Sunday, May 24, 2020

Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 Review

Trench Mouth

Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, Andrew Dalhouse, and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 20, 2020

Steve Orlando jumps back on the Aquaman Digital-First Trolley to start up a serialized story that he set up a few weeks back.  I'd love to say that the Sea Devils are what has me excited about all of this, but I can't fake the funk, I'm mostly here for V Ken Marion's art!  Yep, I am a fanboy through and through, and you can take that as a disclaimer, a proclamation, or whatever.  Now that's out of the way, how is the issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Aquaman, Mera, and the Sea Devils responding to a distress signal, and right away, I have to give Steve Orlando props.  Even in these Digital First books, he provides a ton of callbacks, offers readers a dense story in limited pages, and doesn't stray too far from current continuity, even though that isn't a prerogative here. 

After he reintroduces us to the Sea Devils, we see who sent the distress signal and why.  The Trench is attacking King Noble of the Lurker Kingdom.  It's a matter of boundaries, borders, and property, but the Trench aren't ever going to sit down and negotiate, so it's battle time.

V Ken and the entire art team make everything pop as an all-out battle royale begins, and Steve Orlando separates the heroes a bit to give them each the right amount of page space.  Mera and Sea Devil Judy steal the show, in my opinion.  

The Sea Devils aren't my favorite bunch of characters, but Orlando is changing my mind and may even win me over by the end of all this.  He plays it a bit differently here, using the Devils to show that surface dweller can be accepted and tying back to Aquaman's mixed heritage to put the exclamation point on it.  

The issue ends with Noble learning a lesson (I was waiting for Roadblock to come out and tell us, "knowing is half the battle!"  I know that Shipwreck would make more sense, but I am not a big fan of his lame Jack Nicholson impersonation and don't get me started on Polly.) Where the hell was I?  Oh, yea! And the mystery of who set up Noble...someone named Scorpio.  That's a cliffhanger, folks, and it has me excited for the next issue.

Steve Orlando gives readers a whole lot for 99 cents here.  Noble is a "deep dive" character, and my only complaint is Orlando didn't deal with the love Arthur/Mera/Noble love triangle that has caused friction in the past.  Besides that, though, the issue looks fantastic (fanboy!)  I really like the colors by Andrew Dalhouse and think he is a perfect fit for Marion's art.  Overall, the story is a nice setup for what's to come, and I am enjoying characters I didn't care for two days ago.  That is a win in my book!  The only thing this story could use is more sexy guest stars...

Bits and Pieces:

Steve Orlando and V Ken Marion give readers an action-packed story with some cool callbacks for recent and longtime Aquaman fans.  And it's only 99 cents!  Recommended.


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