DC Rebirth- Aquaman Issue 2 Review
After leaving Issue 1 The Drowning Part One: The End of Fear, with a strong cliff-hanger along with the gripping sense of wanting to find out what happens next. Will this trigger the surface world? How will Aquaman get out of this?
Issue 2 The Drowning Part Two: Full Circle, starts off with a flashback, showing Aquaman killing Black Manta farther, thinking it was Black Manta. This flashback was explained more in The New 52, as when Thomas Curry died of a heart attack, in a fight where Black Manta wanted a sample of Aquaman blood for Stephen Shin( marine biologist ). With Aquaman thinking Black Manta killed his farther, he found Black Mantas boat ,on this boat was a person, thinking it was his farther killer. Instead it was Black Manta Father Aquaman killed, with Black Manta watching. This flashback is the main point of the plot, Black Manta Vengeance for Aquaman killing his Farther , while also showing the world his dark secret.
As the issue carries on, with The Spindrift Station on fire, Commander Murk is intrusting the Atlantean soldiers, to get the surface folk to safety. Even Murk has no love for the surface world, he knows that Atlantis will get the blame if anyone gets killed. While inside the Spindrift with Aquaman and Black Manta locked in battle, Aquaman talks about the cycle they are locked in Blind Hate for Blind Hate, with the cycle leading to one of them killing the other. The other side of the room Joanna Stubbs, Lieutenant of the Royal Navy ( seen in Issue 1) safely gets Mera out.
Aquaman then gives a speech about killing Black Manta Farther was the biggest mistake he’s ever made,that it showed him the damage of consequences. Taught him the responsibility. While also showing him that the boy who killed Black Manta was not ready to be Aquaman, but Aquaman couldn’t exist without the burden of the mistake.
Black Manta also gives his speech about crushing Aquaman dreams, and bringing his egotistical ambition, to be seen as a peacemaker crashing down, with the shaming of Aquaman to the eyes of the word, while sundering any hope of union between Atlantis and the surface.
The speech from Black Manta carries on, about his work of destroying the Spindrift, and how the world sees Aquaman as a violent barbarian, who they’ve always feared. The world will applaud Black Manta for ending the Reign of Terror. Outside the Spindrift. Joanna brings Mera out, with Murk ordering the soldiers to get her to the Physicians. Inside the Spindrift the battle and talking carries on, with Black Mata talking about the Extermination of Aquaman with everything he stands for. Which then Aquaman strikes back, which leads to Black Manta helmet falling and Aquaman putting his trident to Black Manta throat. Aquaman then gives a speech about killing.
The speech about killing, is that if Aquaman kills Black Manta, ending the cycle that would save lives. With afterwards he will still be Aquaman with a life, responsibilities, dreams and a role to play in the world. While Black Manta disagrees, saying if Aquaman kills him, he will forever be tarnished by the act, and he wont be Aquaman anymore. While if Black Manta killed Aquaman, he will deliver the avenged of his father. Aquaman loses both way ,morally or literally. Black Manta wins either way.
Aquaman then talks about what would happen if Black Manta kills him. What would his life mean, as the only thing on his mind is vengeance. There would be nothing left of Black Manta if he killed Aquaman. How would Black Manta kill him. would it be fast or slow, a bomb, bullet, what could way would satisfy Black Manta of killing Aquaman. All of this is being said as Aquaman gives Black Manta the trident, aimed at Aquaman throat. Aquaman then mentions that killing him, will lead to a life of disappointment. This leads to Black Manta throwing the trident down, accepting defeat.
The issue ends with Black Manta being arrested, while Mera question Aquaman about letting Black Manta live. Mera also mentions about that eight people have died, and that whats happened, will not sit well with the surface people. That it will confirm everything they were afraid of. The cliffhanger then hits, as the vehicle holding Black Manta, is blow up with a women rescuing him.
For me this issue was really strong due to the fact of the speeches given by Aquaman and Black Manta. It held the tension really well. The artwork also helped it give more life and a better grip on the story. With also the thoughts of, who was that women that helped Black Manta escape , but more importantly How will this affect the surface world view. Will there be war, death. For this issue I rate it 8/10