Written by Jordan Clark
Art by Marco Santucci
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr
Letters by Clayton Cowles
The Rundown: As events unfold at the royal wedding in Atlantis, Jackson has some family issues to sort out.
In order to save Aquaman’s baby daughter, Jackson seeks the help of his criminal father Black Manta. Jackson needs the AI of Manta’s father brought online in order to scan for the child, but the confrontation between father and son is not only tense, it turns violent.
When a last minute intervention stops the father/son brawl, Manta seizes the opportunity to enlist his aquakinetic son in service of a job he plans to pull in Xebel. As Jackson makes his way to the underwater city, he and the AI of his grandfather learn more about each other and the man who became Black Manta.
The Story: The story takes a departure from palace intrigue and Arthur’s struggles with Atlantis and turns its focus to Jackson and his complicated family history with Black Manta. There are some complicated themes in this issue including violence, child abuse, racism and others and Jordan Clark does a really good job of bringing those issues to the forefront in Jackson’s conversations with the AI infused with his grandfather’s personality. The reader learns more about who Manta is as a person and how his relationship with his father shaped his view of the world. The rest of the issue has some pacing issues and the introduction of a new character is a little clunky, but the story is solid when it has Jackson facing who he is and where he comes from.
The Art: Marco Santucci does some great work with the art in this issue. There are some solid visual thrills throughout and the panels are very immersive. The confrontation between Jackson and Manta is well done and filled with some beautiful details.