Story: Tom Taylor, Andrea Shea
Art: Pop Mhan, Isaac Goodhart
Colors: Rex Lokus, Cris Peter
Letterer: Wes Abbott, Ryan Christy
What They Say:
Story 1 – Aquaman and Mera must stop Lex Luthor’s plans to drill into the ocean floor. Story 2 – Tula agrees to a Girls Night with Mera, but she quickly discovers that she and Mera have completely different ideas of what a Girls Night should be.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Getting a lot of different creators working on short stories continues to work well, missteps and all, since it allows for some fun playing with characters. Aquaman had a solid ongoing run for a bit but we’re digging into another pair of short stories where we see Tom Taylor working with Pop Mhan for the first one to wonderful effect. Andrea Shea tackles the second story with Isaac Goodhart but that one didn’t click for me nearly as well. Taylor’s had a lot of experience messing with characters like Aquaman outside of continuity so it was fun to see him still able to capture some neat nuance there.
The opening tale is fun from the start as a little fish has made its way to Aquaman, dying in his hands, in order to tell him about a danger to his own community. This does a lot to affirm who Aquaman is and how he handles his realm as he and Mera go off to where he thinks this came from, discovering a lot of chaos to be had there. It’s one that puts Lex Luthor in the mix as he’s got rights to be there according to the government of man but Aquaman is taking nothing of this, battling him and his crew out and making it clear that man is losing this battle of borders that they seem to want to play. Noting the rising of the seas, Aquaman definitely has a kind of upper hand here that’s interesting to watch as the protector of the oceans that are under attack – but slowly and surely expanding.
The second installment from Shea and Goodhart doesn’t work for me that well. We have Mera and Tula together, which is a great idea, but it’s full of tension and problems as Mera is breaking into a royal vault and needs Tula’s handprint to do so. While she has good reason to do so, she doesn’t know how to ask and essentially tricks Tula into this in order to get what she wants. And Tula sounds off on Mera pretty hard and for good reason, but none of how Mera acts feels like the Mera I’ve seen in a wide range of stories. Goodhart’s artwork isn’t bad but when combined with what’s mostly angry characters with sour expressions throughout, it doesn’t really captivate you much either.
While a mixed bag between the two stories, both deliver some good stuff from under the sea. Aquaman gets the main focus in the first and I like seeing him face off against Luthor, something you don’t see too often. The second brings Tula in for some good time on the page that she normally doesn’t get so that was appreciated for that. I really just loved the first two or so pages in dealing with the fish in Taylor’s story with what it represents and it says so much about his realm and what he sees as his duty.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology and Kindle
Release Date: June 18th, 2020