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‘Aquaman #49’ (review)

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
Published by DC Comics

Arthur Curry is learning more about his past self and is memory is coming back about who he is and what his relationship with Mera means courtesy of mysterious ocean creature Mother Shark in Aquaman #49.

The next issue is the landmark 50th issue, fully restoring Aquaman to status quo.

It is finally revealed how he lost his memory and what he must do to return to Atlantis. This issue also serves as an origin issue for Mera as well, as Mother Shark uses their power to reveal visions of her rise out of the prison colony of Xebel with a mission to kill the king of Atlantis.

But she falls in love instead.

Bogdanovic’s art this issue is incredible, with subtle acting and gigantic fish!

At this point he is on par with Capullo as one of the best DC has to offer!

As Mother Shark reveals to Arthur his missing scenes, his longstanding romance with Mera, Queen of Atlantis, is revealed. Mera tells Arthur she is pregnant, and this brings him both joy and pain.

He decides to leave and clear his head, not out of a poor reaction to the move, but because he doesn’t want his child’s fate to be the same as his, with a mother that abandoned him to rule the sea.

Or, that’s what this writer’s interpretation is.

Kelly Sue has her work cut out for her, while she can take cues from last year’s movie as a starting point in the culture, Aquaman shares the same multiple origin stories that have plagued Wonder Woman and even Superman in the past.

Largely, I believe she is succeeding by filling in the gaps. Since her run started, all we know of about Aquaman washing up on shore, amnesiac and confused. This issue closes that loop and she begins the work of filling in Mera’s legend by the end of the issue.

Sometimes Arthur’s voice is a bit like Aaron’s Thor, though not the filigree bits, just his overall tone. I’m not sure if this is an intentional redefining of his origin and behavior, but in this way his voice is different.

Perhaps he’s learning to speak again with a royal flair after being ‘Andy’ for so long on the island at The Village of Unspoken Water.

Next up is issue #50, starting a new story arc and introducing Aqua-lad and Black Manta to DeConnick’s run.

 

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