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Aquaman, Volume 4: Death of a King

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Unfolding out of the events of Aquaman, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis comes a mystery that sends Aquaman to the ends of the Earth to solve an ancient murder--one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him today. Also, as the Scavenger compiles more Atlantean weaponry and artifacts, Aquaman enlists the aid of The Others to help find Unfolding out of the events of Aquaman, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis comes a mystery that sends Aquaman to the ends of the Earth to solve an ancient murder--one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him today. Also, as the Scavenger compiles more Atlantean weaponry and artifacts, Aquaman enlists the aid of The Others to help find one missing relic in the Southwestern United States before his enemies can get to it and possess untold power. Collecting: Aquaman 18-25


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Unfolding out of the events of Aquaman, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis comes a mystery that sends Aquaman to the ends of the Earth to solve an ancient murder--one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him today. Also, as the Scavenger compiles more Atlantean weaponry and artifacts, Aquaman enlists the aid of The Others to help find Unfolding out of the events of Aquaman, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis comes a mystery that sends Aquaman to the ends of the Earth to solve an ancient murder--one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him today. Also, as the Scavenger compiles more Atlantean weaponry and artifacts, Aquaman enlists the aid of The Others to help find one missing relic in the Southwestern United States before his enemies can get to it and possess untold power. Collecting: Aquaman 18-25

30 review for Aquaman, Volume 4: Death of a King

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jayson

    (A-) 80% | Very Good Notes: Awash in pretension and plot, it’s a thematic sea-change plunge into undersea fantasy: a subaquatic game of thrones.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Return of the AquaBeard! Ok. Let's just get the Aquaman is Lame jokes out of the way right up front, shall we? I mean, there's a wealth of them, and it would be a damn shame to let them go to waste. Who really "found" Nemo? An Idiot's Guide to Capturing Aquaman. Mermaid Man? Is that you?! Career counseling session. Poor Aquaman...these jokes make him sad. Alright. If you haven't been enjoying Johns' run on this title, then nothing I say here is going to change your mind. But. If you're s Return of the AquaBeard! Ok. Let's just get the Aquaman is Lame jokes out of the way right up front, shall we? I mean, there's a wealth of them, and it would be a damn shame to let them go to waste. Who really "found" Nemo? An Idiot's Guide to Capturing Aquaman. Mermaid Man? Is that you?! Career counseling session. Poor Aquaman...these jokes make him sad. Alright. If you haven't been enjoying Johns' run on this title, then nothing I say here is going to change your mind. But. If you're still reading the New 52 Aquaman, then this one won't disappoint. There's no crossover event in Death of a King, so you aren't reading a rehash of things that have already happened between the pages of the Justice League title. Score! This is all about Arthur trying to win over the people of Atlantis, now that he has decided to take up his rightful place as their king. Of course, nothing is going right. Most surface dwellers (aka me and you) think Atlantians are dangerous, and no longer trust Aquaman. While at the same time, the Atlantians think humans are dangerous, and...well, also no longer trust Aquaman. To make matters worse for Arthur, Mera refuses to live in Atlantis, choosing instead to continue her stay on land. Speaking of Mera... Can someone please get this woman her own title! This lady is one of the most overlooked gems in the entire DC universe. And for the life of me, I just don't understand it! I was happy that Johns gave her a larger role to play in this volume, but still... On top of everything else that's going on, something wakes up the First King of Atlantis. This guy is ancient, crusty, crazy, and determined to take out anyone in his way. Oh yeah, and he's pretty fucking powerful, too. *Spoilery stuff happens* And suddenly we get to find out why Mera the Mermaid doesn't like to go Under the Sea! Ok. Here's what I think Johns did right: Things are going from bad to worse for Aquaman in Atlantis, and shit is raining down on Arthur faster than he can flush. Even the Atlantians who've sworn to allegiance to him are having second thoughts about his competence to rule. The whole kingdom is in a state of unrest, and no one is convinced that he has the strength to hold it together. And it seems that everyone who can betray him...will. But when he finds out that Mera is in danger? BOOM! He's gone. Outta there! Bye-bye! See ya later! He loves her. And when you love somebody, you move Heaven and Earth to save them. (view spoiler)[T-Challa really should have called this guy for advice on how to treat Storm. I guarantee you Mera's not going to end up with a revenge haircut, or hairy midget from Canada! (hide spoiler)] Just sayin'... Yeah, this volume focused quite a bit of the story on the relationship between these two, so if you aren't a fan of the FEELS! in your comics, then that might be a drawback for you. But I thought it was very well done. And before anyone gets their panties in a twist: Arthur doesn't ride in and save the day. He shows up, kicks ass, and Mera gets them the hell out of there in one piece. It's called teamwork , people. Ok, so this First King? Where's he from, and what's his story? Well, it turns out, that Arthur probably needs to go to ancestry.com, and check out his family tree, because not everything is exactly what he was led to believe. And if he's going to have a chance to defeat this guy, he's going to have to face up to the sins of his fathers. Since this is Johns farewell to Aquaman, you get somewhat of a tidyish ending to volume 4. Well, besides the Orm storyline. It's a pretty big side plot in this, and it's left dangling. Although, I'm actually kinda excited about where this one could go! But who cares about Orm? All I wanted to know was whether or not Mera was going to stay! (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] Recommended for Aquafans! Oh, and this one made me giggle... Get this review and more at:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I forgot how much I like Aquaman. No, really. Also, after reading a couple of titles that had atrocious art, Aquaman's art team is such a welcome change: The two-page spreads are always so gorgeous. I forgot how much I like Aquaman. No, really. Also, after reading a couple of titles that had atrocious art, Aquaman's art team is such a welcome change: The two-page spreads are always so gorgeous.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews The New 52 Aquaman 4: Death of a King collects issues #18-25 of the ongoing series. Geoff Johns creates the story, and Paul Pelletier brings it to life with his artwork. And while the two do an excellent job of coaxing this tale to life, it is still missing some ingredient to actual make it a real page turner. The adventure itself begins with a bang as Arthur Curry (aka Aquaman) is the unsettled King of Atlantis after the events in the previous story arc Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews The New 52 Aquaman 4: Death of a King collects issues #18-25 of the ongoing series. Geoff Johns creates the story, and Paul Pelletier brings it to life with his artwork. And while the two do an excellent job of coaxing this tale to life, it is still missing some ingredient to actual make it a real page turner. The adventure itself begins with a bang as Arthur Curry (aka Aquaman) is the unsettled King of Atlantis after the events in the previous story arcs. He is determined to clean up the mess made by Atlantis’ attack on the surface world and has sent his forces around the globe to recovery Atlantean weapons and artifacts taken by the Scavenger. However, even while Arthur is attempting to live up to his responsibility to protect the seas and its denizens, many of his new subjects do not view it as such but rather as a sign of his weakness and desire to side with the surface dwellers rather than his own watery subjects. Not only that but there are even rumblings that Arthur is not the right man to be king, and that Atlantis’ previous ruler should return from his imprisonment in America and take back his rightful place upon the throne. Add to this sad state of affairs the fact that Mera herself is reluctance to return with him to the ocean, and one can understand Arthur’s fragile mental state as the book begins. Naturally, Aquaman gets no chance to come to grips with his problems, however, because immediately a new threat emerges. An ancient denizen of the watery depths is inadvertently reawakened by Arthur himself, and his resurrection from the shadowy past spells trouble for our aquatic hero. For this enemy has power unprecedented, and he is determined to unseat this false Atlantean king. In order to fend this threat off, Arthur finds that he must uncover a horrific truth about Atlantis’ past and his own forefathers while dealing with potential traitors from within. From this setup, Geoff Johns does his best to throw every curve ball in his repertoire at a reader. There are fights galore, personal musings, relationship issues, ancient knowledge, and unexpected twists. We even have side stories involving other characters. Each of these individual dramas drawn in stunning style by Paul Pelletier and the art team. Indeed, for most of the graphic novel, the art is spectacular, expertly capturing the aquatic underworld of Aquaman and hiding any stumbles in the tale itself. But at the end of the day, pretty pictures only go so far to make a story interesting And there lies the problem with this collection. It starts off very strong and ends strong, but - in my opinion - much of the in-between of Death of a King is rather ho-hum reading. Sure, it is somewhat interesting and adds some layers to the Atlantean and Aquaman mythos, but it never gripped me and made me want to turn the pages as quickly as possible. While I realize that every story arch is not going to be an epic masterpiece, this one left me rather “meh” at best. In summation, Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King is an “okay” read, more than worthy to waste a few hours, but after finishing this one, I do not believe it will end up on your “favorite” list. Even with that being said, I still enjoyed the updated version of Arthur Curry/Aquaman and will look forward to reading more about him in the future. I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank the publisher for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Geoff Johns always seems to, for the most part, do a creditable job in his D.C. comic runs. This is his take on Aquaman. It was better than I thought it would be. Aquaman faces a great conflict as the First King of Atlantis awakens. The historical background of Arthur's Atlantean family is very interesting and a nice twist. No spoilers though. Well illustrated this was a fun and entertaining read. Not much to say really-if you like Aquaman you will enjoy this Geoff Johns "re-do". Geoff Johns always seems to, for the most part, do a creditable job in his D.C. comic runs. This is his take on Aquaman. It was better than I thought it would be. Aquaman faces a great conflict as the First King of Atlantis awakens. The historical background of Arthur's Atlantean family is very interesting and a nice twist. No spoilers though. Well illustrated this was a fun and entertaining read. Not much to say really-if you like Aquaman you will enjoy this Geoff Johns "re-do".