Review – Aquaman #39 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Dan Abnnett, Rob Williams
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes
Colours: Adriano Lucas
Lettering: Steve Wands
Release Date: 15th August 2018

Atlantis has risen. After the events of Dark Knights: Metal and the overthrowing of King Rath, Arthur Curry’s world has completely been turned upside down. With the recently crowned Queen Mera (long story, go read the spectacular Mera: Queen of Atlantis for the details), Atlantis seems to be entering a new age, an age without Aquaman. But with Atlantis rising right next door, the inhabitants of the United States aren’t happy. The Suicide Squad has been sent in with one goal… sink Atlantis. But all as not as it seems because, true to form, the Squad isn’t just here to sink Atlantis, but to destroy it.

Since issue 25 Aquaman has been easily my favourite book to come out of DC. Dan Abnett for last 14 issues has crafted an absolute masterpiece for Aquaman as he works his way back from rock bottom. Abnett’s willingness to completely flip the status quo has so far given us so many good stories and moments that I’m almost hoping the status quo never gets restored.

I’m never a fan of crossovers between two unconnected books, because it usually feels like a naked attempt to get fans to read both books when they would only usually read one. Amazingly though, this book isn’t bogged down by being a crossover. Yes, reading Suicide Squad helps make this story flow a little better, but you don’t actually feel lost if you didn’t read it. Despite having not read anything from the Squad since the New 52 the characters are all handled well. Deadshot and Harley Quinn in particular work well with the moral issues of this particular mission. All while Arthur tries to adapt to his new role in a way that creates conflict but in a way that feels natural to the characters.

Art duties for this issue fall to Joe Bennett and Vicente Cifuentes and it’s good for the book. As much as Stjephen Sejic or Riccardo Federici’s art is missed, Bennett and Cifuentes make all the characters looks suitably dynamic, and the underwater sections of the book give him ample opportunity to draw some really interesting panels.

With Aquaman about to become mainstream (pardon the pun) you should definitely get back into the comic books. This new arc, while not quite as great as Underworld, The Crown Comes Down or The Kingslayer, continues Dan Abnett’s great run on Aquaman and gives the character the respect that the (former) King of the Atlantis truly deserves.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Jonathan Mullen
Jonathan Tweets from @JonathanDMullen ‏

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