Aquaman #23

I return to my weekly comics reviews with Aquaman #23, the latest issue by Geoff Johns from DC Comics.

AQUAMAN #23

 Aquaman #23

Story: Geoff Johns | Pencils: Paul Pelletier | Inks: Sean Parsons | Colours: Rod Reis | Letters: Dezi Sienty | Cover: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons and Rod Reis | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99

The critically acclaimed adventures of Aquaman continue!

“DEATH OF A KING” comes to a shocking conclusion as Aquaman is forced to fight alongside Mera’s husband Nereus to defend Atlantis from the Dead King—the first King of Atlantis and rightful ruler of the Seven Seas! But what does the Scavenger and his army have to do with this attack? And what dark secret will send Aquaman off on a quest to uncover the truth behind himself and Atlantis?

Wow, what an issue. Aquaman #23 sees the fifth chapter in the ongoing Death of a King arc and is executed very well. Paul Pelletier’s pencils really enhance the strong narrative by Geoff Johns as he manages to deliver some excellent sequences, ending the issue on a really interesting note which really seems a shame when you consider that we’re going to have to wait a whole two months to see what happens next. That’s a complaint I’m having with a lot of the better DC titles right now when they interrupted their publishing schedules for Villain’s Month – but it’ll be very interesting to see how the whole event turns out regardless.

The art was one of the highlights of this issue, and I really loved Pelletier and Parsons’ take on Topo when he appears towards the end of the issue, as it was executed very strong. Everything else remained solid throughout the issue, and it added to the ongoing story in a superb way.

The cliffhanger was great, really. We’ve seen some pretty strong cliffhangers in the past, but Aquaman #23 probably has the finest one yet, one of the reasons why the wait for the next issue is going to be interesting to see how it plays out – but one thing is for sure though, I’m going to be reading it. Johns delivered a damn fine issue here and this allows for one of my favourite titles at DC right now.

As expected, the conclusion to most storyarcs from superhero comics will be action packed and #23 is no different. The tension is always high and we get to see some very interesting battle scenes as this issue is set pretty much entirely underwater, aside from a brief page on Tula and her gang who find themselves torn between returning to protect Atlantis and rescuing Orm, and the cliffhanger itself.

This issue was a lot of fun, with a series that continues to prove that DC really are establishing Aquaman as a top-tier character, something that would not have been possible before the New 52.  With the amount of depth in the world being created for Aquaman to inhabit in really make it a great tale, with the underwater setting making it almost unique among superhero books. Whilst this may not be my Pick of the Week nor even among the best 3 issues but earn a 4 star anyway –  it just goes to show that this week was really good for comics, and I’ve had a very hard time deciding which book is pick of the week.

VERDICT: 4/5

 

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