Aquaman has a rough transition as he assumes control of the Atlantean Army who are used to following his much more ruthless brother Orm. Their targets are whale hunters who have somehow acquired Atlantean technology. Also in the mix are the classic DC deep sea characters The Sea Devils.
Aquaman later meets with Amanda Waller, who informs him that the Atlantean weapons left behind from the battle in Boston have been salvaged and have begun popping up everywhere. This points to the arrival of another classic Aquaman villain, once more revised for the New 52. (In fact, I had to wonder if “Throne of Atlantis” was conceived strictly as a way to introduce this character, the transition works so well!) She also briefs him on Orm’s status, before he returns to the water, but we soon learn she is hiding something. (Isn’t she always?) And later, we see that Aquaman may not fully fit in on the surface world or in Atlantis, but there are certain beings he feels at home among.
Elsewhere, Mera visits with Jennifer, the grocery clerk she befriended back in Aquaman #6, only to have to deal with some unfinished business.
The main story is interesting in that whaling is a huge problem in the real world, so it’s only logical that the most famous ocean-based super hero should address it, even if it’s handled in a more fantastic manner here. It’s still heartbreaking, even if its fictional. In another modern twist, the Sea Devils are nicely recast as “eco terrorists.” Aquaman’s growing pains as he steps into the role his brother once occupied are well handled, with him clashing with his own soldiers. It was interesting to see him interacting with Waller… I don’t think I’ve seen any of the other Justice League members dealing with either her or Steve Trevor in their solo books, so that was a nice bit of continuity tying this book to Justice League which helps add to the feeling that these books all take place in one continuity. (Hopefully we’ll start to see that in more books.)
Paul Pelletier’s artwork is (no pun intended) fluid and conveys a lot of energy. It’s also highly detailed. Not as much so as Ivan Reis’, but it has its own identity. Reis’ Arthur had sharper features, giving him model good looks. Pelletier adds a bit of stubble and rounds his nose slightly, giving him a slightly rougher Gerard Butler-like ruggedness. It still works!
This was a transitional issue, but it was loaded with nice character bits, cool follow-up to the past storyline and the introduction of new plots and characters.
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Paul Pelletier
Cover by Pelletier, Art Thibert, Rod Reis