By Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, & Geraldo Borges
Aquaman #23.2 is another Villain’s Month book that chronicles the escape of inmates from Belle Reve prison. Ocean Master may be the worst villain in the joint as he is on trial for flooding Gotham, Metropolis and Boston, and killing countless humans. You would think that Ocean Master would be ruthless all around, but Aquaman #23.2 explores all aspects of this character and does it to much enjoyment.
Writers Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard do a fantastic job in this issue. They manage to throw in all of Orm’s emotions from his anger towards the humans, his generosity (or his idea of it at least) and even some humor. The scene between Orm and his lawyer is written great as the readers feel the tension and the desire for both the lawyer and Ocean Master to be anywhere but where they are.
Geraldo Borges also brings in a great showing. His art, along with Rod Reis’s colors, keep an almost identical consistency with the ongoing Aquaman book. Borges manages to showcase the chaos of the Belle Reve escape better than most other artists that drew it this month. His storytelling is top notch as well. Panels of Orm walking down the road are great and tied with the dialogue and his choice of whether or not to help people in need are drawn beautifully.
One thing, however, stopped this book from reaching a perfect score. The ending to this book is absolutely terrible. Many of the Villain’s Month books have been tie-ins to Forever Evil but they have also managed to tell a complete story while still being a tie-in. This issue feels like it ends three-fourths sooner then the writers planned. The ending even says “Not the End.” If a reader only came to this book because they love Ocean Master they are going to be a tad disappointed.
Although the ending may be much less than most readers will be expecting from a comic it doesn’t eclipse all the great moments that happen before it. There are too many great moments for the Ocean Master in this book for the bad ending to wash away. If you’re a fan of Ocean Master, the ongoing Aquaman series or the recent Justice League/Aquaman crossover, “Throne of Atlantis,” then pick this up.