Review – Aquaman #47: Rise of the Old Gods

Comic Books DC This Week
Aquaman #47 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Aquaman #47 – Kelly Sue DeConnick, Writer; Robson Rocha, Penciller; Daniel Henriques, Inker; Sunny Gho, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Corrina: What Makes a Hero?

Ray: The cover of this issue is a bit of a spoiler, as it reveals Aquaman standing side by side with a team of new fantasy allies. It doesn’t take much to figure out who they are, but it also doesn’t neutralize the punch of the events in Aquaman #47, an excellent issue. In only one arc, DeConnick has managed to open up Aquaman’s world and introduce a host of fascinating new elements that will give writers a lot to play with – including one of the best new villains in years in Namma/Mother Salt. This eldritch being has transformed Caille into the magical Cailleach and is unleashing her fury on the world around her. Aquaman stands alone – at least until he’s joined by an army of new warriors – the old Gods of the sea. The reveal that these old Gods are in fact the villagers he has been living with is a great twist, perfectly telegraphed by the extended segment introducing us to these Gods in the second issue of the run. This is exactly how you long-game a twist that’s both surprising and perfectly logical.

Robson Rocha’s an artist who’s been working at DC for some time, doing strong runs on books like Green Lanterns. He’s always been strong with drawing fantasy creatures, but I don’t think he’s ever had to carry an issue as much as this one. DeConnick has created a strong overall story, but this issue is light on dialogue and high on spectacular visuals. My only quibble is that a dramatic sacrifice midway through the issue is neutralized almost immediately through magical means, but that comes with the territory of a fantasy story. There’s so much going on in this arc that the twists come a little fast and furious, but it never becomes overwhelming. By the end of the issue, we’ve got a major status quo change, a dramatic development in Aquaman’s search for his identity, and a potential major cosmic player entering the fray and leaving as quickly as he came. Cosmic stories have rarely worked for Aquaman, but this may be different. I’m hoping this run doesn’t lose any of its uniqueness as Aquaman heads back to the DCU soon.

Monsters rising. vVa DC Comics.

Corrina: Years ago, Peter David expanded Aquaman’s storytelling potential by exploring the history of Atlantis and then layering in that history in his run on Aquaman.

DeConnick, in her exemplary arc, has expanded Aquaman’s history to include the sea gods, creating a pantheon who is seeking redemption, adding a mythic villain to the series, and also adding (hopefully) a fine new supporting character, Cailleach.

That’s a ton to accomplish in one arc.

Rocha’s art has brought this vision to life, creating human and majestic looks for the sea gods, spending a great deal of time on ocean sequences, and yet never forgetting the human moments. I had expectations for this arc but they’ve been exceeded.

Can’t wait to see where this leaves Arthur next issue.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!