Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Aquaman #29 Review and **SPOILERS**

I See No Reason Why Aquaman's Treason Should Ever Be Forgot

Story: Dan Abnett 
Art, Color and Cover: Stjepan Sejic 
Lettering: Steve Wands 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 18, 2017


Now sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale: a tale of a fateful (comic) strip, whose solicit copy and early covers did not match the issues ship’d. It appears this tale was intended to be Arthur’s re-ascension to King, but you can tell it’s been re-tooled: he’s barely in the thing! He’s barely in the thing! It looks to me like Mera will be Queen and Artie will walkabout; if that happens then it suits me just fine, that’s all we talk about! Here’s my review of Aquaman #29!

Explain It!

I’d like to title this review “Never Read the Solicits.” For those unaware, a “solicit” is the marketing copy and cover image that, at one time, was only available to retailers several months before the retail date. Now, anyone can take a look at them, and the copy is often attached to the preview pages available about a week before the on-sale date. Now, over the course of several months, elements of a story may change; this is why solicit copy is often as ambiguous as possible. Still, it is a delicate dance of reveal, and sometimes entire stories change radically for (yet) untold reasons from the time of solicit to the moment you hold the issue in your hands. Case in point: this recent story arc in Aquaman. The solicitations aren’t wildly different, and they still detail a story about Arthur being deposed by Corum Rath and Atlantis being surrounded by the Crown of Thorns. But Arthur and Dolphin were supposed to play a much more visible role in this story, something also evidenced by the early Stjepan Sejic covers that have been completely redrawn for final.
The reality is that Aquaman and Dolphin have become supporting players in this tale, and Mera has been pushed much more to the forefront…when it seemed like she might be temporarily joining the Justice League several issues back. Arthur’s conversation with Dolphin, which might verge on adorable if it weren’t a continuation of the same from the last issue, suggests he might mosey on to dry land once this whole ordeal is over, and Mera looks to be angling to take over Atlantean politics. I wonder what changed this story, and I wonder if Dark Nights: Metal had something to do with it. In the specific, Mera and Tempest continue to fight the magicians from the Silent School, who are fairly well dispensed with while Tempest explains how much he hates using magic. He’s able to secure a pendant that allows Mera passage through the Crown of Thorns, and she uses it to do just that.
Maybe the most entertaining part of the book was with Vulko and Ondine hanging out with a faceless ghost as it escorts them to the ancient weapons room. Vulko eventually does figure out his name, and he’s been down there so long that he wants to chat Vulko up about the world above. It’s more or less the way I expected this to turn out, but it was fun to read it play out. The other important bit is at the end, when Krabby Krush shows up at the palace to rat Aquaman out to Corum Rath—and Commander Murk tears his tongue out! I told you he was involved in this Aquaman cover-up!
This is a pretty beat issue. It might have played better back in the months of double-shipping, but to merely conclude the paltry storylines from the previous issue doesn’t really cut the mustard month-to-month. I enjoyed some of the issue, the stuff with Vulko and Ondine in particular. And I’m glad Mera has finally gotten beyond the Crown of Thorns and into Atlantis proper. But Lords, it’s been a long slog to get to this point. I’d much preferred we had more Aquaman as inspired by Batman and less of Arthur’s long-winded exposition in the form of a conversation with a mute girl.

Bits and Pieces:

The three plots running in the last issue conclude in a satisfactory, if somewhat flat manner. Vulko and Ondine engage in some spectral comedy hijinks that help to break up the monotony. Elsewhere in the issue: monotony.



  1. Sup reggie!! Still adoring your voice in the podcasts by the way. Anyway, the art in aquaman is spectacular, i just wish that the story picks up the pace a bit

    1. Thanks Anonymous! And yeah, the art is going a long way for this arc.

  2. The art is so good that a slog of an issue just leaves more time for looking at the pretty pictures.

  3. Is it me or is Aquaman the weakest hero in his own book. Garth seems like a way better Aquaman than Arthur, and I'm actually more intrested Garth's story about his ex girlfriend, than Aquaman doesn't want to be king. This book needs a new direction.