Writer: Rick Veitch
Artists: Yvel Guichet (p), Mark Propst (i)
As Garth is sent off to keep an eye on the growing threat in Atlantis, Aquaman & the newly reformed Black Manta head off to protect the next river spirit that has been targeted by the Thirst. While this latest river spirit is oddly enough located in the middle of a desert, we see the Thirst arrives, and Aquaman finds himself facing a massive threat that the Thirst awakens with his magic.
This book is getting a bit repetitive as we have Aquaman & crew making their way around the globe making an attempt to rescue the river spirits from the unquenchable thirst of the aptly named villain, the Thirst. Now the book has done some solid work mixing up the various locations as this time out the river spirit that they're attempting to rescue is one whose river has long sense departed. However, while the setting has changed and the reformed Black Manta has added a new plot element to the mix, the simple truth of the matter is that the hoops that Aquaman is jumping through are starting to feel a bit too familiar. We have Aquaman arrive at a location before the Thirst, and prepare for the impending battle, where upon the Thirst arrives and proceeds to engage in some villainous ranting, before launching an attack that Aquaman simply isn't up to taking out. Now this issue ends before it can arrive at the final stage which is the river spirit Aquaman is looking to protect is drained & becomes one of the Thirst's minions, while Aquaman is robbed of another one of his fingers. However, if this scene doesn't play out in the next issue I would be quite surprised, as this issue even has Aquaman learn how many fingers he can lose before the threat becomes seemingly unstoppable, and I've never known a comic book story that resolved a threat before it appeared the big bad villain was moments from securing their victory.
As for the art, first off Ethan Van Sciver offers up a very impressive looking cover image, as the underwater environment has a wonderful defused lighting look about it. As for the interior art, Yvel Guichet is back, and he offers up some fairly solid work, such as our look at the evil threat that is growing in Atlantis, and the emergence of the desert river spirit. I found the scene where Sweeney is sprayed in the face with the fish guts rather poorly done though, thanks to her decided lack of reaction.
When the subplot that is running through a book begins to look more engaging than the main plot, you have to start to wonder if perhaps the main plot has worn out it's welcome. The material back in Atlantis looks far more promising than the continued battle with the Thirst, and if nothing else I was glad to see a fairly sizeable chunk of this issue was handed over to dealing with this growing problem. Now the idea that the Thirst would travel to the middle of a desert to quench his thirst by feeding upon a river spirit that no longer played host to a physical river in the real world is a somewhat clever twist, and the final pages introduce a fairly impressive threat for Aquaman to deal with. However, this arc is beginning to feel a bit like a merry-go-round in that while it's an interesting show, it's not really going anywhere except around in circles. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I would like the see Aquaman put on a better show before he's defeated once again by the Thirst.
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