Dark Crystal glasses you could get from McDonald’s in the 1980s, that you assumed no longer existed anywhere on earth? They’re in New England every weekend, in mint condition except for a sheen of dust and maybe a little residue from being displayed on a rusty Rheingold Beer tray. You can get them for five bucks apiece, probably make a deal for fifteen on the whole set. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with my review of Aquaman #4, which you can read below!

Explain It!

In the interest of maintaining peaceable diplomatic relations with the surface, Aquaman has allowed himself to be handcuffed and thrown in a cell like a little pussy bitch. Dude, diplomacy doesn’t mean acquiescing to your host country’s every whim and accusation, it’s being officially polite while not taking any shit lest someone gets the wrong idea. But there’s Aquaman, behind bars like a good boy, letting the State Department know as much but still—this is not how I want to see Aquaman! He should be like, “Fuck this noise,” bust out of the prison wall and hop on the nearest humpback whale to safety. All of this hullabaloo is over the attack of a freighter ship in the Atlantic Ocean, which killed everyone aboard and is thought to have been committed by unruly Atlanteans. So in what world does that give Homeland Security the right to detain the flipping monarch of the accused country?! What is happening to our government, people??

Meanwhile, still hanging around the White House, Mera is calling her buddy Tula, acting Regent of Atlantis, complaining about her husband being such a milquetoast nanny boo. Tula, remembering a time Arthur and Mera took her to a carnival and had cotton candy, supports Arthur’s cause for peace. Because she went to a carnival. Maybe wherever they went was some magical, wonderful carnival, but every one I’ve ever been to was half in the mud and featured toothless carnies beckoning me to play their rigged games, or get on rides of dubious construction manned by someone from the local junior high that—hopefully—had merely sniffed glue. Tula is way ahead of Mera on this, and has already dispatched a security detail to check the wreckage of the sunken freighter ship for clues that will exonerate Aquaman and Atlantis. Indeed, Tula essentially tells Mera to fuck off and then plugs into Security Capítan Murk, who is leading the flock of sherlocks. Murk can tell the damage was done by Atlantean war weapons, though all of theirs are accounted for. He also finds a vintage Atlantean sword, which means it was either a mermaid hipster or someone that really wants to make it look like Atlanteans are behind this. Now who would do that, hmm? Just what group of people might want that to happen? What Aquaman-hating club of villains might benefit from forcing a war between Atlantis and the surface?

Well, considering they’re literally the only other people we’ve met so far in this book, it’s obviously N.E.M.O.—which we now know stands for Nautical Enforcement of Macrocosmic Order. I was really hoping it was Naturally Erudite Mensa Officers. Black Jack and Black Manta are flying high in some super spy plane, pretty much toasting to evil. Black Jack really tries the hard sell on Manta, claiming the nations of the world are totally vulnerable to them barring one obstacle: Aquaman. And also the fact that modern wars are fought and won by pilotless drones and we basically use the ocean as our smelly toilet. What are ya gonna do, run parallel to the shore firing cannons and yelling “Avast!” to your mateys?

Then the Secretary of State pisses of Mera, she frees Aquaman from prison, and they step outside to find a huge army squad bearing down on them. And there’s just entirely too much talking about the same thing over and over in between. Blah blah blah, diplomatic relations, yadda yadda yadda, Atlanteans didn’t sink that ship, it’s just boring as shit and redundant. And about how much time has elapsed in this issue? Two hours? Three? Certainly long enough to transport Arthur to a prison and have him hang out a while, but not so long that Mera isn’t still hanging around the White House like the last person at the party. This story is crawling. And most of Aquaman’s inclusion has been utterly disappointing.

Bits and Pieces:

This run of Aquaman is a lot like the television sitcom the Big Bang Theory in that it sucks. It's going nowhere anyone is interested in going, and it's doing it at a very slow pace. The art in this issue is nothing great, but isn't the reason the stay away from it. The reason you should stay away from it is because it may cause drowsiness and irritability.



  1. Can't say I agree Reggie. I've been enjoying it very much, but to be fair, I hadn't read any Aquaman books since the Throne of Kings crossover ended.

    1. I just feel like this is the fourth issue and we're practically in the same place were in issue #1! But I am glad to hear you're enjoying it, for sure.

  2. It's like watching Star Wars 1 again
    Government problems and long drown out talks about nothing

  3. I literally threw my Ipad across the room onto a recliner, don't worry the Ipad is fine. Why did I throw it in the first place? It was because of the Murk and company getting caught by the US forces. Let's send the biggest scariest Atlantean that has a weapon in place of a hand to do our snooping. That was not snooping and you deserve to get caught.

    1. I agree Manship...but don't take it out on your iPad!

  4. Well. I mean, Throne of Atlantis certainly did happen. The US government is well within its rights to be suspicious when one of its boats is found full of corpses killed by atlantean weapons. Though yeah I think this comic has a bit of a problem of comic book writers not actually knowing how international relations or the US government work...

    Also I never understand the constant back and forth with what the government is capable of. One issue they are chasing superman with giant robots and lasers. And then the next issue they have nothing but M-16s are are at the mercy of Aquaman. Also where is ARGUS? Aren't situations like this the whole reason for the existence of that organization? Ugh i'm giving myself a headache.

  5. I thought I’d try and read some of Aquaman. Getting caught up wasn’t all that bad, the main issue I have had with the series so far is Arthur acts a lot like Jimmy Two-Times.
    I’m not an expert on foreign affairs, but if you close down an embassy, the people running that embassy should be notified beforehand and told how to reopen it.
    I could tell instantly when they sent Murk, the guy with a sword arm, things were not going to end well. He does not have a face for foreign affairs. I really liked how it ended with Arthur and Mera trying to get to water and there is a large army between them.