Aquaman and Mera find a gate that magically whisks them away to Gorilla City. Aquaman and Mera learn the connection between Atlantis and Gorilla City.
The idea that there's a connection between Atlantis and Gorilla City feels forced, at first. As the comic progresses, writer Jeff Parker eases the reader into the idea and changes up the mythos for Gorilla City where Atlantians and the gorillas have a long, torrid history. We won't give anything away here, but what Parker does in this issue with the history between the two groups is really cool and a great addition to the book and DC Universe.
We learn a lot about Gorilla City's history, aside from the Atlantian connection, through the dialogue of Lord Solovar, the current leader of Gorilla City. Sure, it's a history lesson, but a real interesting one at that. Parker does a fine job with his (and everyone else's) dialogue in this issue. It's smooth and more importantly, a solid read that adds to the world Aquaman has just entered. We really get to learn a lot more about the "enemy" (just Grodd) before the battle.
As for the battle itself, it's a lot of fun. The issue really has this Silver Age feel to it, without the over-expositional dialogue with characters talking about their powers as they throw a punch. It's nice to see Aquaman fight someone relatively his own size and the art of Paul Pelletier is really smooth through these action sequences.
Speaking of art, it's a bit weird to see Pelletier do art that isn't based underwater. It's almost shocking. Regardless, he does one heck of a job. His splash page featuring Grodd in captivity reading a book, with Mera, Aquaman, and Solovar standing above. The lighting looks great in this scene and the perspective is what really makes this a great looking piece as well at the detail crammed into the page. It isn't some amazing battle sequence or epic landscape. It's a well-crafted establishing shot. Pelletier, with Sean Parsons on inks and Rain Beredo on colors do some solid, consistent work on this issue.
While the issue is a lot of fun, it moves the actual story of Aquaman searching for his mother very slowly. It's baby steps, which normally would be fine, but it just feels like Aquaman is running into deadends or half answers which is a tad frustrating.
Parker's AQUAMAN combines a lot of new mythos with a lot of fun. He's really grasping at the idea that you can do a lot with a character but still provide a fun book, which is something a lot of comics have lost. Parker reshapes Gorilla City and gives it a direct connection to the early Atlantis, before it sank. It's a cool addition to the book, and while readers may be a tad bummed with how the story is moving, what's provided within this issue is a really good read and something that's a must read for Gorilla Grodd fans. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.