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A beautiful-looking book. Gorgeous evocative designs, great strong linework, and gorgeous murky-or-sharp colouring. Writing still ain't half-bad either - as restrained and under-exposed as I've ever seen out of Johns, like he actually made an effort to show us in his writing what Aquaman is doing in his silent, restrained brooding. What absolutely *fascinates* me is how these stories of Aquaman and Atlantis are woven deep with grey - no one is entirely right or evil, and it's actually getting eas A beautiful-looking book. Gorgeous evocative designs, great strong linework, and gorgeous murky-or-sharp colouring. Writing still ain't half-bad either - as restrained and under-exposed as I've ever seen out of Johns, like he actually made an effort to show us in his writing what Aquaman is doing in his silent, restrained brooding. What absolutely *fascinates* me is how these stories of Aquaman and Atlantis are woven deep with grey - no one is entirely right or evil, and it's actually getting easier to understand all sides of the intrigues. Further, the events of this book play out upon one another, so that it actually feels like a continuous world that must evolve and continue living out everyone's interconnected lives - not a disjointed series of Events or Episodes. "But wait!", you screech, "Isn't this Geoff Johns' last orgasm-clench at his favourite muscly he-man?" Why yes it is, and in the throes of self-administered passion, Johns does not disappoint. Throughout this volume he's been building a sandcastle homage to the wonders of Atlantean mythology - and in the last issue, he covers it with sticky-sweet saccharine, entombing the ideas forever under a hardening veneer of wild-eyed fanboi. Shame he couldn't keep his hands out of his pants just this once, keep the grand tone and pull a Scalped or a Locke & key. Actually, the greatest disappointment of this volume isn't the sappy "ever after" ending, but the fact that this world (and the epilogue-bridge teaser that could spell great tales to come) is being handed to that King of Mediocre comic space-fillers, Jeff Parker. Hand this guy a limited series, he can make a good story. Give him an endless court, and he'll dribble without ever taking a three-point shot. I enjoyed the ride during this book, but what a comedown. It's like sitting on the couch after a weekend of video games and comics, knowing that work is looming the next morning. Unavoidable and disappointing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    All hail King Arthur! Cartoonish cover art made me afraid the artist change was going to disappoint me a lot after previous three volumes wonderfully illustrated by Ivan Reis, instead Paul Pelletier's artworks were just really good too. And this final volume of Geoff John's run on Aquaman was a real great one, with so many court intrigues,  scheming/betraying characters and the return of a frozen death king, that I could hear the Game of Thrones ' soundtrack main theme at every twist or cliffh All hail King Arthur! Cartoonish cover art made me afraid the artist change was going to disappoint me a lot after previous three volumes wonderfully illustrated by Ivan Reis, instead Paul Pelletier's artworks were just really good too. And this final volume of Geoff John's run on Aquaman was a real great one, with so many court intrigues,  scheming/betraying characters and the return of a frozen death king, that I could hear the Game of Thrones ' soundtrack main theme at every twist or cliffhanger, and they are so many that it is surprising how John's storyline not crumbled under them keeping everything in line (but for Orm's jailbreak and the three plotters coming back to Atlantis happening off-scene, but that's ok). An excellent ending to an excellent run who revitalized Aquaman from sit-com/web joke to one of the greatest DC characters ever, giving to King Arthur Curry of Atlantis all the respect he deserved, and making this old Marvel Zombie here love him (never thought it was going to happen, but that's it) and his queen Mera, just one of the most badass heroines ever, so much that I look forward to read more about them in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    This brings Geoff Johns run on yet another Justice League member's solo series to a close. (Although you could argue that Johns did kinda force Aquaman into the JL series so hard that Vol 3. of JL and Aquaman were pretty much the exact same reading order and books.) There's all kindsa shit goin' down here...we're finally getting a chance to meet the people of Atlantis and get a feel for where everyone sits. This is murky. Literally, in the colours of the deep (which look great) and the spectrum o This brings Geoff Johns run on yet another Justice League member's solo series to a close. (Although you could argue that Johns did kinda force Aquaman into the JL series so hard that Vol 3. of JL and Aquaman were pretty much the exact same reading order and books.) There's all kindsa shit goin' down here...we're finally getting a chance to meet the people of Atlantis and get a feel for where everyone sits. This is murky. Literally, in the colours of the deep (which look great) and the spectrum of greys of personalities between "Good" and "Evil". Everyone has motivations, and there's no one who comes across as a complete villain, even though some do villainous things. Johns actually took the time to think this out before doing it. Am I really complimenting Geoff Johns in the year 2014??? Yup. This is a very good book. I enjoyed it quite a bit. We met some new characters, including some more antagonists for Arthur, I'm sure some of whom will be back again. The introduction of the First King/Dead King is very interesting, the original ruler of the 7 seas, who Arthur is descended from...maybe...but there's a logical problem here that Johns made, and I have to point it out: (view spoiler)[How can Arthur be descended from Orin, the brother of Atlan, but NOT be descended from Atlan himself? like seriously dude...I'm descended from my grandfather, yes, but also from my great-uncle, am I not? I would think so. (hide spoiler)] That was probably the stupidest thing for me. We have a new villain: The Scavenger, who goes along the seabed recovering things and making weapons/arming his minions. He has his sights on Atlantis and on Arthur. We have more information revealing who Mera is, where she's from, and her backstory...it's actually pretty cool: (view spoiler)[ Xebel is actually a penal colony, hidden in the Bermuda Triangle, and one of the original kingdoms of the 7 Seas (Atlantis, the Trench being the other 2 that are still existant) (hide spoiler)] we also meet someone from her past, who has loyalties and motivations of his own. Throw into that, 3 Atlanteans loyal to Orm, who wish to break him out of Belle Reve, and we've got all kinds of things to think about and storylines to tie in together and weave. Let's not forget Vulko, who's still around after the events of Vol. 3 and his culpability there. Have I left anyone out? I would have ended this TPB with Death of a King Part 5, as it was a helluva cliffhanger. We even saw the return of the Aqua-beard!!! Even if only for a short time. The story wraps itself up neatly, mostly because this is Johns' swansong, and he's pretty much in charge of DC enough to do what he wants. However, there's a crucial introduction of 2 of the characters to each other in the afterward of the book, which sets up a fantastic idea for Vol. 5, if it's done right. Also check out excellent reviews by Anne and Mike for other fine insights into this very solid volume. All in all, Mr. Johns... Get this review and more at:

