Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Aquaman #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Nyeah Nyeah Can’t Catch Aquaman

Written By: Dan Abnett
Art By: Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered By: Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: August 17, 2016


Watching some of these Olympic swimmers in Rio doing their thing really makes a strong case for the existence of Atlantis. Katie Ledecky on the U.S. team has won four gold medals and one silver medal for, uh, swimming really fast, and when you watch her compete it’s unbelievable. She’s like a full body length ahead of everyone else, finishing more than ten seconds ahead of the pack (who, I’d like to mention, are also swimming super fast.) Katie isn’t visibly doing anything different than the rest of the competitors, it’s not like her arms are swinging double-time through the water, churning frothy whirlpools that are obstacles to the other swimmers. She’s just faster, somehow, and I think it’s quite probable that she’s half-Atlantean, half-human, like Arthur Curry—if not a full-blown water-dweller! My evidence is concrete: one, she swims fast, like way faster than normal if you ask me. Two, she is blond. Seems cut and dry to me! Someone else who’s been curiously dry for the last few issues is Aquaman. Do you think he’ll get wet this time around, or is he gonna stay beached? Read on to find out!

Explain It!

If you will recall, the last issue ended with Mera and Arthur standing outside of the prison she’s busted him out of, facing off against a massive military force assembled to contain them. Since each issue of this comic book is only about twenty to forty minutes of real time, we pick up at exactly that point and find out that the armed forces are cleared to fire, which is a good thing because they are pretty useless without that. Like, what if they weren’t cleared to fire but still had to contain the Atlanteans? Would they just lock arms and step in front of Arthur and Mera as they tried to leave? Would the military just have to be really convincing? “Sure, you guys could go back to Atlantis, but it’s beef stew night at the prison commissary! You don’t want to miss it!” Since they have their orders, however, the army folks start peeling off round after round at the royal duo, which pissed off Mera enough for her to rip the turret right off a tank like the Incredible Hulk and cold cock the driver. She chucks the turret at a helicopter—again, like the Incredible Hulk—which makes Aquaman spring into action while saying “no one dies” like the Amazing Spider-Man. See, he doesn’t want to exacerbate this already dicey international incident, so he saves the helicopter from crashing—but really, he should just send Mera home. No disrespect, but she’s not exactly a “people person.”

Meanwhile, at the White House Situation Room, there’s a situation: the Chief of Staff that beefed with Mera at the White House is, for some reason, in charge of handling this horribly bungled incarceration that he ordered in the first place. So, of course, the best way to handle this is to sanction lethal force against Aquaman and Mera, on account of they’re terrorists so we can sanction whatever we want against them. Sanction some noogies, too. Also some racist epithets. And sanction me a new in-ground pool at my summer home while you’re at it. Back in Washington, Aquaman and Mera are trying to get to the water, where they can presumably call upon their manatee pals to beach themselves and trick the armed forces into thinking they’re mermaids. Aquaman receives the first authorized “kill shots” to his back, which pisses him off and makes him rip the offending .50 caliber gun off of a Jeep. That’s when the tanks roll in and start blasting the area, so Mera steps up and screws with the water inside these tanks and renders them inert. They run, and encounter more soliders. So they beat them down, too. Down in Atlantis, word has reached acting commander Tula that Aquaman and Mera are being slightly inconvenienced by the U.S. Army, so she gives the orders to mobilize the war fleet!

Let’s hop over to snowy Antarctica, where Black Jack is introducing Black Manta to the leader of N.E.M.O., known as the Fisher King. He’s sitting on a super scientific, hovering space throne within a base of geodesic domes, but he still has to wear his bomber jacket and boots. In fact, everyone in this facility is wearing heavy winter clothes. What’s the point of being an international criminal mastermind if you have to be cold all the damned time? Over in Amnesty Bay, it’s the return of Lieutenant Joana Stubbs of the Royal Navy! She’s hanging around his childhood lighthouse home when a cop pulls up and tells her to scram. She was hoping to find Aquaman there, apparently, because she gives the cop…something, and tells her to pass it off to Arthur next time there’s a town barn dance or if she seems him at a baseball game or something. Now cut over to Washington, D.C., where Aquaman and Mera are…still running from and clobbering the military. This is getting to be like the Warriors, all this running. Suddenly, just before we are treated to three more pages of running and fighting, Superman shows up—and he wants to “talk!” You know what that means: Aquaman and Mera are in TROUBLE!

Despite the story advancing another thirty minutes, meaning about six hours have elapsed in five issues, I enjoyed this one much more than the previous two. Things seemed to be happening and all of this setup is finally coming to a head. This time, the quick scene in Atlantis was the most interesting one, it seems like one or two always have to be dull and repetitive at the expense of others. But the art was great, and though it wore on me after a while, the scenes of Aquaman and Mera cleaning house looked great. I hope we can conclude this storyline next issue, because I’ve just about had it with this Aquaman story that seems to only feature Aquaman. Hopefully Superman makes everyone take a chill pill and we can get back to Arthur riding porpoises.

Bits and Pieces:

Last issue depicted Mera breaking out of prison, this one consists primarily of them escaping. Next issue will be Arthur preparing an omelet, and the issue after that will be him eating it. You'll have to stay tuned to find out whether or not he washes his dishes in the next story arc! Though the overall yarn is moving incredibly slow, this issue picks up the pace a bit, and slides some components into place that look to hopefully bring it all to a merciful conclusion. Or maybe like four more issues of running. That could be something.



  1. A definite improvement from the past 2 Fuck-You-5 weeks but how does so much action still seem so dull?

  2. I’ll admit I’m glad I gave Aquaman a shot. I didn’t realize how strong Aquaman was and how he can take a bullet. Mera dehydrating the tanks was cool. I didn’t even think that was a possibility. I think Mera really is looking for a reason to call of the wedding. She just keeps picking fights with Arthur for no reason.
    I look forward to seeing Aquaman and Superman fight next issue. I’ve never seen them fight, and seeing Aquaman go toe to fin with Superman would really make Aquaman seem cooler.