You wouldn't think of Aquaman as being the book to deal with social issues, but the newest iteration of the character seems to be doing just that.
Writer Dan Abnett might not be making any type of social commentary, but he is implementing some themes that are awfully familiar if you've been paying attention to the news over the last year or so.
That isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, Aquaman's kingdom of Atlantis is an apt foundation for some parallels to the real world, especially in the realms of border security and the way society can let a certain idea formulate in their heads without any sort of basis in fact.
Let's move on from the heavy stuff, though, since I imagine you didn't come here for a Pseudo Wolf Blitzer-esque take on an Aquaman book.
Social themes aside, Abnett continues to depict Arthur and Mera in such an outstanding way. Whether it is the kingly aura that surrounds Aquaman in every panel he's in or the mesmerizing way in which Abnet presents Mera in just about every scene. I say mesmerizing not in relation to the art (though that is stellar as well), but in regards to her presence and charisma, charisma, and overall nature. Her unwavering support for Arthur's vision does not come at the detriment of her own will and point of view, and that is why Mera is quickly becoming one of my favorite DC characters.
I mentioned the art before, but it should be said again how great a job Philippe Briones and Gabe Eltaeb are doing on the series thus far. Aquaman and Mera's characterizations are represented in their looks, their stances, and their facial expressions, and everything about their work seems calculated, and that applies to Black Manta as well.
If I have a gripe, it's toward this new organization the series has introduced. I get it that the term has been around for a long time before Pixar got ahold of it, but now it becomes quite difficult to attribute any sort of threat level to a group when all that comes to mind is a little orange fish. I'm only human after all.
Aquaman continues to be a standout amongst the Rebirth books, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Great characterization, a tether to real world issues, and a healthy dose of self-aware humor all make Aquaman a must have for your pull list.
Rating 4 out of 5
Written By: Dan Abnett
Art By: Philippe Briones
Colored By:Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered By: Pat Brosseau