Review: Aquaman #36

am 036 - covOne of the strengths of this series since the new 52 is the ability of its creative teams to see the big picture and small picture at the same time.  As with any comic series, new concepts and characters are introduced, often times only to make a particular story possible.  Only the most engaging of these might later become canon for the superheroes headlining the series, and all too often they are mostly forgotten.  This series thus far has proven that it is possible to create in the short-term but to have a long term goal for those ideas as well.  In this issue Aquaman has enlisted the help of the Martian Manhunter to help find out what could have happened to his mother.  This ties in the pseudo-scientific concept behind Atlantis, that it contains the psychic energy of everyone that passed before, and they are hoping to unlock some clues to find where they need to search.

As the stories unfolds, there is a somewhat typical superhero versus superhero fight, but unlike the more often cases of this occurring, the battle here follows logically from what has transpired thus far in the previous issues and in the story here.  So too does the resolution of this battle, which while it is a bit of a distraction from the main story, it still serves as a fun escape and doesn’t really feel out of place.  The battle also helps to move the story along a little, and once again Arthur finds himself faced with the secrets of his own past, those of his family and those of the underwater city.

Overall the issue does what it needs to do.  It is by no means a stand out issue, but it would seem that the creative team here has something much bigger in mind for the Maelstrom story arc, and the seeds of this potential are visible here.  As the story unfolds there are certain to be an abundance of surprises as is common with this series, and this issue fits as one of the pieces, albeit a slightly distracted one.

Story: Jeff Parker Art: Paul Pelletier
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy