Aquaman #23.2 – Ocean Master

I review Aquaman #23.2 – Ocean Master, by Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard with art from Geraldo Borges and Ruy Jose, the second Villain’s Month book for Aquaman. 

Aquaman #23.2

Story: Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard | Words: Tony Bedard | Pencils: Geraldo Borges | Inks: Ruy Jose | Colours: Rod Reis | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 (3D) / $2.99 (2D)

Ocean Master is freed from Belle Reve and wants no part of the Secret Society—he just wants to go home to Atlantis. But he has a long bloody journey across the surface world in front of him, and he might not make it back!

The final week of Villain’s Month has been reached and it’s also the week where I’ve picked up the most Villain’s Month books. I brought Ocean Master, Bane, The Secret Society and Black Adam today – and all in their 3D Covers. Aquaman #23.2 is the second Aquaman Villain’s Month after Black Manta, and is another strong addition to the ranks of Aquaman’s Villain’s Month books that delivers an interesting look into the Ocean Master.

It seems that most of the Villain’s Month books are either telling origin stories, setting up future books or setting up how which villains will not take part in Forever Evil. In the case of Ocean Master, like Black Manta before him, he’s decided that he doesn’t want to be involved with the plans of the Secret Society and wants to return to Atlantis. However, as this one shot shows – the journey isn’t going to be easy for him, as he must find himself fight against the fellow inmates of Belle Reve prison.

The artwork on these pages on display is pretty awesome, and even though the current Aquaman artist is doing a great job, I’d gladly have Geraldo Borges and Ruy Jose on the main book judging what I’ve seen here. There’s some visually stunning splash pages, and the art is pretty consistent throughout, certainly providing a highlight of the book.

Out of the two issues of Ocean Master and Black Manta, I think I prefer Aquaman #23.2, but both are of consistent quality and tell a pretty awesome story. They also both fall into the category of the villains that are siding against the Crime Syndicate/Secret Society, so it will be very interesting to see how everything is developed from here on out in the ongoing pages of Forever Evil. One thing’s for sure, it’s clear that things are going to get worse before they get better, and I’m very interested to see how Johns tackles Forever Evil #2 next week as the rest of the DC books return to relative normalcy – of course, we all know that Nightwing in particular will undergo some very big changes after the current arc wraps up especially given Forever Evil #1’s ending.

Aquaman #23.2 for me then, is a solid issue. It’s not going to be a classic issue, but it’s pretty good and proves that people who have skipped Villain’s Month books are going to miss out on this titles that are pretty good, much like this one. The one-shot served as more of a set-up than an actual one-shot than I would have liked, but that was pretty much the only problem that I had with this book. Otherwise, Aquaman #23.2 was pretty awesome.

VERDICT: 4/5

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