Aquaman #23Aquaman must contend with twin assaults, one from Nereus, the man who was betrothed to Mera as well as the Scavenger, who is invading Atlantis.  After breaking free of  the nexus between our world and Xebel, the prison colony where Mera was raised, the pair return to a battle-ravaged Atlantis.  Not to get too spoilery, but Topo returns, just in time, in a glorious two-page spread.  And he’s needed as he may be the only force that can save the underwater kingdom.

Unfortunately, the book closes in a strange manner that I won’t embellish, but it was a strange decision, in my opinion, that leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Other than the strange cliffhanger, the story worked pretty well.  Things had started to meander a bit, so I’m glad to see a few plot threads wrapped up here.  We get more embellishment of the relationship between Arthur and Mera, which reinforces that they have one of the best romances in comics.  It’s nice to see a committed couple that can work together, even through hardships.  Comics these days seem somewhat anti-relationship, so it’s refreshing when a writer can make a relationship function.

Paul Pelletier’s artwork packs a lot of punch.  There’s a lot of energy in his action sequences, but his facial expressions are great as well.  There are a few really great double-page spreads that really captured the necessary drama.  Drawing a book that is set underwater offers a unique challenge, but Pelletier rises to the occasion.

All in all, this book flows nicely.  I’m glad to get some closure to a few plot lines that started out strong but was starting to feel as if it were dragging a bit. The artwork was great, as usual.  But as I said, the way the issue ended was really odd and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  But overall, this is a solid series and this was another strong issue.

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AQUAMAN #23
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Paul Pelletier
Cover by Pelletier with Sean Parsons and Rod Reis