  9. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Can we just take a moment to note I found a new comic crush? I got to thank Johns and the artist on this run to really make me love Mera. Not only is she badass, can defend herself, and is super smart. She's fucking sexy. Like DAMN GURL sexy. Like it's scary how hot I find her because she's on a piece of paper and not real. The movie gotta do a lot of work to live up to this one! Aquaman is trying to balance respecting people above the sea while fighting for the throne below. The people are foll Can we just take a moment to note I found a new comic crush? I got to thank Johns and the artist on this run to really make me love Mera. Not only is she badass, can defend herself, and is super smart. She's fucking sexy. Like DAMN GURL sexy. Like it's scary how hot I find her because she's on a piece of paper and not real. The movie gotta do a lot of work to live up to this one! Aquaman is trying to balance respecting people above the sea while fighting for the throne below. The people are following him but not all respect him. This volume really goes wild and we see multiple views of different characters that all begin to intertwine with each other. By the end we get a reveal that was both sad and horrifying. Especially for Arthur. What I liked: I loved Mera in here. Her coming to terms of who she wants to be was a perfect full circle. Then you got Arthur learning that a king's choice could be a dangerous one. I really enjoyed most of the side characters, even the selfish ones focusing on destruction and death. They had reason to. I also liked the big reveal, I thought that was well done and handled with care. What I didn't like: Mera's "husband" was a silly character and the big "OH NO" ending was kind of forced. It be better if it was Mantis...the person he went for makes no sense for that character IMO. Overall Johns run was super fun and exciting. Even the worst volume (volume 2) was still a lot of fun just the weakest. I truly recommend people wanting to give Aquaman a chance to check out Johns run. Well worth the read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    And so ends Geoff Johns's run on Aquaman, a character I never thought I would like this much. He did a lot of good in his time, including making Mera into one of my favorite characters this side of Flashpoint. At times, I felt like she was the real star of the book. And I love her relationship with Arthur. There's obviously deep love and mutual respect between them, which makes them a very fun couple to read about. And I love seeing them fight together as a unit. This was actually one of the thi And so ends Geoff Johns's run on Aquaman, a character I never thought I would like this much. He did a lot of good in his time, including making Mera into one of my favorite characters this side of Flashpoint. At times, I felt like she was the real star of the book. And I love her relationship with Arthur. There's obviously deep love and mutual respect between them, which makes them a very fun couple to read about. And I love seeing them fight together as a unit. This was actually one of the things that was surprisingly good about Superman/Wonder Woman, which makes at least two good relationships in the current DCU. (view spoiler)[Wait, don't tell me, DC already screwed up at least one of them. (hide spoiler)] There's also more shades of grey than I would have expected. Most of the characters fall somewhere between obviously good and obviously evil, which results in a lot of clashes between characters without a clear "right" side. The one big exception is the big bad himself, who is entirely without redeeming characteristics. But just one in such a big cast is not at all bad. The biggest issue with the book maybe springs from all those shades of grey. There's just too much going on. At one point, there are so many parallel stories that the scene changes three times on one page. It makes the book feel crowded, and means that some stories don't get quite the attention they probably deserve. Especially when double page spreads of Aquaman looking awesome take up so much room in the book. Don't get me wrong, he does look awesome. The art has been great for this entire run. But time management seems to have been a bit of an issue, and having a few less of those might have helped. Overall, I've been really happy with the entire Geoff Johns run. There's a new writer taking over, though, and I'm not sure I've gotten attached enough to keep reading after that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I am such trash for Aquaman and this new 52 run....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    2018 reread review: So I am reading the Aquaman run by Geoff Johns after watching James Wan's movie. Death of a King may be less in scale as far as the surface world is concerned, but a very vital arc to Arthur's journey from superhero to king. A much needed backstory about what really happened to Atlantis is provided in this volume, along with some more mysteries that can be addressed in future stories. Johns knows how to tell a large story with so many characters without making tge narrative c 2018 reread review: So I am reading the Aquaman run by Geoff Johns after watching James Wan's movie. Death of a King may be less in scale as far as the surface world is concerned, but a very vital arc to Arthur's journey from superhero to king. A much needed backstory about what really happened to Atlantis is provided in this volume, along with some more mysteries that can be addressed in future stories. Johns knows how to tell a large story with so many characters without making tge narrative convoluted. Great job! Original review: The beard is back because you know, King of Atlantis! Geoff John's last volume in his Aquaman run is fantastic, though I would rank this third among the four volumes (Throne of Atlantis, The Trench, Death of a King, and The Others). This could have been my second but the artwork of Paul Pelletier is inferior to that of Ivan Reis, IMHO. Whereas Geoff John's run on Green Lantern expanded the universe of the intergalactic poicemen, his run on Aquaman gives the King of Atlantis respect - from his subjects and more importantly from us readers. It has established him once again as a top-tier DC superhero.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jokoloyo

