Extra-Sized Anniversary Issue!
Written By: Dan Abnett
Art, Colors, and cover by: Stjepan Sejic
A new age has begun for the city of Atlantis, one without Arthur Curry. With our hero/king dead and the old ways reinstated by a new king, what hope is there for the future of this great nation? Well let’s find out as Dan Abnett continues to craft an amazing tale for us with the beauty of Stjepan Sejic to bring his story to life.
What you need to know:
This issue acts as the fallout of issues 23 & 24, while also being its own new beginning. A new push for this title with similarities to the last time Aquaman grew a beard. Thankfully this time he has his shirt on. Mera and Tula, Arthur’s once queen to be and his once regent authority when he was not able to be king, have fled to the surface after what is thought to be the death of their King. Now a hardline fundamentalist believing in the old ways of Atlantis named Corum Rath has been crowned king, and the future of the kingdom is anyone’s guess.
What you’ll find out:
A great deal has occurred since the fall of King Orin. With the coronation of Corum Rath, Atlantis has returned to being an isolationist nation to the highest extreme, With once forbidden magic causing walls of thorns to entrap them. Rath has also begun unleashing more forbidden magic and using it to depower the commoners and lower class of Atlantis. Not Even heading the advice of the wisest of Atlantis, the Widowhood, Rath seems dead set on ushering a darker, more ravaging age of the sea, with the ocean’s most dangerous creatures at his beck and call. Hunting down the loyalist of the dead king, and exterminating the revealed mutants in their kingdom.
But where is Orin? Where is Arthur Curry, the Aquaman? According to Murk, commander of the royal army, The Drift, he’s dead. Is he though? Because rumors stir in the 9th Tried, the slums of Atlantis, of a ghost. The spirit of the Aquaman. Fending off the scum of the seas and protecting the innocent. Swarms of fish, invisible strikes and a figure in the dark of the sea. All preying on the fear of these men who dare threaten those who cannot defend themselves. When one of these innocent outwardly thanks the ghost, the call is put out to the entire ocean, and even beyond.
Mera, the beloved of King Orin, has fallen into a state of almost comatose, where she feels, says and does nothing. With the loss of the only man she ever loved and the loss of his kingdom, she feel powerless even to live. Tula, once in a different world known as Aqua Girl but no one seems to care, tends to her and tries daily to break her out of this state since they fled Atlantis and took refuge in Arthur’s Light House home in Amnesty Bay. That’s when the call is sent out, and the Queen rises once more.
Will the kingdom be restored? Will Arthur continue to look like his movie counterpart? What will Mera say when she finds Arthur with Dolphin?!? Oh I didn’t mention that…Oops.. Can’t spoil everything I guess. Even though I kind of did…Oh well. Find out in two weeks! Wait…WHAT?! It’s a monthly now?!?! Oh no…
What just happened?
Aquaman #25 is an amazing freshwater start…Yea I made that joke sue me. It introduces character to a high degree for those who missed out on the last 2 issues, which is a good thing because this is the perfect issue to jump on and you need that kind of set up to help new readers.
This is the kind of Aquaman I’ve wanted for awhile. I said the same thing for Black Panther and I’ll say it for Aquaman. Stop relying so heavily on the element of the outside world and how it perceives this foreign nation. WE NEED STORIES ON THE INSIDE. I wanna know about Atlantis and the people and the slums and the secrets. The idea that there are crime lords and mafias and such in what is supposed to be this underwater utopia is amazing. Atlantis itself is almost a character in its own right. It needs to be developed. The stories of trying to achieve peace between the surface world and Atlantis is nice but for once instead of branching out. BRANCH IN. We finally get that and I’m so thankful.
This Corum rath guy. He’s been lurking around for awhile in this title and his ideals seemed so intriguing at first. In the first, 15 issue, arc of Aquaman Rebirth, Rath was this almost war veteran type of fella. He was so dead set in the old ways of Atlantis, the isolationist government that cared for its own. However it seems Rath has become mad with power and is not the way he was originally presented, but if you didn’t read the earlier issues, it won’t bug you as much, but I still see it as a flaw
Arthur’s reveal is so amazing. He hides behind a wall of sea creatures as shadow. Even saying in a past life a friend of his used the shadows and fear against his opponents, so he’ll take advantage of them himself. It’s an amazing use of the situation and Arthur’s knowledge erspecially because he has no trident. He’s back to the original badass of the ocean.
This section I just mentioned is magnified by the artwork. Stjepan Sejic, usually known for being a Top Cow artist, has been brought on to take over for this title and his art is breath taking. That’s not to say the old artists were bad, but the way he expresses the water, the almost alien like technology combined with their own magic of Atlantis. It’s so well executed and it makes me so glad he’s the artist moving forward here. An amazing execution.
Aquaman #25 is like I said, an amazing fresh start. Some might say it was done to make Arthur look like Jason Mamoa, but in the same way Lazarus Contract was Dan Abnett’s way of retelling Judas Contract, this feels like his attempt at the exile Arthur went throught in the early 2000’s. This first issue was simply perfect in every way, ushering in a new age of not just Atlantis, but for Aquaman himself.
Final Thought: There’s absolutely no bias here. It’s just that good of a comic.