“THE DELUGE” prologue! Aquaman’s mission to unite the sea and surface has taken a great leap forward. But N.E.M.O.—the secret terrorist organization—has other ideas. Black Manta deploys the agents of N.E.M.O. to provoke hostilities between Atlantis and America. The Deluge—the prophesied, all–out global war—is about to begin.
Since the first issue in Rebirth, Aquaman has been working hard to try and balance being a man with connections to the land with trying to be King of Atlantis. With the actions N.E.M.O. took in previous issues, he has been labelled as a terrorist who is plotting to overthrow America despite his efforts to keep peace. This has put him at odds with fellow teammates of the Justice League, the American government, and even with his soon to be wife Mera. This issue focuses on the aftermath of a long battle and takes a moment to breath and reflect on all Aquaman has been fighting for.
Writer Dan Abnett has been spinning a great tale with his tenure on Aquaman and it seems to come to a head as he works towards the multi-part story, “The Deluge.” Seeing how Aquaman feels out of place with who is in this new world and trying to do all he can to stop war which hinges on the decisions is a wonderful read. It’s the kind of story many people who feel they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders feel.
This issue is filled with pages which tell a great story without any dialogue. The best moments come from the wordless pages showing Aquaman beaten and dragging himself back to the ocean. In these panels, artist Philippe Briones was able to show not only how injured he was after the fight in previous issues but also how suspicious the public was to offer him a hand. Artwork which goes above and beyond like this is truly admirable.
Aquaman is one of those heroes everyone likes to joke about instead of giving him the proper respect he deserves. This new run has helped to showcase what he is as a hero and as a character. If more people were willing to give this story arc a read it may just help change the public’s perspective on who Aquaman is as a character. Especially if the “Deluge” storyline is as good as this prequel is showing it to be.