By Garrett Hanneken
Aquaman has proven to be an epic in the making from issue #25 and so on. Now, 10 issues later from the significant #25 that started the reign of King Rath, readers may wonder if Aquaman is showing signs of slowing down.
King Rath has reached the point of no return. He has dealt with ancient Atlantean magic and the darkness held within it is spreading. Meanwhile, Aquaman and the rebel undercurrent fight Rath’s soldiers in the Ninth Tride of Atlantis. Then Aquaman comes face to face with Murk, his old friend and general.
There is not too much happening in this issue that we haven’t seen before. Rath is still a power-hungry king who abuses his power and the undercurrent rebels are still fighting to dethrone him. However, what stood out to me was the dark Atlantean magic and the horrific, but beautifully drawn effects it had on Rath’s soldiers. The use of this magic is providing an interesting aspect to the overarching storyline that the comic needs before it runs out of steam.
Even if the comic may feel like the story is dragging on, I find myself enjoying each issue that has been coming out. Writer Dan Abnett has a way to tell a compelling story, and he allows the reader to familiarize themselves with each player. I feel like Abnett has set up his pieces carefully and is strategizing how he continues to tell the story all while having fun doing it. Consequently, I’d much rather have this story continue at Abnett’s pace than become rushed since it appears that he is setting up for a hell of a finale.
As I mentioned before, the artwork portrays the magic-powered monsters with glamor as they reach out towards the reader. I wouldn’t consider artist Riccardo Federici as a downgrade from previous artist Stjepan Sejic by any means. Federici is giving the reader an engaging and natural world as Sejic has along with lifelike characters that stand out and show emotion.
Aquaman may be treading in its own water, but the comic is still as enjoyable from the issue that started King Rath’s rule. With consistent artwork and storytelling, this epic still shows signs as being an essential read for Aquaman and comic book fans.