After the shocking events of last issue we find Arthur Curry, the King of Atlantis, imprisoned by the U.S. government for supposedly ordering a strike against a U.S. ship. While still dealing with the strike against Atlantis’ Spindrift Station by Black Manta, the relationship between the nations of Atlantis and the United States have been extremely strained. Of all of the Rebirth titles being published by DC Comics right now, Aquaman is telling one of the strongest and most relevant stories. This book is telling a strong political story about Aquaman who is attempting to bring Atlantis onto the world stage. To quell the fear and hatred between Atlantis and the surface world, Arthur realizes it is time for Atlantis to be a part of their world. It’s not easy and both sides aren’t exactly thrilled with the idea, but it’s a goal Arthur is willing to give his life for.
The issue starts off with armed guards leading Arthur away to his cell. They offer to remove his handcuffs but he insists they stay on, a sign of his cooperation until the matter is resolved. Meanwhile, Mera is still in the White House where she’s been since Arthur was arrested. She’s frantic as she talks to Tula, who is serving as the regent to the throne while Arthur is away. Mera confides in her how she wants to hurt the men that took Arthur. Tula reassures her that the Atlanteans are looking into the wreckage to see what the cause was.
Led by Murk, The Drift arrive at the wreckage of the USS Pontchartrain, the ship that was destroyed by The Deluge in the previous issue. While investigating the wreckage, Murk comes across an ancient Atlantean war sword that he explains would not have been left behind unless it served a purpose: a way to discredit Atlantis. Moments after discovering the sword, Murk’s team is ambushed by special forces.
Back in Washington, Mera is confronted by the Chief of Staff who accuses her of ordering the attack on the special forces who are engaged with The Drift. He explains that Atlanteans way of life and thinking is medieval and antiquated and that they have no place on the world stage. The discussion between Mera and the Chief of Staff does not go well at all as he mentions that she will have to be detained at all.
What follows next is a thrilling action sequence with Arthur and Mera that is easily the highlight of the issue. However, I won’t spoil it for readers as it’s a treat to read in the issue. The book ends on a high stakes cliffhanger that ups the ante for this book. This issue was another fantastic installment in a stellar run so far by Dan Abnett. Dan is telling a very relevant story right now and we as the readers can completely understand Arthur’s frustration. Philippe Briones returns this issue on art duties and returns with some gorgeous splash pages. His character models are very strong as well even if they can look a bit “doll” like at times.
Aquaman is a series that continues to shine with DC Rebirth and it makes me extremely excited to see what will happen next with Arthur and Mera. Abnett has chosen to tell a very relevant and political tale that sets Aquaman up as not only a hero and a king, but as a leader on the world stage. It’s an exciting tale that any Aquaman fan would love to read about. I highly recommend this series to new fans or those who haven’t jumped back on board yet. And we can’t forget Black Manta, who still has a part to plan in all of this…
Overall Score: 8.5/10