    This volume concludes the main arch story from Volume 1, The Trench. Ever since first number, I am curious what are those Trench creatures. At last on this volume, there is some answers(view spoiler)[ and the answer makes a story twist too (hide spoiler)] . It is a good volume to stop reading Aquaman. One main arch is complete, and I am not a fan of mandatory open-ended epilogue in any continuing series. At least there is a (view spoiler)[sweet happy (hide spoiler)] end on this volume, excluding t This volume concludes the main arch story from Volume 1, The Trench. Ever since first number, I am curious what are those Trench creatures. At last on this volume, there is some answers(view spoiler)[ and the answer makes a story twist too (hide spoiler)] . It is a good volume to stop reading Aquaman. One main arch is complete, and I am not a fan of mandatory open-ended epilogue in any continuing series. At least there is a (view spoiler)[sweet happy (hide spoiler)] end on this volume, excluding the mandatory epilogue.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paz R.M.

    3.5 Stars This was a good ending for an excellent run. Geoff Johns did an amazing job with Aquaman, he gave the character such a complexity. What a change of perception! He is definitely one of my favorite DC characters now. Please, please go and pick up the first trade, The Trench, and enjoy this amazing run! First of all, I gotta say I had NO idea this was Geoff's final volume on Aquaman's run. I mean, how is it possible? I already had volume 5 and 6 on my wishlist. Of course, I should have paid 3.5 Stars This was a good ending for an excellent run. Geoff Johns did an amazing job with Aquaman, he gave the character such a complexity. What a change of perception! He is definitely one of my favorite DC characters now. Please, please go and pick up the first trade, The Trench, and enjoy this amazing run! First of all, I gotta say I had NO idea this was Geoff's final volume on Aquaman's run. I mean, how is it possible? I already had volume 5 and 6 on my wishlist. Of course, I should have paid more attention to the name of the writer. Damn it, it kinda broke my heart realizing that this was the ''end'' of the story that Johns started and I was loving so much. I don't want to get into spoilers 'cause this is the fourth volume, but to give you an idea Death of a King follows Aquaman's story just after the incidents that happen on Throne of Atlantis. There was a big battle there and now Arthur must go looking for atlanteans weapons that got lost in the incident and that are now being utilized by some not very good people (Enter: The Scavenger). We have more conflict between earth dwellers and atlanteans, neither trust Arthur and even though he's sacrificing everything (Mera) so there can be peace between them, even the most loyal to Arthur are starting to doubt his allegiance. There's also the introduction of a new villain and his appearance answer the big question from the end of volume 1. Through him we learn so much more about Atlantis, the history of the Seven Seas, Mera's background and Arthur's family. This volume collects issues #17-19 and #21-25. It is a long volume for a regular trade and if I'm being honest it felt like DC tried to cram Geoff's ending in a reasonable number of issues so they could be collected in just one regular trade. What I mean is, I really think the story could have benefited more with maybe 2-3 more issues, so they could have made a Death of a King part 1 and 2. Even though the story as a whole is great, it feels rushed and the characters don't shine like they did in previous volumes. Johns does his best to try and wrap the story and he succeeds at certain levels, but it would have been so much better if he could have expanded all the action, mythology, character's history and relationships a bit more. A lot happen in these issues, a lot of new characters were introduced and they didn't have the time to shine, even though there was so much potential. That being said, this volume ends with a really short epilogue, which leaves the door open to a new interesting story that will expand more of the atlantean mythology. So let's see what Jeff Parker does now with Aquaman's story. One other thing that left me a bit disappointed was the art. Reis and Prado made such an amazing, beautiful, astonishing work before and sadly these new artists couldn't match my expectations. It's still a great artwork, but sometimes feels a little off. Issue #20 is not on this volume and frankly I've got no idea if it is going to be collected in further volumes, because it doesn't make sense. For what I gathered on the plot, Arthur asks The Others for help regarding the lost atlantean weapons. The Others were characters I loved on volume 2 and was expecting to see again, but they never appeared, except on issue #20. I'm glad that the issue is not on this volume, because frankly it doesn't connect. It'd feel out of place having that little adventure in-between all of the action happening in our main plotlines. Overall, this was a great run and I think is the best new 52 story I've read. I love Arthur and Mera, I love Atlantis and Geoff Johns's storytelling. I'm so glad that there was never a villain who was bad for the sake of being evil. But every character here, even Arthur, was a grey character, they all struggled to do what they believed was right and those are the best stories. Thank you Geoff Johns, it was great.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    If I were to match Geoff Johns’ same level of effort and energy that he put into this book in this review, you wouldn’t even be reading it on the internet. It’d be scrawled on a used McDonald’s napkin blowing about an empty carpark with a mostly-used up cheap biro and it’d read “Aquaman’s a hero. And Mera 2. Bad guy fight Aq. and loses. Aquaman’s a he” (illegible). So here are the “storylines” that happen in Aquaman, Volume 4: Death of a King: the first king of Atlantis - imaginatively called At If I were to match Geoff Johns’ same level of effort and energy that he put into this book in this review, you wouldn’t even be reading it on the internet. It’d be scrawled on a used McDonald’s napkin blowing about an empty carpark with a mostly-used up cheap biro and it’d read “Aquaman’s a hero. And Mera 2. Bad guy fight Aq. and loses. Aquaman’s a he” (illegible). So here are the “storylines” that happen in Aquaman, Volume 4: Death of a King: the first king of Atlantis - imaginatively called Atlan - reawakens, just because, and tries to take the throne back from Arthur for no reason. Scavenger, a Russian dude in a sub, attacks Atlantis for no reason. Mera blunders about aimlessly. There’s a whole subplot about a trio of characters - Swatt, Murk and Tula - who try to bust Orm out of jail, and then it gets forgotten about. And then it doesn’t matter anyway because Orm gets off of death row somehow. Arthur fights Atlan and wins. The end. I don’t even know where to start with this garbage. OK: Atlan, the main enemy of the book. He’s terrible. And I don’t mean in terms of intentions, I mean the way his character is constructed. He comes out of nowhere and is instantly a major threat to Arthur and Atlantis. Then we get his ridiculous backstory from when Atlantis was still above the sea. There’s the bland loving wife and bland loving children scene that’s so phony and movie-happy-family (“Daddy, daddy, I love you!” - retch) that I couldn’t believe is still being trotted out - but then that’s the level of laziness in Johns’ writing these days so I shouldn’t really be surprised - and then something happens and he decides to SINK THE CITY. That’s idiotic enough but somehow 10% of the citizens in Atlantis manage to survive the sinking and are suddenly able to breathe underwater! There aren’t enough exclamation marks for that sentence so I won’t even try. Does Geoff Johns understand evolution? Humans don’t instantly adapt to their surroundings. If we live our entire lives breathing air with lungs and then one day our houses are underwater, we’d drown - simple as. Not a single human in this scenario would survive, let alone 10%! Gah… Actually there isn’t much to say about Atlan because he’s one-dimensional. He’s a grumpy old geezer. And it turns out his intentions to rule Atlantis weren’t really his intentions anyway and he just wanted to die so I don’t know why he didn’t just kill himself when he first awakened. Let’s talk about Orm, Aquaman’s brother. He’s on death row, on land, for his shenanigans in the garbage that was the Throne of Atlantis story arc. He spends most of the book in prison, gnashing his teeth and wittering on pointlessly about his friends in Atlantis. Then in the final few pages we find out he’s 1) escaped prison, 2) completely changed his personality, and 3) gotten a human wife. Bear in mind the last time we see him he was on death row - so how did he get out of prison and all that other stuff? This might be due to yet another tedious crossover issue that wasn’t included here, or maybe it’s tied into Forever Evil in some way, but it’s still a big plot hole that’s never explained. Running parallel to Orm’s “story” is Swatt, Murk and Tula, aka the three stooges. They spend page after page arguing against one another, trying to rile themselves into a state of action where they’ll leave Atlantis and go to the surface and free Orm and after all of that, when they make into the land, they hear Atlantis is under attack and decide to leave to help out. That’s their entire “story” - a load of filler, a literary cul-de-sac. Filler is all Mera gets too. An “ex” shows up called Nereus who isn’t really an ex, but that’s not important either. So why mention it? Because this is all irrelevant filler. They argue, he holds her captive (because that always makes women fall in love you, crazy guy - hold them against their will until they see past your insanity to the love of their lives that you just know you are to them!), Mera fights him, the end. A whole load of nothing. Scavenger, a Russian dude selling Atlantean tech, decides to attack Atlantis for some reason and sit on the throne - you can sense a pattern here, can’t you? This is all just baloney. Johns just making up a load of stuff that doesn’t make sense because he hasn’t spent any time at all thinking about it, all of which adds up to a big fat zero. This is the laziest writing of Johns I’ve ever read. It’s clear he’s stopped caring and trying but to see this level of incompetency and plain awfulness is still shocking in someone at his level. The only people who’re actually making an effort is the art team who do their best with what little they’re given from Johns’ scripts to make something out of. I wouldn’t say Paul Pelletier’s art is beautiful or unique but it’s accomplished and shows a high degree of skill. Where Johns contributes a word or two to a splash page - and there are a LOT of splash pages. Why? FILLER. Beef up that page count boys and let’s head to the bar! - it’s up to Pelletier to make up for the lacking narrative with some worthwhile illustrations and he comes through time and again to give us wonderful shots of Atlantis and under-the-sea action. Ugh. All I can say is thank god Geoff Johns has left Aquaman. His total lack of inspiration and energy at this point really shows just how burned out or how bored he became with the series. Aquaman is better off without him at this point, and hopefully Jeff Parker will be able to bring some life back to the character with his run. 2 stars for Pelletier and the art team, 0 stars for Johns abysmal “writing”.

