“Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King” takes the monthly comic book series in a whole different direction. The book collects issues 17 through 19 and 21 through 25 of what I consider to be one of the best titles to come out of the New 52 relaunch. A character that was once laughed at by many readers is now thought of as an essential member of the greatest super hero team on the Earth – the Justice League.
Aquaman is sent on a journey across the Seven Seas to solve the mystery of an ancient murder and prove to his Atlantean people he is the rightful heir to the throne of the great kingdom. His search brings him face-to-face with an immortal power who claims he is the true King of Atlantis. Meanwhile, the villainous Scavenger makes his way through the waters of the world collecting Atlantean weaponry and artifacts to sell to the highest bidder. Aquaman recruits the Others to hunt down one of the relics before it falls into the hands of the evildoer.
Geoff Johns continues to expand upon the saga of the ruler of Atlantis with “Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King.” It’s quite evident he has no problem taking everything we’ve ever been told about Aquaman and turning it on its head while pulling the carpet out from underneath our feet. Johns shakes things up and brings in a fabulous new character that is both tragic and sinister at the same time.
Paul Pelletier takes the words of Geoff Johns and translates them into vivid illustrations. His work on “Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King” isn’t as realistic as Ivan Reis, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Pelletier’s artistic look is rooted a bit more in an animated style. Rod Reis fills in the lines with both vibrant and relevant colors that match the tones of Johns’ tale.
“Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King” is rated “T” for Teens. The story includes some violence and mild language. There might be some scary images for anyone under the age of twelve. As usual, the female characters all wear tight-fitting clothing and are well endowed in the upper region of their bodies. No woman has a small bosom in the DC Universe.
Ten pages of bonus material are included in “Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King.” A MAD variant and fold-out cover are featured. There are also character design sketches and studies. We also get cover sketches for a number of issues.
“Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King” sees the world of our Atlantean hero getting even more complex. Geoff Johns has successfully taken a character once giggled at and ridiculed and awarded him the dignity he deserves. He shows that Aquaman can use his oceanic skills and super powers to fight evil whether he’s under water or above it.
“Aquaman Volume 4: Death of a King” is available now in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
The King of Atlantis Takes Charge in Aquaman and the Others #1
‘Justice League Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis’ Shines the Spotlight on Aquaman
Graphic Novel Review: “Aquaman Volume 2: The Others”