Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Riccardo Federici
Published by DC Comics
Sometimes, a good artist can make all the difference in the world. About a year ago, this title was just slumming it with the artistic roster. There was nothing exciting going on visually here.
Then, issue 25 came and with it came Stjepan Sejic. He gave the book some excellent art. I’m happy to report the same thing has happened with current artist Riccardo Federici.
Federici makes every page visually exciting. The opening scene involves a bunch of underwater villains who think they may have gained the upper hand on Aquaman.
Of course they don’t, and he breaks free.
Federici makes him looks majestic and strong and powerful.
He does it without ever making Arthur stiff. It’s absolutely awesome. He just dispatches them and moves on towards his goal.
And what is his goal in this issue?
Well, this is part two of “the Kingslayer” storyline. Arthur is putting together a plan to stop King Rath once and for all. And Abnett makes the planning part of it all intriguing. It plays a bit like a John le Carré spy novel. There is a lot of planning and maybe even a few double agents. Abnett is taking chances and it’s great to see.
The issue itself leads to a cliffhanger of sorts. It’s decent. The last storyline was done at such a breakneck pace that it’s good to see Abnett layering his stories. Things are at a slow boil right now but they are ready to pop.
It’s almost too much, however. I don’t mind build up, but it’s got to go someplace worthwhile. The only action we really get besides the opening scenes is a small fight between Murk and Aquaman. It’s nice to look at but it’s so brief it barely registers.
Still, this has been a whole lot better than it’s been. If the payoff is great, then this issue will have been worth it. Let’s hope it turns out that way.