Aquaman: Deep Dives #2 review

Arthur Curry rules most of the Earth – the Seven Seas. He doesn’t, though, get to parts of his realm as often as he should. Today he’s in the Black Sea, having followed a trail of distressing stories from the world’s fish. He discovers something disturbing.

He also finds self-styled eco -warriors the Sea Devils, attacking a boat.

Where’s Biff?

Arthur has met the team previously, but their methods weren’t quite so harsh.

This story was created for a Wal-Mart comic, so wash your mouth out, Arthur!

It turns out that this is one of the craft dumping toxic waste into the ocean, the reason for the mutated fish. And Aquaman and the Sea Devils haven’t seen the worst of it… yet.

Who doesn’t like Aquaman vs sea monsters? Even better, this is an Arthur Curry who sees the distorted fish as every bit as deserving of his protection as the transformed humans of Atlantis. He fights the leviathan, but only to save lives… Aquaman wants the Russian sailors who have caused this mess to face justice, but not execution without trial.

As an old school DC reader, I’m not delighted with a team of Sea Devils who go in all guns blazing, but their heavy handedness does lay the groundwork for lessons to be learned.

Writer Michael Grey crafts a very decent done-in-one story, showing us how tough Aquaman is and emphasising that while he talks to sea life, he doesn’t command anyone to do anything. What Aquaman does command is the situation, but again, without being imperious – he listens before acting.

Penciller Aaron Lopresti shows why he’s a DC stalwart, with crisp, clear storytelling, while inker Matt Ryan ups the sharpness without losing nuance. Hi-Fi unleash sickly greens to emphasise the toxicity of the scenario, while letterer Wes Abbott points up the necessary beats. Philip Tan and Elmer Santos’ cover is a tad misleading, but suitably dramatic.

Deep Dives #2 is a cracking Aquaman story pointing towards interesting times ahead for the Sea Devils, one of DC’s most underused properties – I hope we see them again soon.

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