Kelly Sue DeConnick's run on Aquaman sought to grow the character's mythology in some creative ways, and DeConnick and artist Miguel Mendonca pay all of that effort off with a thrilling and heartwarming chapter to conclude off this delightful run. Everything readers loved about the series to date is present here, and it sets up Arthur, Mera, and Atlantis in promising new ways moving forward. Arthur Curry is a much stronger character now than he was when DeConnick arrived, and while a super-sized issue would've been welcome to mark this occasion, it is still quite the event.
DeConnick introduced a bevy of new concepts and characters to the mix since her run began, and all of them have some sort of role to play in Aquaman #65. It's thrilling to see the entire supporting cast come together in such an epic wave; it is easy to get swept away watching Arthur's allies assemble.
Mendonca and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.'s impact in those opening pages cannot be understated. The team delivers stunning visuals from the very first page, but there's a splash page later on that absolutely demands to be produced as a poster sometime soon, and that assembly is earned after the gauntlet Arthur's been through, both as a character and a hero.
If there's a disappointment here, it's that there just aren't enough pages to flesh out this story. The action sequence readers get effectively drives the differences between Arthur and Orm home and looks stellar, but after seeing Arthur's forces assemble, it is disappointing that there's not at least a page or two of larger-scale action between the two forces.
That's nitpicking because one of the more important takeaways from this arc is what wonders can be achieved when people are open to new ideas and embrace change—another huge battle would be falling into old habits. It makes perfect sense why Aquaman doesn't go there, but you can't blame readers for not wanting to see a team-up between the Justice League, Grandfather Manta Mech, and the Old Gods of the Water.
Another central takeaway from Aquaman #65 is the long-overdue wedding between Arthur and Mera, and it's wonderful to see such a heartwarming and hopeful event conclude this run, especially in these chaotic times. It doesn't leave things on a cliffhanger, and honestly, I loved that—enjoying the present and basking in a sentimental moment of peace and community before whatever comes next.
For me, it really comes down to one particular moment that DeConnick absolutely nailed between Arthur, Mera, and Andy as they eat breakfast. This sequence isn't very long, but it portrays two people who have fought through a lot to reach this moment of happiness, all without losing their drive to help others or their hope in the future. What a lovely and much-needed note to leave on, don't you think?
The world of Aquaman, Mera, and Atlantis has never been richer or more filled with promise than it is now, and DeConnick leaves the toybox much fuller than when she arrived. Aquaman #65 is a celebration of a couple that has earned their time in the sun, and it's hard to envision those who have followed along leaving this issue without a smile on their face. Sure, it could've been longer and a bit more action-packed, but those issues don't keep it from delivering a satisfying conclusion to this bold new chapter of Aquaman that I'm sad to see end.
Published by DC Comics
On November 17, 2020
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Miguel Mendonca0comments
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters by Clayton Cowles