Writer: Kelly-Sue DeConnick
Artists: Robson Rocha
Inker: Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Sunny Cho
Cover Artist: Robson Rocha, with Daniel Henriques & Sunny Cho
Variant Cover Artists: Rafael Albuquerque
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Previously in Aquaman…
Arthur Curry was found in a strange small village by the sea with no memory. The few people living nearby gave him the name “Andy”, as he developed an urge to learn where he came from and find out who he is. The elderly couple letting Andy stay with them, Wee and Loc, make Arthur a deal. The village has been fraught with struggle, as they’ve been unable to catch any fish, and those that are caught are rotten. Fearing the sea goddess Namma is responsible, they task Andy with returning the daughter of Namma, Caille, to Namma. In exchange, they will provide an elixir to help Andy unlock his memories…
The issue opens in Atlantis, as Queen Mera reminisces about her love for Arthur, heartbroken over losing him (unaware that he’s alive), as she’s then reminded of her impending appointment, involving looking for a new suitor for her.
Back in The Village of Unspoken Water, Wee is trying to chop wood when Andy approaches her. Seeking answers over what’s going on, Andy tries to ask her about this, but Wee limits Andy to three questions. After the answers just confuse Andy more, Wee admits it was wrong of her to offer the potion, that it would transport him to the one who could reveal who he is to him, but it takes a long time to prepare and comes at a great cost. Wee doubts Andy’s ability to return Caille to Namma. However, she does agree to still honour the deal if Andy upholds his end.
Andy goes to visit Caille, who doesn’t want to leave the village, and despite his attempts to convince her, Callie orders Andy to get out. The elders of the village gather at the beach that night, beginning a ceremony, and thus its revealed that they are old gods of the sea, water, rains, and the like themselves. As Andy begins his approach down, Caille follows, agreeing to help him. As they reach the beach themselves, it begins to storm, and the old sea gods begin to attack Andy…
Opinions on story and art
This was another pretty entertaining read, following the intriguing set-up of the first issue of this new direction. Kelly-Sue DeConnick continues to bring her signature style of biting & insightful dialogue to Andy and these new characters around him, and the curtain is slowly pulled back a bit more over what’s occurring around The Village of Unspoken Water and who these elderly folks populating it truly are. This issue also features the first sequence of Kelly-Sue DeConnick writing Mera, and the Queen of Atlantis is portrayed decently I believe. She speaks in a bit more eloquent manner than recent writers have, however, Mera’s snark is still present, albeit only briefly. Learning that she’s now looking for a new suitor is worrying, but hopefully, Arthur will make it back to her before it’s too late. The plot is moving slowly, but in a manner that’s very calculated, and allows for a bit more insight into who the people Arthur has found himself with are.
Robson Rocha’s pencils continue to stun me with how striking, and rich they are! Mera looks absolutely DIVINE in the opening, and the sequence of the elders revealing their true selves is a stand-out moment, not just for the issue, but for the series itself within the last year alone. And the characters all feel very expressive. Caille’s look of heartbreak over having to be thrown back to the sea in order to save the village and help Andy is devastating. Likewise, the inks from Daniel Henriques & Sunny Cho make the pages bring so much depth to the pages. You can almost feel the heat of the flames from the elders revealing themselves thanks to this!
The mysteries presented at the start of “Unspoken Water” continue to enthral me, and the artwork featured is easily some of the best in any comic being published right now.