Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Aquamen #5 Review

Written by: Chuck Brown, Brandon Thomas
Art by: Sami Basri, Vicente Cifuentes
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Andworld Design
Cover art by: Travis Moore, Adriano Lucas
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: June 28, 2022

Aquamen #5 sets the Aqua-Family's plan of attack in motion on multiple fronts to stop the sleeper agents from inciting war. Tula coordinates the teams and presents the plan to the Atlantean security council. Mera and Jackson create a broadcast tower to deliver the sleeper cell deactivation code. And Arthur and Black Manta rush to stop attacks already in progress. It's going to be a busy day.

Was It Good?

Aquamen #5 is a perplexing issue to wrap your brain around. It's clear Brown and Thomas are trying to tell a big, epic, world-affecting story, but there are too many convenient inconveniences for the impending catastrophe to make sense, and the net result is a big story that feels too small and sometimes nonsensical.

The strongest part of this issue is the art by Basri, Cifuentes, and Lucas. Lucas's colors pop, the pencils/inks are well done, and there's plenty of action-packed eye candy to keep you visually interested. At times, there's so much going on that you may feel rushed, but the art keeps the panel and page transitions even enough to smooth out the pacing.

That said, the weakest points of the story are the convoluted plot and the "plan's" execution. Mera and Jackson decide to construct a broadcast tower out of the water to send the cancellation code, but they never explain why they take the most difficult route possible to achieve their goal. Why not engage the JL satellite network to send the signal? How is a water construct able to act as a broadcast tower? When the tower is damaged, how is Jackson able to use his body as a broadcast antenna? None of this portion of the "plan" makes sense, and it comes across as needlessly over-complicated.

Elsewhere, Black Manta, his small group of men, and Aquaman are squelching sleeper agent attacks as they happen. Isn't this a global assault? Why rely on only a handful of people? Couldn't the Aqua-family tap into the Justice League for assistance? There's no way such a small group could handle so many attacks all over the world so quickly, and yet Brown/Thomas make it seem like they have everything under control.

Then we get to the original plan, which was never clearly defined or had a discernible objective. Was the terrorist plan simply to incite war? to what end? What would they gain from war? Who is the true leader of the terrorists, and what is their end goal? This is the second series where Thomas has gone all-in on using Xebel terrorists as a plot device, but this is the second series where the terrorism seems pointless, wanting destruction for its own sake.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Aquamen #5 is a below-average entry in the series. The art is very good, but everything surrounding the rescue plan, its execution, its operation, and even the original terrorist plot, is either convoluted, unnecessarily complicated or doesn't make sense. With one more issue in the series, there's time to end on a high note, but it will take a minor miracle.


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