Aquaman is at the mercy of his half-brother Orm, the Ocean Master, who is obsessed with gaining the throne of Atlantis.
Arthur Curry, though, isn’t without allies, and he sends out the telepathic call.
Ocean Master isn’t ready to go down without a fight, and Aquaman gives him one. Soon, there’s nothing to do but tie up loose ends, the biggest of which is the freeing of Mera from imprisonment inside a water elemental.
With the various kingdoms vowing to work together to make a New Atlantis, one that puts more emphasis on the people than their rulers, Arthur and Mera get to go home to Amnesty Bay.
Arthur isn’t planning to spend the day getting Rice Krispies out of baby Andy’s bib, though – he has marriage in mind.
Finally. Nearly a decade after Dan DiDio’s DC deigned that heroes couldn’t be married because it made them seem old, and might make them happy, Aquaman and Mera get hitched. It’s the perfect way for writer Kelly Sue DeConnick to end her time on the book. I’ve not been here for the whole run, but I can’t resist a wedding issue. And this is a nice one, with satisfyingly romantic moments, big drama beats and a look at the sheer breadth of Arthur’s supporting cast; I don’t know who this Pilot chap is, or the water girl Learnaea, but DeConnick does enough verbal recapping that I wasn’t lost.
And in ‘Today we answer insult with onslaught’, DeConnick has come up with a lovely line. There’s more good stuff as Pilot – apparently one of the Atlantean mutates, the ‘Sea Changed’ – tells Ocean Master where to stick his stupid power fantasies.
The art by illustrator Miguel Mendonca and colourist Romulo Fajardo Jr is attractive – their Andy is especially adorable, while that big group of Aqua-allies demands a key in the lettercol… what a shame DC don’t actually do lettercols any more. And the wedding scene itself is beautifully composed and coloured. Fajardo’s attention to light sources is excellent, with that first group shot being a fine example. The only page that doesn’t work for me features the figure of Learnaea supposedly dominating the visuals; in truth, she gets lost, blighted by panel positioning.
Clayton Cowles provides the lettering, having fun with some rather flouncy narration from one Mother Shark, while the delightfully soppy cover comes from penciller Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques and colourist Marcelo Maiolo.
Next issue is a tie-in to the fun-sounding Endless Winter event… and after that? Who knows, probably another relaunch. With luck it’ll keep Mera, Arthur and Andy a happy family unit – I’d love a Life With the Currys book – and avoid the overused villains Black Manta and Ocean Master and the tired ‘Who will rule Atlantis?’ bit.
Kelly Sue DeConnick stayed on Aquaman longer than she had planned, giving her stories more room to breathe than expected. While I wasn’t here every month, I’ll be reading the whole thing once The Rest of the World finally gets access to the DC Online library – I suspect it will be rather fantastic. Certainly, this issue gives it the best ending every fan would wish for