It All Comes Down To This: Reviewing ‘Aquamen’ #5

by Scott Redmond


‘Aquamen’ keeps the proverbial foot on the gas as the series approaches a conclusion, continuing to showcase amazing action laced with strong deep character work and gorgeous colorful visuals. This is a series that many Aquafans have been waiting for, and truly there needs to be something like it after this book wraps.


It’s all hands-on deck as the Aqua-Family must rise to the occasion to deal with the Atlantean sleeper cell agents once and for all while making sure that another war with the surface world doesn’t break out. As Aquamen speeds toward what appears to be a series finale, it’s all-out action that maintains the deep character spotlight that makes this series so good.

We’re given a ton of really fast-paced stuff in this issue as Chuck Brown and Brandon Thomas catapult the plot and characters forward toward the upcoming conclusion. Despite the fast pace and rapid-fire scene changes, nothing is lost of the great character moments and none of this feels rushed. It feels frantic sure, but that is exactly how this sort of situation should feel. They are taking on multiple targets and situations to try and bring an end to the threat and all the moving pieces are clashing with some of them being unpredictable.

This book’s title refers to Arthur and Jackson as Aquaman as well as Black Manta, but this book is a true ensemble affair. Every one of those men as well as Mera and Tula and Garth has a part to play and are given great amounts of the spotlight. Black Manta actually being there for his son and showing what is inside somewhat while also still being the hard person he’s always been (especially with Scavenger and Arthur) is great character work.

There are plenty of “big damn hero” style moments here and I’m all for them. I’m going to greatly miss this book and truly hope that there is something to come after the sixth issue. Give us an ongoing that still features these characters (well most of them at least, since one of them has a not great fate elsewhere).

Just like the previous issues, this one is full of amazing detailed gorgeous, and powerful artwork from Sam Barsi, Vincente Cifuentes, and Adriano Lucas. I love the way that Barsi uses panels, giving us lots of really close-up shots sometimes a whole page of just close-up right on the character(s) of the moment. Every area they visit from Atlantis to underwater to the surface world is detailed, lush, and has its own appearance and feel as it should. Action is smooth and dynamic but there is a great weight to everything, and the emotional work is so perfect and makes sure that all the needed emotions are conveyed to the audience.

There are great pops of bright color, splashes of specific colors either as backgrounds or as lighting that really highlight the moment, but also plenty of shadows and darkness to really enhance the mood and flesh out the world. It’s a superhero book through and through, but it’s also a family book set in a part of the DC Universe that is so bright and vivid when it’s not more serene or sterile (like the council chambers).

Everyone at Andworld Design does such great work when it comes to lettering, the work matching whatever the tone of the book is while sharing the same sort of appearance and style no matter the book or person behind the work. Energy and voice are clear in the dialogue, as are the tone and volume of any given bit of dialogue that we see. SFX is one of my favorite things about comic books and they are so fun and energetic here as they make themselves firmly known at any given moment.

Aquamen #5 is now available.

%d bloggers like this: