While Dean Winters is nowhere to be found, the villainous team of Mayhem is very much present in “Aquaman and the Others” #11, written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Lan Medina. Comprised of terrorists from across the history of DC Comics, Mayhem includes NKVDemon and KGBeast (both from the Batman mythos) and Cheshire, with a couple other characters thrown in to balance the odds.
Jurgens provides narration for the adventure through the thoughts and words of Vostok, one of the Others and a one-time ally of Aquaman. Set on a deserted island, the story allows Jurgens to focus on the combatants only, offering readers battle match-ups between the members of Aquaman’s entourage and Mayhem’s roster. The story breaks down into measured beats, but Jurgens keeps it from becoming predictable. Beyond Vostok, there isn’t a great deal of character development, as Jurgens chooses to wrap up the loose ends and drive the story through the plot.
Through the simplified setting, artist Lan Medina is able to pick and choose how much depth and detail he wants to commit to the battle. More often than not, that leads to a simple pattern of stone, rock or rubble under the combatants’ feet and color backgrounds provided by Matt Milla. The colorist adds some depth and shading, giving Medina’s characters more dimension and securing them to the page. Medina’s work is solid throughout but has areas of unevenness, where the drawings are excellent but the characters simply float through space. Towards the end of the issue, inker Allen Martinez’s spot blacks start fading off, and the colors from Milla flatten out a bit. Some of it can be attributed to the setting, but a sunlit ship deck really shouldn’t be all that different in lighting than a sunlit island. The end result is art that is decent throughout but shifty.
As “Convergence” nears, stories and characters are sidelined while their series are put on hold or, in the case of “Aquaman and the Others,” drawn to a close. Jurgens and Medina, however, treat “Aquaman and the Others” #11 more like a series finale than a season finale with the characters all but waving goodbye to the readership on the final page of the issue. This has been a fun, ancillary title for the King of the Seven Seas, but the lack of depth for the characters — as showcased here — is indicative of where this series could have used a bit more investment. If the Others come back, now that they’ve been established in the DC Universe, they’ll hopefully be more than “Aquaman’s other cast.”