Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Aquaman #1 (November, 2011)

At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, aquatic flesh-eating humanoid creatures discovered "It is true. There is an above." They kept going up.

Leaping like the Incredible Hulk, Aquaman landed on a city street in Boston. Having heard sirens, the Sea King decided to foil a robbery by digging his trident into the grill of an armored truck and flipping it over. One masked robber introduced Aquaman to his AK-47. The bullets bounced completely off Aquaman's armor and a direct shot to the brow only opened up a trickle of blood. Turning over the hoods to local police, the Sea King had to deal with their patronizing offer of a glass of water before moving on. "The boys at the station are never gonna let us hear the end of this."

At a local seafood restaurant, Aquaman ordered fish and chips. This roused the protest of a douchebag blogger and his friend Harry Knowles. Acting as proxies for a critical internet, the pair made snide remarks and asked loaded questions like "How's it feel to be nobody's favorite super-hero." For the record, Aquaman does not talk to fish, as "their brains are too primitive to carry on a conversation." He does eat them, and he does command them telepathically as needed (with the exception of intelligent dolphins.) Aquaman chose the restaurant because he used to go there with his father as a child. Finally, Aquaman has no shortage of pirate treasure, and offers a couple of gold doubloons to a waitress as payment and to "put your kids through college." He left in a huff, sans food.

That night, Arthur Curry stood on the rocks overlooking Amnesty Bay, near the lighthouse his father kept. As a boy, Arthur wondered why his dad never became a ship's captain. "I could. But someone has to stay on land to help those captains, Arthur. Someone has to watch the shores. It's called responsibility..." Aquaman's wife Mera hugged him from behind, asking that he come to bed. Curry explained that he had decided that he had never felt a part of Atlantis, and wished to leave its leadership behind. "I was thirteen the first time I ever laid eyes on an Atlantean... Three of them... came to kill me because of who my father was. Because of who I am... Let them find a new king." Mera agreed to a new life above the waves.

Out at sea, a fisherman was dragged underwater and devoured. The creature from below the ocean's bottom had learned, "There's food up here."

"The Trench: Part One" was by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado. While I was happy to get to know Aquaman's new scene in a quiet debut without all the hysterics of a lot of the other DC New 52 offerings, it still felt slight. It mostly came across like a defensive interview of the writer turned into sequential art. Too many characters made fun of Aquaman openly, to the point where it undercut the otherwise effective selling of Aquaman as a hardcore super-hero. I'm also sorry to see the half-Atlantean lineage come back, not so much because I care about the Atlantis stuff, but more because that was one of the more blatant swipes from the Sub-Mariner. I kind of wish Aquaman were all-human with powers derived from science, like he was in the Golden Age, but that ship has sailed for now.

DC New 52

1 comment:

Rafa Rivas said...

It felt too apologetic. Showing him with impressive powers and eating fish was enough. Geoff could have worked a pretext to explain the "fish talking" later.

However, I still consider it among the best of the bunch.

Great review.