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Aquaman #24

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Plunder"

Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: Chris Batista (p), Dave Meikis, Mick Gray, Jay Leistein and Wade von Grawbadger (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As an armored mercenary who calls himself the Marauder, attempts to plunder the considerable Navy munitions that were scattered across the bottom of the ocean during the sinking of San Diego, we see Aquaman and the Sea Devils make an active effort to stop this villain. As the battle rages we see Aquaman and his allies manage to put on a pretty solid display of heroism, and by issue's end the potential global crisis has been averted.

Comments:
The final chapter of John Ostrander's guest-arc isn't going to set the comic industry on its ear, as it's exactly the type of non-event story that one normally finds from writer who is called upon to fill the gap between the creative teams. However, John Ostrander manages to turn in a pretty entertaining adventure that touches all the bases of what I look from a comic We have a villain who is allowed to come across as an effective threat, with a couple decidedly sinister acts to his credit. The issue also offers up a nice little moment where the writing makes it clear that the Marauder has put a bit of thought into his evil plan, and has come up with a scheme that is a bit more layered than we normally receive. There's also some exciting bits of action with the one scene where Aquaman races to keep an injured man out of the jaws of a blood-crazed group of sharks being particularly effective. The Sea Devils get a solid showcase, as they work to secure the nuclear warheads, as well as the top-secret encryption device. Now the way that Aquaman defeats the Marauder was a bit convenient, and the more I see it in action the less fond I become of Aquaman's magic hand, with its uncanny ability to quickly resolve a crisis. However, I enjoyed this issue quite a bit, and there were enough moments of genuine excitement that I fully expect most Aquaman fans will walk away from this issue quite happy. Plus, if nothing else this arc filled the gap quite nicely and did an effective job of playing with this title's new continuity elements.

Chris Batista turns in a pretty solid effort, as he manages to deliver some visually exciting action, and for the most part the issue is quite easy to follow. Now some of the scenes could've used a little more impact, such as the scene where Marauder's arm is shattered by Aquaman, or the scene where Aquaman delivers the big takedown blow, but for every missed opportunity the issue offers up a couple solid visuals, such as the arrival of Aquaman's "backup singers. The art also manages to nicely sell the Marauder's ability to be an ever present danger, with the scene where he snaps the neck of one of the Sea Devil's being a particularly unsettling sequence. The army of fishes that announces Aquaman's arrival is also well presented, and while the image has very little to do with the story we get inside, I have to give the cover full credit for it's delivery of a great action shot, as Aquaman is caught in the midst of a full blown war.



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