Aquaman # 17
Written By: Dan Abnett
Pencils By: Scott Eaton
Ink By: Wayne Faucher
Colors By: Gabe Elltaeb
Reviewed By: James Portis
A new threat has made itself none and has begun to ruin the peace established by Arthur Curry. With several hostages forced to attack Aquaman, he has to find a way to break through and stop this new mechanized villain. With all of that in one issue, is it a good read? Let’s find out.
So oddly enough this comic opens with Aquaman being shot at. Of course, him being bullet proof it really doesn’t do anything but the person shooting him is one of the lab technicians under the control of the new villain from issue 16. The technician is frantically yelling “I’m sorry I’m sorry” as she fired her machine gun at him… In all my years in comic books I’ve never heard someone yell I’m sorry as they’re shooting a machine gun. Aquaman simply just walks up to the poor girl however and just destroys the weapon and she and him clutch their heads in pain over the sound induced by our villain Warhead! Warhead enters the room and fires on the king of Atlantis and we seemingly are sent back in time by a few hours because from where the last issue ended, Aquaman knew nothing about the threat yet.
Two hours prior, Arthur Curry steps out of a limo and greets his security detail for the united nations event he has been invited to speak at. After the events of the Deluge arc of 1-15, the UN has finally decided to Atlantis as a nation to join them. Took them long enough. Though it isn’t really made clear how long DC’s Atlantis has been established but in terms of Arthur trying to find peace for both the surface world and his kingdom its been about 10-11 years. So, it’s nice to see that we’re getting somewhere. The one thing that everyone in the panel and myself find humorous is that for some reason, the UN thinks Aquaman needs security from oncoming threats. HA! Anyway. The Aquaman fan club called Aqua fans are outside of the United Nations attempting to get a look at their hero. Geeze I’d kill to have a fan club this big for him. Like I feel as if I am the only fan of Aquaman the majority of the time so seeing this actually makes me hopeful for the future.
Back in Amnesty Bay, Mera, Murk (War General of Atlantis), Erika longtime friend of Arthur and police officer of Amnesty Bay, and Kae one of Atlantis’s attendants, are all watching the event at Arthur’s Lighthouse home. Where 3 out of the 4 feel that this is a momentous occasion, Murk feels that yes, it is all fine and good that we’re creating peace but what if it all goes downhill.
Aquaman is given his chance to address the UN. Afterward Mera calls him and says that he did an amazing job, but comments on him freezing mid-sentence at the beginning. What Arthur doesn’t tell her is that he had a hallucination of an injured solider. Weird. As he begins to leave New York, he sees the soldier again and follows it, alerting his security who try to stop him and obviously fail. As he catches back up with the soldier, Aquaman experiences a full hallucination of a warzone which then snaps him back inside the university he had arrived to. When out of nowhere a different lab tech from the beginning of the issue threatens him with a gun again. To which Arthur isn’t impressed and handles swiftly.
As he goes further down into the laboratory, Warhead begins speaking to him through whatever technopathic means he possesses. Arthur tries to gain answers to what it wants. Why it could possibly mind control innocents to attack him against their will. But then Aquaman becomes trapped in another warzone. But he can’t tell if its real or not as the issue ends.
Aquaman issue 17 is a good continuation of this arc. It leaves Warhead in mystery with a slow burn revealing what his end game is going to be. The fact that Arthur can finally make progress and create peace between his people both on land and off is amazing it’s all he’s ever wanted and it may turn him into the greatest king in Atlantis’s history. This story is progressing in a way that I’ve always hoped for Aquaman. Some world building and expansion but also action fitting for a hero.
The art carries over from the last issue being again a great blend of semi realistic and obvious artistry. A very healthy medium for all comic books. There’s not really anything lacking in it.
I can honestly say that I’m enjoying this new direction and I’m enjoying this new villain hopefully he can be a good threat moving forward. Till we find out more I feel very good about this issue. No real major flaws. A nice flash forward to see what kind of threat Aquaman is going to face but also showing the progression of peace that is continuing. And Aquafans. Gotta love em.