In the wake of Black Manta's terrifying attack on Amnesty Bay, Mera is down and out - a frightening place for a pregnant queen to be!
The Queen is in early labor, and devastatingly weakened - can Aquaman get her back to Atlantis in time to save both her and their child?!
It’s taken awhile, but the birth of Aquaman and Mera’s child is here at last. Given the historical precedent here, it’s hard not to fear that their latest child won’t eventually face the same fate as the late, lamented Artie Jr. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, though, is wise enough not to give into fan fears that some eventual fate that may or may not come, but rather, to suck readers into the moment of the new princess’s early birth.
There’s a raw intensity to the sequence, as Atlantis’s medics tend to Mera, a victim not only of Black Manta’s attack but also her own mighty powers, used to such an extent last issue that they left her in a perilous state. It’s an ominous issue all around, and not once does DeConnick let her foot off of the emotional accelerator, swelling the mood around the will-she-won’t-she suspense surrounding the child’s birth until the final page. For anyone who has been through the birth of a child – early or not – it’s a situation fraught with stress, emotional extremes, and more fear than can possibly understood if you haven’t been there. DeConnick sells it like a true champ, wringing every possible drop of emotion out of it in every panel. Aquaman’s desperation is palpable, believable, and all too real.
Artist extraordinaire Robson Rocha, along with colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. and inker Daniel Henriques render every page exquisitely. They’re one of the best teams in the business, and deserve to be in any Eisner conversation.
This quiet, tender scene speaks volumes, especially in its silence. It’s paced flawlessly, rendering oceans of emotion as Aquaman and Mera wade into the water and an uncertain future. They truly understand the spirit of this book, and what DeConnick’s accomplishing: an Aquaman not wrapped up in end fisticuffs with gaudily-dressed ne’er-do-wells, but rather an emotionally mature, adult comic book. Come what may with the newest member of the Curry family, this book is in fantastic hands as long as this creative team remains intact.
Aquaman #57 brings all of the emotional depth, intensity, and outright maturity readers have come to expect from the Eisner-caliber creative team of DeConnick, Rocha, Henriques, and Fajardo Jr.!
Aquaman #57: A Princess is Born
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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