Aquaman #9 sees Arthur get the living daylights beaten out of him.
It’s not pretty. Although we’re still not keen on the issue’s choice of villain. Yes, it’s a means to an end – but there’s no real thrill behind him. He’s basically just an amalgam of the Hulk and Chewbacca rolled together to create a big monster that Aquaman has to fight. It doesn’t really add anything fresh or new to the series apart from Arthur Curry’s choice to fight the monster solo. The actual solution to the conflict is very reminiscent of previous appearances from ‘Shaggyman’ in DC Comics’ long history. We still hate the villain’s name.
The only redeemable feature of Aquaman #9 was that it brought the story full circle, seeing Arthur return to his original home of Amnesty Bay. Especially given the reasoning behind Arthur’s choice for not calling the Justice League, he wants to crawl out from under their shadow. He acknowledges that he’s still stuck behind Batman and Superman as the weird tag-along of the group – and fighting this unstoppable enemy is his way of striving to be his own man. Which is all well and good, it’s just a shame there wasn’t a more captivating villain for him to do so.
We’re a little disappointed that Mera has been relegated to a very odd sub-plot, as she would’ve definitely been able to provide somewhat of an emotional compass throughout the fight. But at least we got to see a few moments of development on behalf of Murk. We like the concept of Aquaman standing away from the Justice League, and it was done expertly in the beginning of the series. It’s just a shame that the integrity of that plotline doesn’t carry through to every single issue. Overall, the conflict was at least entertaining across the issue, and the ideas behind Aquaman work well – it’s just a shame that the villain wasn’t up to scratch.
It's a good read, but it certainly has it's faults.
- Character development