Review – Aquaman #40 (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: 19th September 2018

Satanis has gone rogue from the Suicide Squad. His goal? Kill everyone in Atlantis to regain his true magic power. Can Aquaman, the remainder of the Suicide Squad and Aquaman’s Atlantean forces stop Satanis before everyone dies, and even if they do will this start a war between Atlantis and the United States? Queen Mera has only just taken the throne and it seems like she’s starting her reign off with a war that threatens the world.

Despite my person issue with storylines that cross over between two or more books (always seems to me like a desperate attempt to get people to read a book they usually wouldn’t) this story has seemed pretty organic and well told. It makes sense that with Atlantis rising next to the United States the government would send in its super-powered kill squad to deal with it.

As a conclusion to this arc this issue is pretty good. Satanis was a weak villain from the start but that seems to have been a deliberate choice for a story that feels like a breather  and a moment for character growth after the last three spectacular arcs. Mera and Arthur’s relationship get some interesting changes as their status quo gets massively altered, plus we get to explore the complex morality of the Suicide Squad. Harley especially (despite her fourth wall breaking slowly turning her into an inferior version of Deadpool) gets some really good character moments.

Art and colour duties for this issue are covered by Joe Bennett and Adriano Lucas, and the pair provide some good solid work. King Shark vs Killer Croc is a highlight of the book and all our heroes looks suitably dynamic and… well, heroic. The underwater location also gives Bennett some good and unique options to show off his impressive fight chorography.

In the end while this undoubtedly feels like a bit of a step down from the previous three arcs of Aquaman, it also feels like a necessary diversion after three long and dramatic arcs. This feels like a chance to catch our breaths before we embark on much bigger things… much like Scott Snyder messing with as many books as he can so he can tell his Justice League stories. But that’s a rant for other day. This is a good read, just one that unfortunately is overshadowed by the preceding three arcs.

Rating: 3/5.


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

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