Monday, April 11, 2011

BRIGHTEST DAY #20

“Aquawar, Part Two”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: Julio Ferreira, Oclair Albert, Norm Rapmund, Marlo Alquiza & Andy Owens
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Aquaman and Aqualad are outmatched by Black Manta and Siren’s forces when Mera and Aqugirl arrive on the scene.  After Mera uses her hard-water abilities to drag the Xebel soldiers out to sea, Aquaman commands a school of dead sea creatures to even the odds.  Aqualad is able to close the Bermuda Triangle, trapping Black Manta and Siren in Xebel.  In the aftermath of the battle, Aquaman and Mera reconcile.  Having saved Jackson Hyde, Aquaman’s life is restored, but Boston Brand suddenly appears so that the White Lantern power ring can transform Aquaman to water..

Notes

Page 1:  Boston Brand, Aquaman and Black Manta last appeared in Brightest Day #19.

“It is why I opened the Bermuda Triangle and allowed Mera’s people to escape.”  This happened in Brightest Day #3.

“Aquaman needed to learn the truth about Mera.”  Mera confessed the truth about her purpose for coming to Earth to Aquaman in Brightest Day #5-6.

Page 2:  Aqualad last appeared in Brightest Day #19.

“You’re not killing anybody else, dad!”  Aqualad learned that Black Manta was his father in Brightest Day #10-11.

Page 3:  “Why would you side with the people who killed my mother and want to kill me?”  The circumstances of Aqualad’s mother’s death were revealed in Brightest Day #16.

Pages 4-5:  Mera and Aquagirl last appeared in Brightest Day #18.

“You will kill no more children.”  Obviously in reference to the fact that Black Manta was responsible for the death of Aquaman and Mera’s child, Arthur Curry, Jr, also known as Aquababy.

“Whoa.”  The appropriate response when a hot chick in a rubber suit leaps out of the water and drop-kicks your homicidal father, thereby saving your life.

Page 6:  “We have fish to fry.”  Is that really a suitable joke considering that she’s part of the Aqua-family?

“M-Mera?  Siren said you were dead.”  In an effort to rattle Aquaman, Siren told him that she had killed Mera.  Obviously it worked.

“Arthur!  Your hand -- ?!”  Black Manta sliced off Aquaman’s right hand in Brightest Day #19.

Page 9:  Siren last appeared in Brightest Day #19.

The depiction of Mera, straining herself and bleeding from her eyes and ears to control the water, harkens back to her appearance as a Red Lantern in Blackest Night

Pages 10-11:  That’s one big honking wave…

Pages 14-15:  Remember that, since his resurrection in Blackest Night #8, Aquaman has only been able to command dead sea life.  Given this inconvenience, he’s making the best of an awkward situation by putting together an army of undead fish and underwater dwellers.

Page 16:  “You and your soldiers have one choice, Siren.  Fall back – or die.”  Really, that’s two choices, but I’m not gonna argue with the one-handed guy controlling the zombie sharks.

Page 19:  “And I will guy him in front of you as I did your son.”  Man, this Manta guy really has issue with kids…

Page 20:  There Aquaman goes, attaching his trident to his back by using some weird, Atlantean magnetism.  See my notes for Brightest Day #19 for more rambling about this. 

Page 21:  “Each one of us is caught between two worlds.  Each one of us knows how hard it is to face that alone.  Which is why we never will be.”  Awww, how sweet.  The Aqua-family has come back together.

On a somewhat more serious note, many of Aquaman’s stories over the past three decades or so have been about the character struggling to determine to which world he belong – the surface or Atlantis when, in reality, he is a part of both and neither.  He fits into neither one easily.  It’s good to see that he (and his writers) has realized that he works best as a hero that straddles the line, protecting the surface and undersea worlds from one another. 

Page 22:  “Arthur Curry of Earth.  Mission accomplished.  Life returned.”  Aquaman’s mission, as revealed in Brightest Day #7, was to find Jackson Hyde before the Xebel did.  Now that Jackson is safe, Aquaman has been restored to life…

Just in time for the Entity of the White Light to transform him into a water elemental for some mysterious purpose…

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