Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Aquaman: The Becoming #6 Review


I'm Aquaman Now Because I Say So!

Written by: Brandon Thomas
Art by: Serg Acuña, Diego Olortegui, Wade von Grawbadger, Adriano Lucas, and Andworld Design
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 15, 2022

Aquaman: The Becoming #6 brings the arc to a close with a frantic battle to save the Xebel Unity Talks, Queen Mera's life, and what's left of Jackson's family. Will Jackson Hyde end this adventure by becoming Aquaman?

Was It Good?

When we end a series, we judge both the issue and the entire series. Aquaman: The Becoming #6 is a wasted opportunity on both counts.
If elevating Jackson Hyde into the title of Aquaman was the goal, this issue and this series barely get Jackson two inches off the seafloor. So let's talk specifics, but beware, some spoilers ahead.

Issue #6 flip flops back and forth in time from the end of the last issue to the present as Meeka's rebels attack the Unity conference and take Mera hostage. One of our chief complaints about this series is the excessive focus on Xebel politics and culture to exclude Jackson's character development. Well, you get to see Jackson in action more than any other time in the series, excluding the first issue. Still, it's not much more than a hostage rescue with very generic action, lots of shouting between enemies and allies, and a lackluster conclusion to the hostage scene. Arthur Curry arrives once the chaos is over (it's unclear how he got word so quickly while on Mars or how he made it back so fast) to keep Jackson from killing a man and lend support.

Unfortunately, Lucia is critically wounded, causing Jackson to lash out at everyone. It appears Thomas intended to shake Jackson out of his role as a side character in his comic by giving him a vital emotional moment. Unfortunately, it comes off extraordinarily forced and inconsistent with Jackson's presence throughout this run.

When the ripples clear, Mera finishes her interrupted speech at a conference, Jackson is distraught over his comatose mother, Delilah is hurt by Jackson pushing her away (which is odd when you consider he didn't know she existed and only discovered her existence after she helped frame him as a terrorist), and Arthur Curry gives Jackson space to consider his options.

Does Jackson become Aquaman? Yes, but only because he chooses to call himself Aquaman. Did he earn the title? No, not by any reasonable measure. If Arthur Curry disappeared tomorrow, would you look forward to Jackson becoming THE Aquaman? Based on this series, not even a tiny little bit because the Jackson Hyde we're left with is broken, angry, unsettled, and wholly lacking in purpose or direction.

Regarding the art, it's okay for this purpose. The character designs are solid, the action is energetic, and the coloring is excellent. The flaw with the art is the lack of understanding about movement and action underwater. How do you get away with a leg sweep during a fight when everyone is floating? How can you see streaming tears when you're already in water? It's almost silly how many practical logistics the artists got wrong about living underwater.

Bits and Pieces

Aquaman: The Becoming #6 is as effective a single issue finale as the whole series - meaning not effective at all. There's plenty of action and forced emotion to keep your attention, but the attempt to make Jackson a worthy successor to Arthur Curry as the next Aquaman is no more eventful than Jackson saying, "I'm Aquaman now!" Sure you are, little buddy. Sure you are.


No comments:

Post a Comment