The finale of Kelly Sue DeConnick's groundbreaking Aquaman run is here!
Beset on all sides by the manipulated and deceived forces of Ocean Master, it looks like the end for Arthur Curry...
Of course, Aquaman is never without allies, and the tide (pardon the wordplay) quickly turns!
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Aquaman run has been a thing of lyrical beauty, bringing a gravitas to Arthur Curry’s world not often seen. Whether it’s the courtroom intrigue of Atlantis, the usury of the Ninth Tride by Ocean Master for his own petty means, or the humbling of long-forgotten gods, in a relatively brief amount of time DeConnick has upped the ante for what should be expected for this title. Not unlike previous writers Peter David, Dan Jurgens, Rick Veitch, John Arcudi, or Dan Abnett, DeConnick has raised the bar in such a way that future writers will almost certainly be more than a little intimidated to swim in her shadow.
And so, for her final issue, it’s only fitting that DeConnick tie all the various themes of her run together neatly: the weight of the crown, the antiquated and out of touch monarchy, the humanity of gods, and most importantly, the ties that bind. She blends them together in such a way that everything blends together seamlessly, all elements bound in an alchemy that simply works. And perhaps more importantly, this is, quite simply, an Aquaman story. That may sound like an obvious thing to say, but consider: you couldn’t swap the protagonist out in this tale and have it work at all. This isn’t just some superhero punch-’em-up fisticuffs; this is an Aquaman-specific story tailored to suit him and only him. That isn’t a skill many writers have, and succeeding in implementing that skill is the difference between a decent storyteller and a great one.
Every story beat lands without flaw, no subplot is left dangling, all loose ends are tied up. And readers are treated to a happy ending, one that stands up and could serve as a fitting finale were there to be no more Aquaman stories ever written. Of course, there will be, but that doesn’t negate the sheer perfection of this conclusion. Happily ever after, indeed.
No grand finale would be complete without a tip of the hat to the art team, though. Miguel Mendonca and Romulo Fajardo Jr. perform a precise, almost surgical dance upon these pages, drenching every square inch of each page with lush detail and economic yet adroit storytelling. Fajardo Jr.’s coloring is exquisite, masterfully capturing the hues and textures of an undersea world and its inhabitants. Mendonca had the unenviable task of filling Robson Rocha’s shoes some issues back; I’m happy to report that not only has he been up to the task but he may have even exceeded his predecessor in places. Just a gorgeous book from start to finish.
Aquaman is, admittedly, a tough nut to crack. Despite best intentions, he’ll forever be thought of by the masses as “the guy who swims and talks to fish.” But because of runs like DeConnick’s, that perception is changing. I foresee a day coming where the writing of Aquaman is not unlike the writing of Daredevil post-Miller: a challenge, a prestige project brought about by the weighty history the character brings. Aquaman’s future publishing schedule is hazy past December; this issue isn’t the last of this volume (next month brings an installment of “Endless Winter” and beyond that the title is MIA during Future State just like everything else) but for all intents and purposes, it could be. Talk about going out on a high note, though. Future Aquaman writers, you’re on notice: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s tenure is the current one to beat.
Aquaman #65 brings Kelly Sue DeConnick's run to a pitch-perfect close, raising the bar for all future writers to nearly-impossible highs. This is the run to beat! Hats off to everyone involved.
Aquaman #65: All Good Things…
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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