Aquaman No. 45 review: The story of creation unfolds


In a newfound attempt to recover his lost memories, Aquaman ventures with Caille to the island that holds her mother, Namma, the goddess of death.

The first couple of issues of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha’s run on Aquaman have been really interesting just because it feels so drastically different than everything that came before it. If anything though, this issue cements that this Aquaman story is not a superhero story, nor a story about a royal fighting for a crown, but rather a fantasy epic in the making. This is was pretty apparent from the first issue, but this issue puts the nail in the coffin on any speculation about what this story is going to be, and it’s all the better for it.

DeConnick uses this issue to really flesh out the mythology of the new world that Aquaman inhabits, which presents more questions than it gives answers. We learn what this place is and who these people are who inhabit, and also why Caille is so integral to the society, but regardless, there is still so much unanswered. The answers to these questions will have to be answered at some point, but right now, the exposition that we’ve been given is just enough to wane off frustrations of not having answers, but also still be intriguing.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Robson Rocha

In addition to answers about the place and people, there’s a really fascinating creation story in this issue. Juxtaposed with the relatively simple travel story that Arthur and Caille are on, it’s the most interesting aspect of the issue and smart to use it where otherwise the issue would have been kind of mediocre if it had just focused on the travel. This new creation story though is something that easily could be put right alongside the myths of Greek gods and you’d be like, “Yeah, that fits.” It’s a story filled with tragedy and sadness, which is very fitting for the story that DeConnick and Rocha are telling.

Speaking of Rocha though, his art in this issue is again fantastic. He changes is style very adeptly with the stories being told with the creation story having more of an old, weathered tome feel to it, while the boat travel scenes feel a lot more, for lack of a better term, clean. Both styles are great and fit the tones and style of both the stories extremely well.

Rocha also somehow manages to make both stories look decidedly epic, which is good for a fantasy epic, even though only one of the stories being told in this issue actual probably deserves that look and feeling. When the art is as good as his is though, it’s really hard to take umbrage with his attempts to make something look more fantastical than what it is.

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With questions and answered and more questions posed, DeConnick and Rocha are shaping their run on Aquaman to be unlike anything other run before it.