A mission, a revolution, and a baby! Kelly Sue DeConnick continues her incredible work on Aquaman, setting the stage for the return of an old family member and the introduction of a new one. Meanwhile, our very own Queen Mera has put into action a contingency plan of her own (as any intellectual queen would… and Batman) – One that not even a coma can get in the way of… So, let’s get into this *SPOILER* review and break it down.
10 months (yes really) on since the royal birth, Vulko views a hidden message from the Queen inside of a red pearl. Throwing back to when the Queen announced Vulko as her choice of suitor, she did seem oddly confident in her decision, leaving everyone asking the question: what is she up too? KSD doesn’t necessarily give any details, however, we can assume it involves Mera’s engagement to Vulko. Even more significantly, Mera insinuates that there is a greater threat on the way – Something that will not only put her and Arthur’s daughter in danger but all of the children in Atlantis.
Besides trying to kidnap the Royal child, what else would you do after ascending the ranks of an Underwater Kingdom which rivals that of Atlantis? You persuade the beaten minds of the most sorely oppressed Atlanteans. You rally them to join your ranks. You overthrow the authorities that precede you. The Ocean Master takes no time to rest, working from the ground up within the Ninth Tride to gather supporters.
“The Ninth Tride is socially and literally the lowest quarter of the city-state. It straddles and falls sheer into, the carnac abyss that splits the city north to south, a relic of the catastrophe that sank Atlantis. Here the city clings like corals to the cliff walls of the trench”Aquaman Vol. 8 #25
While I will say that the constant “battle for the throne” storyline is repetitive and predictable, I do appreciate that KSD has put Orm on the ground. “Orm, the mighty” is now put in a position where he is fighting for and with the kind of people he would have once oppressed. In terms of social classes, this is the second to last place (last being the surface) we would assume to see him. The development by KSD has achieved two things: 1. He isn’t so much of a pompous and 2. He still holds true to his love for Atlantis. Even in the act of going to war against a Kingdom he once ruled, he still views the surface-dwellers as the one, true enemy – Poisoning the minds of Atlanteans and those in charge. So, from a fan’s perspective, it is a joy to see Ocean Master develop whilst still remaining true to his core values.
Just a quick reference back to “The mission”, I don’t believe that Orm is the threat against all children although it would logically make sense. ANYWAY…
Her name is Andy *uwu*. If you remember, that is the name Arthur was given when he forgot who he was. Also a nice choice for gender-neutral names. Andy is a little rascal, who seemingly loves food! Apparently that’s a Xebellian trait from her mother’s side, which I 100% support. She has beautiful red hair, green eyes and has no fear in the world. Casually walking off a cliff, she definitely takes after Mera.
Surrounded by friends and family, KSD gives us joyful moments between Andy and co. It is a lovely touch to have Arthur describing photos of Andy’s adventures to Mera as she is unconscious. The happy times are just on the horizon for our favorite Aquafarm. Though of course, this is comics, so they are going to have to cross a raging ocean to get there.
This issue did speed up in time unexpectedly which usually I do have an issue with due to potential continuity problems however KSD has seamlessly taken us forward. Part of me does feel like Andy is already growing up too fast, but I am so excited to see what she can do. I’m also loving how KSD has kept placing these more memorable moments in locations of Amnesty Bay that people will unconsciously remember – As familiar as Gotham City’s towers and rain; The lighthouse, ocean, and sunset.
As a nerdy Mera fan, I must mention my appreciation towards KSD for keeping the biology of the Xebellian-race a mystery. Since her first appearance in 1963, no writer has yet given their own explanation to how her body works. Similar to how there is never quite any canon explanation for Superman’s (although Xebellian’s should be easier). Mera holds the same questionable theme. KSD, however, does give us some fun possibilities into what Xebellian biology could look like. Maybe Bruce knows? We won’t ask how…
Consistent with KSD’s writing, this issue sets up much to look forward too. Robson Rocha always has delivered amazing art and a beautiful Royal baby, Andy. HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you’re looking to jump into Aquaman Rebirth, this is the issue, to begin with!