By Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Sean Parsons & Rain Beredo
Despite the three star review that is given to this book (more on that later), Aquaman #30 was another great issue by Jeff Parker, who has been handling this title well ever since Geoff Johns left the book, completely upgrading the character and rather than continuing to make him one of the lamest superheroes in the business, instantly made him one of the cooler ones – a similar task that Matt Fraction is also doing with his current Hawkeye one, both characters are in a much better place in their Universes now than when they were before.
Jeff Parker is the right man for the job of Aquaman – he’s been scripting the title since #26 and with these four issues has crafted a very strong star, and now it’s time for the payoff, with a battle between Aquaman and Hercules in one of the most action packed issues of Parker’s run so far.
However, there’s a twist. Hercules isn’t just the hero that everyone expects him to be, instead, he’s driven mad by his time imprisoned and doesn’t remember who he once was. It’s certainly a different take to the Hercules that other mediums have given us, and Jeff Parker weaves a great battle between both him and Arthur which takes up the bulk of the issue, dealing with the fallout from the last book.
Despite this though, there’s still some stuff going on away from the Hercules/Aquaman showdown. Mera gets plenty to do in this book when she becomes targeted for an assassination attempt, and the result allows for some very interesting work and even an appearance from Tula, which is always welcomed.
Aquaman #30 isn’t perfect however, and there are plenty of problems. With the multiple artists and inkers (Sean Parsons does inks for Paul Pelletier whilst Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez handle pencils and inks respectively in certain sections of the book) working on board this title the artwork isn’t up to the usual standards when it’s just Pelletier – even though his panels are still among the stronger sections of the book, and although Rain Beredo is the sole colourist on this book it never feels like it’s going to break the normal tradition in which too many artists normally end up spoiling the issue.
If you’re expecting Aquaman #30 to lead anywhere, it doesn’t. Whilst the fight scenes are tons of fun and there’s an interesting exploration of Hercules, we’re left with a teaser between the upcoming Annual which suggests a team-up with Wonder Woman, as well as an upcoming arc with Swamp Thing. But regardless, it should be interesting – especially as both crossovers have the potential to be awesome.
So whilst Aquaman #30 may not be the best book on shelves, Jeff Parker writes an entertaining issue that will keep readers around for the next. It’ll be interesting to see where things go next month, because despite the problems, this is still a book that’s worth reading.