Tempest and Mera attempt to break through the magical walls protecting Atlantis. But the old adepts of the Silent School who erected the Crown of Thorns are capable magicians capable of stopping Aquaman’s friends. Vulko and Ondine escape and older magic through the old ruins of Atlantis that protect magical artifacts capable of stopping King Corum Rath, the usurper of the throne. But will their scheme be enough to help topple the dictator?
Aquaman is treated like Jesus Christ in this story. The mythical king was killed by an ally of Corum Rath and has retuned from the dead. Dolphin, the mute mutant girl provides him with advice about how to lead the Atlantean people in their rebellion against the current king. She acts like the Holy Ghost in a way, although she is more active in her fight against Rath’s forces.
Abnett is writing the best Aquaman storyarc in years by delving deeply in the fantasy aspects of Atlantis. What I like about his work is how he draws equally from Peter David’s Atlantis Chronicles and Kurt Busiek’s Throne of Atlantis version of Aquaman where Atlanteans were not all white and human-looking. Many of them have mutations induced by exposure to the ocean. They also have segmented classes based on how deep the trenches they live in are.
There are aspects of this story that reminds me of the kind of fantasy seen in Harry Potter. It is set in the current world but with a twist. This kind of imagining of fantasy has been very popular with series like Fable and Sandman and never quite well done with Aquaman. Atlantis provides enough offworld fantasy context but never too far from our world. Since super heroes draw from the same well, Abnett is successful in making the fantastic aspects of Aquaman much like the best super hero narrative. It is familiar and draws its metaphors from our world.
While I liked this story very much, it is not the strongest one in the run with Stjepan Sejic. His artwork adds a lot to this story and as I have read elsewhere, Abnett should feel forever indebted to Sejic for making his work on Aquaman memorable.