Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Stjepan Sejic
This issue picks up right where Aquaman #27 left: with Aquaman in battle with Krushs’ henchmen, Kadaver. Meanwhile, Vulko and Ondine head into Atlantis’ catacombs to steal an artifact from the treasury which is guarded by ghost sentinels, and Mera and Garth begin their attempt to use Garth’s magic to undo the Crown of Thorns.
There are a lot of moving parts in this issue, but not much actual story progression. Instead, Abnett seems to use this issue to set these subplots on the path for their inevitable merging. Between the stories following Aquaman, Vulko, and Mera, I was most interested in Vulko’s part in this issue mainly because of how different his role is. It’s not every day you see Atlantean ghost sentinels in an Aquaman book, and the banter between Vulko and Ondine made the scene even better.
Abnett also does a great job showing how Aquaman has been affected by his dethroning. He wasn’t just usurped by Corum Rath, he was rejected by Atlantis as a whole because of his idealistic hope for improving relations between the surface world. We saw how personal this mission was to Aquaman in the first several volumes of this series, so it was a much needed reminder to see how he still feels defeated and betrayed.
Stjepan Sejic continues to do wonders artistically, but there are some small oddities in this issue. While Sejic practically always does a stellar job with faces and emotion, sometimes smaller details like hands or backgrounds get less attention. But, he’s been doing the pencils for the last four issues, and I honestly can’t imagine any other artist for this story now; he’s really made an impact on this run. This issue in particular shows how well Sejic can create more lighthearted scenes with Vulko and Ondine without compromising the heaviness in the scene with Aquaman’s recanting his fall from the throne.