Aquaman: The Becoming #3 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Scott Koblish, Penciller; Wade Von Grawbadger, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Alex Guimares, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: I don’t know what’s going on with the art on this book, which now has a third primary artist in three issues. Scott Koblish is a talented penciller, but it’s definitely a different style than the hyper-detailed work of Diego Ortolegui. Fortunately, the story stays strong as Jackson and Mera both find themselves with their backs against the wall. Mera has managed to get the Atlantean police to release her and her daughter, but they still find themselves subjected to invasive searches and “Security details” that seem as much about keeping tabs on them as about protecting them. This doesn’t stop Mera from contacting a character close to Jackson to give him tips. I was just glad to see this character again, and it’s interesting to see how even Mera’s former position as a Queen of Atlantis isn’t protecting her as anti-Xebel racism makes a resurgence in Atlantis.
Jackson, meanwhile, is in distinctly rougher waters. He’s framed as a terrorist and hunted relentlessly by Atlantean soldiers who have no real regard for borders or jurisdiction. Wounded, he manages to make his way to a secret haven—one that I believe is an original creation of Thomas. The idea of underground superhero refuges where the wounded or hunted can hide out, complete with purple rays for healing, is one of those clever ideas that you can’t believe no one else came up with first. But the refuge doesn’t last long, as a new enemy emerges—one with a distinct suit of armor and abilities that far exceed Atlantean soldiers—and a very personal grudge against Jackson. The reveal that comes at the end of the issue becomes fairly obvious once Jackson’s mother shows up, but it’s a strong issue that evolves the story in some interesting directions. I just wish the art was as consistent.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.