Johns and Reis take us back to before Aquaman even was Aquaman for a very enjoyable issue that answers some questions and of course raises even more. The opening was actually pretty damn beautiful, as Arthur escapes the curious people on the surface into the calm silence of the water. Johns wisely drops out and lets Reis tell the story and we get 6 or so pages of no dialogue and beautiful artwork as Arthur swims to the depths and discovers his powers to an even great extent. It did seem a bit like Johns had to overcompensate with words at the back end of the issue though, as the newly introduced Vulko launches into long exposition about Aquaman’s mother and all sorts of events in the past. The main crux is that Aquaman’s mother is dead and his evil half-brother Orm, AKA Ocean Master is King of Atlantis, so it’s up to Arthur to fight him and reclaim his throne. It’s a bit annoying that this story isn’t going to be continued any time soon really, as it ends with a great splash page with Arthur finally seeing Atlantis, but in #13 we’re going to be straight back to the fight with Black Manta. Did I read somewhere that the upcoming JL/Aquaman crossover will feature Ocean Master? Maybe there will be flashbacks there, that’s my hope. Overall, this was a very good issue, Johns has been at his best with this title, and Reis’ art is just brilliant, this is classic old-school superheroes done right. Oh yeah, another plus of this issue: No Mera!