Review: AQUAMAN #31

Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Paul Pelletier, Alvaro Martinez
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: May 28, 2014

3848863-aquamanThe Avatar of the Green is confronted by the King of The Blue as Aquaman faces off with Swamp Thing in Aquaman #31.

Jeff Parker kicks off the crossover with Swamp Thing in this issue, addressing the algae bloom that was alluded to in previous Aquaman issues. Parker does a great job of handling the guest of honour in this issue, writing really interesting banter between Swamp Thing and Aquaman. Both of these rulers of their respective kingdoms are fiercely protective, and rather arrogant and their clash is very entertaining. It is like watching superhero heavyweight boxing, with Arthur’s arrogance on full display, and Swamp Thing’s wisdom shining through as well. Parker gives Aquaman readers a solid story with Mera, who may be in a worse situation than Aquaman come next issue. Parker’s take on Aquaman and Mera is great, keeping a similar tone to that of Geoff Johns’ run and adding in some of his humour to make the book his own. There are times in this series that Mera outshines Arthur, and in this issue her storyline is just as strong as the primary one featuring Swamp Thing. It is a well paced issue, giving readers the hero vs. hero throwdowns we typically like to see without completely abandoning story for action. There is a twist in this issue that makes the crossover make more sense and acts as an interesting cliffhanger to transition over to Soule’s Swamp Thing. Parker handles this odd pairing of characters quite well, and while it has been a positive to have Aquaman in largely his own corner of the DCU, this visit to the swamp certainly isn’t a bad thing.

The art duties are handled by Paul Pelletier and Alvaro Martinez and both provide solid work in this issue. Pelletier handles the Aquaman/Swamp Thing brawl and captures the power of Swamp Thing well. The enormity of what Swamp Thing embodies is on display in this issue and Pelletier does a solid job of showing that Aquaman and Swampy are a solid match for each other. This isn’t a Justice League member fighting against a dude with leaves for skin. This is the King of the Sea fighting against the Avatar of all plant life on the planet. As he has done with the underwater world during his time on Aquaman, he pencils a rich world in the Swamp, keeping things visually dynamic and energetic through the pages. Alvaro Martinez handles the Mera storyline, and does an excellent job keeping his style in line with Pelletier’s. Due to the scenery shift, the switch between artists is almost imperceptible, which is a feat to be commended. The colour work by Rain Beredo is a factor in this, as we have consistency across the board and that helps the story flow well. The art team provides solid work from start to finish in this one, and kicks this crossover off very well.

Aquaman #31 is another strong chapter in an excellent series. Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier give readers an interesting story featuring the titular character and Swamp Thing, and Alvaro Martinez works well with Parker to continue the Mera storyline. This is a solid issue from start to finish, and I highly recommend Swamp Thing readers pick it up to see how the crossover begins. They just might become Aquaman readers…

The Verdict: 8.0/10


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