“Aquaman” #13 attempts to recover the story momentum Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis built in this title prior to the zero month interruption. Over the course of the past half-year, the Others were introduced and some were mercilessly killed at the hands of Aquaman’s nemesis, Black Manta. The villain is clearly working in league with someone to attack Aquaman. In this issue, the creative team teases some clues as to who that might be.
As with the entirety of this series, the artwork certainly propels the narrative. Ivan Reis, Joe Prado (with an assist from Julio Ferreira), Rod Reis and Nick J. Napolitano collaborate nicely to produce visuals that are stunning enough to get them recruited off of this title and onto DC’s flagship title, “Justice League.” The visual creative quartet are still together throughout this issue, channeling emotional epilogues to the conclusion of the legend of the Others that nicely balance against the bombastic battle depicted early in “Aquaman” #13. Rod Reis’ color work spans a wide range and works nicely with the drawing Ivan Reis captures in reflective surfaces throughout this issue. Ivan Reis’ decision to depict some of the action through reflection definitely reaches out to engage the reader and successfully adds dimension to the adventure.
That adventure is a little unfinished as Manta’s mysterious ally cuts bait and runs away a little too easily. Yes, there needs to be an open plot for the series to continue working with, but as that departure occurs in this comic, it seems like a plot hole instead of a plot development. Johns has done a good job of making this series interesting through accumulated exhilarating events, sprinkling bits of character development throughout. His Aquaman is abrasive and introverted, fighting against the world’s perception. Johns drives that home in this issue, providing Arthur with ample opportunity to mope, but Johns then uses the Sea King’s supporting cast to buoy Aquaman once more.
“Aquaman” #13 would be one heck of an odd place to jump in and start on the series, but amazingly enough, the issue does a great job bringing all of the numerous plots, subplots and characters into focus, closing one chapter for Aquaman and company while delivering a solid tease for the next chapter. “Aquaman” has surprised some comic fans and won consistent critical and popular acclaim. Don’t you think it’s time to find out what all the hubbub is about?