Flashpoint‘s crossovers have been wildly uneven, ranging from the fantastic – Wonder Woman and the Furies – to the fairly terrible – Canterbury Cricket. But throughout, one plot thread has held fairly strong, through three crossovers, and that is the war between Atlantis and Themyscira. This trend continues this week with the excellent Emperor Aquaman #2.
Despite the cover, we don’t get Mera’s backstory. Instead, to my surprise, we get Arthur’s – how his father met his mother, how he was raised, and how he returned to the sea. But while this plot thread originally had me rolling my eyes, by its conclusion, I was genuinely impressed at how well (and how poignantly) Bedard had set up this new, rougher Aquaman and contrasted him with the real Arthur Curry. In addition, we see hostilities between Themyscira and Atlantis increase as Orm and Siren launch a sneak attack against the Amazons, hoping to kill Tara Markov, their first, greatest defense.
Cifuentes, Egea and Ritter do excellent work on art, with fine, memorable character design, though their fight scenes remain largely static and dull. Still, they work well with Bedard, and together, the creative team for Emperor Aquaman has surprised again. It’s a cut above the standard big event tie-in book, and about three cuts above most of the other 70000 Flashpoint tie-ins.
– Cal Cleary