The secrets of Namma’s Island continue to unfold… and they may be the end of Aquaman! Your Major Spoilers review of Aquaman #46 awaits!
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Penciler: Robson Rocha
Inker: Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Alex Antone
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Previously in Aquaman: Trapped on Namma’s island with nowhere to run, the amnesiac Aquaman must protect Caille from her mother, who aims to reach her full power at the cost of Caille’s life! Will Aquaman hold his own against the mother of all gods and retrieve his lost memories? Or will Aquaman turn to salt at her hand?
“I AM THE CAILLEACH!!”
As expected, Aquaman’s new friend Caille is more than she seems. What wasn’t expected (at least by me) was her full transformation into a hideous, disfigured monster with horns and talons and the whole deal. Their battle rages on, with Aquaman actually impressing evil sorceress Namma, while in the Village of Unspoken Water, the old gods are slowly returning. The back and forth battle goes in Aquaman’s favor as he convinces Caille to take control of her form once more, and even beats Namma herself with a triumphant punch.
Sadly, she immediately returns as a mighty winged dragon, forcing Aquaman to leap onto her back to try and tame her. The dragon immediately dives into the ocean to drown him, which turns out to be precisely the wrong tactic to battle the King of the Seas, and Arthur responds in desperation, triggering his telepathy. As the issue ends, Mera realizes that her king is a live… and the old gods return in response to his summons.
IS THIS ALL TO GET RID OF THE ORANGE SCALEMAIL?
This issue is part five of a six-part story, and it works really well to build the tension and set up next issue’s big finale, but somehow it felt a little bit slight. The battle sequences are nicely rendered, and there’s a progression of Arthur rediscovering his powers that works for me, but I feel like this is clearly a middle chapter of a larger story rather than a standalone story. Rocha’s art is impressive, especially when the attacks of the Cailleach cause battle damage that leads Aquaman to shred his golden mail shirt and wrap it around his fist for the final strike, and I like the designs of the monsters and gods as well. I also noticed the “Aquaman created by Paul Norris” credit for the first time in this issue, which makes me happy as well. All in all, though, I feel like this arc is more setup for the new Aquaman status quo than a story unto itself.
BOTTOM LINE: MIDDLE CHAPTER SYNDROME IS A REAL THING
With its sudden action sequence and important revelations for Amnesia-Aquaman, this is an important chapter of the ongoing story, but Aquaman #46 doesn’t quite make it as an individual chapter, but strong art and some interesting character moments for everyone help to get past that, leaving the issue with a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not sure what Aquaman’s adventures are going to look like coming out of this arc, but I hope that it wasn’t all just to get rid of the orange shirt.
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Aquaman makes a good showing, even without his memories, and the stage is set for the big final chapter.