Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #44 (September, 2006)

After Atlantis fell, things went to crap, and fish people enslaved Caucasians with gills. They were used to mine minerals in toxic environments for some unnamed evil surface people. The Dweller in the Depths showed up to do his best Iron Eyes Cody impersonation, but Arthur Joseph Curry displayed hateration over that whole abandonment thing. The Dweller apologized, but Artie Joe still wanted to kick his ass, and the completely unnecessary ruckus alerted a sentry. King Shark caught the Aurati fish trooper for some fine damage control, and the Sea Devils threatened to beat information out of the poor chump. Whoops, vicious cycles, as the Aurati Raiders had themselves been coerced by bad guys in armored sea-mechs. The Sea Devils wanted to liberate everybody, but Aquaman was a pissy little jerk who still thought the Aurati needed punishing. Dane Dorrance explained to Arthur Joesph that he was being less than pragmatic, and let's be honest, getting schooled by one of the Forgotten Heroes means folks can hear your gills suck at 50,000 leagues.

A mer-gator chick King Shark popped a woody for named Daki patrolled the area, and the captured raider explained she was the beloved pet of the master. The Dweller used magic to help free Mera and her men, while Arthur Joseph started arguing with Mera's main warrior Atsiul again, and we're on page fourteen. Could something remotely interesting please happen? Okay, Mera finally cornered the Dweller and moved those tentacles out of his face, presumably recognizing her husband.

The group finally made their way to the master, who was the Ocean Master, "revealed" on a splash page after it had already been spoiled on the damned cover. Since this is the Savage Sword of Aquaman Jr., Orm brandished a blade and ran around without a shirt, which doesn't fix the ongoing liability that is his dorky mask. Also, the two main adversaries swim to the nearest rock so they can stand there and swordfight as though they were on dry land, because you could fit the imagination brought to bare by these creators in a thimble. Orm talked crap about the corporations that I guess he was still in league with, and how he loved the lawlessness of the ocean, and then he stabbed Aquaman at a weird angle with a knifed glove instead of skewering him. Sounds like the makings of a superficial wound and a tepid cliffhanger to me.

"Masters" was by Kurt Buisek and Butch Guice. Before I forget, seeing as this is the penultimate issue of these creators' run I'll cover before my subscription blessedly ran out, Jackson Guice draws the oldest late adolescent ever. Arthur Joseph Curry must have that early frost disease, because he looks like he's a fiftysomething chain smoker in more panels than not. Cut your hair and spit out your chaw, creep. People liked this?

Brave New World

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2008 The Vixen art by Marsonite

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"Toldja I was gonna do more DC superhero stuff.

I don't know about most people, but being myself African (enough), I've always liked the idea of a more African-looking Vixen, not the, forgive me, whitewashed version they draw these days.

So I had a friend kinda sorta working on colouring this a while back, but I don't think that came to fruition, so I figured it was safe to put it up.

You know what, I like it. Sure I messed up the collar, and the pose is kinda funny, and her forehead is ridiculous, and don't even gey me started on the leg muscles and those knees...Perhaps an update is in order...

Anyway, mah poin' eeis, don't misundurestimate it, y'hear? Heh heh. Don't miscalculatize my hypotomis. Don't misconscrutinize -- Ah, I'm going to miss that guy...Well, not that much..."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2009 The Vixen art by Angela Peak

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"Started out as a 20 minute sketch which has since been embellished upon.

Tried to do something a bit different here. This is an awkward pose to draw but I gave it a go anyway. The left hand I tried to draw about 10 times before giving up so I just left it as a shape and left it alone. It clearly did not want to be drawn."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #43 (August, 2006)

"I pretty much knew him from that cartoon. You know, the one with the stupid walrus?" Yeah, nothing so endearing as Arthur Joseph Curry mocking the legacy of his namesake in the face of the ghost of one of Aquaman's best friends. "I liked the guys who could fly. Superman, Green Lantern, soaring around up there in the clouds... Aquaman breathed water and talked to fish. I breathed underwater... And talking to fish? No offense... but they're fish. I guess what I saw him as was the guy who stood around in the background when the JLA were on TV. I was a kid. I didn't see the appeal."

Vulko revealed that Thomas Curry, who raised Aquaman as a lad in coastal Maine, was Artie Joe's great-uncle. Vulko also explained that when the Spectre destroyed Atlantis, he died, but decided against going into the light with the other spirits (like Koryak, for instance.) Elsa Magnusson later performed experiments over Atlantis' remains, and sort of ghostbusted Vulko, who now hung out at Windward Home. Vulko "mystically Googled" Aquaman, and got Artie Joe instead.

Later, Arthur Joseph played around with bikini girl Jessie Silver on her jet ski. "I'm studying oceanography at the New Athens Experimental School in Florida. Mostly, that means I surf." She was interning while her dad, Jerome Silver, was on staff at Windward Home. I'm sure that would have mattered if the creative team had stuck around, but as far as I know, that exposition went nowhere.

