The Atlantean army led by Aquaman and the shady Murk are on a full assault on the underworld reclaiming the Atlantean weapons that were recovered after they attacked the surface during “Throne of Atlantis.”  The weapons were “scavenged” from the ocean floor by (who else?) The Scavenger, another of Aquaman’s sort of cheesy classic villains, who is being brilliantly recreated here by writer Geoff Johns, as a weapons broker to criminals everywhere.

Back in Atlantis, there seems to be treachery afoot.  Arthur may not be able to trust those closest to him, but may have deep loyalty in one of his greatest foes.  We do get the re-introduction of another classic Aquaman supporting cast member, once again retooled to tie in more closely with the Sea King.

Back home, Mera is facing charges for injuring the store manager who was sexually harassing a female employee.  But we all know that Mera is a spitfire and is resistant.  Best line of the issue, “I have a dog to feed.  I’m leaving.”  But she is then confronted by a powerful new threat.

Paul Pelletier’s art really shines in this issue.  The underwater effects are great and add a lot.  That could be supplied by colorist Rod Reis.  But either way, all around, this was a nice looking book.

This was a fun issue.  It’s one of those postscript/prelude issues and it does both jobs well, showcasing fallout from “Thone of Atlantis” (The Scavenger storyline) and setting up the next storyline (the threat that attacked Mera).  I’ll tell you why Geoff Johns deserves every bit of praise he gets.  It’s not the brilliant new takes on classic characters, although that is praiseworthy as well, no, it’s that at the start of this issue, he showcases two made-up, nobody, throwaway extras.  Just two characters that don’t serve much of a purpose, but just in three pages, you feel that these are two real, fully fleshed-out people and you have an interest in them.  Excellent!

There’s another scene I really liked, featuring someone that Arthur went to high school with.  Remember, Arthur grew up completely on the surface world.  I’m so used to him being from Atlantis that I never thought about him… just going to a normal high school.  Having normal friends that he grew up with.  I like a moment where I think “I never thought about that before.”  So again, Geoff Johns, kudos!

I’m a lifelong Aquaman fan, so maybe I’m partial, but I am loving this run on this book.  I am really impressed at how Johns has taken Aquaman’s lengthy and not always stellar history and in many ways, turned it on its head.  Vulko turned out to be a villain??  Whaaaaat?!  I love this take on The Scavenger!  It’s very on-the-nose, but makes a lot of sense and he comes across as a pretty interesting villain.  So even though there’s not a ton of action, this issue delivered everything I want out of a comic, so…

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Paul Pelletier