Aquaman #43

Written by, Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pencils by, Robson Rocha
Inks by, Daniel Henriques
Colors by, Sunny Gho
Letters by, Clayton Cowles

This issue is the start of a new creative team, which will tell a 5-issue limited story about Arthur Curry. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is best known for her work reinvigorating Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel. Furthermore, she and Emma Rios worked together on Image Comics release, Pretty Deadly. However, DeConnick’s most decorated work came in 2014 when she was nominated for an Eisner for best writer for her work on Bitch Planet, which she co-created with Valentine De Landro. DeConnick and her husband, Matt Fraction, are both comic book writers. Most comic book writers might not know Kelly Sue DeConnick, but she is important to know because, simply stated, her work is amazing.

This issue begins, Arthur Curry is living in a small cottage next to the ocean with two obscure characters: Namma and Loc.  Arthur does not know who he is or where he came from. Meanwhile, Arthur and his cohorts envy the mysterious lady in a red dress, Callie, who feels more like a ghost, but with a tangible presence. Callie points him back toward the sea, or should I say, draws him back toward his purpose. Loc, later in the story, reveals that they have kept his memories from him, and, would return them to Arthur should he agree to a very specific task. I won’t spoil this for the reader; however, his task requires that he go back to the sea. This time, with proper respect for the ocean and everything it contains and what it supplies.

The art by Robson Rocha supports both the weightiness of the introduction and the enchanted mystery surrounding the red-dressed, Callie. The sense of purpose given to Arthur and the danger it involves comes alive by the tumult of the ocean, which is captured perfectly in each angry panel. However, it is the poetic exposition, the world it creates and meaning it fuses into Arthur Curry which spurred my interest. I absolutely fell for this story hook-line-and-sinker, pardon the poor use of words. There wasn’t a meaningless word in this entire issue. So thoughtful and well-crafted, that every piece of the story fit together perfectly to create a tapestry of danger and adventure prompting the question: will Arthur be courageous? Will Callie or some other yet-to-be-revealed opponent surface to the epicenter of this tale? I can hardly wait to find out.

 Overall = 10/10

Final Impressions

Kelly Sue DeConnick sets the stage for a mysterious and heartsy limited-series about Aquaman, who is the outcast of the Justice League, in many ways. His kingdom is separated from most of the DC universe mainline stories and Arthur hasn’t played a strong leadership role on the team very often. However, DeConnick appears to understand the heart of this character and what makes his world interesting. I highly recommend that fans of DC comics and Aquaman pick up this issue.