Current Reviews


Aquaman #19

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Will Pfeifer
Artists: Patrick Gleason and Christian Alamy

Publisher: D.C. Comics

This issue spends most of its time spelling out the motivations for why one half of the parties responsible for the sinking of San Diego felt their actions were justified.

While Will Pfeifer manages to offer up a nice little moment where we see this man has allowed his scientific curiosity to blind him to the scope of the tragedy, by this same token, he does a questionable job of selling us on the idea that this guy feels the slightest bit guilty about how his experiments were tied to a horrific tragedy.

I mean, frankly, the issue almost seems to forget the reason why Aquaman has confronted this man, as his anger completely vanishes when the man points out that his aims were well intentioned.

This man's noble project to save humanity is the very definition of mad science, as he admits to introducing a untested experimental serum into the a city's water supply, and then he got into bed with a mystery ally who killed thousands so they could test whether the serum worked. I mean, to me, this is a bit like a man burning down a building to test out a new sprinkler system and then expecting accolades because some of the people in the building were saved by the sprinkler system.

I realize that Will Pfifer looks to be proud that he's come up with a motivation for why this man would take some measure of pride regarding his involvement in this tragedy but the story didn't convince me that Aquaman would take the time to let this man even make the attempt to justify his actions.

Aquaman is not a character that I believe would cool his jets long enough to let this man rattle off the reason why he should be thanked, rather than pummeled senseless.

As for the art, Patrick Gleason turns in a pretty solid issue, although, it's largely a talking heads issue so the art isn't called upon to deliver any eye-catching visual moments.

Still, Aquaman's anger is well conveyed and there's a nice sense of urgency established in the sequence where we see Aquaman's ally has fallen unconscious. Also while I'm not quite sure if the cover image is supposed to be suggestive imagery or if it's hinting at the identity of the mystery villain, but it does make for a powerful image that had me wanting to read the issue.

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