Aquaman #5 – Chuck Brown/Brandon Thomas, writers; Sami Basri, penciller; Vicente Cifuentes, inker; Adriano Lucas, colorist
Radius – 8.5/10
Ray: It’s the penultimate issue of this series – for now – with the next issue serving as a recap of Aquaman’s death in dark crisis. But right now, Arthur, Jackson and Black Manta have more than enough on their plates. A sect of long-dormant Atlantean sleeper cells carried out deadly attacks on the surface, seemingly with no memory of what they were doing. Atlantis is desperately trying to clean up its own mess, but the surface world is growing increasingly hostile and even Arthur’s ally Steve Trevor seems to view it with suspicion now. After saving her boyfriend Ha’Wea’s life, Jackson is finally able to overcome some of his anger over his mother’s impending death and refocus on the message that’s coming: teaming up with Mera to hold back the tide. in a particularly dramatic scene. I was also amused to see that another aquakinetic future, little Andy, seems to be progressing in his training.
The best part of this series from the start, surprisingly, has been Black Manta. Many writers have struggled to portray his relationship with Jackson – many try too hard to make him an abusive freak, but Brown was able to give the character plenty of nuance before this series began. He aptly compared this issue with the despicable Scavenger, a low-level villain with no sense of honor and no connection to make him fight for something bigger than himself. It causes more trouble than it’s worth, adding another sense of tension to the issue as we get closer to the finale. The pacing of this issue is fast, jumping from one action scene to another before you can blink. It might feel a bit frantic, and with only one issue remaining, it’s hard to imagine how smoothly this will all end, but the creative team has done a great job so far and I have no reason to believe that will change.
To find reviews of all of DC’s issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review.