Dan Abnett's latest issue of Aquaman is an absolute action feast from the first page on. With all that has happened from the embassy bombing to the naval carrier destruction to Mera actively breaking her beloved and king out of a U.S. detention cell, both Atlanteans have been declared terrorists with orders for troops to kill them on site to prevent further attacks on the country.
Naturally, this doesn't go well for the Armed Forces and if not for Arthur's strict edict that "No one dies," it would be a great sea of carnage on Mera's watch for sure. As reserved and steadfast as she was in the first three books at Arthur's command, she has been the exact opposite in these last two issues and while it is causing tension between the two at the worst possible time, the good thing is that Arthur is able to keep it in check while still managing to stay alive and not kill any American soldiers......that are trying to kill them.
At this point, all but war has been declared. The United States is hunting the King of Atlantis and his future wife down with the might of full military forces. Atlantis surely won't take kindly to the fact that the most powerful country in the world has branded their king a terrorist and is trying to kill him, and all the while The Deluge Atlantean terrorists, who started this disaster are still in the fold somewhere, possibly connected to N.E.M.O., the nefarious organization that is still actively recruiting Black Manta to be in their ranks.
So even after Aquaman somehow finds a way through this chaos hopefully, he'll still have all of that to deal with down the road.
I'm still very much enjoying the political aspect of this series even with this issue going full Commando mode for the whole book. I don't know if this is how Arthur Curry normally acts in the face of danger, but I am impressed. He's been framed, arrested, detained, attacked, shot and roughed up, yet he still maintains a cool head and does what he can to keep Mera balanced as well. The conversation between the two of them in the middle of a huge battle with U.S. troops is hilariously at the wrong time, but adds a great sense of levity to the book and displays just how strongly powered and ahead of normal humans the Atlanteans are. They're doing their best to stay alive, but it's not quite as difficult as one might think.
As with others in the DC Rebirth line, Aquaman is reaching the end of "The Drowning" arc, with one more issue coming to tie up this particular storyline regarding Arthur's being framed for an act of war. Certainly while this arc is ending with the next issue, the bigger storylines and characters from this arc will carry over into the next one as there isn't enough time in one issue to fully answer all of the questions that either Arthur or we as the readers have. We still don't know what the ultimate plan of The Deluge was or is, we've only seen a minimal amount of interaction between Black Manta and N.E.M.O. and we don't know just how close the United States and Atlantis are to go to war with each other, a situation that Arthur is still going to fight to prevent if he can.
I can't wait to see where this goes next myself.
5 out of 5 - DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH: Aquaman #5
This series runs twice a month, next issue due out September 7.