Aquaman can seriously not catch a break. Let’s start at the beginning.
First, Aquaman has to deal with the Trench and the monsters breaking out of it like whoa. That’s enough to make you pissed because guess what, Aquaman isn’t the king of Atlantis so this shouldn’t be his problem. But he deals with it anyway because he’s a good guy and doesn’t like seeing people being killed by vicious half-man, half-fish cannibals.
Next, Black Manta decides he wants to be a bigger dick than normal and starts killing off members of Aquaman’s superhuman team of which he was a member before he became a part of the Justice League. And because of their sordid history, Aquaman goes off to find Black Manta alone without the help of the Others even though it was their teammate who was murdered, as well. “The Others” ended with another one of Aquaman’s oldest friends being murdered before he stops Manta. So, it’s still a win?
Then, the crap hit the fan when Atlantis is attacked. Though Atlanteans are supposed to be hundred of years more advanced than humanity, they don’t comprehend the fact that humans have no idea Atlantis doesn’t exist. A conspiracy to coax a war between Atlantis and the surface world to get Aquaman back as King of Atlantis? No way, man. Surface dwellers who don’t know about us maliciously attacking our secret city miles beneath the ocean? Absolutely. So Aquaman is caught in between his step brother leading Atlantis and the Justice League trying to save the city of Boston. Aquaman manages to stop all the fighting, but he has to be king, which he’s not terribly excited about.
Now, even though he only did it to stop the war between Atlantis and humanity, Aquaman’s title as King of Atlantis is being questioned by some Ice King that likes to talk in circles. I get that one must have an air of mystery about oneself, but if you ask someone to talk about what they know about you, it’s polite to correct them if they’ve heard wrong. Instead, old Frosty Tips thinks it’s acceptable to try and freeze Aquaman to death. Ancient baddies love bein’ vague, and Icicle Party doesn’t disappoint when it comes to being broad and general in the way he speaks. Who is Mr. Icy? Someone from the past. Why is he so mad? Because someone did him wrong. Why doesn’t he like Aquaman? What, you don’t already know? The Ice King is an ass and just isn’t all that menacing by himself. Too bad he has the entire population of Atlantis’ broke down sister city in the Bermuda Triangle standing behind him now…
Aquaman #22 is fun because the Ice Wizard Numero Uno is a villain steeped in platitudes about destiny, rightful places, and dishonor. In many ways, Icy McFreezePants is the epitome of classic villains of the DC universe who don’t have much to say beyond “I’m right and you’re wrong”. It’s catty, and it’s a bit like Ice Cakes is a twelve-year-old girl whose friends are hanging out with the new girl.