  16. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    I enjoyed this one, it finally had what I have been wanting out of an Aquaman comic...watery fights, mysterious depths, fishy politics, and sexy/sassy fish ladies. Mera is awesome. The artwork was freaking phenomenal too! Quite a few pages that took me by surprise and left me staring. So much goodness. It all wrapped up a little sugar coated/happily ever after for me, but I'm not gonna complain because for the most part this book didn't stray off into any of the other DCU titles to tell its story. I enjoyed this one, it finally had what I have been wanting out of an Aquaman comic...watery fights, mysterious depths, fishy politics, and sexy/sassy fish ladies. Mera is awesome. The artwork was freaking phenomenal too! Quite a few pages that took me by surprise and left me staring. So much goodness. It all wrapped up a little sugar coated/happily ever after for me, but I'm not gonna complain because for the most part this book didn't stray off into any of the other DCU titles to tell its story. Mostly. Anyways. Aquaman. Good comic. Who woulda thunk?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    See Aquaman learn his secret royal past. See Aquaman try to rule Atlantis and fail. See intrigue and betrayal galore. Vibrant and bold artwork as usual. MY GRADE: A minus.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Score: 4.00 out of 5 Grade: 80% (A-) | Great Johns’ new 52 run on Aquaman comes to a close with a larger-than-life grand finale! This volume solidifies the fact that Aquaman can be cool even if he does talk to fish. It took some time for the story to really pick up with some villains that were just alright. But nonetheless, with a fitting conclusion for our heroes mixed with some twists and turns along the way, I had a real fun time with this book. Here is my review of Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a Score: 4.00 out of 5 Grade: 80% (A-) | Great Johns’ new 52 run on Aquaman comes to a close with a larger-than-life grand finale! This volume solidifies the fact that Aquaman can be cool even if he does talk to fish. It took some time for the story to really pick up with some villains that were just alright. But nonetheless, with a fitting conclusion for our heroes mixed with some twists and turns along the way, I had a real fun time with this book. Here is my review of Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King: The Good: This volume is chock-full of revelations! Revelations for Mera. Revelations for Arthur. Revelations for Atlantis. YOU GET A REVELATION! YOU GET A REVELATION! EVERYONE IS GETTING A REVELATION! I really enjoyed seeing Aquaman take on his new king-ly duties, although it wasn’t all smooth sailings (haha, water joke, I’m so funny…). We had some good tension building between him and some of his unwilling Atlantean followers. I felt a strong Game of Thrones (GoT) vibe in both its politics and full-on war set-pieces. When you get compared to GoT, then there’s no other way than to take it as a massive complement! But if there’s anything we’ve learned, it ain’t easy being king! The final showdown was just amazing! This is where the art had really grown on me. There is some stellar underwater battle scenes which are just fun to look at. Overall, Johns has sold me on the fact that Aquaman can indeed be a badass tough mothef***er! HE IS THE TRUE KING OF ATLANTIS!!! Oh, and I totally dug the Aquabeard! The Bad: I’ve grown largely accustomed to the art from the previous three volumes which was just awesome! So, the change in art style took me awhile to get into, but as I read on, it grew on me. I did find that the overall volume had somewhat of a slow start where it suffered from too much jumping around. The story really started to pick up just over halfway through which included some great unexpected twists and turns that caught me off-guard. There’s also a story arc that went nowhere involving some Atlantean warriors planning on rescuing Orm from prison. (view spoiler)[We see the build up of them about to break Orm out, but just as they’re about to, they decide to retreat and defend Atlantis. (hide spoiler)] So basically, their entire story arc was a waste of time, although I did enjoy the part where they interacted with foreign land-dweller objects. I found the Dead King to be an interesting villain, but as for the Scavenger, he never really felt that menacing. I had a hard time believing that we land-dwellers would have an edge over the people of Atlantis. Yeah we surprised them and came in guns-blazing, but they would have the ultimate advantage because, you know, we breathe air. I just feel like they would wipe the sea-floor with us. Plus, the Scavenger never truly felt like a dangerous threat, he was just kind of.....there. Conclusion: This four-volume run had a fitting end for Aquaman and Mera. It ended with a bang with many moments that had me screaming, “F*** YES”! I loved this Aquaman run and would highly recommend it to anybody looking for some Aquamaterial to read on Aquaman. Rule of thumb, add “Aqua” in front of everything and you’re basically Aquaman. For Aquaexample, this Aquabook was Aquagreat and I cannot wait for the Aquaman Aquamovie which will be Aquaawesome!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    4.75 stars This was, in my opinion, a fantastic end to Geoff Johns' Aquaman run. I've said this in just about every Aquaman review up to this one, but this volume really explores the complexities of Aquaman. He's not accepted by surface-dwellers or Atlanteans yet he still fights for both, and I find that incredibly admirable. He's like the only king I could ever see myself rooting for. He's just a great guy. This really opened up a lot of Aquaman's history and drops a bomb on Atlantean history as 4.75 stars This was, in my opinion, a fantastic end to Geoff Johns' Aquaman run. I've said this in just about every Aquaman review up to this one, but this volume really explores the complexities of Aquaman. He's not accepted by surface-dwellers or Atlanteans yet he still fights for both, and I find that incredibly admirable. He's like the only king I could ever see myself rooting for. He's just a great guy. This really opened up a lot of Aquaman's history and drops a bomb on Atlantean history as well. The Seven Seas were introduced and the conclusion for this left plenty of room for interesting sequels. I just loved this series! I was never an Aquaman fan because he never stuck out to me, but this series really showed me all the reasons to love this guy!

  20. 5 out of 5

    C. John Kerry

    More answers. More questions. Oh, and Aquaman grows a beard. That sums up this volume. We get some history of Atlantis, which it seems to me jettisons the old Atlantis Chronicles mini-series into the deep blue sea. Still this was a great volume. Hints dropped in previous volumes have been resolved. At the same time another area of mystery is now opened up. We also have rhe return of Orm at the end of the last story. I have really been enjoying this series and look forward to the subsequent volum More answers. More questions. Oh, and Aquaman grows a beard. That sums up this volume. We get some history of Atlantis, which it seems to me jettisons the old Atlantis Chronicles mini-series into the deep blue sea. Still this was a great volume. Hints dropped in previous volumes have been resolved. At the same time another area of mystery is now opened up. We also have rhe return of Orm at the end of the last story. I have really been enjoying this series and look forward to the subsequent volumes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Jean

    Everything I want in a Book 4. I had to slog through the first three and that is no lie, but it felt worth it here at book 4. And a suitable teaser at the end. http://saraandmikeoncomics.wordpress.... Everything I want in a Book 4. I had to slog through the first three and that is no lie, but it felt worth it here at book 4. And a suitable teaser at the end. http://saraandmikeoncomics.wordpress....

