DC Comics 2016
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Philippe Briones
Coloured by Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Unjustly branded a murderer and a fugitive, Aquaman’s forced to defend himself against the might of America’s military. Meanwhile, Black Manta and the deadly underwater crime cabal known as N.E.M.O. advance their plan for revenge on Aquaman.
Forgive the pun but there’s something fishy about the secretary of state. This man is not only a moron but he’s got an agenda and while Major Shurman is right to question him he’s throwing his opinion and weight around way too much to actually be working on the President’s orders. It’s like he’s trying to control or manipulate the situation but the real reason here is why, what does he have to gain by this and what is the root cause?
Oh i’ve got theories, who doesn’t read comics and come up with theories? Among them with N.E.M.O. being so prominent lately he could be one of theirs but we’ll see how this all plays out. I’ve a feeling that eventually we’ll see what this man is really about and he’ll be exposed and then Arthur and Mera will have their names cleared. In the meantime the lack of respect for two beings who are basically bulletproof and can leap, probably tall buildings in a single bound, the way our heroes do is more revealing than anything else.
What I love about Dan’s writing is that initially you read this and you’re like what the heck is going on here. A member of the Justice League being treated as a terrorist? The world’s gone mad but it isn’t the soldiers, who really are just following orders, or congress and quite possibly not even the President who’s behind all this it’s Mr. Gantry. We see who the President calls in for help, something that should’ve been done at the beginning.
That the writing has all the layers we’re seeing is fantastic! This is why I read everything Dan writes he’s just so good not only at this complexity but the characterization, the dialogue between Arthur and Mera is dreamy. Almost every bit of dialogue here has been incredibly revealing and fun and there’s even moment of humour which adds depth to what’s happening.
It’s not only the two stars of the book it’s also seeing what’s going on with Black Manta, and while I kind of like the new guy I was hoping that maybe the Fisherman was making a comeback I mean who remembers him? Oh and my Tula, sweet Regent Tula and how she’s handling things in Atlantis. Yeah the fact that we only need like a page or two for each showcases how well and how thoroughly Dan can write in a short space and still make it impactful and important.
The interiors here blow me away. The attention to detail is stunning in it’s scope as you see the U.S. Military and the uniforms, tanks etc, all just with so much going on and yet so well defined. The people are great, expressive and individuals, his use of angles and perspective really adds dimension here. Plus the new design of the Atlantean armour i’m a huge fan of that coral looking headgear is phenomenal and the full body stuff is more elegant. Philippe and Gabe do some excellent work here.
With each issue, which I have to read three/four times to really absorb it all, I find more about this to be excited about. From the story itself to the characterization and the overall mood, tone and feel that Dan brings to the table makes me excited for this every other week.