Friday, March 1, 2013

AQUAMAN #16


“Throne of Atlantis” Chapter Four

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Sean Parsons
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

As the battle against the Atlantean army rages in the streets of Boston, Aquaman and the rest of the Justice League find themselves banished to the Dark Waters and sentenced to death.  Aquaman and Batman attempt to learn the connection between the Trench and Atlantis, but are attacked by the man-eating creatures.  Only the timely intervention of Mera and an upgraded Cyborg saves the League from almost certain death.  As they return to the surface to aid their allies, they learn the true identity of the individual who attacked Atlantis in the first place; Vulko, Arthur’s former adviser and trusted ally…

Notes

Page 1:  “We should wait for Sarah.”  Referring to Dr.Sarah Charles, a scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs Red Room; she works alongside Silas Stone and T.O. Morrow.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, she and Victor Stone had a romantic relationship; not sure if one exists between them in the New 52 DCU or not. 

In Justice League #16, Cyborg decided to allow Silas to install upgrades that will allow him to operate underwater, at the cost of his one remaining lung, so that he can rescue the rest of the League.

Page 2:  

The android to which T.O. Morrow refers is the yet-to-be-activated Red Tornado.  

Page 3:  “-- the League was last seen fighting Aquaman before they vanished!”  In Justice League #16.

“We can only speculate as to what’s going on out there, but it appears Aquaman’s siding with Atlantis in this attack.”  Actually, what Aquaman was trying to do was end this crisis before it escalated much further by convincing his brother Orm that the surface world did not intentionally attack Atlantis.  It didn’t work…

“You ask me, he was probably planning this from the beginning!  Since he joined the Justice League!”  Well…kinda.  As revealed in Aquaman (New 52) #15, Arthur came up with this Atlantean war plan shortly after he became king of Atlantis, in the event that the undersea kingdom ever needed to declare war on the surface world.  Several months later, he abdicated the throne to his brother and soon joined the Justice League. 

Shin's "betrayal" of Arthur was first revealed in Aquaman (New 52) #3.

Page 4:  “Instead, Arthur sends Cyborg to save you from death.”  Cyborg rescued Shin from a squad of Atlantean soldiers in Justice League #16.

Page 5:  “We must be on the other side of the thermocline.”  Look at Batman, using the big, scientific words.  So, the thermocline is a thin layer in a large body of fluid in which temperature changes more rapidly with depth than it does in the layers above and below.  In an ocean, it acts like an invisible blanket that separates the upper mixed layer from the calm deep water below. 

“You have a power I don’t know about?”  I like it when Aquaman gets snarky with Batman.

Page 6:  “This is where the man-eating creatures I told you about came from.”  They would be the Trench, which appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #1-4.  Aquaman told Batman about them in Justice League #15. 

“I found an ancient Atlantean craft down here, but it was clearly lost when it crashed.”  This occurred in Aquaman (New 52) #4.

Page 7:  

Aquaman sealed the trench in Aquaman (New 52) #4, but it was reopened in Aquaman (New 52) !4.

“But someone with Atlanteans by his side stole a scepter from me that’s capable of sinking entire islands.”  This happened in Aquaman (New 52) #13.

Pages 8-9:  In Justice League #16, Cyborg accessed something called the Grid and extended invitations to join the Justice League to several heroes, some of whom have traveled to Boston to confront the Atlantean army.  Seen here on this lovely two-page spread are Firestorm, Vixen, Black Lightning and the ever-eloquent Hawkman.

Page 10:  

If you're concerned about Firestorm talking to himself, don't be, it's par for the course with him.  He's actually two people, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, merged together to form Firestorm.  Ronnie controls the body while Jason is the brains of the operation.

“I wouldn't believe anything you read about him now, Jason.”  Pardon the pun, but the tide is turning against Aquaman, even among other super-heroes.

Not only is Batman acknowledged as the leader of the Justice League, but most of the rest of the heroes of the DCU seem to look up to him as well.

Oh yeah, and there’s Black Canary joining in on the fun.

That's right, Black Lightning.  Mouth off to the crazy guy with the huge mace.  See where that gets you...

Element Woman makes her introductions to Black Lightning; she’s a bit of a chatter box, now isn't she?

Hawkman's a bit...intense, no?

“Get down Hawkman!”  And who might that be?


Page 11

Is that..?  Could it be..?  Is it the new Atom, making her first appearance in the New 52 DCU?  And what's this about a guild, hmmm?

Page 12:  We see that Victor and Sarah are romantically involved, at least in Victor’s dream state.  Ah, young love…

Page 13:  

The origins of the Trench and their connection to Atlantis have yet to be revealed.

Page 14:  “I was hit by a small spattering and I could feel it tingling against my skin.”  This is odd, because Aquaman was attacked by the Trench in Aquaman (New 52) #3 with the same organic fluid but remarked that he couldn't feel anything.  It was Dr. Stephen Shin who commented that his skin tingled because of it.
 
Page 16:  “They don’t like loud noise.”  Given that the Trench have lived their entire existence down in the mid-Atlantis trench, far from light and sound, loud noise probably wouldn't agree with them.
Given that the Trench have lived their entire existence down in the mid-Atlantic trench, far from light and sound, loud noise probably doesn't agree with them.

Page 17:  “You’re down here, Vic.  You actually went through with it?”  As first seen in Justice League #15, Batman has developed something of a protective, paternal attitude towards Cyborg.

Batman and Cyborg have obviously kept their plans to expand the League a secret from the rest of the team.  

Cue ominous music now...

Pages 18-19:

Well now...didn't see this coming, now did we?

Page 20:  “My brother must be controlling those monsters.”  Eh…not quite…


Good question, Victor.  Class, any thoughts on what Victor asked?

Page 21:  Just when you think you know an ex-Atlantean royal adviser…

Page 22:  

Vulko, a.k.a. the Big Bad.  Who'da thunk it?