Aquaman #4 Review


By Dan Abnett, Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb, Pat Brosseau

Aquaman in chains, Black Manta is making friends, and Abnett is killing it on this book!

Granted, “killing” an Aquaman book is a relative term but for my money this title is one of the best that DC’s publishing right now. A good Aquaman comic is even more rare than a good Superman comic and there’s at least three of those every month.

Building off of last month’s shocking issue, Arthur is dealing with the Atlantian embassy being closed while Atlantis is framed for an US navy ship being destroyed. Washington, suspecting him as a terrorist, has placed him under arrest.

It says a lot about Abnett’s skill and understanding of the characters that watching Aquaman spend most of the issue in jail and his wife argue with the White House executives was damn compelling. Most of the fighting in this issue came towards the end as the Atlantian citizens had enough of trying to mend fences with Americans literally jumping the gun at them. Granted, they’re not acting unreasonably either, Abnett playing both sides off of each other is both logical and intriguing. You can see why they’re are acting the way they do and its not being overly dramatic at the cost of logic.

Philippe Briones is on art here and although the change from Brad Walker is subtle thanks to Eltaeb’s colors, its noticeably European in some ways. Arthur Curry looks less like a movie star and more like a Californian Surfer, the panels are designed on tiers overlapping characters talking outside of them. Not to mention, for a talking heads issue Briones never makes it feel dull. The tension is there on the page along with the script and Briones makes it feel like a scene out of a colorful HBO show.

Although heavily mired in the politics between the Surface and the Sea, this is still a great read and continues the steam that Rebirth has given the Aquaman title. It’s solid, but also better than it has any right to be as a book starring Aquaman. I’m very interested in seeing where the story goes next and thankful I only have to wait one week instead of three to find out.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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