Aquaman: Deep Dives is the first Aquaman series that I have really gotten into. Steve Orlando and Mick Gray have been able to do that by mixing in exploring Aquaman’s early years while still keeping the character the experienced hero. Over the course of the series we are seeing many things develop as Atlantis has opened its doors to the rest of the world. That has brought in a lot of intriguing elements like Mera leading the relations with the United Nation and Aquaman recruiting the Sea Devils to act as ambassadors for Atlantis. Now we will see how Aquaman and Mera interact after all these developments based on the latest issue’s cover. Let’s find that out now with Aquaman: Deep Dives #5.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: V Ken Marion
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Andrew Dolhouse
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Aquaman leads Mera and the Sea Devils on a rescue mission. They get to the coordinates and find King Noble (the king of the Lurker Kingdom), who is guarding a special idol artifact, being attacked by the Trench.
The Sea Devils are stunned by the Trench’s ferocity. Aquaman reminds them that they are Atlantis representatives and are tasked with protecting the ocean. Hearing this the Sea Devils immediately draw the Trench’s attention to them.
Seeing that King Noble’s blood is drawing the Trench to him Mera uses a spell to help with his wound.
Meanwhile the Sea Devils are able to draw the majority of the Trench to them. The Trench end up catching up and overwhelm the Sea Devils. The Sea Devils all get close to each other. Once they are right next to each other the Sea Devils launch a spread shot energy beams to kill the Trench they are being surrounded by.
Nearby Aquaman fights off the rest of the Trench while Mera does her best to heal King Noble before he bleeds out in a protective barrier she created.
After Aquaman finishes off the last of the Trench the Sea Devils appear and ask if they can do anything else. Aquaman asks if they could help with healing King Noble. The Sea Devils use their medical equipment on hand to help out.
An hour later King Noble thanks Aquaman and Mera for Atlantis assistance. King Noble questions Aquaman’s association with people from the surface. Aquaman reminds King Noble he was born on the surface. King Noble apologize as it is hard for him to set his own prejudices aside.
King Noble then reveals that the idol he retrieve was rigged with Trench Pheromones so this was all likely a set-up to force a war between the Lurkers and Trench.
Aquaman uses his abilities to talk with the organisms in the area who saw whoever rigged the idol. Aquaman discovers the name of Scorpio being spoken by the small creatures in the area. End of issue.
The Good: Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 is the fastest paced issue of this series that we’ve had thus far. You really only get a small break when you reach the end of the issue. Before that it was all steam ahead for Aquaman and company. Being this action focused made this a strong start to this bigger story arc that Steve Orlando started with this issue.
As with previous issues in this series, Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 continues to explore the politics in the Ocean beyond Atlantis. Going with this direction for the series has really helped in building the idea of Atlantis reach going beyond the core city. We get to see how Aquaman and Mera are important figures within all of the societies that exist in the ocean. It gives you a good idea of how both these characters in particular have had to balance their roles as superheroes and royalty, without losing either identity.
Having Mera in Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 was a welcome addition. We haven’t seen much of Mera in this series thus far. Having her team up with Aquaman and the Sea Devils added to how important this rescue mission was. That is done with the mere fact that both Aquaman and Mera are shown to be racing to save King Noble with a great sense of urgency. This made the appearance of King Noble come across as being a key part of the story before we even find out he is the one that Aquaman and Mera are rescuing.
It was also great to see the Sea Devils again soon after Aquaman established them as ambassadors for Atlantis. I’m glad that Orlando isn’t just having the Sea Devils be random supporting cast members. As we see here, Aquaman has already great trust in the Sea Devils as he has him join him in this rescue mission that is extremely political. Being chosen for such an important mission gives this team greater credibility that showed they were able to earn with how they work together to defeat the Trench that quickly were overwhelming them.
Through all this Orlando makes sure that the reader understands that there is more going on with this King Noble story than just the action. As we find out at the end of Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 there is a bigger plot against Atlantis and the underwater Kingdoms at play. Learning that Scorpio, an organization in previous DC Universe continuities were tied to the Challengers of the Unknown and Sea Devils, attempted to cause a war between the Lurkers and Trench immediately makes you question their motives. What Scorpio’s intentions are for trying to cause this war between underwater Kingdoms will be interesting to find out as this story progresses.
V Ken Marion delivered solid artwork throughout Aquaman: Deep Dives #5. Especially with how action heavy this issue was Marion was able to keep things clear as to what was going down. Marion, along with inker Sandu Florea and colorist Andrew Dolhouse, made sure you always knew who was who even when the Trench had overwhelming numbers. This created greater tension as to how this battle between Aquaman and his allies against the Trench would turn out.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Aquaman: Deep Dives #5 was an enjoyable, action-packed beginning to what’s already turning into a major storyline for this series. Steve Orlando does a great job using the Trench as antagonist to build up the politics Aquaman and Mera are in the middle of while continuing to build credibility for the Sea Devils as a team. With the introduction of a villainous group from the DC Universe’s past this storyline could lead to bigger things down the line.
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