Story: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
Review Score : 7/10
Issue five starts with a new arc that has Aquaman falling from the sky with nothing but the expansive desert to break his fall. Immediately Geoff lets Ivan Reis and Joe Prado do a lot of the story telling this issue. Having the first four pages be entirely void of dialogue other than a simple “uh oh” speaks volumes to the level of effort that went into each page of their art. If nothing else it proves that Aquaman will remain a consistently pretty book to look at.
However having a solid story is the other half of the battle in comics and I feel like this arc is starting out with a whimper at this point. Geoff Johns has said that this arc will deal with the question of what actually happened to Atlantis. I’m excited to see what led to the fall of Atlantis but I dislike the way the story went from Aquaman being stranded in the desert this issue to rewinding every few pages little by little to show us how he landed in the desert in the first place. It breaks up the flow of the issue and you never feel really solidly invested in either portion of the story Geoff is trying to tell. Also to watch Arthur struggle in the desert to then be rescued by a helicopter makes his whole situation this issue feel cheapened.
I do like that Geoff has decided to work some deep seeded issues into Arthur and his relationship with his father. It created and added layer to Aquaman and should create necessary momentum and weight later down the road for him to claim or not claim the throne in Atlantis one day. I have to say that I dislike Geoff’s treatment of Mera this far . She seems like nothing more than a simple-minded woman as Geoff writes her and while I realize it’s the new 52 its hard for me to accept this version of Mera when I was reading a strong-minded and stong willed version of the character in Brightest Day less than a year ago.
Aquaman eventually gets out of his desert surroundings and finds what he was looking for that led to him free-falling to the sky to begin with. Arthur activates a decoded message that explains to him the pending threat that Atlantis will meet just before the trans mission gets cut short. Fortunately for Arthur he is discovered and brought back into town and enters his house to see a note from Mera telling him she went into town to get dog food.
In short I wanted to like this issue but it doesn’t really seem to pick up momentum at all. I am curious to see what attacked the Atlanteans but I never was comfortable with the pacing of this issue or the inconsistency of the script. However the art from both Ivan Reis and Joe Prado is gorgeous and definitely worth your time to check out. Colors are bright and as always Ivan has a real good eye for setting up sequences and action scenes on paper. I really like the new character designs he created for the Atlantean soldiers . I’m hoping for answers and better consistency next issue.After setting the bar so high with his last arc I was left wanting more . Aquaman continues to be a good book but next I hope next issue amps up its pace and gets us to Atlantis .
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