Aquaman #64 – Kelly Sue DeConnick, Writer; Miguel Mendonca, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Aquaman hasn’t been as long as some of the great DC Comics runs—but then, has Aquaman ever had a truly defining extended run? There’s a case for the works of Geoff Johns and Peter David, but DeConnick is easily their equal in redefining the world of Atlantis. Now, all her plots converge for two final issues before the finale, following Jordan Clark’s excellent two-part Aqualad story. Atlantis is in chaos, with Mera having announced her plans to disband the monarchy and civil war erupting as a result—just in time for Ocean Master to return with his new supernatural city of Dagon and attempt a coup. That leads to one of the best set pieces in Aquaman’s history, as the massive dome that contains Atlantis is breached and countless enemy armies flood in, threatening the entire structure of the city in ways that we usually only see outside supervillains from the surface do.
My one quibble with this run is that it seems like Orm’s character development over various runs since the New 52 has been reset—here he’s pretty much a one-note and particularly scummy villain. But that’s made up for by the many other characters who get new layers in this issue. Vulko, Mother Cetaea, and especially Dolphin have some great scenes this issue. As for Orm, Aquaman makes the case that he’s essentially too petty a person to ever change, and that sets up the final showdown where we return to the place it all began—Arthur goading Orm into a one-on-one battle for the throne of Atlantis. However, there’s one more betrayal ahead before the grand finale. DeConnick’s script is as strong as always, but Miguel Mendonca is the real breakout star here, illustrating a stunning Atlantis in amazing double-page spreads. This is one run that fans of the character are going to look back at as one of the greats.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.