By: Jeremy M. Kossak
It’s the day of the funeral of Arthur’s father. Reporters and news crews are at Arthur’s home wanting to know about his heritage. Arthur, clearly upset, tells the crowd that he’s not one of them and dives into the water below. Dr. Shin stands by the house apologizing. In the present day, Aquaman and Dr. Shin begin to explain the Others to Mera. Ya’wara watches Shin in distrust. Mera gets more questions than answers which frustrates her more. The frustration continues when Aquaman and Ya’wara leave to examine Kahina’s body. Shin tries to get back to examining the relic (see last issue!), but Mera demands answers. How is Shin connected to Black Manta? Just who are the Others? We flash back six years ago to see the mystery team in action. They are: The Operative, Ya’wara, Prisoner of War, Vostok-X, Kahina the Seer, and leading the hunt for Black Manta is Aquaman!
Kahina has a vision that Manta’s explosives have caused an avalanche that will bury a nearby village. Arthur refuses to give up the chase; the rest of the group refuses to let innocent people die. Vostok makes a miracle save and Prisoner uses his golden shackles to shield the village from the snow. Arthur returns to the group to save a little girl. Though he lost Manta, Aquaman is told by the Seer that he will find something greater than revenge…happiness. The action packed flashback ends to show the Seer dead and Ya’wara and Aquaman getting shot at by Black Manta’s goons. In Germany, Manta stalks the Prisoner of War!
The art is awesome. I’m going to get this out of the way first. Prado and Reis give the younger Arthur emotion that doesn’t need words to explain. The whole opening scene could have done without dialogue and I still would have known exactly what was going on. As for the story, I’m enjoying the mystery. I didn’t think I’d be as interested in the Others as I am now. Their designs are pretty cool. I’m rather curious about the golden artifacts each of them posses. They must be Atlantean. Kahina’s death shows more about Aquaman’s character. His relationship to her feels like a strong brother/sister relationship.
This issue wasn’t perfect. For one thing it was a quick read, much like last issue. I was happy with what I learned about the Others, but it would have been nice to see more of Arthur’s relationships with his former allies. Black Manta is being built up as a serious threat and his presence is felt throughout the issue, yet we see so little of him. It looks like my problems will be addressed next issue. I’m looking for a little more depth (pun intended) and more bang for my buck. The $2.99 price seems to be a bit much for this comic. Aquaman still remains a favorite of mine in the New 52. I still recommend it to those that think Aquaman is lame…he’s not!!
Overall grade: 7.5 out of 10