Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aquaman #23 Review and **SPOILERS**


Let’s You and Me Discuss Politics

Story: Dan Abnett 
Pencils: Philippe Briones 
Inks: Wayne Faucher 
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb 
Letterer: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennesy & Gabe Eltab 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: May 17, 2017


Let me tell ya, folks, based on mainstream media reports and Twitter activity, America is completely polarized and in terrible jeopardy! Step away from the computer monitor for ten minutes, however, and things seem a little less bleak. I’ll definitely say that people seem more aware of current events, even veritable illiterates I know are wondering about the immediate screaming headlines. So now is a great time for an issue of Aquaman about Atlantean politics, right? Right? Ahh just read my review of issue #23 and let’s stop being coy about it.

Explain It!

What do we want to read about? Politics! And when do we wanna read about ‘em? All the frickin’ time! This issue begins a new arc in Aquaman, Arthur and Mera having returned to Atlantis to find it eerily deserted—except for Corum Rath and the rest of the Deluge, who were cloaked for like ten whole minutes! That’s just creepy as hell, to be cloaked while people mill about and wonder. Sneaking up behind someone to slit their throat is one thing, but to skulk and peep like some voyeur…have some class. Because it’s just a thing that happens when people meet in comic books, there’s a huge fight between the Deluge and Aquaman and Mera, while they discuss the reason for fighting. Coram Rath thinks Arthur is a weak king because he keeps hanging out on dry land. Aquaman is curious to know how the Deluge got out of their bird cages—and is shocked to find that Elder Leot and the rest of the Council did the freein’!
Meanwhile, back at the Penitentiary Vault…which is really just an area of the ocean with a bunch of giant bird cages, two fellas named Vulko and Kreen stand before their opened bars, afraid to step forth. They’ve been imprisoned for so long, they’re not sure how to live in open waters—and besides, this may be a trick played by the Atlantean cops, to kill them as they attempt escape. Vulko says it’s ironic that’s been imprisoned, for there is none more loyal to the king than he—in fact, he put Arthur on the throne in the first place! I can’t help but feel like we’re supposed to know these people, this definitely feels like a hangover from the New 52, much like a lot of superfluous characters in the last arc turned out to be. I don’t mind bringing back these unfinished stories from before Rebirth, but I feel like we need to be wholly re-introduced to these people if we’re going to care about them. Vulko eventually swims away, and I’m betting Kreen will bounce eventually, when he gets hungry or something.
And then…Aquaman and the Council have a polite conversation. I shit you not. For like six pages. They hash out their differences, and make some salient points: Coram Rath and his crew, which is like all of Atlantis, don’t like how Arthur keeps making nice to their sworn enemy, the dry-landers, while Aquaman…well, he likes being in the Justice League. Really, Coram Rath makes the more compelling point. Perhaps it’s my democratic upbringing, but I feel a leader should execute the collective will of a majority of their people. Though Arthur is technically the King of Atlantis, so he should be able to do whatever he wants. And Arthur does make a good point in that Atlantis used to be part of the surface world, and would basically be the most baller place on Earth if they did it again. It all ends with things pretty much up in the air…or in the sea, if you catch my drift. Ah! Drift! I did it again! What fun we have here at Reggie’s Comic Book Reviews.
This issue contained all the fun of watching C-Span, except with the lowered stakes of the events happening on C-Span. I am pretty positive this continues a loose thread left dangling since the end of the New 52, and it felt kind of jarring to me. I guess the political unrest has been building since the first issue since Rebirth, but those two criminals, Vulko and Kreen…who are they? I want to know more, and I suppose that’s a good thing. This issue is all set-up, and I’m not sure how integral it’s going to be to the final arc, but I’m betting you could let this one slip by, catch the next issue, and barely miss a beat.

Bits and Pieces:

If you're not getting enough politics in your waking life, well here's an extra-heapin' helpin' in your comic books. Art is phenomenal, but while the story's concept is intriguing, this bloated take is probably not integral to the arc. Save your three bucks, unless you're a completest (you're a completest, you know it and I know it.)



  1. I entered Aquaman midway at the eight issue and made it all the way to dead water. I feel like I have completed enough and found a great time to jump off. Great cover though.

    1. Reconsider this issue is the turning point and long-anticipated opening for Rise of the Seven Seas story.

  2. Okay, this is getting interesting.. but what the hell, atlantis!??! I mean what a fucking mutiny this is!! I mean, Arthur has been fighting the good fight avoiding tension between the 2 superpowers and this is all he gets!! With tula in chains, and murk, man, i cant believe that dude.. good thing senechal kae still finds reason.. really wanting to blow the head off reverend mother cetea.. that bitch really pisses me off even from the start when she forbids mera wuth aquaman.. love aquaman by the way and i think he's cool!! HOWEVER IM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT LONG HAIR AND BEARD hahahaha!! Maybe they'll chop his arm off too replacing it with a hook.. that'll be badass for me, man!!

    1. So you are all for mutilation! How about we cut off Arsenal's arm again replace it with a fodder cannon and cripple Babs? Wonderful we can legalize clitoridectomy and feel super maimed.

  3. So can we get an arc that's not a political commentary?

    1. i so want that. In fact, i may go on and on about it this week on the podcast

  4. Called it! Elder Leot is Marcus Junius Brutus and Corum Rath is Gaius Cassius Longinus.