Aquaman (2003 Series) #19
Quick Rating: Fair
Title: American Tidal Part Five
The reason for San Diego’s destruction is revealed, and Aquaman has to decide what to do about it.
Writer: Will Pfeifer
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Inks: Christian Alamy
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Art: Alan Davis & Mark Farmer
Publisher: DC Comics
And it was going so well, too.
When Will Pfeifer took over this title four issues ago, he presented a new take on Aquaman, a shocking storyline and a real sense of excitement that the character has been lacking for a long time. And all of that is still there – this is a much more interesting Aquaman than we’ve seen in a very long time. But this issue falls apart anyway.
Why? Because when the villain’s plot, the reason he sank the city of San Diego is revealed, the whole thing turns out to hinge on a bit of alarmist junk science – and not comic book science, but junk science from the real world that turns out lots of lousy disaster movies and even worse books. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just the bad guy concentrating on the junk science, but Aquaman buys into it too, and one would think he’d be more rational about the whole thing.
The minute I realized where this issue was going I was disappointed, but I kept reading anyway, because the rest of the gems are still there. This is a solid interpretation of Aquaman and I’ve even come to like and care about Lorena, the San Diego survivor that has accompanied him on his quest to find justice.
Patrick Gleason doesn’t get as much chance to show off his artwork this issue, as most of the book takes place in the villains’ lab without much action – it’s a talking heads issue without any great backgrounds or underwater scenes to set it off. Still, he draws a good Aquaman and deserves a home on this title.
With one issue left in this storyline there’s still one mystery left to solve, and with the resolution to the last mystery I’ve got a sinking feeling I know where it’s going. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Pfiefer redeems what had been a great story coming into this issue. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.