Mind Capsules – Aquaman #43 and Marvel Zombies #3

Aquaman #43
Aquaman #43

Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Merino
Colours – Guy Major

Much like the last couple of issues, the current issue of Aquaman flips back and forth from what our hero is doing currently and then back to the events that led up to it. At the moment, he is facing off against the Thule’s war machine, a temple come to life and even with the help of those who were sent to kill him, Aquaman is having a hard time defeating these invaders from another dimension. Though the action is fantastic, it is the sequences that take place in the past that are far more interesting. It is in this issue that we are finally shown what it was that has led up to this point in time and how Aquaman has found himself an outcast from his kingdom and from Mera. What is most intriguing about the whole situation is how abrupt it was. In the very first few pages of the book it is almost like a switch had been flipped, with Mera now being unable to listen to reason and eventually, by the end of the book and a wonderful little cliff-hanger, we discover exactly how and why Mera is the way she is. The best part of the entire book though is when Cullen Bunn decides to reveal just where it is that Aquaman got his new powers from and how he has gone from being quite powerful to even more so. Most people who follow the sea-king’s adventures will probably groan and wonder why they never thought of this or even why a scene such as this has not happened in the book until now. As it stands, we now know almost everything there is to know about the times leading up to the current situation and though it has seemed like it has been dragged out, in reality it has not. It is because Bunn weaves such a good tale and we are so excited by it that we as readers do not have any patience and want everything revealed to us immediately. Add to that mix some incredible artwork by Trevor McCarthy, Jesus Merino and Guy Major and you have one very fantastic issue. This new arc with its new creators has been pleasantly surprising and if you are not reading it, perhaps you should be.

4 out of 5

Marvel Zombies #3
Marvel Zombies #3

Writer – Simon Spurrier
Artist – Kev Walker
Inker – Jason Gordor
Colours – Guru-eFX

Journey Into Misery is apt title for the story that Simon Spurrier is telling as Elsa Bloodstone has not had an easy life. Her dad was abusive, not physically mind, but it was just as bad and it damaged her so that having a relationship with anyone was more than just a little hard. She has never been normal and the only life she has ever had has been that of hunting and killing monsters. Now she finds herself beyond the great wall amongst a land of zombies who all sport powers and to add to that, she has decided to rescue the little girl who has been accompanying her because her guilt will not let her do anything else. There is also Deadpool, a little more insane than usual. This story is through and through, all about Elsa and the relationship she has, or had, with her father. It was never a good one and it was never easy, but it was the only one that she can remember with any clarity because he dominated over her during her entire life and the lessons he drilled into her were not easy ones when it came to anything. Being behind the wall now, those lessons have come in handy because she is as tough a monster-hunter as they come, but when it comes to relating to her little friend, she has no idea where to start. Eventually, Spurrier has Elsa break down her barriers a little and instead of just being privy to memories, we get to hear Elsa vocalize a little of it and at the end of the day, what Spurrier has done was create a nice character-driven issue with one of the more fascinating heroes the Marvel Universe has ever produced. Of course, the book would not be complete without some action and some zombies and there is that and of course, Deadpool just had to make his way into the title, though this version of him is not doing so well as he has been the main course on the zombie’s menu for a number of years thanks to his healing factor. With a great ending that should provide a bit of action and more than a little confusion for our heroine, Marvel Zombies has been shaping up quite nicely.

4 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. Sorry but I must disagree about about Aquaman 44. In fact, you must not have been around for the whole series until this point. Since Bunn took over I would have to say the book has gone down quite a few pegs. First, I would say that thus far the story (while has some potential) is very weak. Are we to believe that Mera/Siren was able to chase Aquaman (the King) out of Atlantis like he was a little whelp. A guy who can go toe to toe with Superman and Wonder Woman? Really!?! But for argument’s sake I’ll just agree (which I don’t) that Mera can whip Aquaman like a polar bear smacking a beagle. Are we also to accept that she was able to rally all of Atlantis to turn on the KING on her word alone? The last 40 something issues firmly established that the Atlantians don’t like or trust her. The Maelstrom arc also cemented Arthur’s place amongst his people with the royal gists given to him by his mother so the idea that Mera (who is from Xebel) can make the whole kingdom betray the king, is in my opinion preposterous.

    And while were at it, I know Aquaman is no Batman when it come to strategy, but really? The woman of his dreams, the love of his life and queen to his kingdom just went bat-shit crazy and he doesn’t think something odd is going on? NO. Instead he starts dressing like a Roman Centurion and goes on the run like some dim witted henchman. Is there no one in the whole kingdom of Atlantis that would side with the true king over his outsider wife?

    Next, I like the idea that he is now an agent of Poseidon, but the way Arthur just waked up to him and was given the power of Thor seemed more than absurd (even for the world of gods and superheroes).

    Like; “Crap, my wife just b-slapped me out of the house. Guess I’ll swing by the ol’ Sea-God’s reef and see what’s up”. Come on. We talking about a freaking Greek-God, here!!! It’s not like they live up the road.

    So here is a thought Cullen; if you want to make Aquaman a thunder-god, fine. But how about spending more the 30 seconds ON PLOT DEVELOPMENT!!

    Last, This art work is really sub-par. If we want Aquaman to remain a b-lister hero that can’t hold down a series past #75, then keep handing the reigns to lesser artists. You can’t go from Reis and Pelletier to this. This series needs a heavy-hitter penciler and a story-line that make some semblance of sense.

    Please DC, don’t screw this up again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you for the most part. You have some valid points. I do think it would be easy for Atlantis to turn on Arthur though because they have never really been happy under him and you have to remember, it isn’t really Mera but her sister who is a witch, so she could have cast some sort of spell and everything. The same point goes for beating up on him and everything else – she’s a witch so who knows what tricks she has up her sleeve. The Poseiden stuff was maybe a little too easy, but gods are fickle beings and they do what they will. I don’t mind the armour and I do agree that a strong artist is needed on the book – but I do really like Trevor McCarthy – I just wish he was able to keep up to the monthly grind. Let’s hope some of the stronger points continue and some of the weaker ones do not.


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