This brings Geoff Johns run on yet another Justice League member’s solo series to a close. (Although you could argue that Johns did kinda force Aquaman into the JL series so hard that Vol 3. of JL and Aquaman were pretty much the exact same reading order and books.)
There’s all kindsa shit goin’ down here…we’re finally getting a chance to meet the people of Atlantis and get a feel for where everyone sits. This is murky. Literally, in the colours of the deep (which look great) and the spectrum of greys of personalities between “Good” and “Evil”. Everyone has motivations, and there’s no one who comes across as a complete villain, even though some do villainous things. Johns actually took the time to think this out before doing it.
Am I really complimenting Geoff Johns in the year 2014???
Yup. This is a very good book. I enjoyed it quite a bit. We met some new characters, including some more antagonists for Arthur, I’m sure some of whom will be back again. The introduction of the First King/Dead King is very interesting, the original ruler of the 7 seas, who Arthur is descended from…maybe…but there’s a logical problem here that Johns made, and I have to point it out: (view spoiler)
That was probably the stupidest thing for me.
We have a new villain: The Scavenger, who goes along the seabed recovering things and making weapons/arming his minions. He has his sights on Atlantis and on Arthur.
We have more information revealing who Mera is, where she’s from, and her backstory…it’s actually pretty cool: (view spoiler) we also meet someone from her past, who has loyalties and motivations of his own.
Throw into that, 3 Atlanteans loyal to Orm, who wish to break him out of Belle Reve, and we’ve got all kinds of things to think about and storylines to tie in together and weave. Let’s not forget Vulko, who’s still around after the events of Vol. 3 and his culpability there.
Have I left anyone out?
I would have ended this TPB with Death of a King Part 5, as it was a helluva cliffhanger. We even saw the return of the Aqua-beard!!! Even if only for a short time.
The story wraps itself up neatly, mostly because this is Johns’ swansong, and he’s pretty much in charge of DC enough to do what he wants. However, there’s a crucial introduction of 2 of the characters to each other in the afterward of the book, which sets up a fantastic idea for Vol. 5, if it’s done right.
All in all, Mr. Johns…