Aquaman has been the subject of some quality runs in the last few years, but few have been better at showcasing all aspects of the hero than this one.
Spoilers incoming for Aquaman Vol. 4: Underworld, so if you would rather be spoiler free you've been warned.
This particular volume picks up after Arthur's ouster as King of Atlantis, a land which is now ruled by Corum Rath. Writer Dan Abnett uses the change in leadership as an opportunity to show the darker sides of Atlantis, and it makes quite the contrast. The seedier parts of the underwater city are just as interesting as the political goings on in the capital, and Aquaman swiftly maneuvers through both to create a mesmerizing picture.
Speaking of mesmerizing, Stjepan Sejic was born to draw this book. The popular artist has always delivered stellar visuals, but Aquaman's world gives him a chance to work with a completely different palette, and it's gorgeous. Beautiful hues of blue and green and swaths of ocean life command your eye on every page, but its also the way the characters interact with the ocean itself that makes it feel so real.
While the series is named after Arthur, Mera is no less important to making it all work, and Abnett's used their separation as a chance to explore each one individually to a greater degree. Arthur is learning his place in life without the responsibly and burden that comes with being king, and for Mera, the struggle is more about realizing just how much of a hero she already is, and learning to accept that role.
Aquaman excels at political intrigue and heightened action but never forgets to evolve its characters, and ultimately that is what grounds everything else. Together with the gorgeous visuals, Aquaman Vol. 4: Underworld is a story no Aquaman fan will want to miss.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars.
Aquaman Vol. 4: Underworld is written by Dan Abnett with art by Stjepan Sejic and letters by Steve Wands, and you can find the official description below:0comments
"Enraged by rumors of Arthur's survival in the slums of Atlantis, the ruthless King Rath orders the use of ancient Atlantean techno-magic to track down the Aquaman at all costs! But the ex-king Arthur can't hide for long when his fate collides with that of a mysterious young woman on the run from Rath's own secret police. Her name: Dolphin. Collects AQUAMAN #25-30."
Aquaman Vol. 4: Underworld is in stores now.