Aquaman: Deep Dives has begun its first big story arc as Aquaman, Mera, and the Sea Devils discovered signs that the old Challengers of the Unknown villainous group Scorpio is targeting the underwater kingdoms. With Scorpio being a group that has been rarely seen in the modern day DC Universe there is plenty of opportunity to make them a dangerous, long-term threat. Will that be the case? And what does that mean for Aquaman and Atlantis? Let’s find out right now with Aquaman: Deep Dives #6.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: V Ken Marion
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Andrew Dolhouse
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: With the alliance with the Lurkers and Silverhand Kingdoms in danger of falling through Aquaman leads the Sea Devils to an old Scorpio base that Nuada, Queen of the Silverhand, discovered.
When they go inside a giant mech suddenly turns on and causes the entire Scorpio base to explode. As the giant mech goes on a rampage. The mech ends up ignoring Aquaman and the Sea Devils and flies off somewhere else
Judy of the Sea Devils is able to discover that it is called Torpedoman and was so strong when originally mobilized by Scorpio that the organization had to lock it up for future use. Judy also discovers that Torpedoman was designed to hunt Atlanteans and since it flew past Aquaman, who is half human, half Atlantean, it means it must have found pure blooded Atlanteans nearby.
Aquaman realizes that there is an Atlantis scientific outpost nearby which is likely Torpedoman’s target.
Aquaman and the Sea Devils rush to battle Torpedoman before it reaches the Atlantis outpost. Aquaman punches Torpedoman with his full power but does no damage. Instead Aquaman ends up breaking his arm with that punch. Aquaman is able to find a chain with an anchor attached and uses that as a makeshift wrap to both protect his broken arm and use as a weapon.
Aquaman continues to attack Torpedoman but all his attacks do nothing to stop Torpedoman’s march to the Atlantis outpost. Aquaman orders the Sea Devils to buy him as much time as possible so he can contact the Atlanteans at the outpost.
Aquaman then tells all the Atlanteans inside the outpost to use all their available weapon and to create any additional weapons they can and begin firing at Torpedoman.
Even with everyone working together nothing is damaging Torpedoman. Aquaman asks Judy if she found any weaknesses in Torpedoman from the data of the mech she saw. After some thinking Judy mentions that while it is strong Torpedoman is built with old technology so if they can get sea water inside its system they can destroy it.
Aquaman goes off first and is able to create a small opening in Torpedoman. Judy proceeds to use this opening to inject Torpedoman with some seawater. The seawater causes Torpedoman to blow up immediately.
As Torpedoman explodes Judy notices that it is sending its data to what is likely wherever Scorpio is located.
Over at Scorpio’s headquarters, the organization’s leader is told that they just received Torpedoman’s data. In addition Scorpio gets information on how the Silverhand and Lurkers kingdoms are questioning Aquaman’s leadership and Mera is having a tough time controlling the Atlantean Council.
The Scorpio’s leader sees this as the perfect opportunity to shatter everything Aquaman and Atlantis have built. End of issue.
The Good: Aquaman: Deep Dives #6 once again wastes no time in continuing to develop the “Stinging Tide” story arc. There has been no time to rest for the reader or Aquaman and his team. Steve Orlando and V Ken Marion make sure the issue is in a constant forward movement as the danger underwater continues to escalate.
The pacing of Aquaman: Deep Dives #6 is the greatest strength. Even as Orlando has Aquaman and the Sea Devils must stop Torpedoman from destroying the Atlantis outpost the focus is not taken away from the continued development of the Scorpio organization. Every detail about Torpedoman or the relationship between Atlantis and the other underwater kingdoms is about advancing the Scorpio storyline. That stays the focus throughout even though they don’t physically appear until the final page.
Having everything that happens in Aquaman: Deep Dives #6 revolve around what Scorpio is doing is the best way to develop the organization. Most readers, including myself, aren’t going to be familiar with who Scorpio is. They haven’t been a major presence like the Legion of Doom, League of Assassins, Checkmate, ARGUS or Leviathan in the DC Universe’s history. That’s why it was important to make sure that each plot development in “Stinging Tide” was built around how Scorpio is responsible for everything going on. Even if Aquaman still isn’t clear on everything Orlando is opening things up to learn their intentions and how powerful they are.
This made the story around Aquaman and the Sea Devils having to stop Torpedoman have a greater level of excitement. There was a feeling that if Aquaman and the Sea Devils did not stop Torpedoman that it would look horrible on Atlantis. The sense of urgency added to how unstoppable Torpedoman turned out to be.
At the same time this allowed Orlando to further showcase why the Sea Devils are becoming important parts to this series. Judy specifically stole the show as her tech and data analyst skills were on full display in this issue. It was a refreshing change of pace as Aquaman had to be open to working together with others as brute force was not enough to stop Torpedoman. Orlando did a great job making sure to put over Judy’s skills and how the Sea Devils as a whole are establishing their credibility as Atlantis representatives.
Marion’s artwork was just as strong. Through the issues that Marion has worked on in this series you can see how he has grown comfortable with drawing Aquaman’s underwater world. He delivered on both how strong Aquaman is and powerful Torpedoman’s defenses were throughout the battle. It all made the sense of urgency of the battle much greater. The final page by Marion also made Scorpio come across as a big threat when you first see them.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Aquaman: Deep Dives #6 is the best issue of this series to date. Steve Orlando does a fantastic job mixing politics, action and character development to tell a strong comic book that added excitement for the “Stinging Tide” story arc. The way things turned out increased the excitement for what will happen when Aquaman clashes with Scorpio’s leadership.
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