Aquaman #28 Review
Aquaman fights some sharks and, on the surface, has a high school reunion to attend.
Jeff Parker is starting to really solidify himself as writer of this series. He has continued to delve into the big moments which show why Arthur is the hero he is. We even see it done in a couple of ways in this issue. The first, more straightforward example of heroism, is when Aquaman valiantly dives after a stray diver being attacked by a group of sharks when his Atlantean soldiers do nothing. While diving in Arthur simply shouts “What’s your problem?! A man is dying in there!”
Sure, it may seem like simple heroics, but sometimes we rarely see a hero being frustrated by other people’s unwillingness to act. It really makes Arthur shine as a character. Not only that, but this lack of kinship the Atlanteans have with Arthur’s human world further highlights the dichotomy of Aquaman himself – a man responsible for, and torn between, two different worlds.
Parker makes this issue excel once again in the second half of the book which features Mera accompanying Arthur to a high school reunion. At first he is hesitant to go, because he felt singled out among them, but it actually turns into him running into all these people thanking him for what he’s done. We get glimpses of Arthur’s various acts of heroism throughout his life and how gracious people were to have him around.
So in the end, this issue showcases not just Aquaman but the man Arthur Curry. It even showcases him as a young boy of 13, when he first uses his powers. Parker captures the moment when Arthur first makes a psychic link with a beached whale. He has instant flashes of all the pain it and other sea life have suffered at the hands of whalers. The look on his face, with great art by Paul Pelletier, says it all. It’s a poignant moment like this which really captures why Aquaman is still a relevant character today. It resides in his empathy with sea life. Especially in a world where cruelty to these animals is apparent as ever. Arthur is one of the most empathizing superheroes in the DC canon. A character like that, no matter how much people joke about him, can only continue to endure in our evolving society.
Paul Pelletier is on full pencilling duties and we couldn’t be happier! This is the creative team we were clamoring for and it’s finally arrived. As long as this team stays intact, Aquaman will continue to be one of DC’s best!
This issue exemplifies everything interesting about Arthur, both as a hero and as a man. We even get a nice tease of what’s to come with this series. It’s become apparent that with Parker writing Aquaman this book could do no wrong, but now that Pelletier is on full art duties this just became one of DC’s best superhero books!