Aquaman #12

by Ian B on December 07, 2016

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Philippe Briones
Colourist: Gabe Eltaeb
Publisher: DC Comics

In the previous issue, having heard about Aquaman's fight with the Shaggy Man, Mera heads to the hospital, expecting the worst. She is relieved, however, to discover him badly beaten but alive. With his protecting of the people of Amnesty Bay now out in the open, public opinion begins to once agiain turn to Aquaman's side, the people declaring him once again to be a hero, and the Justice League even showing up to check on him. Returning back home to Atlantis, Aquaman is told about N.E.M.O., realizing that they must have sent the Shaggy Man to distract him. Before he can schedule a trip back to the surface to reveal his new information to the proper authorities, however, several cities are attacked by what appears to be Atlantean forces, bringing the United States and Atlantis into war.

After confirming that the forces were not actually Atlantean, Aquaman orders his military to be on alert to defend Atlantis' borders, not attacking unless they are attacked first. The situation quickly spirals out of control as more information begins to come in, from an Atlantean ship being destroyed by a US submarine, to an apparent Atlantean beast attacking a US Navy vessel. Unbeknownst to Aquaman, the situation looks to be getting worse still, as the US government reveals its plan of attack; sending a small strike team of genetically modified soldiers into Atlantis to take out the king and cripple the nation, allowing them to sweep in and take over. While Aquaman is distracted, Black Manta sends a submarine posing as  US vessel into Atlantean territory, using Aquaman's reluctance to attack to get in close, but before even he can act, Aquaman is suprised by the sudden appearance of a very angry Justice League. This story is very guickly building to a climax, with everything falling down around Aquaman as he struggles to hold his nation together, and I can't wait to read the next issue and find out if Abnett can bring it all together for a satisfactory conclusion.

The artwork in this issue is a bit better than some of the previous issues, with a heavier focus on environmental action, with several larger battles happening on land, in the sea and even briefly by air. Seeing the supposed Atlantean military vehicles and beasts attacking and wreaking havok on the surface dwellers does a good job of showing just how powerful the Atlantean forces would be were they to wage full scale war, with just a small strike force of impostors able to deal some major blows.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this issue, despite the fact that Aquaman is more or less relegated to the background. This was an issue of mostly set up and consequences, where we got to see Aquaman at his most reactionary, attempting to get the situation under control as it obviously spiralled into chaos around him. This issue focused significantly more on him as a king, making decisions in a war room, rather than as a hero, and it was a welcome change of pace. I eagely await the resolution to this arc, and I expect great things from it and the stories after.

Our Score:


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