DC Comics 2016
Written by Dan Abnett
Penciled by Brad Walker
Inked by Andrew Hennessey
Coloured by Gabe eltaeb
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Dan is a god among men, well okay maybe a Demigod like Hercules. Over the years it’s been harder and harder to make Aquaman relevant again but it looks like Dan’s off to a smashing start. The Rebirth issue set the stage for the this issue and it couldn’t have done any better a job. All the misconceptions people have about Aquaman will be addressed and now we see the role of politician and King taking on new meaning.
The opening of the Spindrift Station, an Atlantean Dry Land Embassy, on the shores of Massachusetts is a wonderful start. It’s also a way to introduce new characters to form a wide variety of a supporting cast for Arthur. In this case Lieutenant Joanna Stubbs, Royal Navy. She’s young, open and has an already distinguished service record, according to Mera. As well as Sark one of the King’s household guard.
I think one of the things that struck me as both odd and truly wonderful is that before any type of business is to be done those gathered are invited to a banquet. The food is traditional Atlantean fare of course so suddenly Dan’s expanding the world through cuisine and making the Atlantean’s more like people and it’s the little things like this that make a large impact whether it’s conscionable or not.
So I suppose it’s tried and true to focus on those villains the world will recognize first and Black Manta and Aquaman have such a rich and violent history that it makes sense for him to open the series. For someone so smart and technologically savvy it’s a shame he wastes his time on revenge instead of the betterment of mankind. Though for him betterment I suppose means killing Aquaman. At times Black Manta has been reduced to second or third tier villain, even with his appearance in mainstream cartoons or maybe because of that, still he’s smart and driven and extremely dangerous and doesn’t mind a body count. That makes him extremely formidable.
Brad’s debut as Penciler here is fantastic. After his work on Sinestro i’ve been looking forward to seeing what he’ll do with this series. He manages to make Arthur look like the All American Boy Next Door and Mera well regally exotic and elegant but also extremely accessible. I really like the costume tweaks we see and the inside of the Spindrift Station is a wow factor. He along with his team behind him is quickly making this his own and it’s a pleasure to see. Plus c’mon the man knows how the flow of the story needs to be through the pages and panels.
Suddenly i’m more excited for Aquaman and what’s possible than I have been in years, PAD’s run comes to mind. This team has already made this required reading for me and I can’t wait to see how they keep things fresh, exciting and moving into the future.