Once again, I find myself thinking I haven’t touched something in a while, so let’s get back to it. In this case, that was DC Rebirth’s Aquaman series, where Dan Abnett was showing something of the title character being both a political leader and a superhero at the same time. Arthur Curry has had to fight for his throne, and he’s got enemies coming after it both foreign and domestic.
That must be why the third volume is subtitled Crown of Atlantis.
Truth be told, the volume (containing nine issues) starts off with what seems like standard Aquaman adventures. Yes, he’s the king of Atlantis, and some of what he does is politically-minded. He speaks at the UN, offers asylum to a cyborg built for war, and works with the American Aquamarines to stop something called Dead Water. Mera is along for the ride, and she takes the time to point out some of Arthur’s actions may even be hypocritical. All in all, there isn’t much that jumped out to me as special. Heck, the Dead Water stuff apparently is a continuation to something that started before Rebirth, and I haven’t read those issues.
But then came the last two, and I saw what Abnett was building to. Arthur and Mera return to Atlantis only to find Rath, leader of the Deluge (an Atlantean reactionary terrorist group), is not only loose, but the Council of Elders named Rath the new king.
Yes, Arthur’s globalist ambitions are seen as too progressive for the isolationist and traditionalist factions in Atlantis.have deposed Arthur and replaced him with a guy who says he wants to put Atlantis first–yes, he says that–and wants to cut Atlantis off from the rest of the world with a barrier of some kind.
This trade came out in 2017. I am sure that isn’t coincidental.
So, there’s an interesting new status quo going forward for Arthur as Atlantis puts a guy with the I-am-sure prophetic name of Rath in charge. A series that was fine so far just got a lot more interesting. 8.5 out of 10 human/shark transformations.