Review: Aquaman #38

am38covSo far the story in Maelstrom has been that of uncommon villains in the attempt to find his mother.  First there was the Martian Manhunter, driven to craziness by the superstructure that is the Atlantean mind, and then there was Gorilla Grodd who was found on the other side of an Atlantean portal.  In the search for Arthur’s mother, what there has been little of is focus solely on the two main heroes of this series and that finally comes here.  This renewed focus surprisingly doesn’t work to the benefit of this issue though, as this one falls a little flat compared to the other two that preceded it in this story arc.

What the previous two were able to do was to make the guest characters relevant in a way to Aquaman which did not seem too much of a stretch.  The hive mind that infected J’onn was well conceived and well written, as was the ancient connection of Atlanteans to Gorilla City.  This issue on the other hand is full of somewhat random action sequences which lead up to the furthering of the plot.  Instead of some real bad guy in this story, another trip through the portals finds Arthur and Mera in the South Pacific, to which they quickly find the final teleportation seal.  This was a bit of a stretch in itself, but the generic monsters that appear to stop the two of them from advancing takes some away from the story.  It feels as though it would have been better just to move on with the plot than to waste time with a generic fight

This is still not a bad issue, only that it is more focused on action than needs to be.  Of course the readers are more interested in finding the fate of Arthur’s mother, and this issue helps to drag out the story arc by an extra issue.  There may have been a better story to be told here, but this nonetheless fits in with the remainder of the story arc thus far, only that it is the weakest entry of the three.  With the revelation at the end of the issue, it would seem as though the story arc is going to hit high gear in the next issue, but for the mean time this was a long interlude to get there.

Story: Jeff Parker Art: Paul Pelletier
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read