King Shark ran afoul of the distrustful Sea Devils, but a low-level child telepath named Maria allowed the mute-on-land creature to defend himself against false accusations. Shark bailed so that he could be left alone, which made me envious, as the book continued on with yammering between old scientists and boring ass Arthur Joseph and friggin' Vulko. Elsa found out that Artie's dad's corpse had been found, so he pouted underwater. Some big battle erupted on a spread from pages 20-21, and Queen Mera needed help, so "Aquaman" and the Sea Devils prepared to do something after wasting another entire issue on exposition. I hate this series.

"Conversations With Vulko" was by Kurt Buisek and Butch Guice with very heavy inks by Tony DeZuniga. Whether Busiek was writing Artie Joe as a proxy for himself or skeptical readers, his sentiments early in the issue pissed me off. This lack of faith in the Aquaman property was why Sword of Atlantis was an abject failure that the creators abandoned within the first year, while Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis' embracing of what was great about the property revitalized it. Also, DeZuniga was a welcome relief from Guice's sleep-inducing art, offering Bronze Age style heavy detailing with a visceral yet ethereal energy. It was the saving grace of another crap issue.

Brave New World

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2007 The Vixen art by lenboogie

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"This is Vixen from the TV series Justice League Unlimited. She is a DC comics character. I drew Green Lantern so I hade to draw his girlfiend. hope yall like it."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #42 (July, 2006)

Mera tried the hard press to get Arthur Joseph Curry to stay with her as another capable warrior, even if he only powered his way through combat, but nothing doing. Mera still passed the kid some coin, and King Shark took him to a dive bar (ba-dum-bump-pish.) There, A.J. was seduced by a mermaid named Tejaia, who tried to roll him and kill him after the interspecial sexin' with the help of her friends. Fins were kicked, bars were totaled by super-strength, yadda yadda.

On the way to Maine, A.J.'s conscience got the better of him when he tried to ignore a beacon calling out for Aquaman. It turned out to be from this giant twisted mansion on the open sea called Windward Home. The Sea Devils hung out there, as did Mark Merlin's widow, Elsa Magnusson. A former weapons contractor turned philanthropist named Jimmy Lockhart financed the operation, a "cross-specialization think tank" of "scientists, philosophers, mystics" answerable to no one in international waters. The reason why they were trying to reach Aquaman was because they were hosting the ghost of Vulko, his former adviser.

"Deep Down" was by Kurt Buisek and Butch Guice. The art got really rough in places, and the script is clearly still fine-tuning the intended story engine, which was surely supposed to spin a lot of plots out of Windward Home. That might have been okay, but Busiek ditched the book in under a year, so not too much came of the joint.

Brave New World

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #41 (June, 2006)

Nanaue the King Shark agreed to go with Arthur Curry to what was left of the Curry-Jonas Oceanographic Center at Avalon Cay, but there was nothing left but debris and corpses, including at least one that had been shot dead. Curry was in denial, and overexerted himself trying to find his father. Nanaue couldn't speak out of water, and Arthur couldn't survive long on air, so King Shark dragged the kid back to the Dweller of the Depths. King Shark decided to part company at that point, so Curry talked the Dweller into seeking aid from his great-uncle, a lighthouse keeper in Maine. En route, a representative from Queen Mera asked the pair to take a detour, to thank Curry for (inadvertently) freeing a scouting party while rescuing King Shark in the previous issue. The Dweller thought it would be a good idea, but couldn't bear to see Mera for reasons unknown to himself, and snuck off.

Mera explained that not only had Atlantis been destroyed in the Infinite Crisis, but other forces demolished the sister city Tritonis, and any attempts to rebuild either were thwarted by barbarians. Mera acted as a leader in a settlement called Surfaceman's Grave. One of her lieutenants was the prideful Atsiul, who had been in the captive party, but took offense to Arthur posturing like Aquaman. They ended up in a sword fight, which Arthur won based on his superior inborn strength and the fury of a guy who had nothing left to lose. Also, something compelled King Shark to return to Curry's company.

"Over His Head" was by Kurt Buisek and Butch Guice. For the second straight issue, it was all about exposition, with a fight sequence to break things up a bit. Of course, standing on a rock swinging swords makes no dang sense underwater, while the art and coloring remained a murky slog. Arthur Joseph Curry is really getting on my nerves, because when he's not whining, he's talking smack with nothing to back it up. The dude spent his entire life sheltered in a fish tank, he doesn't know how to do anything, and he only wins fights because of innate physical superiority to sea life. Also, the dude has shoulder pads and walks everywhere, which would stand out more if all the other sea people didn't do the same. WTF?

Brave New World