Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Aquaman #39 Review and **SPOILERS**


Story: Dan Abnett and Rob Williams 
Script: Abnett 
Pencils: Joe Bennett 
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes 
Colors: Adriano Lucas 
Letters: Steve Wands 
Cover: Rafa Sandoval and Ivan Plascencia 
Variant Cover: Joshua Middleton 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editors: Alex Antone and Katie Kubert 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 15, 2018


This crossover with Suicide Squad continues, and for the first time in a long while, I’m excited to check out an issue of Aquaman! So let’s dispense with the pleasantries and dive right into my review of issue #39, right here!

Explain It!

It’s Part Two of this Suicide Squad/Aquaman crossover that I was so keen about after Part One. That part doubtlessly received a little boost from me on the merit of being something new—and, given the repetitive, meandering nature of Aquaman, you’d think Part Two would evince the same level of enthusiasm from me. The problem here is that we got the complete story in the first part, featured in Suicide Squad #45, and here we get a kind of pathological reiterating of the plot, which smacks of the same delaying tactics used throughout the series to force a given story into a six-part arc.
Now that Mera’s Queen of Atlantis, her boyfriend Arthur is so proud of her that he can’t stand to be near her. He respects her so much, that he won’t even tell her that the Suicide Squad have been tasked with sinking Atlantis. He is so awed by her leadership, he doesn’t mention that felling Atlantis will crush the Ninth Trides and the innocent citizens within. No, he takes it upon himself and his rag-tag cohorts to perform some Black Ops of his own, in an attempt to save the City of Atlantis without stealing the spotlight from Mera. Everything is in her service. He’s merely trying to protect her from controversy! Well, she finds out anyway, and boy is she pissed off.
Against Mera’s wishes, Aquaman and his crew go toe-to-toe with the Suicide Squad, but thanks to Satanus’ magic, they all get away, to live and nuke the sunken city another day. Mera breaks Arthur’s balls for a while, but after a page or so of fighting, she acquiesces to the idea that the only thing that can stop a criminal is another criminal—so Mera tells Arthur to recruit from deviants like King Shark from the Lower Trides to tackle Task Force X more efficiently! When criminals face off against criminals, nothing can go wrong!
We do get a nice Aquaman-heavy issue of Aquaman, which seems like a foregone conclusion except that it hasn’t been the case for the last few months’ worth of issues. The story is very cleanly told and the danger of Atlantis sinking seems palpable. The problem is that there’s virtually no progress in this story, aside from Arthur’s recognition of the Suicide Squad’s plan and his intention to recruit King Shark in the fight against it. Which isn’t nothing, but sort of drains the intention of the nuclear bomb reveal from the end of Suicide Squad #45. I think this thing is four issues, so it shouldn’t drag on too long, but I also wish we weren’t already treading narrative water this early.

Bits and Pieces:

This crossover event plods on incrementally as we wait for the climax to happen. I figure it's got to be just around the bend, by rights.


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