Comic Reviews: Aquaman and The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction!
We’ve reached the penultimate issue of the “Death of A King” storyline, and we’re one issue away from Geoff Johns’ final issue of Aquaman. However, if you think anything is slowing down, think again, as Aquaman #24 has so many twists and turns within its pages that it’s hard to put down.
Picking up from last issue, Aquaman awakens from his six-month catnap with a sweet beard and a whole lot of questions. Unfortunately, the only person who can answer them is Vulko, the Atlantean who started the Atlantis/Human war back in the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover. Explaining to Arthur Curry that he has found the truth behind the mysterious Dead King’s origin and resurrection. Leading him to the forgotten throne deep in Antarctica, Vulko tells the former king of Atlantis to sit in the ancient throne and all will be revealed.
Well, all is revealed, and I won’t spoil any of it here. But I will say that Geoff Johns has turned the entire origin of Arthur Curry on its head, and I can’t wait for the next issue. The history behind the Dead King (who we learn is actually named Atlan) is fascinating, and this is coming from a guy who doesn’t usually care for a lot of back-story for Atlantis. Johns’ streak of making Aquaman into not only a top character but also a top book continues here, and it’s a bummer that he’s only going to be on for one more issue.
Paul Pelletier’s art continues to amaze in this book. From the grand and eerie frozen throne world to the gleaming cityscape of ancient Atlantis, Pelletier never misses a beat in the art department. Everything, from the opening pages depicting Aquaman’s origin to the final pages is spectacular. Plus, he draws a pretty badass bearded Aquaman.
Aquaman #24 is surprisingly new-reader friendly, which is not something one would expect from a book that is wrapping up its current storyline in one month. I certainly hope those of you who are still writing this off because it’s “about a dude who talks to fish” pick this issue up and give it a read. It’s fantastic superhero comics, and continues to surprise with each new issue.
After an almost Hawkeye-length delay, the Rocketeer and the Spirit return to the comic racks with Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction #2, which continues the team-up between the two pulp heroes. With the obligatory fight out of the way, the two can finally start to unravel the murder that has brought The Spirit out to Hollywood.
Writer Mark Waid keeps the script light and fun with this issue. Even though I have no knowledge of any of the Spirit’s villains, I was still able to follow it when they were introduced as the puppet masters of this murder. The fact that the murder revolves around the creation of the first television set is pretty cool, and really adds to the period setting of this story. Peevy tinkering with his own “radio with pictures” is also a lot of fun, especially when he informs Cliff’s girlfriend Betty of the effect televisions will have on her acting career.
Loston Wallace’s artwork is a perfect fit for this kind of story. His throwback style evokes many classic comics from 50’s and 60’s, and his action scenes are top notch. Under his pencils, when the Spirit and the Rocketeer take on two biplanes that attack Peevy’s shop, it becomes one of the best action scenes featuring the Rocketeer since the original Dave Stevens comics.
The wait for this issue was so long that I actually thought the book was cancelled for a moment, but with an end product this good, I have to say, it was worth the wait. I just hope I don’t have to wait quite as long for the next installment.