The frightening creatures that emerged from The Trench last issue continue their inevitable feeding frenzy on a fishing boat.  We learn more about these monsters, including that they are cannibalistic.  When one of the fishermen actually kills one, the rest devour it!  The leader can also spew a fluid from his mouth over his intended prey.  He is claiming that prey and the others understand that that person is “his food.”

Afterward, they look toward the shore and spot the town of Beachrock where they suspect they may locate more food.  Back at their lighthouse, Aquaman shows Mera pictures and talks of his upbringing.  There’s a hint at an upcoming mystery, when a sheriff’s deputy from Beachrock arrives and asks for the pair’s help.  The creatures apparently made it to land and feasted on whatever poor souls they could find.  Once at the scene, the town’s sheriff is irritated by the heroes’ presence, but it’s a good thing they are there, as the creatures strike once again and Aquaman and Mera fend them off!

First of all, those monsters are freakin’ TERRIFYING!  They’re the scariest creatures I think I’ve seen in a comic before!  If I were a kid, I don’t think I could have even have gotten this book, I would have been so scared of that cover!  The rest of the story moves extremely quickly.  I was really disappointed when it was over, because it felt so short.  Short but excellent, I must say.  This title is definitely doing everything right!  The scene at the lighthouse is brief, but packed with insight, reveals and a teaser.  When the heroes reach the scene of the carnage, I had one of those moments where I felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a comic.  (In fact, if they make an ‘Aquaman’ movie, it needs to be this story!)  The pacing is just right, with the horrific scene at the beginning, the quieter interlude and a big battle at the end.  Like I said, my one negative reaction is just that it felt so short and I wanted more, but that’s kind of a silly complaint.

Ivan Reis continues making this book stunning!  His work is just so clean, intricately detailed, beautifully stylized and his story telling is fluid to the point of being cinematic.  As I said, the creatures are terrifying and their scenes are so tense and dramatic.  His facial expressions are fantastic, conveying Mera’s enthusiasm in one panel, and Aquaman’s concern in another.  He turns these characters from drawings into actors delivering performances!  It’s really stellar!  And pretty.  Did I mention pretty?  A panel in which Mera demonstrates her powers for the deputy  is just stunningly rendered!  And Rod Reis’ coloring adds a lot to already gorgeous artwork!  His lighting effects in that same scene as well as throughout the book add such a three-dimensionality to the artwork!

Aquaman has never been considered a very physical character.  When you think of the toughest hand-to-hand combatants in comics, most people wouldn’t think to even put him on the list.  But last issue’s demonstration of the range of his abilities and the fight sequence at the end of this one, will surely change a lot of folks’ minds in that regard!  Aquaman slings a mean trident and Mera holds her own as well, with her hard water constructs!  Mera has always been a favorite character of mine, but reading this issue, I realized she was always one of my favorite supporting characters.  She’s now turning into one of my favorite super heroes!  Well done!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencilled by Ivan Reis
Inked by Joe Prado
Cover by Ivan Reis, Prado and Rod Reis