Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Aquaman #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

Aquaman’s Manic Monday

Writer: Dan Abnett 
Artist: Philippe Briones 
Colorist: Gabe Elateb 
Letterer: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy & Gabe Eltaeb 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: December 7, 2016


War! Hunh! What is it good for? Hopefully comic book sales! This is the event we’ve all been waiting for, folks! The big fake war between Atlantis and the Dry Landians, fomented by Black Manta and N.E.M.O.! And I’ve been looking forward to it. I’ve enjoyed the last four issues more than the previous seven, though a couple of them were sort of “slow” (and the last one was pretty talky) because there was some variety—and even though we’re descending in what is sure to be an action-packed explosion-fest in the grand comic book tradition, I hope it isn’t just several straight issues of the same thing. But I’m not reviewing the issues of Aquaman yet to be released, I’m reviewing the current issue! So let’s get to it!

Explain It!

N.E.M.O.’s fake Atlantean army has launched the opening salvo against America, and its coastal cities in the East are in danger! Not so much danger to Wichita, Kansas I notice. But over in Boston, for instance, things are looking dire. Baltimore’s been hit by a tidal wave. Atlantic City is near rubble as violence spreads in the streets…which actually isn’t a lot different than it is today. Black Manta is sowing discord, and actual President Barack Obama officially declares War on Atlantis! Even Aquaman isn’t sure if this is really an Atlantean attack, even though he totally seemed to last issue, so he asks his council of weirdos and they all tell him that “Not Me” from the Family Circus did it. Arthur directs everyone to mobilize their defensive units, and not to fire on the Americans unless provoked. Like, for instance, if they are firing on the Atlanteans. Because they’re at war. Does Aquaman know how war works? And why is this whole thing Atlantis versus America anyway? There are other places with dry land in the world.
Aquaman contacts Captain Garan Locos (they call him “Muy Loco” in the barracks), holding position just off the coast of New York, and Captain Locos says he’s identified one of the warships advancing on the coast—it’s a ship that disappeared 35 years ago! Does that mean this is a g-g-ghost ship?! Let’s get outta here, Scoob! Just then, Captain Locos is spotted by an American submarine, that shoots the crap out of their ship and blows it to junk. Despite this obvious aggression, Aquaman tells everyone to hold their defensive line. He wants to bring evidence to the U.S. to explain that this ain’t heem, mon. His old pal Elder Rowa has been tracking down the phony evidence found at the Pontchartrain wreck that sort of kicked this whole mess off, and has determined that it checks out as stuff available on the black market in recent years. Aquaman tells her to keep checking all of the recovered garbage, despite the fact that five pieces should be enough to at least give the U.S. some pause. But he’s got to be sure!
At the White House, the Chief of Staff that acted like a royal dick to Mera is feeling like a chump for not being an even bigger dick, given the current circumstances. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shows up unannounced and says he’s got just the ticket to undermine these sea-suckers and ensure U.S. victory. He calls them the Aquamarines, a group of soldiers in sleep wetsuits with Cyborg’s boots on ‘em that have undergone special training and body modifications to be the best swimmers this side of Michael Phelps. Plus, they can shark out in two stages—we only get to see stage one, which makes them look sort of like Great White from the Batman comics, but with webbed fingers. Speaking of Atlantis, Joanna Stubbs is still hanging around, complaining about her dumb father and his stupid allegiance to N.E.M.O., and just then Black Manta is talking to her daddy, and orders him to infiltrate Atlantis with his submarine and blow it up! And wouldn’t you know it, just then the freaking Justice League shows up! This has been a hell of a day for Aquaman.
After a couple of character-driven issues, it was great to see one full of chaotic action and so many elements coming to bear at once, which is how I imagine war would be for those involved. The art is fantastic, as I’d expect from Briones, yet this time the line seems softened and the cross-hatching done in such a way that it evokes Golden Age comics or old Flash Gordon comic strips. And I didn’t even mention the U.S. warship getting destroyed by a gigantic sea crocodile! After being so annoyed by the opening arc of this series, I have really enjoyed the pacing and tone of the last five issues and I’m really excited for the next one. Lots of loose threads to follow, and I want to see each one resolved!

Bits and Pieces:

We were promised a war, and a war we shall get! Some bombastic scenes and lots of intriguing avenues make for an exciting, compelling issue that's just what the doctor ordered after the meticulous set-up. The artwork looks better to me than usual, and it's never bad, so that's probably a function of how much I enjoyed this comic book. This issue was worth the wait!


No comments:

Post a Comment