Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aquaman #8 (June, 2012)

Six years ago, Arthur Curry's father was dead, and his identity was revealed to a media that camped out in front of his lighthouse, demanding answers. Dr. Stephen Shin was at least partly responsible for this mayhem, but now struggled to get through the throng of reporters with freshly dressed wounds on his neck. Angry and heartsick, Arthur burst through his own front door, ripped off his shirt, and dived off a cliff into the bay. Shin stood looking over that cliff for hours after the media had departed. "I'm so sorry." A year later, Aquaman turned up with an early version of his costume and bearing a trident.

In the present, Mera learned that Aquaman had been part of an informal group of super-humans during that period, and shared a telepathic connection with the beast mistress Ya'Wara. She did not appear to be pleased. Aquaman and the others banded together out of necessity to locate and secure Atlantean relics of power, which was the likely prize for Black Manta in murdering them. Ya'Wara was sure that Shin was in league with their foe, and wanted him dead, but Arthur asked Mera to protect the doctor while he investigated the matter. Ya'Wara teleported Aquaman to her jungle, while Mera demanded more information from Shin.

Six years ago, Aquaman's group was in Siberia, pursuing Manta. Explosions were set off, and Kahina the Seer saw a vision of villagers buried alive. Aquaman was willing to ignore their welfare in his dogged pursuit, but the others turned away from him to protect the village. Vostok-X flew a couple of guys to safety, but it was Prisoner of War's energy shield that actually saved the day. Aquaman grudgingly helped a little girl caught outside the shield, but was clearly pissed about losing Manta. The Operative argued that "Revenge isn't a greater good," while Kahina tried to soothe Arthur's savage breast with the foreseen fortune that he would eventually "find happiness."

At present, in a Brazilian jungle, Aquaman mourned over the body of his friend Kahina. Her Seal of Clarity had been taken, and gunmen employed by Manta began firing on everyone at the scene. Meanwhile, Black Manta was at the U.S. Army Health Center in Heidelberg, Germany. "Yes, I'm here. And I've found another."

"The Others: Chapter Two" was by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado. A lot more flashback action this issue, which was welcome, since Johns packs a lot more story into those than his deflated "A" plots. Most of the Others remain cannon fodder, but they get a bit more characterization, and look alright in action. I could have done without two splashes and a spread, all insubstantial pin-ups, eating away an already slight twenty pages of comic.

New 52's Day

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