Plain and simple, the White Lantern is crazy. The opening of this issue has the White Lantern revealing its plans to Boston Brand. The White Lantern opened the Bermuda Triangle and allowed Mera’s people to storm into our world, so Aquaman could “learn the truth about Mera.” From there, the White Lantern wanted to see what Aquaman did with that truth. That plan sounds half-baked to me.
After that, this entire issue is Aqua-centric, right up through the apparent conclusion of the short-lived Aquawar. During the battle of the tides, Black Manta and Aqualad share a nice Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker moment, except it’s Aquaman who loses his hand, which happened in last issue’s shock ending. Of course, Manta proves to be more of a badass than Vader was in a similar situation, but that is to be praised in this instance.
Only in a comic featuring Aquaman, Mera, Aqualad, and Aquagirl could the sides be four against hundreds and the tides actually turn in favor of the heroes. Each of the quarter has a role to play, and Johns and Tomasi make sure that those roles get proper prominence in this story. The battle is impressively rendered by Prado and Reis and a regiment of inkers. The sheer quantity of inking styles borders on distraction, but the story is powerful enough to blast through it, paying off with a true widescreen (complete with letterbox black bars at top and bottom) scene to display the scope of Mera’s achievement. The story seems to be missing a bridge though, as Mera was ready to bleed out, but is strangely resilient in the water immediately following her titanic effort. That may be testimony to the power that water imbues these characters with, and, for now, I’m going to believe it is.
This issue offers a nice glimpse of what could be. The Aquaman corner of the DCU has a plethora of great characters in it, from Aquaman and Mera to Black Manta and Siren. There’s a nice twist on the Aqualad-Aquagirl relationship waiting to be explored and nothing can fill pages with cool more easily than Aquaman commanding an army of sea creatures (albeit, oddly enough dead ones in this instance) to attack, complete with the “vuu vuu vuu vuu” sound effect from the “Super Friends” cartoon.
In the end, though, the White Lantern proves once more to be batcrap crazy, as a hero accomplishes his mission and is strangely rewarded. There are four issues left, and I’m fairly certain there’s going to need to be some quick resolution on some of the other stories.