Wow! Well, the biggest reveal this issue is that the calm, kind, rational Aquaman of the bulk of this series so far is a far different person than the Arthur of old!
This issue opens six years ago, after the death of Arthur’s father and just after his existence was revealed to the world. His lighthouse is surrounded by reporters clamoring to know more about him. Arthur is in mourning, looking at newspapers reporting “The Aquaman’s Father Killed.” Yep, killed! Dr. Stephen Shin attempts to get through the crowd. Arthur comes out and Chris Browns out, ripping off his shirt and angrily shouts that he isn’t “one of you” and “I don’t belong here!” before disappearing into the ocean. He doesn’t emerge until a year later, having connected with The Others, all guardians of ancient Atlantean relics of power. His is his trident.
Last issue, one of these warriors (“We were never formally a team,” Aquaman explains) Kahina the Seer was killed by Black Manta who took her artifact. Another of The Others, Ya’wara, has come forward to join Aquaman. Bitchily, she tells Mera “Arthur and I had a connection.” Arthur utters, “A telepathic one,” to which Mera replies, “Not better.” Obviously, she’s not thrilled by Arthur going off with her, but she must stay behind to watch over Shin. Ya’wara touches the golden bead on her choker and teleports away with Aquaman.
The following scene flashes back once again to six years ago, with Aquaman leading The Others in a charge after Black Manta, dodging his explosive charges. Kahina sees a village being crushed under an avalanche, but Aquaman orders them to ignore it and keep pursuing Manta. They disobey and rush to save the village. Prisoner of War and his power shackles do the bulk of the work, but a stray child is left in danger. Aquaman abandons his chase and saves her, but then callously tosses her aside. Bitterly, he tells The Others that Manta got away. Kahina tells him she has seen his future. “And do I find Black Manta?” “Even better my friend. You find happiness.”
Back in the present, Aquaman and Ya’wars find Kahina’s body and examine it, but are shot at by Black Manta’s troops. Elsewhere, Black Manta appears to have located another of The Others.
Man, Aquaman was a dick! It’s crazy that he was so bitter and uncaring, not to mention blindly driven for revenge. He was so mellow in the first several issues! I’m really curious about his wildly differing personalities! We get a little more info on The Others this issue. They seem pretty interesting, so I’m looking forward to seeing even more of them as this storyline draws out.
The art as usual is stellar. Lots of beefcake. It’s getting almost silly! Does he really need to tear his shirt off before jumping in the ocean? Did his old “Others” costume have to not include a shirt? Yes. Yes to both. Consider this payback to the world for the old Star Sapphire costume.
This book is great and this looks to be another great story arc!
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Ivan Reis