Aquaman #61 – Kelly Sue DeConnick, Artist; Miguel Mendonca, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Aquaman’s world has massively expanded over this run, and this issue is where all the elements finally converge – with a wedding in Atlantis uniting the seven kingdoms, and possibly breaking out into war. Mera is out of her coma, but has concealed this from the world to protect herself. Most people believe her marriage to Vulko is going ahead and will make him the de facto king with her unconscious. And Arthur and his allies are planning to sneak into Atlantis to stop the wedding – but Orm and his kingdom of Dagon is making a move with an army of ships behind them. The best part of this issue’s first half is when we see the various kingdoms making their arrival. The Trench and their giant queen is the highlight, but we also learn about a new kingdom, the kingdom of Sea Lights – an odd group of bioluminescent girls who have a unique look I want to learn more about immediately.
The first half of the issue is a lot of setup, but when the chaos breaks out, it delivers in a big way. The complex nature of superhero monarchies is something many writers have grappled with – most notably Ta-Nehisi Coates over at the competition in Wakanda. But the Atlantean monarchy is a complicated beast, and the proposal Mera makes this issue is almost enough to set the seven kingdoms at war. Orm’s attack at the end sets up an exciting finale – although it’ll be a while before we get it, since Jordan Clark’s two-part Aqualad story is up next. That’ll hurt the momentum of this series, especially in the middle of such a huge storyline, but DeConnick is delivering the most compelling Aquaman story in years and she deserves as much time as she needs to get through it. I just hope she’s not mic-dropping after this arc, because there seems to be a lot of story left to go.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.