Friday, September 21, 2018

Aquaman #40 Review and **SPOILERS**

Last One Hired, First One Fired

Story: Dan Abnett and Rob Williams 
Script: Dan 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: September 19, 2018


And now we come to the senses-shattering conclusion of “Sink Atlantis!” Which I could swear was originally called “Atlantis Rising,” but whatever. Let’s not delay reading my review with these extra letters and words, check out what I wrote for Aquaman #40 right now!

Explain It!

There’s a problem with setting your story around a time-sensitive, nation-obliterating and World War III-fomenting instance that must be stopped: once that instance has commenced, you have to hop to the story’s conclusion or all the stakes will drain from the tale like punctured CapriSun. Specific to this story, the dire event that had to be stopped didn’t happen in the first of four issues…so it was just a meandering walk around the park before we could recreate that moment in the fourth.
And recreate it they have, down to an almost beat-for-beat recreation of the end of the last issue, except this time Master Jailer has to crack the magic force field—which is, he points out, just a lock—so Aquaman and the rest of the gang can pour in and tackle Lord Satanus. King Shark and Killer Croc face off in this issue—despite that being advertised on the cover of the previous installment in this mini-event—and I like the way they’re drawn more brutish and animalistic here (though I’m sure Eric will hate it.) Harley gets them to stop fussin’ and feudin’, and then everyone sort of stands around for a little while until Aquaman finishes kicking Lord Satanus’ ass. Dolphin being the only one to go after him at the end of the last issue was just a red herring.
Surprise of surprises, the magic nuke is still set to go off and sink Atlantis, unless it gets stuffed in this magic box or something? And only the expendable character that’s been humanized over the last two issues can do that: Master Jailer. At the expense of his life. As was expected. In the end, tensions between Mera and the U.S. are soothed when the General that tasked Waller with the mission to nuke Atlantis is arrested, because Waller taped the whole arrangement. Why didn’t she think to reveal this bit of intel earlier, before sending a bunch of criminals with brain bombs into Atlantis to annihilate it? I don’t know. But Mera and Amanda sure have a hearty laugh about it, like the ending to a G.I. Joe cartoon.
The ending to “Sink Atlantis” fell very flat because it never felt like Atlantis was in any real danger. The stakes had to be reiterated so many times over so many issues, that they lost all urgency. I loved seeing new members on the team, and did like Master Jailer’s redemption (even though it was clear set-up for his demise), but it left Harley and Deadshot with almost nothing to do. The conflict between King Shark and Killer Croc didn’t really come across, either. I think this issue looked great, but it was a fairly boring read.

Bits and Pieces:

If you've been reading "Sink Atlantis" all along, then this issue likely ends exactly as you'd expected. If you haven't been reading "Sink Atlantis," then this would be a weird issue to have jumped on, huh?

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