REVIEW: ‘Aquamen,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Aquamen #2 - But Why Tho

Aquamen #2 is written by Chuck Brown and Brandon Thomas, penciled by Sami Basri, inked by Vicente Cifuentes, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Andworld Design. It’s published by DC Comics. Following the shocking end of the first issue, Jackson Hyde is shocked that Arthur Curry has joined forces with his father Black Manta – and a rift shortly forms between the two Aquamen. While Jackson assembles the rest of the Aquaman family to conduct an autopsy on one of the Atlantean sleeper agents that have been terrorizing the surface, Arthur and Manta uncover more secrets about the scope of the invasion.

The bulk of the issue is dedicated to the testing – and the potential unraveling of the bond between Jackson and Arthur. Jackson isn’t in a good place right now: after the events of Aquaman: The Becoming his mother is lying at death’s door. The fact that his mentor, the one person he thought he could trust, is working with his father – who is just The Worst – is the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Brown and Thomas deftly cut between Jackson’s meeting with the rest of Aquaman’s allies, including his wife Mera and former protege Tempest, and Arthur and Manta’s journey to the depths of the ocean.

The latter is the most intriguing part of the issue and somewhat frustrating because it doesn’t last as long as it should. Arthur and Manta have been at each other’s throats for years, so for them to work together is a story beat too juicy to only scratch the surface; I hope that future issues touch more on this. The ending confrontation between Jackson and a captive Ocean Master is more promising – and utterly chilling, as it shows how far the younger Aquaman is willing to go.

Basri has the chance to illustrate the various characters that populate the Aquaman mythos, and he excels at it – thanks in part to Cifuentes’  Though everyone wears some form of scale mail, their costumes differ in color and adornments; from the bright orange that both Arthur and Jackson wear to Mera’s sea green to Tempest’s ocean blue. In contrast, Manta’s sleek black armor makes him look like a living shadow, with his glowing red eyes serving as the only source of light. And when characters swim through the ocean, a trail of white foam is left in their wake.

The art team also has the opportunity to design some new locations, including an underwater laboratory where Jackson meets the rest of the Aquaman family. It’s a pristine, shimmering white, which provides another contrast to the brightly colored costumes that everyone is wearing. In contrast, when Jackson visits Ocean Master at the Atlantean prison known as the Aquarium (yes, it’s really called that) it’s depicted as a towering black structure that can’t help but bring memories of watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to readers’ minds.

Aquamen #2 drives a rift between Jackson Hyde and Arthur Curry and starts to peel back the mystery behind the Atlantean invasion. The next issue looks to take Jackson to Gotham City, which means that Batman and his various allies may get drawn into the conflict. This means that there’s another dynamic that’s ripe with story potential.

Aquamen #2 is available wherever comics are sold.


Aquamen #2
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TL;DR

Aquamen #2 drives a rift between Jackson Hyde and Arthur Curry and starts to peel back the mystery behind the Atlantean invasion. The next issue looks to take Jackson to Gotham City, which means that Batman and his various allies may get drawn into the conflict. This means that there’s another dynamic that’s ripe with story potential.