Throne of Atlantis Event: Aquaman 16
Geoff Johns, Paul Pelletier
Throne of Atlantis Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Here’s the fight we’ve all been waiting to see for years. But if you’re anything like me, you didn’t actually know that until you saw it. Film critic Roger Ebert once famously reviewed Batman Begins, saying, “This is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for.” And I think that same mentality is true for me with the New 52’s reimagined version of Aquaman. Especially with the fight sequence expertly penned by Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier that takes place in this issue. My only complaint is a brief one and probably an invalid one in some fellow readers’ own opinions. That being said, I simply wanted a whole issue of this fight, not just a glimpse here and there and a brief scene interrupted by the necessary but annoying character development scenes and plot device hint drop “look at me!” scenes.
I get that Cyborg is a main character in the DC Universe, but no matter how much they try, even great writers like Geoff Johns simply cannot make a character that is almost complete garbage into someone I know and care about on a monthly, or in this crossover’s case, bi-weekly case. I get that his “sacrifice” is a big deal and all and I get that they need to incorporate him into the story as much as possible because, well, let’s face it, DC keeps cancelling all of their multicultural characters’ books, but come on. I think that he’s sort of stealing the thunder in Aquaman’s own book, which is a little easy to do when you have an awesome battle between the Justice League reserve members and the Atlantean army. But I’m okay with the sweet fight scene. In fact, I want more of that. But for a comic where the title character is only actually on eight pages (and isn’t even the focal point of said eight pages), I would at least want action or dialogue that affects him. I’m not saying that Cyborg needs to get killed off or even go away, but if the higher-ups at DC want him to take center stage, fine. Just give him his own book to do so in and give me the option of not being tricked into caring about him.
But while we’re being irritated by Cyborg’s unnecessary spotlight-stealing scenes, we get our last final surprise of the issue. With the final sequence revealing that Orm is not controlling the Atlantean army of fish people and fish monsters, but it is in fact Vulco, the mysterious and thought-to-be heroic stranger we met just recently in the New 52, we get a sense that things are escalating quickly as we approach the ending. His motive seems pretty basic, but sometimes the classics are such because they work. As he tells Dr. Shin that he was exiled from Atlantis and is going to have revenge on both the surface world and the depths of the ocean by causing an all-out war between the two. Now, this isn’t exactly a new concept in comics, or any fiction for that matter, but it is so well executed by Johns that we don’t even seem to mind. So I’m convinced that this is going to be a great finale and there will be some definite ramifications for both the team as a whole and all of the supporting cast members of Aquaman’s own title. And with that last page revelation, you can rest assured that this lifelong fan will be back for the sure to be epic conclusion in Justice League in a couple of weeks.