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26 of 52: Aquaman #1

by on September 30, 2011

Aquaman

Image via Wikipedia

I’d love to tell you that I’m a huge fan of Aquaman, and that I have followed him since I started collecting comics. That’s not true, and it’s not true for most comic book fans. I was one of the few people who actually enjoyed the Justice League America years where Aquaman was the leader (usually referred to as the Justice League Detroit years), and I loved Peter David’s Aquaman from the mid 90s.

So, upon hearing that Geoff Johns was rebooting Aquaman, as he had done with Teen Titans, Flash, and Green Lantern, I was at least curious, and highly anticipated this new title.

(And I refuse to pun it up, and say let’s dive in and take a look)

Aquaman #1: The Trench Part One
Writer: Geoff Johns | Penciller: Ivan Reiss

Synopsis

  • Creatures known as The Trench are rising up from the deepest depth of the ocean to come to the surface to feed.
  • Aquaman leaps over buildings to stop an armored car heist.
  • He then goes into a seafood restaurant, and tries to order food, but is hounded by patrons and a blogger who wants to ask him questions. He leaves without eating.
  • Arthur and Mera sit by a lighthouse to plan their future, potentially living on the surface rather than in Atlantis.

Questions and Answers

  1. What caused The Trench to emerge from the depths of the ocean at this point in time?
  2. Aquaman is supposedly a human, yet thinks nothing of walking into a restaurant with a trident on his back?
  3. Is this the town/restaurant/lighthouse where Arthur grew up, or just a town that reminds him of his home?

Analysis

Let’s get the basics out of the way, Geoff Johns is a talented writer, and he really knows how to reintroduce characters. Ivan Reiss is a talented artist who really captures much of what makes Aquaman cool.

However, I do not need to read a 22 page explanation from Geoff Johns explaining why Aquaman is not a joke and why he has a comic book! And certainly I don’t need it blatantly hammered throughout a debut issue. This was AWFUL.

There was no need… NO NEED… to have background characters in the Aquaman comic book question why Aquaman is dealing with threats out of the water.

There was no need… NO NEED… to have Geoff Johns have some sort of anti-annoying-blogger diatribe in a debut comic book for a super hero.

There was no need… NO NEED… to have Aquaman TELL someone that he doesn’t talk to fish, instead you should use a comic book to SHOW people how he communicates with the primitive fish brains. First rule of comic books SHOW don’t TELL!

And to top it off, you’re going to have Aquaman pay for his fish and chips with gold doubloons? After trying to clear up misconceptions of Aquaman, you go to one of the biggest clichés about Aquaman there is?

Now, maybe Geoff John’s experiences with comic book fans are different than mine. Maybe he’s spent the last six months having to explain why Aquaman is interesting to him. Seemed to me that most comic book fans wanted a new Aquaman comic book, especially if written well.

Now, the threat of The Trench seemed pretty interesting. And the idea of Arthur and Mera living on the surface rather than in Atlantis is also a new take on things. But otherwise, I read nothing in this single issue that would make me want to read Aquaman #2. Aquaman leaping over buildings and stopping criminals driving a truck with his trident isn’t going to do it.

I may end up buying issue #2, because I like Johns’ writing, I generally like Aquaman, AND because the apology should be over. But this issue did nothing to make me want to buy issue #2.

Verdict

Poor idea, but well executed. I wanted to like this book, but there was just no way. I would give it an F, but that’s just my anger talking, because the art was solid, and the plot points could mean something. But the actual comic book left me angry and disappointed.

D

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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