Aquaman # 18
Written By: Dan Abnett
Pencils By: Scott Eaton
Ink By: Wayne Faucher
Colors By: Gabe Elltaeb
Warhead, a brand-new villain has attacked Aquaman for unknown reasons. Can Arthur Curry escape this threat and maintain the peace between Atlantis and the surface world? Well of course he’s Aquaman one of the greatest heroes of all time. What matters is if it’s a good read.
The story continues from issue 17. The secret service is entering the university where Warhead has taken refuge inside to enact his master plan…whatever it is. They realize that they can reach Aquaman because the doors are sealed. Inside, Aquaman is hallucinating, seeing himself on a battle field in a war in Kahndaq. People are dying, guns are mowing innocents down. But he realizes its all isn’t real. He just needs to figure out how to escape.
Just then, Warhead appears and explains that he was created by the Chinese as the ultimate war machine. To enact the plans that normal soldiers couldn’t. He was ordered to burn all of Bialya to the ground. But during it, Warhead refused. Aquaman asks what happened next, but Warhead refuses to answer. He instead attempts to the King of Atlantis’s mind again. Saying, “You are receptive to contact but you resist control”. The rest of the issue, Warhead continues this phrase as he attempts to batter and break Aquaman, trying to regain control of everything because he wants to never be controlled again. He had retreated to this school to rebuild after escaping his creators. As Aquaman retaliates, he discovers that Warhead is a victim, A human reconstructed for war, and that with his Aquatelepathy, he can free Warhead from the control of his programming.
With the situation resolved, Aquaman returns to amnesty bay, where one of the Aquamarines, a team from the U.S military that attacked Arthur during the first story arc, is at his home. She explains that the United States requires his help with a new threat. One never faced before.
Aquaman issue 18 is, to be honest kind of a letdown. I really wanted Warhead to be a new ongoing villain for Arthur similarly to Ocean Master and Black Manta. They had hyped him up to be a really big threat with them not showing what his text bubbles said as he spoke into people’s minds, how he wouldn’t reveal why he wanted Aquaman, it was mysterious and exciting. That’s not to say what we got wasn’t bad. It’s just not as good as it could have been. Siyu, Warhead’s original human name, is a good character with just a desire to be free, and I hope with where he’s going forward he plays a role down the line, it was just a letdown that he wasn’t a better rival to Aquaman long term.
The art is still consistently good. Not the best in an Aquaman book ever, but not the worst art ever seen. Scott Eaton does a good job showing expression in characters. Even Warhead who you’d think would be expressionless in general because he’s a robot. But the well-drawn models and the nice spreads of the war zone scenes make this book very enjoyable.
This was a nice little arc. It ended not as I wanted, but it ended in a way that could build on events moving forward which I enjoy. I love stories that take pieces from the past. So, I will recommend this issue as well as the 3. This arc is very well written just a little anti climatic in my opinion.