Exclusive preview: Dan Abnett on the new saga beginning in Aquaman #23

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May 15, 2017

Heavy is the head that wears the Crown of Atlantis, but even still, Aquaman is not ready to let it go without a fight. However, the people of Atlantis may not give him a choice, beginning in Aquaman #23 from DC Comics, available this Wednesday.

The latest saga of the title written by Dan Abnett finds King Arthur and Mera returning to Atlantis to find the sea quiet and his throne room empty. Quickly, a cloaking device is dropped and he is besieged by Corum Rath of the Deluge terrorists. At first, Aquaman believes Rath has escaped, but what if something else is afoot (and a-fin) and Atlantis is actually fed up with their outsider king?

Abnett joined me to briefly chat about Aquaman #23, which features art by Wayne Faucher and Scot Eaton, cover by Andrew Hennessy and Bradley Walker and a variant cover by Joshua Middleton. Check out what he has to say, then have a look at the exclusive preview of the issue below. And if you want to dive into Part 1 of "Crown of Atlantis," pick up the issue when it surfaces May 17.

Set up the action in this issue and why it's one to pick up.

Abnett: If you've been reading Aquaman up to now, then this is the start of a major storyline that builds on everything we've done before: Arthur trying to make a place for Atlantis in the world and break down the barriers of suspicion and hate that exist between the surface dwellers and Atlanteans. But if you're a new reader, this is also a great place to join in. It sets the stage, explaining the conflict between Arthur and his ideals as king, and the fear and resentment he faces from his own people. To say this is the start of a shocking drama that will upset Aquaman continuity is an understatement. Over this issue and the next, things are going to change in a scary and extraordinary way. I guess you could say this is a vital issue in Aquaman's history.

What is your favorite panel/page/line in this issue?

Abnett: As Arthur returns to Atlantis at the start of the issue, there's a forlorn and silent shot of the empty throne waiting for him. That's got great symbolic power. And there's a great ominous exchange between two prisoners in the Atlantean vaults on page 13 that could be read as a chilling trailer for the devastating changes to come. Picking a fave image is hard, though -- the art is fantastic throughout: great character work, a great battle, wonderful views of Atlantis, and some spectacular scenes of the gathered Atlantean court, packed with characters, which would give Game of Thrones a run for its money in terms of fantasy wonder and sinister intrigue.

Tease how this might set up the next issue.

Abnett: If this issue raises the tension, then readers are going to be stunned by the events of issue #24. It's not so much a surprise, as we've clearly been building to it, but it'll be shocking just to see it actually happening. It'll make you wonder if there is even going to be an issue #25. There will be … and you'll need a good long lie down after you've seen what we're doing THERE.