The Water’s Warm (Aquaman #41 Comic Review)

Aquaman #41

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artists: Lan Medina

Inker: Vincente Cifuentes

Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

Cover Artist: Riccardo Federici

Variant Cover Artists: Joshua Middleton

Letters: Steve Wands

Aquaman #41 cover by Riccardo Federici

Previously in Aquaman…After successfully overthrowing the corrupt king Rath, Arthur Curry & his partner Mera (now Queen of Atlantis) thwarted an attempt by a corrupt sect of the US government to blow up the recently-risen to the surface Atlantis with a bomb planted by the Suicide Squad…

 

Synopsis

The comic itself opens with a group of Atlanteans swimming on the outskirts of Atlantis, as a little boy is complaining about living on the surface. Just as his father & mother are trying to reassure him that the water will always be there, suddenly the waters begin to bubble and shift to a strange color, as all the Atlanteans beneath begin to morph into aquatic monsters, including the little boy’s dad. Just as the now-changed Atlanteans leap at the boy and his mother, Queen Mera arrives, using her aquakinesis to hold the monsters off. Following this, Mera has escorted those not changed to her command center, as she, the Reverend Mother Cetea, and Ondine consult to figure out what’s happening, and what should be Atlantis’s next move. As Commander Murk tries to fend off the morphed-Atlanteans, he too is exposed to the water and changes. The child from the opening, Dodo, speaks up, asking Mera to save his father, to which Mera vows that she will do so, remembering that she has allies she can call upon, as she’s part of the Justice League. The comic then cuts to Batman in the Hall of Justice, restoring communications, and putting him in contact with Atlantis and Mera. Mera then learns from Batman that this epidemic is worldwide, part of an invasion by a massive alien armada that’s formed a blockade around the Earth. Mera asks where Arthur is, as Batman reveals they lost contact with him six hours previously. Cut to Arthur, held captive by the invading alien forces, ocean deities from other planets, who plan on invading the Earth. They’re keeping Arthur alive to witness this. The comic then returns to Mera, desperate to find Arthur, as Batman points out that finding Arthur has to come second to getting Atlantis’s help fending off the invasion. As Mera sees just how big the stakes are thanks to video uplinks of the invasion across the planet courtesy of Batman, she reveals how Atlantis is holding its ground. She is personally holding back all of the water using her aquakinesis. Batman is in awe of this but points out that Mera can’t keep it up forever. Mera will eventually pass out, and that she needs to help treat the core problem, and not just protect Atlantis. Mera argues against this, that as queen of Atlantis it’s her duty to protect the kingdom. But Batman counters with the need for the Justice League to fight this invasion off, and that they will restore the planet when that happens. Mera interceeds with her promise to Dodo before Batman interjects with the promise she made to Superman, Wonder Woman and himself to serve & protect the planet as part of the League. Just as Mera begins to concede, the monsters’ attack destroys the main generators, knocking everyone out, including Mera…she stopped concentrating, and thus her shield protecting Atlantis falls…

Aquaman #41 variant cover by Joshua Middleton

Opinions on story and art

This was an incredibly entertaining read. Dan Abnett takes full advantage of the set-up for this story, via Justice League #10 and the start of the “Drowned Earth” crossover, to tell a story centring around Mera and her new status as Queen of Atlantis, while highlighting another recent development for her, joining the Justice League. As someone who’s favourite DC character IS Mera, this is precisely the kind of story I can really get immersed in. It’s fun to see Mera now in the position of trying to balance her responsibilities to the Justice League alongside her duty to Atlantis, something Arthur’s faced numerous times before, and Mera even admitting this in the comic itself. The ending also follows up nicely on the events from her recent solo miniseries, Queen of Atlantis, in a very intriguing way. The art for the book is enjoyable enough. Lan Medina, Vincente Cifuentes & Gabe Eltaeb having drawn numerous Aquaman stories previously, all know how to highlight action-sequences for Mera & show off her powers. That being said, I think the book could’ve done with a slightly darker color-pallet to further highlight the horror of the Atlanteans shifting into these monsters. Also, it would’ve been nice to present Mera’s use of the aquakinesis to protect all of Atlantis as a two-page spread, just to highlight how incredibly awesome that moment was. Finally, as a tie-in to the “Drowned Earth” storyline in Justice League, reading and understanding what’s going on in this issue may require reading Justice League #10 first (something this issue itself points out on the third page). Though one or two key plot points (particularly involving Aquaman himself) are addressed in this comic, recreating one sequence from Justice League #10, the dialogue feels a bit at odds with that from the Justice League issue.

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Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron

A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!
Summary
Overall, a very fun, engaging outing that allows for Mera to have the spotlight and shine! A great example of how to write and plot a tie-in to show off the supporting cast of an on-going series!
Good
  • The story highlights Mera, taking advantage of her recent developments nicely
  • The artwork shows just how powerful Mera is
  • The story feels mostly self-contained for a tie-in comic.
  • This comic remembers Mera’s a member of the Justice League!
Bad
  • The artwork could’ve done with slightly darker colors
  • Reading Justice League #10 may still be required to follow the plot
9.5
Amazing
Art - 8
Writing - 10
Plot - 10
Character Development - 10
Written by
A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!

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