Aquaman: Andromeda #3 – Ram V, Writer; Christian Ward, Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: It’s been a long wait for the final issue of Ram V and Christian Ward’s cosmic horror-driven Aquaman tale, which is a frequent problem for Black Label books. Especially on a dense story like this one, it can be tricky to keep up. Fortunately, this final issue wastes no time plunging us back into the world. This was really never a story about characters—the grieving scientist Verne and her mercurial boatmate Ivanov are intriguing, but they’re definitely the background against the ancient cosmic world they find themselves caught in. Aquaman plays a bigger role this issue than he has in past one, with emotional flashbacks to his time in Amnesty Bay with his father. As his father tells him a tale of Atlantis’ past, we learn a lot more about the source of the threat they’re facing—and the characters head further into the depths to confront it for the last time. There’s a lot of story to unlock here, and it’s hard to believe it’s a final issue.
But despite everything working against it in terms of pace and scheduling, it works. It absolutely does work, with some of the most brilliant visuals in a DC comic in a long time. Both Verne and Ivanov get flashbacks that explain their reason for being down there a little more—Verne’s makes clear why she’s so intrigued by the mysteries of the ocean, while Ivanov’s reveals some truly horrific demons the European man is trying to atone for. The final half of the issue sets up a high-stakes final showdown against something that not only dwarfs their own power, but the power of arch-rivals Aquaman and Black Manta. The story skips across time seamlessly and lets us get lost in the ocean like Aquaman titles rarely do. This isn’t some swashbuckling seafaring adventure, as fun as those are. It’s a melancholy mystery that pays tribute to some of the greatest deep-sea adventures of all time.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.