Since retaking the throne of Atlantis in the wake of his half-brother’s invasion of the surface world, Arthur Curry – better known to the world at large as Aquaman – has faced adversity on multiple fronts. He’s contended with the continued scheming of his arch-enemy Black Manta – now backed by the sinister organization known as NEMO. He’s weathered the political machinations of the US Government and an assassination attempt by the super-powered US Navy SEALs known as The Aquamarines. He has even faced resistance from his own people, in the form of a terrorist group known as The Deluge and their fearsome leader, Corum Rath.
It is this last threat to his rule that may prove to be Aquaman’s undoing. Despite his best efforts at encouraging understanding between his subjects and the surface-dwellers, most Atlanteans are reluctant to see the world above as anything but a threat. The same is true of most Americans and the world that lies below. Now, the Atlantean Council of Elders has called Arthur’s right to rule into question and there is talk of anointing a new king in his place.
Torn between his sense of duty to both the worlds he is part of and his desire for a simple life free of political obligations, Aquaman faces a difficult choice. Will he flee for the surface world with his lover, Mera? Or will he stay and fight for the kingdom that rejects his leadership?
Those hoping for an intense, action-packed issue will find Aquaman #24 lacking. The focus here is largely upon Atlantean politics, with what little action exists reserved for the end of the issue. Conversely, those who have enjoyed Dan Abnett’s examination of the Atlantean culture and the political power struggles Arthur Curry must contend with will find a story as rich and thrilling as any episode of The West Wing or House of Cards.
Both of this series’ regular pencilers worked on this issue but readers are unlikely to notice any great aesthetic shift in the artwork. Indeed, despite three inkers working on this issue there is a seamless appearance to all of this issue’s art. Too many cooks, in this case, did not spoil the broth.
Despite being the conclusion of the Crown of Atlantis arc Aquaman #24 would be an excellent first issue for new readers ready to dive into the world of Arthur Curry. The story is gripping, though light on physical action and the art team delivers quality, uniform work.