Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Aquaman #13 Review and **SPOILERS**

Quit Busting My Chops, Superman

Writer: Dan Abnett 
Penciler: Scot Eaton 
Inker: Wayne Faucher 
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb 
Letterer: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy & Gabe Eltaeb 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: December 21, 2016


Whoo-wee! The seas were a-bubbling last issue, I tell you what! And not just from all the Atlanteans farting. Nope, the action was hot and heavy last issue (more heavy, less hot) and it all concluded with the Justice League floating into the scene with Superman all “WE GAVE YOU A CHANCE” and you just know the sparks are going to fly! Or their underwater equivalent. Actually, you can have sparks underwater, what am I saying? It’s just got to have a super-high flashpoint. Well, let’s stop jawing, and get right back to the action with my review of Aquaman #13! Right here!

Explain It!

Just as Arthur got his framed pictures exactly how he likes them, the Justice League shows up to rain on his parade. The ladies, Jessica Cruz and Wonder Woman, look plenty softened and earnest while all the dudes look ready to break Aquaman’s balls. He tells them that N.E.M.O. is actually behind this attack against America…and they believe him! Superman wants to see evidence, of course, but there’s no fight to be had. This is just like two issues ago, when the Justice League showed up to Arthur’s hospital bed and looked like they were going to rain fury down on his battered form, but then they ended up palling around as always. I have not bought this supposed schism between Aquaman and the Justice League, or animosity between he and Superman. I know there have been plenty of cues: Aquaman ditching his JL badge to dispense of Shaggy Man, the fight he and Mera had with Superman when they were escaping from Washington, D.C., but it just hasn’t “read” to me. I guess I just haven’t seen anything happen that strikes me as unfixable, but I am operating on the assumption that no members of the Justice League harbor any secret resentment against Aquaman.
At that very moment, Commander Stubbs of N.E.M.O. and Joanna Stubbs’ dad is cruising into Atlantean, uh, sea-space, using American codes to avoid suspicion. Which is a pretty dumb plan since the two nations are at war right now. In fact, Tula wants to blast this craft with an explosive greeting, but before she can get the go-ahead Stubbs fires on Tula with some super N.E.M.O. tech and ratchets things up a notch! Meanwhile, the Justice League are taking in the beauty of Atlantis, since some of them have never seen it before. Say, think you guys might want to hop to saving some lives? Considering Black Manta launched the fake Atlantean attack against the U.S., it’s likely that continues unabated, and plus there’s a fake American ship tearing down Atlantis right now. Aquaman shows up with the evidence to clear his good name and hands it off to Superman, then tells the rest of the Justice League to kindly fuck off so he can protect his city!
Aquaman zips down to a congested area of Atlantis to find Stubbs just blasting the place to confetti, which would likely create a very calming snowglobe effect underwater. Even military commander Murk knows these aren’t American weapons tearing the city to shreds, they must be the work of N.E.M.O.! Aquaman uses his trident to rip up the ship and capture the crew, but during interrogation Black Manta kicks on a sonic thingamawhatsitz that gives Aquaman a sinus headache and kills all of the N.E.M.O. operatives by making gross crystals burst from their orifices. Just then, Superman is presenting  Aquaman’s case to the U.S. Chief of Staff, but the General really wants to use his genetically-enhanced Aquamarines, so it looks like we’ll be seeing them next issue.
Though the Justice League did pretty much the same thing twice in this series, and the stakes seem strangely low for a full-scale attack against the Eastern Seaboard using high-tech Atlantean weapons, I enjoyed this issue a lot. It’s moving at a great pace, and there’s enough development going on to keep me highly engaged. It’s not exactly a complex comic book yarn, but it’s full of action and some drama with a couple of quips. At one time, I had a lot of problems with the pacing of this book. That is no longer a problem for me. I really like how this story is going.

Bits and Pieces:

The pacing and quality remains high, but somehow the stakes seem low in this continuation of Arthur Curry's wartime hijinks. For long time readers, this explosion-fest packs a lot of payoff, and even new readers will get engaged. In the explosions. Come on, it's not rocket surgery. People like explosions, eviscerated bodies drenched in blood, and butts. In that order. There are other things, but if you hit those three then you don't need to look any further.



  1. This is easily one of my favorite rebirth series although I do have a soft spot in my heart for Aquaman. Spot on review Reggie!

  2. This issue didn't go anywhere... but I still loved it for some reason.