The Deluge has been halted, and Aquaman and the army he commands are starting to pick up the pieces. The thing is, the next threat is never very far off.
Spoilers for Aquaman #16 incoming, so be warned.
The threat of N.E.M.O. has been quelled at the moment, but something darker is set to take its place. While the new threat builds throughout the issue, it isn't the focus here. In the spotlight instead is Arthur's newfound celebrity, a product of defending the surface from Black Manta's machinations, including a rampaging beast and an all out war.
Through Arthur's friend Erika, Abnett explores what most of fandom has thought of the hero at one time or another. He was the harmless hero, the one most forgot about or figured was only good if the team encountered an enemy who lived in a koi pond. A D-lister who talks to fish. For as fond of him as she happens to be, even Erika thought along those same lines, and t wasn't until she saw his heart and fearlessness in action that she understood his greatness.
He's powerful, deserving to stand alongside heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, but those traits aren't what make him a hero. It's his heart and his compassion for others that endears him to those lucky enough to witness it for themselves, and this issue is yet another reminder of what makes him so great.
On the art front, Bradley Walker's characters are wonderfully expressive, including Arthur, who's warmth and compassion come through the page. The more tense and brutal aspects of the book are just as effective, and Walker is able to bounce from one to the other with ease.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Aquaman #16 is written by Dan Abnett with art by Bradley Walker and Andrew Hennessey. You can view a preview of the issue in the gallery, and the official description is located below.
“WARHEAD” part one! “Deluge” is over, and now Aquaman and Mera lead the rebuilding of Amnesty Bay and other American cities drawn into the war with Atlantis. But Arthur’s tenure as a hero threatens to be short-lived when a new villain emerges from the rubble.
Aquaman #16 is in comic shops now.
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