Review: Aquaman #39
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, and Wayne Faucher
Maelstrom’s long, twisting adventure tale is finally nearing its conclusion as Arthur finally travels through the titular Maelstrom and has a family reunion with his mother. Unfortunately, that reunion doesn’t quite go as Aquaman planned. Oh, and there is a volcano god too because why wouldn’t there be. Don’t question the logic, just enjoy the fun.
A great thing about Parker’s run on Aquaman has been the sense of adventure. It almost feels like Aquaman is channeling his inner Indiana Jones a little bit with all of the globe trotting, mystical item finding, and weird baddie fighting that he does and that is definitely not a bad thing. While things have never been that deep in the story department in Maelstrom, it has still managed to be extremely fun and entertaining. I mean volcano god, people! That’s only the big thing that comes to mind here. There are a ton of small little fun things throughout this issue that Arthur gets to punch and it is just all kinds of fun.
The best part of Aquaman really is Pelletier’s art, though. Not only does it give the title a sense of continuity with the Geoff John run, but it is also just plain gorgeous. Parker’s script gives Pelletier ample room to flex his creative muscles and he does. That volcano god is a sight to behold and all of the other littler character designs are no slouches either. All the actions scenes are clear, fluid, and fun which is a good thing because this issue is basically just a really long action scene.
While this issue is tons of fun, what really drags this issue down for me is the lack of emotional depth between Arthur and his mother. They see each other for the first time and instantly begin fighting and that fighting does not really stop the whole issue. This normally wouldn’t bother me because their relationship could be explored in later issues, but there is only one more issue left in Parker’s run. After Convergence, Cullen Bunn takes over the writing duties and there is no guarantee that he will pick up where this story leaves off. There is still a lot of things that need to be resolved in Parker’s run and I do not see it happening in a satisfying way when he has to cram it all into one issue.
Aquaman #39 is a really fun book, plain and simple. Pelletier offers up some excellent artwork and character designs while Parker offers up a really exciting script, even if it is a bit lacking in the emotional department.