AQUAMAN ANDROMEDA #3
What ties does the mysterious craft have to the city of Atlantis? Its true purpose has infected most of the Andromeda, but an even greater threat has descended upon the crew: Black Manta has taken possession of the craft. If Aquaman is to defeat him, he’ll have to stare down his greatest fears. Can Aquaman wrest control over the craft before the weapons systems aboard the Andromeda wipe them all from the ocean floor
If you get past the visual spectacle of this comic, and between Ram V’s script and Ward’s beautiful art there is plenty of spectacle, what you will find is an exquisite examination of several very human themes. Past Arthur’s heroics and Manta’s villainy issue three delves deeply into the idea of how our fears and guilt from our worst moments can destroy us if we let them, how we may literally and figuratively drown our problems in the depths of our own hearts, But to quote the comic: Water Remembers.
This last issue clearly connects the mystery of the strange craft, its origins the entity
inside it to the legend of Atlantis and how it came to be at the bottom of the ocean. Ram V
splits the narrative track of the story after the history lesson and clarification of the
threat as things go from bad to worse for the remaining crew of the Andromeda as Black Mantamoves in. There are the requisite action pieces as Arthur staves off a strike on the Andromeda from the surface and it’s then that things get interesting. The remaining crew determines to use the black hole drive to destroy the ship that houses the entity that has permeated their minds and Ram V uses the rest of the issue to examine the idea of guilt, personal fears, loss, and even some redemption through all the characters left on the board, even Manta’s obsessive hatred for Arthur plays its part. It’s a hard-hitting issue that digs deeply into the worst and best of human nature as expressed through the guilty remembrances of crewman Ivanov and in contrast uses the king of the ocean who has to literally face his fears made real as a beacon and do the heroic thing to help the remaining crew of the andromeda that he can. This issue also peels back the creature of the sea veneer and humanizes Arthur through a clever mix of flashbacks to Arthur’s childhood with his father and art from Christian Ward that strips the sea creature away and shows the man beneath who reminds us that we do not win against our fears, we learn to contend with them and if we do not they eventually drown us…
Ward is once again flawless on art and I am prepared to say this is one of if not the most beautifully illustrated Aquaman stories ever made. Ward manages to capture the isolation of life on the shore in the lighthouse, the bond between father and son, and the majesty of legendary Atlantis alongside the darkness and madness of the depths below with marvelous scale and rich beautiful colors. The recurrent motif from the series of the singularity/eye sinking beneath the surface which is everywhere is brought into sharp focus as we learn of Ivanov’s terrible guilt-ridden history. This comic runs an entire emotional gamut with color alone from the first page to the action scene at the end which is a psychedelic affair bathed in greens, pinks, and blues. Aditya Bidikar is superb on lettering and it’s really a first-class production from everyone involved.
The final chapter wraps things up with gorgeous art and a superbly layered script that adheres to the superheroic required but does what the best comics do and gives us a nuanced, beautifully layered examination of guilt, loss, trauma, fears, and human nature itself in magnificently rendered world beneath the waves where something waits to make your dreams or your fears come true.
AQUAMAN ANDROMEDA #3 Water Remembers
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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