When last we saw Aquaman, he and Mera were on their way to his high school reunion in Amnesty Bay. Meanwhile, it turned out that the strange visitor who'd asked a lot of questions around town about him over the course of a few issues apparently stole Arthur's trident from the lighthouse while they were away. Dr. Daniel Evans, his name revealed in this issue, believed the trident was the key to unlocking the whereabouts of Atlantis. The archaeologist and his team soon discovered that the site where they hoped to unlock the mystery of the lost civilization was a prison-gate. Insert the proverbial "all hell broke loose" here.
Is it safe to say that Jeff Parker has been to "Aquaman" what Charles Soule has been to "Swamp Thing," both having taken on writing duties after strong showings from their previous creative teams? I am currently catching up on "Aquaman." I recently read Volume One and Volume Two (out of order mind you) and have found Geoff Johns new take on the King of the Seven Seas riveting. I first picked up issue no. 26 of the Jeff Parker run as a jumping on point. I'd always wanted to give "Aquaman" a try same as "Swamp Thing" and thought that a new creative team would give me the opportunity. So far I haven't been disappointed.
The character of Aquaman has been in creative limbo for oh so many years. This series has been a strong attempt to right the ship. The comic has been pure adventure intertwined with more Arthur Curry backstory than he's ever had in his entire history. This is what makes "Aquaman" a good book. The challenge of confronting his personal history as well as the history of Atlantis is big. Both have been shrouded in secrecy in many ways. These secret histories are as big as the giants he battled at the doorstep of hell. Of course the reveal at the end of the issue was well-played by Parker. I believe that Parker and DC is setting readers up to learn how intertwined Atlantis' history is with that of another hero born of Greco-Roman myth: Wonder Woman. Moreover, the makings for what connections between Soule's "Swamp Thing" and "Aquaman" are interesting to me as the Avatar of the Green made a one-panel cameo here.
Superman has the Phantom Zone. Wonder Woman has Hades or Tartarus or whatever mythologists want to call it. Now Aquaman has his own gallery of underworld denizens with which to deal. I only write this because the criticisms will come. I'm actually okay with this. Again, DC is building a mythology around Aquaman that works. From the artifacts and the Others, to Black Manta, Ocean Master and the throne of Atlantis, the Olympians should serve as an evil pantheon to aid that mythology not hurt it.
The monster whose name is revealed by the end should have been drawn differently. Of course any semblance of another "hero" from another "publisher" would have been out of the question. However, I would have liked to have seen more man than beast. I will keep his name spoiler-free. Yet, it made sense that Paul Pelletier would draw him larger than life, a monster in his own right. Accordingly, I preferred the cover from the solicits to the final cover.
Time. Time was an issue for me. How much time lapsed between Dr. Evans stealing the trident away to his dig in the Azores before Aquaman and Mera returned to the lighthouse to discover it missing? Not enough time in my opinion. How did he get to the Azores that quickly? Is Amnesty bay nearby?
"Aquaman #29" was a good read. For the most part the art has been great. Parker, Pelletier and team have persuaded me to stick with this continuing narrative and with this book.
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