Aquaman: The Becoming #2 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Diego Olortegui/Wade Von Grawbadger, Skylar Partridge, Artists; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: After Jackson’s character-centric turn in the first issue, I was not expecting the many turns this second issue took. Jackson is in this issue, but he’s probably the third-most important character and the narrative shifts to being more of a sci-fi police procedural. When we last left off, Jackson had been attacked by Atlantean officers calling him a traitor. He’s barely able to escape with his life and seek help, but the police are on the trail of anyone who dares to help him—including Mera, the former queen. She and her toddler daughter are quickly apprehended and interrogated by two officers who can barely contain their contempt for the people of Xebel—one is openly aggressive and racist, and the other’s politeness just gives them what they need to hear to give them information. What’s interesting is that we don’t actually know if Mera helped Jackson or not until later in the story, because it’s told out of sequence.
Brandon Thomas manages to infuse the interrogation scenes with a lot of tension, as it’s clear that Mera and her daughter are not safe and her prestige won’t protect her. As Jackson makes his escape to the surface, seriously wounded, the hunt even starts to target his mother. And that’s where this issue takes a very interesting turn. Jackson’s mother has been in the background for a while, but she’s also from Xebel, and this issue reveals a shocking common goal for her and Mera. The story is strong, but this issue suffers from the fact that Diego Olortegui’s stunning art only lasted a single issue. He splits art duties with Skylar Partridge on this issue, and Partridge is strong as well, but the decrease in the smoothness of the art is noticeable from the first issue. Overall, it’s still one of the most interesting Aquaman comics we’ve gotten in a while.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.