Aquaman #39


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Aquaman #39


  • Words: John Arcudi
  • Art: Freddie Williams II
  • Inks: Freddie Williams II
  • Colors: Nathan Eyring
  • Story Title: The End Has No End
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2006

The end draws near for Aquaman as he comes face to face with arch-nemesis Black Manta in a seeming battle to the death.

This is the last issue of Aquaman before the title switches over to the one year later scenario, and much of this issue attempted to wrap up previous continuity and loose plot threads. I can’t say I was totally satisfied with the end results, but it was a fun read while writer John Arcudi was at the helm. Now we make way for Kurt Busiek and Butch Guice to take over with a new twist on the former king of Atlantis.

I am definitely curious about what the pair have in store for us, but in the meantime let’s recount what happened in the issue. It starts out with Black Manta arriving in Sub Diego to stir up some mischief in the sunken city to bait Aquaman out in the open. The first thing he does is bestow some of his power upon an Atlantean sorcerer who’s the target of a few of Sub Diego’s disgruntled citizens. A riot quickly ensues and in doing so, Aquaman is alerted from his perch in the lighthouse. But before he leaves, a curious thing happens as he places his magically infused water hand upon the skeletal remains of his severed hand forcing a strange wisp of energy to emanate from it.

The scene is cut there without any further explanation, but I am convinced this scene hints at greater implications to unfold sometime during the OYL scenario. So I suggest longtime readers keep this in mind for future reference, because I am sure this scene will play itself out accordingly in the next several months. In my opinion it eludes to the great change in Aquaman’s status quo, but I wish I could say the same for the events unfolding here in this story. In fact, once Aquaman leaves the lighthouse he heads out to confront Black Manta and a confrontation quickly ensues between them. I won’t give away the ending, but I have some doubts about the way it ends. If you’re intrigued so far then I suggest going out and picking up a copy to find out if my doubts are substantiated or not.

Anyhow, the story flowed well despite the obvious feeling of being deliberately cut too short to make way for the OYL scenario. I don’t think writer John Arcudi should be faulted here for it, since the obvious editorial machinations can be seen with their fingerprints all over this story. I just hope DC is making the right choice here with ending Arcudi’s run and going through yet another revamp of the character in the middle of a series run like this. I guess only time will tell if the company made the right decision here.

I don’t think artist Freddie Williams II was the right choice to illustrate the final issue of this current version of Aquaman either. I was really enjoying the work of Leonard Kirk and Andy Clarke, since the duo seemed to have the right flair for this book and it’s a shame they were replaced on this issue. I have nothing against Freddie’s work per se, but I did find his style a bit on the cartoonish side for my liking.

So overall, I thought this issue was done well despite the limitations and editorially imposed sanctions writer John Arcudi had to overcome. The jury is still out for the OYL scenario, and I am not sure if longtime fans of this book will appreciate the changes coming ahead for this character. I hate to say this, but it’s one of those wait and see kind of deals. In the meantime though, pick up this issue and hold your breath until OYL is unveiled upon us.

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