As I said in my Twitter review already, this issue is action, action and more action as Aquaman and his former teammates race to rescue Dr. Shinn and stop Black Manta from getting his hands on an Atlantean artifact of tremendous power. Manta aims to get rid of Aquaman once and for all…but Mera might have something to say about that. As the battle rages, one hero makes the ultimate sacrifice to stop Black Manta.
I have to give it to Geoff Johns, he sure can spin a wonderful and exciting tale. His work on Aquaman to date has been stellar and this story arc entitled The Others is probably his best work yet. Teamed with Ivan Reis and Joe Prado to do the art, Aquaman is probably one of the best all-around titles in the New 52.
I’ve had nothing but praise for Aquaman since the first issue and I will be severely disappointed if the rumors of the team of Johns, Reis and Prado breaking up turn out to be true. This is truly the “dream team” of comic book creators for DC and it would be stupid to pull them off this title.
That being said, I will say that I am sad we have to wait two months for the conclusion of this arc but we will get the much coveted #0 issue next month. I feel that out of all the books in the New 52, Aquaman needed the least amount of back-story that the #0 issues are suppose to provide. The first issue started perfectly and quickly established the characters. Back-story has been provided here and there throughout the series as flashbacks in Aquaman’s past. Needless to say, I am eager to get my hands on the #0 issue next month.
“This is finally the end of Aquaman. The seventh relic holds the secret to Aquaman’s past. It holds the secret to his ultimate destruction. The destruction of everything he loves and everything he thinks he is. I’ll drown him in misery.”
It just occurred to me that this has gone from a review of issue #12 to a horn tooting buildup for the #0 issue and that really wasn’t my intention. With the exception of a couple of issues, Aquaman has been rock solid every month and a joy to read. Artwork by Reis and Prado has been some of the best in comics. In this latest issue, the page 2 image of Mera along with the final page image of a distraught and angered Aquaman is nothing short of spectacular.
Geoff Johns use of Black Manta as the villain was a welcomed choice (at least for me). I’ve always loved Black Manta since way back in the days of Challenge of the Superfriends on Saturday mornings. It is always said that a hero is generally defined by the villain. Black Manta is delightfully wicked and just one of those villains you love to hate.
The Others concludes in Aquaman #13 and we can look forward to the #0 issue next month.
Aquaman #12 – Written by Geoff Johns, Pencils by Ivan Reis, Inks by Joe Prado