Aquaman: The Becoming #4 is written by Brandon Thomas, penciled by Scott Koblish, inked by Wade von Grawbadger, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Andworld Design. It is published by DC Comics. Following the end of the third issue, the mysterious Deluge has revealed herself to be Jackson Hyde’s half-sister. Jackson, alongside his mother Lucia, accompanies Deluge to the underwater city of Xebel where he learns more of the city’s history and a shocking secret concerning his mother’s past.
While writing the series, Thomas has thrown curveball after curveball at Jackson-he’s been framed for a terrorist attack on Atlantis and has been on the run, which saps his strength. Here, however, he delivers a particularly cruel blow as Jackson learns that Lucia may not be the woman he thought she was. He thought that he could always depend on her, especially when it was revealed that Black Manta was his father, but now that trust is shattered. To learn that you can’t trust your parents-the people who are supposed to be there for you and care for you-is perhaps one of the most devastating blows one can suffer, and Thomas doesn’t pull his punches when it comes to the emotional reveals.
Thomas also delves deeper into the culture of Xebel, which hasn’t really been explored up tot his point. All DC fans knew about the kingdom is that it served as a rival to Atlantis and Aquaman’s wife Mera was a native of the kingdom, alongside Lucia. The reason for their war against Atlantis is revealed and it isn’t what I was expecting, but it gives Deluge some much-needed depth. She comes from a kingdom that forcibly conscripts its citizens into its army, and neglects to provide solutions to their other problems. And she wants to change it, which is a noble goal-even if her methods leave a little to be desired.
Koblish and von Grawbadger return for art duties, giving shape to the kingdom of Xebel. The graveyard for Xebel’s fallen warriors, known as the Constant, is marked with a series of tombstones etched with fluorescent light that glows bluish green thanks to Lucas’ colors. The living warriors bear armor that has objects such as seashells and fish scales woven into it. And the Hyde family possesses different outfits; Jackson wears his trademark orange and blue wetsuit while Lucia dons a royal blue wetsuit and Deluge keeps her golden Xebellian armor. I also applaud Andworld for playing around with the letters in the issue; during a fight scene, Jackson enters the vicinity of a concussion grenade and briefly loses his hearing. This has the effect of shrinking down the words in other characters’ speech balloons, making it sound like they’re speaking in a barely audible whisper-and perfectly conveys how his hearing has been affected.
Aquaman: The Becoming #4 upends Jackson Hyde’s life in a devastating fashion, leaving him at a crossroads with his mother. With only two issues left in the miniseries, I’m ready to see how Jackson weathers this tragedy to become Aquaman and how it carries over into the Aquamen series.
Aquaman: The Becoming #4 is available wherever comics are sold.
Aquaman: The Becoming #4
Aquaman: The Becoming #4 upends Jackson Hyde’s life in devestating fashion, leaving him at a crossroads with his mother. With only two issues left in the miniseries, I’m ready to see how Jackson weathers this tragedy to become Aquaman and how it carries over into the Aquamen series.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.