Thursday, January 31, 2013

Laid Back Comics: Aquaman #16

The latest issue of Aquaman is the semi-finale to the ongoing story of “Throne of Atlantis” and actually gives us more than just hero vs. hero that had been the issue of Justice League before this one. Here the main plot and sub plots were divided up in a way that it didn't hinder the overall story at all.

The main section deals with Aquaman and Batman trying to escape their James Bond like death trap they were put into before, getting shot into the Mid-Atlantic trench.  Where the Trench creatures once sealed up had been freed and now on the loose. It is practically to note that while in the last issues the seems to be a major buildup of perhaps dis-trust between Batman and some of the other league member, most notable Superman and Wonder Woman. Here Batman and Aquaman are bit closer than one would guess, both in a way apologizing for their recent actions and what has led to the current situation of Ocean Master invasion even worse.  It is a quiet moment between the mystery and action that surrounds the rest of the book.

On the other side of the world this series though being mainly about Aquaman, we are finally seeing Cyborg be more than the just a background character it seems. That is really been the hidden strength of this series I hope isn't over looked by the readers. In the issues Cyborg has stepped up and made sever critical decisions that have helped against the invasion, adding in new members to slow down Ocean Master. And also sacrificing a bit more of his natural body he has left to go out and rescue the rest of the team at the most critical time. It took a bit longer than many of us would have liked, but to see Cyborg becoming more of an active role, which will only help the book and character in the future.

Also, we are getting our first look at a possible bigger roster of Justice League members, though this could easily turn into a one-time deal. But even as a one-time deal the fact they pulling in several other characters felt like there is a connected to the DCU now. Outside of Green Arrow the League felt very off on its own.  This of course also gives several more hints and teaser on certain characters not getting the okay to join and then moved over to the new JLA title. There is also a small ‘Atom’ that so far has still gone unnamed. Also it is nice to see Vixen has recovered from getting a little blown up in the Justice League International title.

This all leads to the end and twist as we find the answers to who really wanted to start this war, which honestly we should have guessed by now, but it still came as a nice little surprise but that could end up just being a massive revenge plot behind it.

The art here is just so clean and fresh, adding Paul Pelletier to the book has been a real treat, he able to lead a great deal of subtle expressions to the characters, like the sadness when Cyborg’s father has to place his mind dormant for the operation and the fear on Aquaman when it seemed like Batman might be killed by The Trench.

Overall this was another good chapter in an overall very good story-line running through both of the books. The conclusion of the story in Justice league #17 will no doubt set the stages for the future of this team, but also that of Justice League of America as well.

SCORE: 8/10

Bryan "BAC" Clendening is a comic reviewer and sometimes video producer. You can follow him on Twitter at his handle @BAClend

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