Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Aquaman #32

This cover shows the moment just before five Atlanteans died horrible deaths.

The only explanation for this cover is that Mera has been trying to have a rational dialogue with a bunch of irrational Sea Party Atlanteans when they attacked her. And even after they attacked her, she decided she didn't want to kill any of them so she kept trying to convince them to stop their foolishness while defending herself. They might have harpoons or water spears or whatever but Mera has the power to manipulate water and since they're fighting in water, Mera has this battle won whenever she decides to begin fighting it. So if she's a bit beaten up and overwhelmed here, it's because she's chosen to be beaten up and overwhelmed for the sake of peace. But I think her patience has probably just about run out.

Aquaman is returning home from his adventures with The Batman and boy is he going to be pissed when he sees how Mera was treated while he was out. You know who else is pissed? Creature King!

Maybe not so much "pissed" as "overenthusiastically alive."

Creature King has escaped Triton Base and is hunting down Aquaman whom it refers to as "the Killer King." That's because Creature King's brain has a bit of the brain of the Karaquan that Aquaman killed because he didn't want it eating people. If Aquaman has the right to do that without any consequences, does that mean a superhero cow (Batcow?) can head off to a slaughterhouse and kill people willy-nilly without any repercussions? Probably not because I've messed up some variables in the analogy equation. The main variable is "people" and if that variable gets killed, more people are going to step in and kill whatever variable killed their representative variable. In my analogy, that would be poor Batcow. In Aquaman's case, it was The Karaquan. But I think that means that other giant sea creatures have the right to exact revenge on Aquaman. But in this case, getting back to the reason Creature King wants to kill Aquaman, the vengeance exacting giant sea creature is the same one Aquaman killed because it's part of Creature King!

But there will probably be some conflict since the Karaquan is sharing the brain of Coombs whom Aquaman saved. So in the eyes of Creature King, Aquaman is both killer and savior. That conflict will probably be important to the story later.

Holy unruly Underrealm! And I'm talking about this guy's wayward pubes.

I chose to scan this picture of the Underrealm's out of control under garden instead of one of the many, many panels that follow it which show Mera and Tula kicking their fucking asses. It's not one of those fights you expect where the hero is up against the ropes and on the verge of failure but they turn the tables due to one last chance and win the day. No, no. This is a pure, unadulterated, get off my fucking lawn, bitchslapping asskickfest. One of their giant crabs gets a single shot in on Mera but that's about it. Tula and Mera wipe the sea floor with them while the less aggressive members of the Underrealm that have been hoodwinked by the fearmongering assholes realize that maybe Mera isn't the cowardly usurper they've been told she was. So beating these guys' asses was like killing two fish with one hook.

After defeating the leader of the Underrealm, Mera hauls him away to partake in Atlantis's version of waterboarding.

Le sigh.

When somebody sighs, it usually means they're exasperated. When they sigh within ear shot of another person, it's usually because they're exasperated with the other person. But when somebody puts "le" in front of "sigh," it means they're crushing hardcore. It also means that they're one accidental white stripe away from committing rape. Pepe le Pew was a monster! Although that cat was kind of a prude. Who wouldn't want to have sex with another creature outside of their species that smells horrible? Give it a shot! Although when the cat actually did show interest and pursued Pepe, it always scared him off. He was all talk! Horrible rapey overly aggressive talk, but still all talk!

Meanwhile, Aquaman is being attacked by a bunch of creatures. It's almost as if they were listening to a new king! It's also almost as if they're tired of Aquaman always using them against their will to fight his battles! Although I think it's more the things about some other king, perhaps a "Creature King," now manipulating them to fight for him. Poor oft-abused sea creatures!

This is as close as this comic gets to calling the new antagonist "Creature King." He reveals himself as Chimera on the last page. I guess "Creature King" was too old school even for a Jeff Parker comic called "It Lives!"

Aquaman #32 Rating: +1 Ranking. Jeff Parker's Aquaman seems unique to The New 52. It's a bit hard to explain why but it feels like I'm reading a comic book from the mid to late eighties. You know, the time after the seventies when things were firming up out of the silliness of the sixties and entering a more modern, adult sensibility but before Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns began sliding everything into a depressing dark gritty griminess of bloody pulpiness? It's nice to see a superhero (or two! Mera is just as important to this book as the guy whose name is on the cover) dealing with problems that aren't going to end the world. Or the Omniverse. And seeing Mera kick righteous ass without going through the rigamarole of nearly losing was refreshing as well. I like how Parker presented a situation where the reader knows Mera has the upper hand and should easily win. And then that's exactly what happens! Now is that so hard to do on a regular basis, DC Comics? If only Superman had Mera's confidence!

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