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Comic Review: Aquaman #16

Aquaman #16 Throne of Atlantis Geoff Johns DC Comics New 52

Throne of Atlantis marches on with its penultimate chapter in the action-packed Aquaman #16.

Aquaman and Batman are the only ones awake in the dark pit where Orm has sent them to die, and the Justice League call-ups are doing their best to defend Boston against the Atlanteans. Meanwhile, Cyborg continues to earn a more prominent role by sacrificing himself to a robotic implant, but he also holds the key to determining who started the whole conflict with Atlantis.

The instigator is a twist you will never see coming, proving yet again that Geoff Johns is a wonderful shepherd for the DC universe’s grand crossover stories.

Johns is equally adept at providing character moments against the Justice League backdrop. Here, he’s been using Throne of Atlantis to explore the alpha male relationship between Aquaman and Batman, and putting them alone in a dark cave proves to be a great pressure cooker situation for their character development.

Cyborg’s the one you really feel for, though. He needs to make a lot of sacrifices to be a part of the team, and he does it stoically and without complaint. Throne of Atlantis means a lot for Aquaman, but it’s quietly becoming a big deal for Cyborg, too.

Not that Cyborg is quiet here. He gets to show up guns blazing, and artist Paul Pelletier renders him in full red and gold glory when it’s his time to shine.

Pelletier’s art is strong, especially in the spread where Hawkman, Firestorm, Vixen and the rest of the League are battling the Atlanteans. The barnacle shoulder pads on the Atlanteans are a standout detail that speaks to the strength of Pelletier’s work. It’s not as grandiose as Ivan Reis’ work on Justice League, but this title is centered on Aquaman. For a tighter focus, Pelletier gets the job done admirably.

A lot happens in this issue, and a lot more needs to happen in next month’s Justice League #17 to bring this excellent storyline to its worthy conclusion.

With great visuals, exciting plot points and some great character dynamics, Aquaman #16 is a must-read for lovers of the DCU.

9 out of 10

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