Aquaman #38 Review

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Riccardo Federeci
Colors by Sunny Gho

The conclusion to the Corum Rath arc is on the menu this issue as Arthur and Mera combine to take down Rath and the Abyssal Dark. An editor’s note is that you should have read the conclusion to Mera’s mini series before reading this issue as it acts as a lead-in for this finale. While not essential reading, it does help with story flow knowing what has transpired in issue #6 of Mera.

In the previous issue Abnett made a strong point of showing the reader that Arthur was not going to be able to take down Rath on his own, and this issue is all about showing us how teamwork is the only way they can be victorious.

With the help of Mera and the full military might of Xebel behind her, Arthur is able to finally get the upper hand over Rath in this issue. Abnett really rubs in the humiliation too as Rath leaves with tail firmly between his legs. The real story is not there though, and it’s rather in the wish that Arthur made while wearing tenth metal during the events of Metal #6. Without spoiling anything, all that can be said is that it will have massive ramifications for Earth, and the story will cross over into the pages of Suicide Squad.

I would not get too upset if you did not enjoy Dark Nights Metal and have no interest in picking up an issue of Suicide Squad to see all the angles of how this development will play out. This new plot device has the potential of creating a massive shakeup and is probably the jolt in the arm the title needs as many have pondered why Aquaman has been so heavily serialised to the point that it almost feels like a daytime soap when it comes to speed of plot and resolution.

While the plot and story have been criticized during the past year, one thing that cannot be judged negatively is the art. The creative team of Federici and Gho have delivered yet another sensational set of pages. The tone they set is something quite unique in DC, and no other regular title seems to capture this kind of feeling and mood when you read it. Their grim and gloomy depictions make Aquaman worth picking up each and every month, and they really need to be commended at each and every opportunity to do so.

Big things are on the horizon in Aquaman, and now that the Corum Rath arc is all tied up, it would be wise for Abnett to now apply a different mode of storytelling to show that he can deliver speedy results on big events.

7 out 10

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