Richard Gratton's Fantastic Reads 4 U

I have not been able to read all 15 issues of this title, but the issues I have managed to read so far have been spectacular. Aquaman #15 is no exception: it is action-packed, artistically dynamic, and so engaging that as I finished reading the final page, I realized there was a world around me outside of the panels of DC's water-breathing monarch; a world that had faded out while I was completely immersed in the story.

Aquaman #15 is the fourth and final installment of The Deluge story arc. With the war between Atlantis and the United States on the verge of becoming a full-blown bloodbath, Aquaman sets out to take down N.E.M.O., the organization responsible for the war. Aquaman fights like a man possessed and after beating the crap out of Black Manta, heads straight for Washington DC, to avert any more bloodshed and to put an end to the war.

Writer, Dan Abnett lays out an incredibly exciting and intense story. Some of the dialogue is so smart that Aquaman comes across as an incredibly strong leader, believable in every respect; especially when he calls out Mr. Gantry for being disrespectful to him, the king of Atlantis. Aquaman is a strong, well-spoken, dignified leader; and a genuine hero throughout the book. Abnett's story is so action-packed that I could barely turn the pages fast enough; it was fantastic. And not only that, Abnett also used the final page (as many great writers do) to remind us anxious readers that there are still loose ends left dangling with stories yet to be told.

If I were to utter anything close to a complaint about Aquaman #15, it would be that the art at times appears slightly unfinished. This is a very minor complaint, because Philippe Briones' art is incredible, for the most part. But this, of course, brings me to my one major complaint about DC: Putting out comics on a two-week schedule tends to lead to quality issues (no pun intended). Most comics – in my experience – put out on a two-week schedule appear rushed and lack the visual quality and polish we've come to expect from a monthly schedule. To accommodate for this, multiple artists are sometimes used to offset the rigorous schedule, which can lead to a lack of visual continuity, which can be frustrating for readers. There are exceptions of course, but how long can creative teams continue at this pace?

That being said, Aquaman #15 is a fantastic read. Plain and simple. This is the Aquaman I want to read about. Dan Abnett obviously has a vision for his character, who he is, who he will be, and what he intends to do with him. Personally, I can't wait to see what he does next.

Scale of Awesomeness: 9 out of 10