“It’s a chance to prove that Atlantis can work alongside the surface world. As King, I must put aside my personal differences with Ricoh and her team.”
Aquaman teams up with the United States government’s enhanced Aquamarines to discover the mystery of Dead Water.
Writer Dan Abnett recovers from a lackluster Aquaman #18 with a gripping story in Aquaman #19. Abnett’s writing is superb. He puts Aquaman in an almost detective mode and takes us along for the ride. Abnett showcases Aquaman’s curiosity as well as his determination to understand the mystery of Dead Water that still eludes him. This character trait’s power leaps off the page and drags you down into it. You are just as curious as Aquaman and want to unravel the mystery, possibly even more than he does!
Abnett also crafts some exceptional back and forth scenes with Mera. Aquaman’s kingly nature is on full display as he talks to Mera and explains exactly why he is working with the men who not only tried to assassinate him, but also murdered a number of his inner circle. It’s truly some powerful writing that gets to the heart of both Aquaman’s inner nature and Mera’s fiery passion.
There are a few issues with the overall story. If you didn’t read any of the New 52 Aquaman series, you might struggle to find your bearings a little bit. There are appearances by characters that don’t get the full detail they should nor an explanation about why they are relevant.
Artist Philippe Briones’ artwork is absolutely gorgeous to look at. He’s able to make an entire page of trekking through a jungle interesting. One of the ways he does this is a play right out of the reality TV show Survivor’s playbook. He makes a wild animal the center of focus. It brings the jungle to life allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the art.
The creature designs are phenomenal. They are all unique and different, but all scary as all get out. There are some with razor sharp teeth, others with hammerheads, and still others with squid-like tentacles.
The action sequences are truly top-notch. From the full-page splash pages to four-panel action pages – they are all good. In one of the four-panel action pages, Briones perfectly captures Dead Water’s ability to jump through even the tiniest drop of water. He does this by breaking the panel borders with Aquaman and a broken sink overflowing into the panel below it. While Aquaman and the water break the panel, Dead Water does not due to the nature of his power. It’s great imagery!
Gabe Eltaeb’s colors bring Briones’ artwork to life. They are bright and colorful especially when they are trekking through the jungle. It really gives you a paradise island vibe. However, he switches to a much darker color palette when the real action begins. It creates a grim, dark tone hinting at danger around every corner and in every panel. He also does an excellent job of deploying a red filter to showcase events that happened in the past.
Aquaman #19 returns to glory with a phenomenal issue that packs in high flying action against a returning villain as well as in-depth character examinations of Aquaman and Mera. The artwork is absolutely stunning and will keep you riveted to your chair. Dan Abnett’s story draws you into its mystery right alongside Aquaman. It makes you feel like you are almost a part of the story. This was Grade A Superhero Comics! Go buy it!
- Gorgeous artwork
- Phenomenal story that pulls you in with a mystery hook
- Abnett’s continued character examinations of Aquaman and Mera
- Some understanding of the New 52 story line is required to really understand all of the nooks and crannies this issue explores