Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Aquaman #42 Review and **SPOILERS**

Ghost Dad

Writer: Dan Abnett 
Pencils: Lan Medina 
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes 
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb 
Letters: Steve Wands 
Cover: Eduardo Pansica 
Variant Cover: Joshua Middleton 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: November 21, 2018


Aquaman is powerless, skewered in the guts by Poseidon’s trident last time we saw him. So why does he still have his own series? I bet there’s a good reason, and you might find out by reading my review of Aquaman #42, commencing now!

Explain It!

Stabbed by Poseidon after asking for a return of his powers, Aquaman is…not dead. What did you think, this wouldn’t be a symbolic journey through Arthur Curry’s subconscious? Well, that’s just what it is, a story told in augmented flashbacks, or maybe in some kind of twilight dimension in the present. Young Arthur and his father are afloat on some blood red waters, and papa tells Arthur it’s time for his test. Noting the weird constellations in the sky, Arthur discerns that this is the Dead Sea—not the one in the Mediterranean, but the mythical one where actual dead people go. Which makes sense, since Arthur’s dad died a long time ago! 
Dad tells his son that it’s not his time to be dead yet, they’ve got to get back. But how, when there is no wind to fill the sail of their ship? Dad says to wait for the wind, there are twenty pages in this comic book and we have to fill them all. The wind starts picking up when Orm the Ocean Master appears, riding four monster whales, talking smack about his half-breed brother. Dad asks Arthur what he should do when a storm is coming, and Arthur yells back that he should ride it out! Strictly speaking, it’s not like there’s a choice in the matter. Little Arthur mans the boat while Orm casts lightning bolts around them, and then dad tells his kid that it’s time for him to grow up. 
Now adult Aquaman is manning the ship, but it is still capsized and he spills into the red waters. There, he encounters Corum Rath, but is saved by a mystical dolphin, who probably symbolizes his mute pal Dolphin. The fish deposits Arthur on land, near some scuba divers looking to pilfer some treasure. Somehow, he knows this is his trident, and he beats the snot out of the divers. But then a gigantic Black Manta shows up and zaps at Arthur with his eye beams! Looks like Aquaman is on the ropes, when Mera appears and gives Aquaman his trident, which he then uses to rip Black Manta in two, lengthwise. Aquaman swims to the surface, where his dad is still chilling out on the Atlanna, and there is when Arthur realizes the missing component here: hope. For crying out loud! It’s always about hope in these damned comic books. 
Back in the Graveyard of the Gods, Arthur comes back to life and punches Poseidon in the face! And that’s it. This issue is an ethereal clip show of the things Aquaman has dealt with in the past several years. While it’s visually impressive, the story is a paint-by-numbers affair that serves to extend this crossover event by one more issue. None of the threats to Arthur in the Dead Sea were palpable, and in the conclusion was so schmaltzy and obvious, I didn’t expect it. I guess I was holding out hope for something more clever.

Bits and Pieces:

An inoffensive but very dry story that could probably be skipped, with no damage to the integrity of this "Drowned Earth" event. Do not pass "Go," head directly to Justice League #12 for actual story momentum.


No comments:

Post a Comment