Behold King Rath, wielder of the Abyssal Dark magic and destined to conquer all of Atlantis! What power exists to turn the tide? Aquaman’s trident? Scuttled! The armies of Atlantis? Circling the drain. It’s all on Aquaman or is it?
Author: Dan Abnett
Artist: Riccardo Federici
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Cover Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: DC Comics
What you need to know: King Rath has attacked the Aquaman and his forces at the Tower of the Widowhood, a place of strong magic that, if destroyed, could sink Atlantis. Rath destroyed Aquaman’s trident and left him bleeding in the ocean, with no sign of help from anyone…
(SPOILERS FOR MERA, QUEEN OF ATLANTIS #6)
What you’ll find out: With Aquaman seemingly defeated in Raths’ hands, Dolphin attacks Rath with her luminous lights, causing Rath to knock her away in one hit. As the rest of the allies escape from the Drifts attack, Mother Cetea stays behind to guard the tower against Rath. As Cetea stands alone against Rath, ready to meet her fate, a blue blast hits Rath, causing him to scream in pain. Mera, Queen of Atlantis, arrives with the full force of Xebel by her side and wielding the trident of the Ocean Master. Aquaman goes to help Mera with his broken trident and says goodbye to Dolphin.
The arrival of Mera and her army has boosted the morale of Aquaman’s allies as they attack Raths forces as well. As Rath kills Mera’s beast of an octopus her goes in for the kill and Mera attempts to fight back. She smiles as Aquaman comes up behind him and stabs him in his eye. As he pushes the broken trident deeper into Raths head he tells Rath that he united Atlantis in a way no king could by giving them all a common enemy. Arthur removes the trident and the smoke of the demon, the Abyssal Dark, pours out of him. As the demon leaves, it says that Arthur won, but not in the way he expects. The two turn to Rath who appears more fish than a man after the Abyssal Dark changed him, so they let him leave in pity. The undead of the Drift returns to human form as the magic wears off. As all seems well the ground shakes as Aquaman remembers his greatest desire that he made in the Dark Multiverse- to live in a place that exists between his two worlds. Aquaman has Raised Atlantis.
What just happened: Well, Abnett has pulled it out the bag in the finale to the King Rath Saga with an epic ending, uniting Atlantis against the demon. The ending feels natural and ties together the Aquaman series and the Mera, Queen of Atlantis series so the latter feels necessary to the story and not just a spinoff. Her guiding the army of Xebel was awesome to see as well as her carrying the trident of Orm. Raths end was excellent and very Arthur to leave him alive after all he’s done, as well as him being sea-touched. Aquaman stayed true to his character until the end, and his dreams of a united world being the thing that ruins the victory for his people is just quite funny. Mera is strong as ever leading her army and instilling the people of Atlantis with courage was great.
It’s always nice to see Arthur and Mera as a couple on the pages and this issue brought it right back. The moment was beautiful and touching. It was just wonderful. As well as this, the best art from Gho and Federici. I cannot commend these two enough for their work on this arc, it has been outstanding from beginning to end. They can make a monster scary or bring love on our pages and make us remember it because of their work. They were made for Aquaman.
Final Thoughts: A spectacular ending to this arc and I cannot wait for Abnett to continue writing his stories. King Rath was an intimidating foe and I do not believe this is the last we have seen of him. As good as Gho and Federici were for this I hope that Cifuentes brings another art style that is just as good as this one.
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