Aquaman: Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Jonathan Glapion, Andy Lanning, Rod Reis, Nick J. Napolitano
The story continues as Manta hunts for the relics, and Aquaman does everything he can to stay hot on his trail. Last issue, Manta had escaped Aquaman and appeared before Mera and Dr. Shin…hinting that Shin’s possibly been the one aiding and working with Manta.
This issue starts off 6 years ago, before all the Others had their relics. Aquaman leads them into a tomb on an island where the Dead King of Atlantis, the man who built the city originally, had laid all the weapons he had forged, the relics. They each take them - and it seems like they’re taking them because Manta wants them. We still don’t know what brought the Others together as a group in the first place. But I have a feeling we’ll find out.
The Operative tells Arthur and the others that Manta’s heading for the island where the tomb lies, and Arthur says he’ll go alone in order to protect the Others, because the reason Manta went after them all is because Arthur killed his father. So, apparently, this is personal for everyone. Apparently Manta did something to each of them. Sounds like him, and I dig that each of them is bound together by this common enemy.
Hang on, just wait a minute, everyone. Am I still the only one who thinks Vostok looks like Ocean Master? Vostok even takes off his super helmet, and his black hair and beard make it even MORE obvious to me! I did a little research on the name, and it just turns out that he’s named after an actual Russian spaceflight program, which is fitting. Alright, back to your scheduled program.
Manta takes Shin to the island to find ANOTHER relic, a seventh relic. One that’s apparently more powerful than Arthur’s trident. Now, hang on. Arthur’s trident is being used to compare the power of the relics? Surely it’s not the most powerful…it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t shoot blasts or anything - that we’ve seen so far - and it definitely doesn’t TELEPORT you around the world. Surely the globe, or the bracelets, or even the seeing-the-future trinket is considered more powerful than just a trident.
Perhaps there’s more to this thing that we haven’t seen yet.
This whole issue is filled with beautiful art. Good lord, I can never get enough from this team. Ivan’s pencils are excellent, and detailed as always. Look at that last splash page, the backgrounds. The set. Same with the beginning. It looks so Tomb Raider, and I’m digging it a lot. More than that, Rod’s coloring work is phenomenal. Why he’s not nominated or receiving every single coloring award ever offered is a true mystery to me.
I could list off several examples of why his work is masterful in this issue alone, but I won’t. The work speaks for itself, and is gorgeous. I go through this title twice, once to read the story, and another time just to stare at the artwork.
Aquaman #11, the verdict: Not only is every single issue just a treasure to behold, with the fantastic art team pulling out all stops to bring us such dazzling visuals, but the story is developing into something really incredible. I feel like the villain is ahead, and is powerful. The heroes are lagging behind, and don’t possess the power to win. It’s exciting. It’s engaging. It makes me excited for the next issue. Everyone is all inter-related in terms of history, and it makes for a rich set of characters. We barely know anything about certain of these “Others,” but we’re still able to go along with it and root for them because of the experience they share that comes off of the page so well. If you’re not reading Aquaman, well, there’s just no hope for you.
(Photo Source: Longer Boxes)