Aquaman has been one of the breakout successes of DC's "New 52" initiative and rightfully so. DC veteran Johns has made the half-human, half-Atlantean hero into a compelling figure, admirable and powerful--haunted by guilt and torn between two worlds but determined to make a new life with his fiery-tempered lover, antagonist-turned-ally Mera. And the extraordinary work of penciller Ivan Reis and inker Joe Prado--intricately detailed, vividly expressive, and burst-off-the-page dynamic--epitomizes the idealized realism of modern superhero comics. This volume fills some holes in Aquaman's backstory as former ruler of Atlantis but deals mostly with an attack on the United States by Atlantis's current ruler, Aquaman's half brother Orm, and for the first time in the series shows Aquaman fighting alongside Superman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League. The only disappointments here are that Reis and Prado didn't do all of the artwork and a slight air of editorial contrivance that hangs over the escalation and consequences of the Atlantis/surface world conflict. VERDICT DC is probably trying too hard to give its heroes tortured personal lives, but this is still a highly rewarding series for any superhero fan.--S.R.[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.