Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Aquaman #43 Review and **SPOILERS**

Aquawho Now?

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick 
Penciller: Robson Rocha 
Inker: Daniel Henriques 
Colorist: Sunny Gho 
Letterer: Clayton Cowles 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: December 19, 2018


Well, how about that! A new creative team on Aquaman, including one of the writers recently poached from Marvel. I won’t pretend to be very familiar with Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work, I’ve read a few issues of Captain Marvel and I read the first issue of Bitch Planet. But I definitely welcome a sea change on this series! So let’s hop right into my review of Aquaman #43, and see how it is!

Explain It!

When we last left Aquaman, he’d flown a boat into the gaping maw of an inter-dimensional Kraken, skewering it with a trident dipped in ancient fatal goo, ultimately destroying both of them. At the end of the issue, however, Wonder Woman, who has suddenly become an all-seeing sorceress or something, said she sensed he was still alive…somewhere. And so he is! Washed up on the shores of…somewhere, rescued by a beautiful woman named Caille who likes to dance outside during thunderstorms and sacrifice rabbits on the beach. She lives an austere lifestyle on a remote island in a tiny village with crone couple named Loc and Wee. And now Aquaman lives with them as well, because he can’t remember who he is. 
People in the village call him Andy; Caille likes to call him Arausio, meaning “strong,” in some language presumably. Andyman is pretty helpful to the townsfolk, using his bulk to haul in nets of fish, and to save Loc when he acts like a goofball and almost gets himself drowned. But the fish in these nets, they’re all dead—it’s like the sea is angry with them, denying the meat they desire. Loc has had to make do with thin potato soup! And it’s done nothing good for his dentifrice. 
That’s when Wee decides to tell Andyman about the history of this little villa, consisting of lost souls brought in from the raging see. They’re a penitent, worshipful bunch, but one woman named Namma was causing all kinds of trouble and vandalism. So they stuck her on a different, more remote island, so they didn’t have to hear her shit, and also stole her baby while they were at it. So now she’s a little bit miffed at them, and this is why all the fish they get from the sea are dead. And that baby? Oh, that’s Caille now. Aaanyway, if Andyman will just head out and take care of Namma for them, they’ll let him drink some memory tea, which will restore his identity. Sounds good? Okay, Andy—you’ve got four more issues to complete it! 
This is a pretty cool story, lushly rendered and told by the extremely capable art team. I appreciate that it works within Aquaman’s continuity, even if that’s only because he disappeared at the end of his last issue. I’m also keen on the idea that he’s still a hero, even when he forgets his own name and past. Whether this is a good story, though, will be revealed in subsequent issues. This is a good issue, and that, in itself, is a nice feeling.

Bits and Pieces:

A new creative team brings a new status quo for Aquaman, and one that fits neatly within current continuity. A few new characters are introduced, but not so many that it's tough to keep their names straight. An intriguing beginning to a story yet to be told.


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