Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Aquaman #44 Review and **SPOILERS**

Sea Monkeys

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick 
Penciller: Robson Rocha 
Inker: Daniel Henriques 
Colorist: Sunny Gho 
Letterer: Clayton Cowles 
Cover: Rocha, Henriques & Gho 
Variant Cover: Rafael Albuquerque 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: January 23, 2019


Wow, has it really been a whole year since we last saw an issue of Aquaman? It has—technically speaking! Hey, I gotta get my dad jokes in somewhere. Luckily, there’s no expiration date on dad jokes, they’re rotten from inception. How about we read my review of Aquaman #44 and see how Kelly Sue DeConnick did on her second issue, hah?

Explain It!

Over in that weirdo fishing village, where Aquaman found himself dumped, he and the old woman named Wee have a conversation; Aquaman feels duped, since she revealed a beverage that could cure his amnesia last time, in which he saw the swirling face of Mera. Wee swears that it’s all on the level, they just need him to take Caille back to her mother on some other island in the archipelago, since they blame their catches of dead fish in that woman’s hostility. It’s not unwarranted, of course: they did kidnap her daughter! 
Speaking of whom, now that Aquaman and Wee have had their chit-chat, it’s time for Arthur to speak with Caille. She’s in her…uh, house, butchering a rabbit for later sacrifice. She’s pretty pissed off at having become the pawn in this weird game between a bunch of old biddies and her mother, but she understands that Aquaman has something special within him, since he did appear to part the ocean waters at the end of the last issue. Arthur pushes Caille to join him on his quest to meet her mother—I thought this was a foregone conclusion? Apparently not, since she tells him to get out of her house and continues fondling her rabbit kidneys. 
On a clearing on the beach, the town’s elders have gathered in a circle that evening. When Arthur arrives, they begin the ritual that will, uh, let the reader know that these folks are all incarnations of ancient water gods, relegated to this remote island because nobody’s worshipping them anymore. They’ve all got cool names and character sheets, none of which I feel the need to go into because I don’t think these specifics are ultimately important to the story. From a bluff, Arthur watches these gods and goddesses reveal themselves, then Caille shows up to watch him put some logs in a fire, making the flame glow green and rain to fall. The old folks have now become the robust, strapping deities that they named, and one grabs Arthur by the neck and forcefully shoves his face into the water, teaching him that he can, indeed, breathe there! 
Another all right issue, very cleanly told with some good and memorable panels. But we didn’t get much further in the story than at the end of the last issue, except for the confirmation that these old people are really gods and goddesses. Action-wise, there was nothing to speak of, and several of the decisions—like Caille having to go to this remote island—happened in between issues, off-panel. I don’t mind that, but only when the issues are so chock-full and dense that you can fit otherwise important information, like who the members of a raiding party are. This is a well-made comic, no real problems with the storytelling or basic integrity. It’s just kind of dull.

Bits and Pieces:

We learn some more about the people inhabiting the mysterious village where Aquaman is being held--including the name of the village, from the solicit's copy--but precious little happens in this story to advance it or create any compelling moments. Nice-looking book, for sure.


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