Monday, August 17, 2020

Aquaman #62 Review

Boys in the Ocean

Writer: Jordan Clark
Artist: Marco Santucci, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 18, 2020

It's time for a little Aqualad action, and I am never upset about that.  This time, though, it's pushing it a bit as the Mera Wedding had me on my seat's edge by the end of the last issue.  I guess I have to calm down a little and let Jordan Clark take me on a journey with a superhero teen and his AI grandfather.  Yea, that is something we've been begging for on our podcast since Black Manta first got his mecha-daddy back during the Year of the Villain.  So, was it worth the long-way-around wait?  Let's find out...

Jordan Clark jumps into this story with a smart little move.  He ties it into the wedding enough to satisfy me and make it work as part of the overall story.  I thought this was going to throw us into a forced side-story, but I was wrong.  Plus, it gave readers a more natural recap and setup than we usually get nowadays.

After seeing the wedding (from a slightly different angle to make it feel less like just a repeat), we follow Jackson as he asks his dad for a big favor.  It's the underwater equivalent of "can I borrow the car," except the car is a mecha head powered by the AI of Manta's dead father.  Seriously, it's what My Mother the Car should have been way back in the 60s!

Of course, it looks like Manta is up to no good and uses the opportunity to use his son for nefarious purposes, but besides that, I love seeing a grandson and granddad on a road trip to Xebel.

The problem is, once they get to Xebel and Jackson goes off alone, it wasn't as exciting.  Everything felt forced to get to the next scene where before it was as natural as a mecha AI telling his grandson about his father, can feel.  I loved the Boys in the Hood vibe I was getting and loved hearing someone (something?) talk about Black Manta from a different angle.

Inside Xebel, we get some information about Jackson's other side of the family and maybe even get a future love interest. However, it's interrupted by a usual suspect (at least for Aquaman readers), but I still hope we get more information about the next issue.  It does give a good cliffhanger here, though.

Overall, I liked this issue.  I loved the parts with Jackson and his grandfather, and I wonder if Jordan Clark was worried it was too goofy because, for me, that would be a huge "no!"  I understand the need to let readers know everything about Jackson; it just felt a bit forced to get there.  Now, grandpop doesn't seem very tolerant, and I think that the next issue will deal with Jackson's sexuality in a more personal way, which I am looking forward to seeing.

I have no complaints at all for the art in this issue.  I am a Marco Santucci fan and think everything looks great.  Props also go out to Romulo Fajardo Jr., whose color work is always excellent.

Bits and Pieces:

Jordan Clark takes over Aquaman for a few issues to give us an Aqualad and his AI Grandfather story.  That may sound ridiculous, but it isn't, and I wanted more of the two together.  Clark does a good job, and Marco Santucci's art is great,  making this a side-story worth checking out.


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