Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Aquaman #31 Review and **SPOILERS**


Writing the Playbook

Story: Dan Abnett 
Artist: Riccardo Federici 
Color: Sunny Gho 
Lettering: Steve Wands 
Cover: Stjepan Sejic 
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 20, 2017


Hey, this issue begins a new story arc in Aquaman…but we never did resolve that whole “Corum Rath” is king situation, did we? Also, something about Mera having been captured by fishy villains. Oh yeah and plus Arthur got his magic trident last issue. This feels more like the story is continuing, if you ask me, with this being the mythical “jumping on point.” Okay, let’s have a look at Aquaman #31 and see if that rings true!

Explain It!

Things are looking grim down in the Atlantean ghetto. Corum Rath has sent death squads down to kidnap the “taint-bloods” that dwell where the light is low, and then presumably kill them elsewhere. Taint-bloods are humans that have developed fishy mutations, which make them like a million times cooler than the decidedly human-looking pure-blooded Atlanteans. Since Corum Rath will accept none cooler than he, they must die. But not so fast! Rumor has it that the former king of Atlantis, a half-breed human, presumed dead after being stabbed through the back, has been spotted, rescuing some citizens and collaborating with the resistance. But that couldn’t be true…could it?
That kind of naïve question might have held some water (heh) six issues ago, but now it’s flat out ridiculous. Like, at least a dozen people know for a fact that Aquaman is alive. We can’t pretend that he’s a defender of the underwater night when he’s tangled with several members of the Atlantean guard and revealed himself to most of Atlantis’ underworld. It is annoying that we’re supposed to take this stealthy Aquaman as existing at face value, when every story indication is to contrary. For all that has actually happened in each issue, they could have used three of the last six just showing Aquaman in his new, discreet style.
We never get that. And now we’re re-starting, stating the status quo and moving things minutely along. I don’t feel that this has been an epic enough story thus far to warrant two six-issue arcs, but maybe my mind will change when it all wraps up. The big developments here are learning that Ondine is a double agent for the Widowhood (I thought she was sent with their blessing, but okay), and that Mera, captured by a newly-recruited King Shark, is dying for lack of air. Otherwise, nothing has changed since the last issue. Except for the art team, that is, and it’s terrific. But having read every issue of this comic since Rebirth, I feel like this issue is a bit of a rip-off.

Bits and Pieces:

Strong line work and coloring go a long way to make this status advisory issue something to appreciate. If you've been looking to hop on the Aquaman train, now's your chance. Faithful readers will feel less enthused.



  1. Strange cover by Sejic . Not his best . I guess I will go over to trade now that he's not doing interiors anymore .

    1. Notice it changed from the solicit to the can see a sliver of the solicited cover in the rectangle at the top. I wonder what changed, and why? Something's fishy around here...