Aquaman’s adventures have all been pointing in one direction for the past few months — the reunification of the Seven Kingdoms of the sea under a new regime that’s more about democracy and less about which 1,000-year-old merman dynasties married which.
And you can thank Mera, Queen of Atlantis, for the initiative. Aquaman thanked her by throwing her a surprise wedding/engagement party with their daughter and all of their friends in attendance.
Throwing a successful surprise public proposal without consulting your significant other: Now that’s a superpower!
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
Why did it take seven years for these two to tie the knot? Well, once upon a time, the creative team behind DC’s Batwoman title quit because DC editorial told them they were not allowed to let Batwoman get married to her girlfriend. In an attempt to quell fan blowback, then-co-publisher of DC Comics Dan DiDio said that it was DC policy to not allow superhero couples to get married, because “heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives.” And when fans pointed out that Aquaman and Mera were not only cohabitating but also the king and queen of Atlantis, DC reps replied that they weren’t actually married. 2013 was a real year.
This week, the tournament between Krakoa’s champion X-Men and the best of Arrako came to a final head: The score is tied and it’s all come down to a duel to the death between Apocalypse and his long-lost wife Genesis. But shout out to X-Force #14, which dabbled in that long X-Men tradition of letting Storm absolutely destroy someone in a knife fight.
As is typical for a Kieron Gillen comic, Die wrapped up its second arc with a reveal that completely changes the nature of the story. I still enjoy Die, but I am also struggling to remember what the heck is happening in it every month.
Harley Quinn vs. Clownhunter — the unreasonable teen who wants to kill everyone who’s ever worked for the Joker — was a very funny fight.
Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1
Marvels’ Dawn of X titles are a great exploration of the formation of a sovereign mutant nation, and what that could mean for a truly Mutant culture. But I wish the flagship books under that umbrella could take a little time off from inventing new Mutant traditions in order to explore what Krakoa means to mutants who have allegiances to other embattled nations or a cultural heritage driven nearly to extinction.
So far I think the only books I’ve seen address this idea are Black Panther, Vita Ayala’s Marauders #13, and this story in Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices, from Darcie Little Badger and Kyle Charles — all written by creators of color. Other folks in the X-Men scene should take note.
Something is Killing the Children #12
It’s hard to talk about Something is Killing the Children without spoiling it, but Tynion and Dell’edera’s horror-adventure comic just finished its second arc and continues to be really solid and keeps hooking me for another one with new world building reveals.
Kudos to Fernando Blanco for killing it on this page, and to Ram V for getting out of the artist’s way so he could do it.
The Immortal Hulk #40
Ewing’s slow unfurl of a new installment of “The Hulk and the Thing throw down” made a delicious cap on this week’s The Immortal Hulk, which continues to be a very good comic with every issue. But it’s Joe Bennett’s Thing who really sells the final moment. The pose, the expression, the rocks. It’s a good Thing!
Dark Nights: Death Metal #5
I’m not going to try to summarize what’s happening in Dark Nights: Death Metal at this stage in the game. I just thought you’d like to know that Wonder Woman has an army of Lobos.
Widowmakers: Red Guardian and Yelena Belova #1
I may be biased, but I thought Devin Grayson did a great job with a quiet but difficult thing with the Widowmakers one-shot: Provide a single-issue character portrait that left me feeling like I liked a character, understood who they were as a person, and would be excited the next time I saw them.
The second issue of Tom King and Jorge Fornés’ Watchmen adjacent Rorschach plays out just like a political mystery thriller, to the extent that it wasn’t until this panel that I remembered it was set in the Watchmen setting.