Anyone who knows me – knows that I’m a huge Aquaman fan. He’s tied for second after Batman with Wonder Woman. As much as I liked the movie – despite Jason Momoa’s lack of knowledge of the character – my only gripe with this issue is that they are still clinging to the movie version of Aquaman (at least he has a brain in his head, unlike Momoa’s take on the character).
Just for the record, Aquaman can not have tattoos. That is Zack Snyder not caring how anything in the DC universe works. He probably just thought Momoa having tattoos was cool, so he incorporated, and James Wan was stuck with it. Aquaman’s skin is too tough to be broken by a needle, so there’s no way that any tattoo artist on land could ever give him ink. And now they’ve incorporated it into the comics. (Sigh). I’m waiting for a writer to come in, like Geoff Johns did, and put him back to the original look. Now they’ve gone as far as giving him sneakers – in the water. Sneakers retain water because they’re partially made from cloth and would make swimming sluggish. At least give him his shirt back. I’m very tired of the shirtless, tattoo look. Again, thanks, Zack Snyder!
Okay, now that I’ve finished complaining about Aquaman’s appearance, let’s get into issue #61. If you haven’t been reading it, Mera had a baby, which Aquaman and his friends have been trying to babysit. They then lost the child, only to finally find her with some help from the creatures of the sea. Mera, who is now queen, fell into a coma and was thought to be lost as well. The Widowhood insisted that she be married, so as not to break the royal lineage if she died. Vulko was chosen (Vulko would not make a good king, by the way. His character in the comics is vastly different from the one in the movie. He’s quite cowardly, but incredibly book smart.)
Unbeknownst to everyone, Mera came out of the coma and kept it a secret. Today is Vulko’s wedding day to a comatose queen, as far as Atlantis is concerned. Meanwhile, a “sickness” is ravaging the underwater kingdoms (Kelly Sue DecConnick’s way of bringing COVID to comics apparently), but Orm, the Oceanmaster, has the vaccine (I wish he’d give it to the surface world already). However, he will only relinquish it to kingdoms where the rulers pledge fealty. (Pretty smart and devious. It’s rare when you actually say that about a comic book villain.) All the kingdoms have come to Atlantis to witness the sham of a wedding, and it is here that Orm plans to execute his plan to usurp Vulko.
Meanwhile, Mera is arguing with the head of the Widowhood, who is a controlling old witch. Mera is having none of it and wants to focus on finding a cure for the sickness without bowing to Orm. When the head of the Widowhood starts to interfere, Mera has them all arrested. I laughed out loud when I read this. Mera is currently the most interesting character in the Aquaman title, mostly because they have no idea what to do with Arthur. I guess if you can’t make the main character interesting, then find another character to focus on and Mera is a good choice. If you don’t know her back story, she is from Xebel, another undersea kingdom. She was sent to assassinate Arthur since he was half-human. Instead, she fell in love with him and they’ve been together ever since (move over Lois and Clark).
As the wedding ceremony commences, Orm makes his play for power, only to have Mera make her appearance to the gasps of the audience. She puts Orm in his place and announces that all monarchies, including that of Atlantis, should be dissolved. All mouths fall agape in shock, including Arthur’s, who is hidden in the stands among the commoners. He agrees with Mera and makes no move to interfere. That is until Orm calls for his army to attack! Oh no.
Whew! A lot going on in this issue. It was a rollercoaster ride of surprises and I loved it. Now, if we can just get Arthur and Reed to each buy a razor and have the former king of Atlantis lose the sneakers and get his orange shirt back, then I would be a happy camper. This is a good title – pick it up, if you’re not already reading it.