Aquaman Annual #2 (Comics Review)

There’s no beating around the bush on the fact that in the last year or thereabouts Jeff Parker has emerged as a really talented writer for me, especially with his work on Aquaman. After Geoff Johns left the title he took over and started his run with a bang that can be heard every time a new issue comes out. He has done much to connect Aquaman with other superheroes in the DC universe and has also expanded on the nature of Atlantis and its many secrets, which have been peeling back one by one of late. In one of his recent mini-arcs, he focused on the Giant-Born of Greek mythology and promised a pairing of Aquaman with Wonder Woman no less!

In the recent Aquaman Annual #2, we get to see Diana and Arthur take on a group of Giant-Born in Carcasonne, France and then later a team-up of Diana and Mera as they take on a second group. The first pairing is the main focus of the story here, and while it is quite an aside and thus a perfect fit for an annual-style issue, I still loved it because this is a team-up that is executed really well. Some of the pending story threads from the main arc are addressed here as well, which was a plus. The Diana-Mera team-up was rather cool too and allowed Jeff to focus on the particular nature of both heroes. And as for the art, it was fairly good, with only a few minor flaws.

Aquaman Annual 002Just a few months ago, we had Swamp Thing guest-star on the series and now it is the time for one of DC’s premier superheroes to make a strong cameo, and what a cameo it is! Aquaman Annual #2 is full of action, up-close and personal in the way that only a team-up of Aquaman and Wonder Woman can produce, and Jeff Parker goes the distance on that. He doesn’t focus on the two heroes as individuals but as a team, which I think was a neat approach. To get the individual focus, we have their respective series and this annual issue, being a sort of one-off and with a much higher page-count is an excellent vehicle to show something different than the norm.

This issue is pretty much a monster beat-em’-up, and I’ll say this: I loved this issue. This is one of the crowning issues of Jeff’s excellent run on Aquaman and I love that he switches things around so much and that he tells so many stories that are interconnected but also stand on their own. I would have loved to have seen more of the Giant-Born, frankly, because I love the concept of Gigantomachy-era villains being featured in the modern-day era, and with a beef against Atlantis no less. Not to mention that I would have absolutely loved to have seen Hercules back in some way, but you know, I’ll take what I got, because what I got was damn good. Honestly!

The first part of the issue, with Arthur and Diana, is the centerpiece of the issue, taking up something like 32 or 33 pages, and the rest is devoted to a side-mission between Mera and Diana as they hunt down another group of the Giant-Born. If the first part was excellent, then the second part was even more so because Mera and Diana are a pair that doesn’t really strike you at first as a good pairing. But it definitely is. The two women work well together, mixing together their abilities to take out the threat and save the day. They both get some excellent screen-time here and that’s all there is to it really.

The main story is drawn by Yvel Guichet, with Jason Gorder and Wayne Faucher as inkers, Nathan Eyring as the colourist, and Rob Leigh on the letters. The monster designs by this team were great, and there was a lot of incredible variety there so the story was definitely very eye-catching. And taking place in a sunny, tourist town, the colours really helped build up the mood too. In the second part we have Alvaro Martinez on pencils and Raul Fernandez on inks while Nathan and Rob continue on in the same roles. To be honest, I preferred the second team more because seeing Mera and Diana fight side-by-side was awesome, and because Alvaro drew a better Diana than Yvel, though Yvel certainly was no slouch either, just more angular with the designs.

All in all, this was a great issue and I certainly would recommend it!

Rating: 9/10

More Aquaman: #0-12, #13-15, #16-21, #22-23, #23.1, #23.2, Annual #1, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32.

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Posted on August 24, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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