The two Aquaman Villain’s Month books have been some of this month’s highlights, and that makes sense, since they were co-written by the title’s ongoing writer. Whilst this one wasn’t quite as good as Black Manta, Johns and Bedard still managed to tell a compelling story about Ocean Master, and tied together both Forever Evil and Aquaman very nicely.
The issue begins with Orm giving a speech to the Atlanteans prior to their attack in the ‘Throne Of Atlantis’ crossover, it was a rouser, but it was immediately undercut by the quick transition to ‘3 weeks later’, with Orm in prison. Orm’s lawyer is trying to help him, but he’s got his full Namor on, and is acting all dismissive of the ‘Surface Dwellers’. Then, the CSA’s attack on Belle Reve begins, and Ocean Master can make his escape. We see how brutal he can be in the scene where he ‘saves’ the only Prison Guard who was nice to him by killing him, and I absolutely loved that page of him walking towards the sea and complaining that walking was ‘tedious’. He’s such a jerk, it’s great.
Ocean Master runs into some fellow escapees who are attacking a small-town diner, and whilst he’s initially not bothered about saving the humans, once they turn their attentions to him, he brutally takes them out. A woman who was in the diner desperately wants him to save her young son, but Ocean Master refuses, instead heading straight for the sea, and his Kingdom. But then… he changes his mind, and goes back to save the boy.
This was a very good issue, and one that made Ocean Master a very interesting character to me, the comparison to Namor is apt I think, because yes, he’s a dickhead and at times doesn’t care for humans at all, but he does have some kind of honour. With Aquaman unconscious for 6 months whilst this story is going on, it’s going to be interesting to see what position Ocean Master is in the next issue, is he back ruling Atlantis? It seems weird to say this, but Aquaman actually does have some great villains, and both Ocean Master and Black Manta provide strong threats to him, as well as some actual good Villain’s Month comics. Geraldo Borges’ art also contributed to the quality of this book, as it really reminded me of regular Aquaman artist Paul Pelletier.