Written by Andrew Fontana
After two issues of being sidelined, Mera finds herself front and center of Aquaman #10. I complained in previous issues about Mera being relegated to the sidelines. Abnett has more than rectified that situation by bringing her to the forefront of this story. I’m not entirely sure that I buy into the plot being delivered in this issue, but this arc’s seeming focus on Mera allays some of my misgivings.
Last issue saw Aquaman beaten nearly to death by The Shaggy Man. With his absence comes the culmination of Mera’s stay with the Widowhood. Indeed, this issue’s revelations cast a new light on Mera’s subplot, and connects her storyline with Arthur’s. Abnett’s slower pace does bring out some of his flaws, however, especially concerning dialogue. What might read as delightfully cheesy in more action-packed issues comes across as stilted and inorganic here. Mera’s long inner monologue felt too expository and unnatural, and ultimately a bit pointless when her conflicting emotions could have been better portrayed visually. His writing picks up with action near the end, at least. These new antagonists are ridiculously fun throwbacks to a cornier era of comics, and Abnett does well with them.
Brad Walker returns to art duties after a brief hiatus. His pencils convey kinetic energy and apocalyptic destruction with aplomb. His fights have an immediacy to them that are utterly immersive. Eltaeb’s colors, unfortunately, is still this book’s biggest drawback. Rebirth made great strides in brightening up the DC universe, but Aquaman is one the few books that has come out of the reboot worse for wear. The colors are not only dull, they dampen the energy of Walker’s pencils.
All in all, Aquaman #10 is a satisfying read. The plot as it is currently unfolding promises to be interesting not least because of the focus on Mera. The execution thus far is a bit stilted, but the concept behind it is good enough to carry the issue. Abnett is laying the groundwork for may potentially be an exciting new direction in the book.
Rating: 7 out of 10