Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Aquamen #2 Review

Jackson Hyde Is Becoming... A Villain!

Written by: Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown
Art by: Sami Basri, Vicente Cifuentes
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Andworld Design
Cover art by: Travis Moore
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 29, 2022

Aquamen #2 delves into the growing conspiracy behind regular surface dwellers suddenly speaking in tongues and going crazy after Orm attacks the U.N. When Jackson learns of Arthur's partnership with Black Manta, the mistrust reaches an all-time high.

Was It Good?

Well, okay. Aquamen #2 is an odd issue. Plenty of things happen. Readers get a lot of information. The mystery deepens as it unfolds. And, Jackson's hero status (at a low point coming out of his solo title) sinks even lower. In short, this is a mixed issue.
The art is solid. Basri, Cifuentes, Lucas, and Andworld Deisgn put together a striking comic with bold colors, excellent lines, and excellent panel composition. Visually, there's nothing to nitpick about this comic, and readers will enjoy the visual spectacle.

As for the story, again, it's a mixed bag. Suspicions are confirmed that the surface dwellers going berserk are part Atlantean, and the root of their episodes centers around a signal sent to implants in their brains. Like Jackson's run in Aquaman: The Becoming, the source of all the trouble appears to be a terrorist plot. We'll know more as the series progresses, but what we have so far is intriguing.

The troubling element of this series (which is the same element from Aquaman: The Becoming) is Jackson's increasingly hot-headed behavior that takes him further and further away from cementing his right to bear the title of Aquaman. When he learns Arthur has solicited Black Manta's help, he goes on the attack with rage instead of giving Arthur a chance to explain. When Jackson calls a "family meeting" to tell everyone what's going on, his frustration boils over into outright hostility toward everyone present.

The last, possibly the most sickening, element of Jackson's behavior is his move in this issue into full-blown prisoner torture for answers. Yes, that's right. Jackson puts the water whammy on Orm and twists his body into a pretzel to make him talk. If this is the type of character you want to take over the title of Aquaman, more power to you, but for this reviewer, this is not a hero.

Bits and Pieces

Aquamen #2 drops nuggets of information surrounding the mystery of Orm's attack and seemingly random surface dwellers going berserk. The issue is filled with tense moments, generally great art, and plenty of curiosity-building to keep readers hooked for the next issue. That said, Jackson takes a big step toward becoming a villain and is not ready to take over the title of Aquaman.


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