Aquaman has been consistent great art away from being one of DC’s top top 3-4 titles. With a new artist and compelling new direction, Aquaman #25 is a major game changer. One that bumps the book to highly addictive status.
Dan Abnett’s vision for Aquaman has been inspired from the start. Atlantean politics has always been a focus and how Aquaman fits in a society where few truly support his goal. Now with Corum Rath’s coup completed, it’s time for a new ruler in Atlantis. Rath is already making rash decisions and immediately reversing a lot of the moves made by the previous administration. If you want to look deeper, there’s some allegories to the current U.S. political landscape even if that wasn’t Abnett’s intent.
But Aquaman is not dead. Instead, he’s in the Atlantis underworld operating as a vigilante of sorts with different ways of using his powers. It’s the kind of premise that works masterfully when the story is given the time to develop. Abnett has slowly built up to Arthur Curry gradually feeling more and more slighted by his people. His efforts to facilitate peace with the surface world has at times literally blown up in his face. Still, it’s hard to stop a hero from being a hero even at the cost of losing his anonymity.
Abnett doesn’t ignore Mera either as she copes with losing her fiance. But a desperate operation accomplishes its mission and rekindles her hope. Even if it ultimately may prove misguided.
Just as impressive as the new story direction is the debut of new series artist Stejepan Sejic. Sejic’s art style is similar to Daniel Acuna with a paint-like look only with greater, more fleshed out detail. The art here is really fantastic. Color choices really stand out and character expressions really sell the emotions. Sejic instantly takes Aquaman up in the conversation for best art in DC titles.
I’ve been a huge fan of this run since it started. It’s been strong nearly every issue, but now it’s starting to read like Abnett is shaking up expectations in an organic way. This is as clean a jump-on point as readers could ask for and at this high a quality, it’s definitely time to find space on the Aquaman bandwagon.
Rating: 10 out of 10