Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Ink: Sean Parsons
Colorist: Rod Reis
Whatever Geoff Johns touches turns to gold!
Aquaman in my opinion has never been better than in his current run in the New 52. Every single issue seems to get better and better and issue #23 is no exception.
Continuing the “Death of a King” story line, issue #23 is the fifth chapter titled “Dead End”. Dead end is right seeing as how Arthur is dealing with adversaries on not one but three different fronts as he tries to rule Atlantis. Following the events from last issue, Arthur and Mera are trying to escape from Xebel and hot on their heels are Nereus and his army who have pledge loyalty to the First King of Atlantis. In the midst of their pursuit we start to get more understanding from Mera and Arthur as the two finally start to speak their minds and Mera finally admits to some of the things of her past.
Meanwhile the Scavenger is still carrying out his destruction on Atlantis. Even with the Atlantean forces trying their hardest to repel the attacks, it seems as if they are outmatched by the Scavenger’s subs. All this going on at the same time that Murk, Tula and Swatt are still on their mission to break Orm out of the land dweller prison and return him to the throne.
This is one of the most interesting dynamics to this story arc, you have not one but three people vying for the throne of Atlantis and each feel they have rightful claim to it. Now while Orm has yet to physically get involved in the power struggle, once he does I assure you it is going to get interesting. Each side has those who are loyal to them and basically we are witnessing an Atlantean civil war being played out on three fronts and we all know in the end only one can be victorious.
However, the last panel of the issue may just throw all that I just said onto the trash heap, as I was shocked when I read what had happened. It makes me wish villains month wasn’t coming next week because I can’t wait a whole month for the rest of this story as the cliffhanger that Johns gives us is one that I need the next issue now or I am going to loose it trying to wait. Needless to say there will be a lot of explaining to do, not just to the readers but to Arthur as well.
Guess there are consequences for overexerting your powers to try to summon and control Topo the giant Kraken like beast.
Johns once again proves why he is one of the best writers in the comic book industry today. His talent for drawing us into a story and making us truly care for the characters is unparalleled. He makes us want to read the next issue of any characters title that he writes. He did it with the Green Lantern and he is doing it now with Aquaman. He has really taken a character that we all know has been the rear end of jokes for decades and turned him into one of the best reads of the New 52.
For those who are not reading I say now is the time to start. Aquaman gets better each month and with what has happened in this issue you do not want to miss a second.
5 out of 5 nerds