Review – Aquaman #42 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artwork: Lan Medina (pencils), Vicente Cifuentes (inks)
Colours: Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering: Steve Wands
Release Date: 21st November 2018

For the last 41 issues Dan Abnett has taken Arthur Curry through many trials. From fighting the US Government and Black Manta, to being removed from the throne and having to fight a tyrannical King to restore peace, to losing his iconic trident and dealing with his place in the world when Atlantis returned to the surface world. Now with his powers gone Arthur must face one last battle under Dan Abnett. But will this be Arthur’s undoing, or will he emerge stronger than he has even been before?

Abnett’s run has been really good, so in a way it’s sad to be reviewing his final issue – even more so considering it’s a tie-in to Scott Synder’s current Justice league story, my thoughts on which are well documented. Luckily though Abnett get to finish his run with an issue that perfectly sums up his whole era. This issue is a way to show all the triumph and tragedy that Aquaman has experience since Rebirth started, bringing Abnett’s story of Aquaman fully circle.  And it’s impressive that, in spite of all that Aquaman has lost, the future has really never looked brighter for the character.

Helping Dan Abnett on this swan song of a final issue is Lan Medina and Vicente Cifuentes.   Medina ensures that Aquaman look suitably dynamic and powerful with plenty of splash page poses helping him to just look cool. But as well as emphasising Aquaman’s statue, Medina makes the villains he has faced in this run look truly monstrous, especially King Rath who looks like a Lovecraftian monster from your nightmares here. That said, the real credit for this issue has to go to the colour work of Vicente Cifuentes, whose skill here truly helps to build the almost tangible atmosphere. The blues of the lightning that cover the sky mixes perfectly with the red sea which dominates this issue. The colours make Aquaman and all the other characters pop and are really what ties this whole issue together.

In the end this is a pretty good ending to the run. It takes the character on one last epic journey, and while it never reaches the amazing heights of the “Underworld” arc, it still feels like a good note for Abnett to end his stellar Aquaman run on, with the main character once again put front-and-centre.  And at the end of the day, that’s exactly why this run, and issue, worked as well as it did.

Rating: 4/5.


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

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