Writer: Dan Abnett
Illustrator: Scot Eaton
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Publisher: DC Comics
On the cover the reader is greeted with an unsettling scene of a life and death struggle between Aquaman and Black Manta. It couldn’t be that Aquaman would be pushing up daisies after two issues to potentially be resurrected is it? What began this eternal battle between good and evil in the first place? These may be questions first time readers of the Aquaman series may be asking themselves. Black Manta has a bone to pick with our hero in regards to an incident that has happened in their past, which is unforgivable according to the villain himself. Heroes have important qualities that are deeper than super speed, astronomical strength, or laser vision. The writer has made it a point to prove that a hero also needs love for his fellow man, compassion, and empathy. Aquaman does not disappoint in that category!
This issue begins with the extraordinary use of coloring by Eltaeb to transport the reader to a flashback scene of what is probably Aquaman’s most crucial decision. There is some interesting use of panel sizes for the reader to get acquainted with the mood of the scene on the page. There is an excellent transition back to the present time, which is where the readers sees Aquaman facing off with his main villain, Black Manta, which was hinted would happen in the last issue.
Aquaman makes some strides in character development during “The Drowning: Part Two–Full Circle.” Aquaman’s honest and true words has probably been one of the best soliloquies ever written for a character. If anyone has every questioned as to why Aquaman is a part of the Justice League, then this is the defining moment. As the reader is sucked into Aquaman’s caring words to his sworn enemy, one can’t help but feel the anguish that he is trying to portray as he speaks to Black Manta. This defining quality is what makes Aquaman a great hero, because his compassion is unrivaled. He is one of the few heroes that feels sorrow for his enemies, and attempts to understand their plight. Aquaman believes in keeping your friends close, but enemies closer. Although he does not consider human or merfolk enemies, that is the saying he might as well be basing his embassy on.
Many comic book readers have never given Aquaman much credit, especially where credit is due. “Rebirth” is giving the world an opportunity to get to know this amazing character at a new level and readers should take advantage of that. The coloring has been fluid and clean, and the inking has been precise. The artwork is what I would expect to truly portray the beauty of Atlantis, and the writing has been true to the characters.
4 Atlanteans out of 5