The Others finally come together in pursuit of Black Manta and we observe their initial discovery of their golden instruments, which are tied to the first king of Atlantis, whom Arthur refers to simply as The Dead King. We get a brief battle between Mera and Black Manta, and further indications that Aquaman isn’t the man he used to be. We also find out more about the pasts of Vostok and The Soldier, who both have their own private struggles to contend with.
We’ve already seen that Aquaman used to be kind of a jerk – single-mindedly obsessed with battling Black Manta. Here we learn that after joining the Justice League, he deserted The Others and never looked back. It’s a bit gloomy, but it helps to underscore that Aquaman is a changed man and no longer so selfish. In fact, when he says he wants to go after Manta alone, it’s in order to protect The Others.
This issue works as part of the overall story, but in and of itself, it felt like a transition, rather than an essential must-read. It works on every level, except as a jumping on point. The art, as usual is fantastic and is some of the best work appearing in mainstream super hero comics. Everything from the facial expressions to the body language to the storytelling is pretty much flawless.
I’m only counting off a tad because the issue doesn’t stand on its own very well, but it’s still really good.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis