MERA: QUEEN OF ATLANTIS #6 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Aquaman #38 CoverAQUAMAN #38/ Story by DAN ABNETT/ Art by RICCARDO FEDERICI/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Civil War for the Throne of Atlantis continues, with King Rath now fully corrupted by the magical power of The Abyssal Dark. As the resistance forces face an army of the undead, can Aquaman turn the tide against the mad king?

There is little I can say about this issue (which should be read after Issue #6 of Mera: Queen of Atlantis) without spoiling the ending of one of the best Aquaman storylines ever. Dan Abnett brings the war to an end in an epic and satisfying conclusion and the artwork by Riccardo Federici and Sunny Gho continues to impress. Those who are curious about Aquaman after the recent movie trailer would do well to come back next month when a new storyline begins. Those who are already enjoying this series, however, will find more of the same quality action and adventure to which they’ve become accustomed.

 

Detective Comics #985 CoverDETECTIVE COMICS #985/ Story by BRYAN HILL/ Art by PHILIPPE BRIONES/ Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by SAL CIPRIANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Jefferson Pierce prepares to start a new adventure teaching a class of unwilling vigilante students, Bruce Wayne realizes the identity of the new villain called Karma. Unfortunately, that knowledge will not help him when Karma takes a bus full of students and a local news anchor hostage to prove a point.

Bryan Hill writes a great Black Lightning, but I wonder why Barbara Gordon has been included in his class. Surely Barbara is one of the most experienced heroes working in Gotham City and hardly in need of tutoring like The Signal and Orphan are? Then again, Hill seems to be under the impression that Barbara is a high school student rather than a graduate student – a misconception that is not helped by the way Philippe Briones draws her.

Frankly, Brione’s characters all look far too distorted and fluid for my liking and there are some major disconnects between the dialogue the characters say and the faces that they are making as they speak. This comic averages out to be okay in the end, but this is still a serious step down from the past two issues.

 

Doomsday Clock #6 CoverDOOMSDAY CLOCK #6/ Story by GEOFF JOHNS/ Art by GARY FRANK/ Colors by BRAD ANDERSON/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Mime and Marionette have found The Joker, who isn’t that happy about their killing his men. Thankfuly, The Clown Prince of Crime soon decides that the comedic couple are his kind of crazy and invites them to tag along to a meeting of the World’s Worst Villains.

While I continue to debate how necessary this mini-series truly was, I cannot fault Geoff Johns for his craft in trying to replicate Alan Moore’s writing style. The flashback sequences detailing Mime and Marionette’s origins seem like a lost chapter of the original Watchmen and Johns’ take on The Joker is a laugh riot. Gary Frank’s artwork, backed by Brad Anderson’s colors, is as wonderful as you would expect. As much as I would like to write this series off as a cheap money grab, Johns and Frank have made it into something good. Not as great as the original of course and I wish Johns were writing his own original material instead of fan fiction nobody asked for… but this book is not bad.

 

The Flash #51 CoverTHE FLASH #51/ Story by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by SCOTT KOLINS/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Wally West struggles in vain to find a way to his children that are lost in time and space, Iris West recalls how she adopted her nephew and how he became the greatest hero that the world ever forgot.

There is a bittersweet sensation to this story, which presents an oddly metatextual look at how Wally West has been treated over the past decade, becoming “forgotten” by the superhero fandom at large despite having been The Flash for an entire generation of fans, even as he was forgotten by the world of Rebirth. It’s a brilliant conceit on the part of Joshua Williamson, which also resets the status quo of The Flash following Flash War. Scot Kolins – who illustrated so many of Wally West’s greatest adventures – proves the perfect artist to handle this story. What’s truly amazing is how, despite being crafted as a tribute for older fans who grew up with Wally West as “their Flash”, this comic is just as accessible to new readers, despite being the final issue of Flash War.

 

Injustice 2 #68 Cover
INJUSTICE 2 #68/ Story by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by BRUNO REDONDO/ Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN/ Colors by REX LOKUS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Brainiac’s first drones on Earth receive a vicious welcome at the hands of Gorilla Grodd and his fellow Gorilla City exiles, a peace conference unlike any other is convened in Atlantis between the nations of the  free world, The Justice League and the armies of Ra’s Al Ghul.

Again, words fail me in describing this book beyond four words: Harley Quinn is awesome. Tom Taylor has a terrific take on the character and it turns out Harley is even more horrifying as a hero than she ever was as a villain. Redondo and Albarran are as dynamic a duo as ever and every panel of this comic is picture perfect, no pun intended. Far more than a mere video game tie-in, this book excels in every arena. A must read for anyone who loves DC Comics in all its wild weirdness.

 

Mera Queen of Atlantis #6 CoverMERA: QUEEN OF ATLANTIS #6/ Story by DAN ABNETT/ Pencils by LAN MEDINA/ Inks by NORM RAPMUND/ Colors by VERONICA GANDINI/ Letters by SIMON BOWLAND/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With her former betrothed now ruling Xebel and forcing her into a trial by combat against Orm, The Ocean Master, can Mera prove her right to rule Atlantis despite being weakened by her recent tribulations?

The ending of this mini-series won’t surprise anyone. Despite this, Dan Abnett does deliver a surprising path to the obvious ending and the artwork by Lan Medina and Norm Rapmund flows as smoothly as the waters that Mera commands.

One wonders how many newly-forged Aqua-fans, curious about the character in the wake of all the new information released in the wake of San Diego Comic-Con, will pick this book up to see what’s all the fuss about Mera. They may be a bit confused, but they will learn one thing – Mera is one hell of a heroine and a worthy warrior by her own hand.

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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