  22. 4 out of 5

    'kris Pung

    This was the first New 52 Aquaman book that I've enjoyed and Johns seems to have added a new interesting villain into the mix. This was the first New 52 Aquaman book that I've enjoyed and Johns seems to have added a new interesting villain into the mix.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Another excellent volume of Aquaman. The writing is good, but the artwork is what kept this collection so compelling; in fact, the pages with the fewest words seemed to have the greatest impact. I thoroughly enjoyed the origins of Atlantis aspect of this storyline, and I appreciated even more that this volume explained where the heck Arthur disappeared to during the Forever Evil crossover event. Definitely one of the gems of the New52.... of which there are few. 4/5

  24. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    My son had these and recommended I read them to better understand the Aquaman movie – which I do now, but am also even more confused about the whole “Aquaverse.” I give the whole series an overall 3+, and the artwork a consistent 5 stars. The whole thing is very well drawn; you need to spend as much time studying the pictures as you do reading the text, as there’s a lot of detail and extra information here. Anyhoo...some book-by-book commments: Volume 1: The Trench: Good intro to the series (and My son had these and recommended I read them to better understand the Aquaman movie – which I do now, but am also even more confused about the whole “Aquaverse.” I give the whole series an overall 3+, and the artwork a consistent 5 stars. The whole thing is very well drawn; you need to spend as much time studying the pictures as you do reading the text, as there’s a lot of detail and extra information here. Anyhoo...some book-by-book commments: Volume 1: The Trench: Good intro to the series (and movie), and the trench creatures are nicely creepy. But speaking of creepy...Mera just hits me as odd. In the early scenes, she’s normal enough and even dressed in, like, real human clothes. But from there out, she wears her slinky green catsuit and goofy crown everywhere, to the point that in a very weird scene at the end she gets sexually harrassed by a shopkeeper while out buying dog food. She ends up breaking the guy’s arm, the cops are called, she resists arrest; the whole thing gets very Walmart. Also, artwork in this volume is weakest of the series, but still good – it’s just that things get even better from here. Volume 2: The Others: Best of the bunch. This is the “Black Mantis” portion of the movie, although sadly the film totally omits “The Others,” a very “Watchmen”-like group of minor but uniformly interesting heroes that Aquaman used to belong to before he started hanging out with the cool kids, (i.e., the Justice League). And like any wannabe who’s suddenly been accepted by a cooler group, he immediately forgets his former friends – so a pretty major dick move on Aquaman’s part. NOTE: Highlight of this book is Ya’wara, a smokin’ hot jungle heroine for whom Aquaman should immediately ditch the always-angry (and now also bitchily jealous) Mera. Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis: This is the whole sibling rivalry piece of the movie, where Aquaman/Arthur and his half-brother King Orm fight for the throne, and where the Atlantians fight the surface dwellers, and where the Justice League fights everyone - including each other, because...well, they’re the Justice League. Oh, and the same time they’re fighting (Arthur/Orm, Arthur/Batman, et al), they’re all telling each other how much they really love each other. The Justice Leaguers also turn out to be Trump-level nationalists here, too – it’s fine for humans to launch missiles against Atlantis and kill uncounted hundreds, but when Orm retaliates against the U.S. of A., nothing will do but for him to be arrested and face the death penalty. Also, when things look bleak for the humans and the Justice League decides to call up reinforcements – who do they turn to? Not the recently-heroic “Others;” nope, they’ve already been forgotten again, sorry guys. No, they bring in a group of unknowns (to me, at least) like Element Woman, Vixen, Goldrush, Zatanna, Black Lightning and - ooh! - Black Canary. (And what is it with all the color-coded superheroes – these plus Black Widow, Black Panther, Green Arrow, Green Hornet, Green Lantern, Crimson Witch, etc.? Does adding a color really make them badass-ier?) And finally, just as in the movie, Wonder Woman looks great with her hair pulled back and glasses on – really rockin' the whole “hot librarian” look, (hey, don’t blame me – to quote Jessica Rabbit, “I’m just drawn that way...”). Which brings us to Volume 4: Death of a King. This one is frankly all over the place, with at least four separate plot lines running in parallel but never really coming together. There’s the long-dead Night King who’s come back to life and now threatens Westeros (oh wait, that’s “Game of Thrones” – but the same thing happens here); there’s Micheal Keaton salvaging alien weaponry and selling it on the black market, (oh wait, that’s “Spiderman” – but the same thing happens here); there’s Aquaman learning that he’s not who he really thinks he is, but is in fact the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, (oh wait, that’s Jon Snow also in “Game of Thrones” – but the same thing happens here); there’s Mera’s complex back story which chooses a way inopportune time to rear its ugly head; and I’m sure several more. BTW, none of this story is in the movie; thankfully the producers decided to leave something for the inevitable sequel. OBSERVATION: The one consistent superpower for all Atlanteans in these books is their supernatural hair. Absolutely everyone emerges from the ocean looking like they just stepped out of the salon rather than the shower. Even underwater, everyone looks like the subject of a fan-blown glamour photo, rather than a drowned rat. As Billy Crystal would say, “they look marvelous!” Overall, an enjoyable series – but DC very much remains the Pepsi of the superhero world. Apparently there’s a second “new” series considered Volumes 5-8...but I’m gonna quit while I’m still slightly ahead. And probably watch the movie again, now that I have a better idea what’s going on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Very nice! We learn more and possibly the truth about Aquaman's claim to the throne. We also saw several story lines completed. I love what Geoff Johns did with the character. The artwork was also very nice. I like the clean art that DC uses much more than the stylized art of Marvel. Very nice! We learn more and possibly the truth about Aquaman's claim to the throne. We also saw several story lines completed. I love what Geoff Johns did with the character. The artwork was also very nice. I like the clean art that DC uses much more than the stylized art of Marvel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Awesome ending to Johns run on Aquaman! Great story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leighane

