Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Aquaman #50 Review

Under the Sea

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Robson Rocha, Eduardo Pansica, Daniel Henriques, Julio Ferreira, Sunny Gho, Clayton Cowles, Jason Paz, and Alex Sinclair
Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 17th, 2019

As Aquaman settles the Old Gods of Unspoken Water into their new lives in Amnesty Bay, Jackson Hyde, a.k.a. Aqua-lad seeks out Aquaman to be his new mentor in this week’s all-new landmark 50th issue of AQUAMAN by Kelly Sue DeConnick.  Let’s dive in to see how Black Manta, recently kicked out of the Legion of Doom, prepares to make his next move against his greatest nemesis.


Kelly Sue DeConnick delivers the foundation for AQUAMAN moving forward while offering a great spot for readers to dive back into the comic all over again. New readers find out that Mera is pregnant, Arthur has made some new buddies, and hostility has brewed between the Queen and Mr. Curry. Furthermore, Jackson Hyde makes his appearance while Black Manta re-enters the story all over again. 
DeConnick dangles multiple carrots about an old lighthouse horror story, Black Mantas return, a new Aqua-Lad, and a royal wedding in order to add some new spice to a series that was literally drowning. Kelly Sue has laced the story with various plot threads so she can spiral back to each one as the comic shows signs of progress, which is something all great writers do when they jump into a book. This issue was a great sign for AQUAMAN fans and helped solidify DeConnick as the right choice for our favorite merman as the series continues.

That said, many of the threads weren't as interesting as they should have been.  I want more Black Manta. Moreover, I want DeConnick to give readers additional stories about the old lighthouse, the giant monster that took the old man and focus on what made him go mad. Those angles seem more interesting than Jackson Hyde and what drove Mera over the deep end. Sure, fans will want to know more about Aquaman and Mera’s relationship, as well as the baby, BUT do we really think Mera is actually going to have that baby? And if she does, do we really thinking the baby will survive? This reviewer simply can’t see DC adding yet another super child to the tool shed... unless the child isn’t Arthur’s. Wouldn’t that be a nice twist? 

Furthermore, what else happened when Mera flipped out? Something seems off with the relationship between Mera and Arthur. Maybe it’s what I just said above? Think about it; if Mera truly thought she killed Arthur and cared, she’d run to him immediately... and she doesn’t. Additionally, Arthur would want to see Mera instantly... but he doesn’t. Instead, they both appear ok with keeping their distance. Why? Something’s off.  Therefore, DeConnick didn’t give readers the entire story last issue and Aqua-fans are missing something huge that happened before the incident and Arthur’s amnesia.

In addition to the wonderful direction, DeConnick appears to be taking the series, the art team of Robson Rocha, Eduardo Pansica, Daniel Henriques, Julio Ferreira, Sunny Gho, and Clayton Cowles did a masterful job creating well-detailed characters, which this reviewer loved. Each character’s face was carefully crafted with time and precision.  Wonder Woman looked gorgeous, powerful, and commanded the page as she entered the story. Moreover, almost every female character appeared to be thorough, unique and showed more emotion than the lead male character in the comic, which struck me with a bit of surprise. However, the more characters that were represented on a page, the faster and less specific the characters were drawn. If this team really takes its time adding the detail to every panel like this fan knows they can, the art could be outstanding.

DeConnick has been on AQUAMAN since issue 43 however the past story arc was not only Kelly Sue getting her feet wet with the character but it was a transition story to get fans away from Dan Abnett’s amazing run and to refocus on the story she truly wants to tell. Wholeheartedly, it was a risky move because DeConnick could have wasted her only opportunity to write AQUAMAN while never having the chance to write the stories she really wanted too. However, readers see throughout issue 50 that the risk was worth it. 

Bits and Pieces:

New readers see the promise of some amazing stories ahead while old fans who have hung in there will feel like their favorite hero was left in great hands as the series continues. If you jumped off AQUAMAN after Abnett left, this is your time to come back and swim with the fishes. DeConnick seems to have some great stories to tell moving forward with an amazing art team at her side. The world is her oyster and Arthur is her guide. Pick this issue up and let me know what you think!

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