War rages between Atlantis and The United States of America! Advanced undersea craft have fired upon America’s nuclear submarines. In return, The USA sent The Aquamarines – a special group of genetically engineered soldiers trained for underwater operations – to take out Arthur Curry, the Atlantean King known to the world at large as Aquaman!
All of this was the work of N.E.M.O. – a sinister and secretive organization, who have members planted in the governments of several world powers. Their goal is put the entire world under the control of their leader, The Fisher King. Like most crowns, the title of The Fisher King title has been passed from one aspirant to the next, coming to rest in the hands of Aquaman’s greatest enemy – the terrorist known as Black Manta!
Now, Aquaman must confront Black Manta and NEMO. Not just for the sake of Atlantis. Nor for the sake of the peace he wished to establish between Atlantis and the surface world, but for the fate of the entire world! For little does Aquaman know that there is a prophecy which warned against this day…. the day known as The Deluge, in which a battle between Atlantis and the mightiest of the surace-world nations would result in a true world war that would dye the tides red with the blood of the innocent and guilty alike!
Aquaman #15 brings The Deluge to an action-packed but anticlimactic ending. For all the build-up this story line had and the surprises that the plot bore, the ending seems a bit flat, ultimately coming down to a brawl between Aquaman and Black Manta that leaves surprisingly little settled. It’s also a bit disappointing that – for the large role Mera played in the opening issues of The Deluge – that she’s barely involved in the final chapter. Still, as far as fight-scenes go, the battle here is a good one and there’s a number of wonderful character moments, such as when Superman lets Aquaman know, in no uncertain terms, that he admires him and views him as an equal.
The art team delivers their usual high quality product. Phillipe Briones proves a master at crafting intricate imagery, though some of his poses seem a little forced at times. Wayne Facher provides the perfect amount of shading and definition. This, coupled with the colors of Gabe Eltaeb, leads to some amazing visuals, such as the reflective surface of Black Manta’s mask.
Despite some minor flaws, Aquaman #15 is still a solid issue. The story, while simplistic, has many memorable moments. The artwork, while a little stiff at times, looks largely fantastic. This remains one of DC Comics’ best books.