    Hmm, the beard was kind of hot

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eshwar

    Geoff Johns re-imagined Aquaman and made him a pure badass. Breathtaking artwork by Paul Pelletier and superb storylines from Geoff. These 4 volumes are an absolute treat to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    jordan

    Imagine the odds you might have been given a few years ago if you bet that Aquaman would be the comic that folks crowded comic shops to pick up the next issue? Geoff Johns continues to demonstrate his impressive skills – attention to detail, grand imagination, sense of humor – in this fourth volume, “Aquaman: Death of a King.” And while some of the magic may be waning, especially when it comes to pacing (a real strength in John’s epic Green Lantern run), it still exhibits all the page turning ex Imagine the odds you might have been given a few years ago if you bet that Aquaman would be the comic that folks crowded comic shops to pick up the next issue? Geoff Johns continues to demonstrate his impressive skills – attention to detail, grand imagination, sense of humor – in this fourth volume, “Aquaman: Death of a King.” And while some of the magic may be waning, especially when it comes to pacing (a real strength in John’s epic Green Lantern run), it still exhibits all the page turning excitement that has made all the previous volumes must reads. The plot here is pure Geoff Johns. Familiar readers will know his story style: Johns likes to go BIG. As with Green Lantern, his work explores and deepens the mythos of books he takes over, often by poking at older ideas that have long become part of a character’s history. Here John’s pushes into Atlantis’s past: why is Aquaman the “King of the Seven Seas”? No, it turns out that Aquaman’s crown was originally the crown of the seven cities, all of which were thrust beneath the waves by a king of Ancient Atlantis, Atlan, who united the cities and was then overthrown. Each city sank in a different place and the three that survived each found a different path to survive underwater (four are “lost” which tells you immediately that they’ll soon be found….). Now Atlan, who never died, is back. Despite having near destroyed his kingdom, he still considers it his, and he wants his crown back. Now I think there’s a lot to like about this as a story line. Johns’ ability to expand a character’s universe usually entertains. My issue here is more one of execution. Unlike in his creation of the many ring corps in Green Lantern, Atlan doesn’t feel well grounded in the story. He just appears as a filler big baddie who can make Aquaman embrace his throne and open up the coming search for those lost cities. This feels like a major missed opportunity, throwing away the creation of a new character by filling his role with a two dimensional “big bad.” As it happens, Atlan’s back story has the elements of a good character, but its execution is far too quick and the surrounding characters can only be described as two-dimensional if one is feeling particularly charitable. Atlan does give the opportunity for lots of big battle scenes, which are fun, and given the artist some opportunities to create big double paged splashes that are lovely (and the reason I dislike comics in digital formats!). Likewise with the two page art of Aquaman directing sea life and the sweeping views of Atlantis. Yet on the whole, his attributes as a stock villain seem well beneath Johns’ usual standard. The same is true of one of the other two plots, the one involving a villain named “The Scavenger” who goes around in submarines grabbing atlantean technology and for some reason – we never know why…-- is bent on finding and conquering Atlantis. If this sounds to you like a cheap (and Caucasian) Black Manta knockoff, take heart, you are not alone. The one high point of book in terms of storytelling curiously comes from Johns doing what he does best: taking a tired character and breathing in new life. The character is Aquaman’s brother, Orm, otherwise known as Ocean Master. While the idea of the brother hankering from the throne has a long and tired pedigree, I rather like Johns’ ability to make Orm, despite the mass destruction of his invasion of the surface world, still be sympathetic. Perhaps the most interesting looming story in this book is the idea of those who remain loyal to Orm and see him as fundamentally more loyal to Atlantis than Aquaman. Comic historians may also enjoy the slight similarities between the villain Scavenger and the original pre-crisis Ocean Master. Over all this book remains a mixed bag. Still, just for the art and the action, I’d give it a thumbs up. I received a copy of this book from DC Comics through Net Galleys in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tom Ewing

    This is a review of Volumes 1-4. Geoff Johns' run on Aquaman is the latest - and probably best - of his careful superhero restoration projects for DC, taking vintage characters and building them reverently up into properties the modern comics marketplace can accept. The method is simple but effective: take the things everybody knows about the character, strip the concept back to them, take them as seriously as possible, then set about building up a robust supporting cast and an easily grasped myt This is a review of Volumes 1-4. Geoff Johns' run on Aquaman is the latest - and probably best - of his careful superhero restoration projects for DC, taking vintage characters and building them reverently up into properties the modern comics marketplace can accept. The method is simple but effective: take the things everybody knows about the character, strip the concept back to them, take them as seriously as possible, then set about building up a robust supporting cast and an easily grasped mythology. Much like someone tasked with restoring a vintage car, an old guitar, or a stately home, Johns' job is one that emphasises craft over risk. The pleasure in these four volumes is seeing stories unfold with no emotional beat going unresolved, no gun left unfired. Geoff Johns' Aquaman is full of reveals, but no actual shocks, as he gets on with his patient buffing and building of the concept. On his Green Lantern reboot, that concept and its mythology overtook everything, to the point where his run was solely about the comic's status quo and its continual shifts and inversions. There was no risk the readers would get bored by something so quotidian as Green Lantern getting on with stuff and doing his job. And they voted with their money: this approach works. For my tastes, his Aquaman run handles this a bit better, partly because his cast have motivations (not exactly complex ones, but that's still better than a cast with magic rings and one emotion each.) True, a Johnsian plot coupon along the lines of the 'emotional spectrum' is introduced here - the seven seas, collect the set! - but he's off the comic before he can get bogged down in dealing with it. So the four graphic novels read like four discrete stories, and Johns is enough of a draw that he can get detailed, competent artists to work with him. It's a smooth experience, good for comfort reading. The creator he most reminds me of is John Byrne in his 80s writing heyday - similarly driven by respect for the past, an urge to contribute to company-owned "mythology", and the desire to tell a solid story. There are worse outcomes.

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