Written by Andrew Fontana
Dan Abnett ups his game in Aquaman #11. I mentioned in a previous review that the tension between Arthur Curry the monarch and Arthur Curry the hero is one of the character’s defining conflicts. Abnett finally begins to mine that conflict after several issues of set up, delivering a fun issue that sends the plot hurtling forward.
Black Manta is at the center of The Deluge. He is a character usually defined by a single-minded quest for revenge, but in Abnett’s capable hands he becomes a master strategist worthy of Aquaman. Elevating his revenge M.O. to a quest for absolute power that pushes the plot in an interesting direction.
Having Aquaman interact with the Justice League was also an enjoyable highlight this issue, even after those warm interactions are undermined by what happens in the final pages. Mera and Arthur are also reunited, and that reunion is a highlight of the issue for me.
Briones brings a sharper level of detail with his pencils that has previously not been seen on this book. He captures the alien monstrosity of Atlantian war machines and the insides of a hospital with equal attention to detail. Briones truly excels, however, in capturing the visible emotion of his characters, especially the panels focusing on Mera and Arthur at the hospital. Eltaeb’s coloring is my only issue with the art, but his colors are serviceable enough to maintain the issue’s momentum.