BookHound
Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

AQUAMAN #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

Aquaman is probably the most maligned character in the DC Comics universe, but he’s perennially one of my favorites. Can’t be the color scheme of his costume, because it’s one of the most garish ever invented. Maybe it was based on the clownfish?

I love the world that Aquaman inhabits. The sea is a wide open place and can be filled with all kinds of monsters as well as history and alien artifacts. It’s a frontier that we haven’t quite ever truly mapped.

In the past, Peter David performed miracles with the character, even though he had to have Aquaman’s hand gnawed off by vicious piranha at one point. And I liked the whole Sub Diego thing while it was going on, but it went away fast. The two incarnations of Aquaman after that involved mystical concepts that I truly didn’t enjoy.

However, when I learned that Geoff Johnsqqqq was going to relaunch Aquaman for the DC New 52 endeavor, I became cautiously enthusiastic. Johns has got the ability to get in touch with the core values of a character. He did it with the Flash (twice), with Green Lantern, and with the whole Justice Society.

I have to admit, though, that this first issue didn’t really blow me away. The action was too domestic, too tame, but it did show that Aquaman is somewhat bulletproof himself, wears a chainmail shirt (though of that same garish hue), and can leap like Superman of old – over tall buildings with a single bound.

Johns went a little overboard (if I may use a nautical term) with the deprecating remarks aimed at Aquaman. I know this version of the character is supposed to be younger than what we’ve seen before, and that his ego doesn’t take a beating nearly as well as his physical body does, but I grew tired of it. The scene in the diner really stretched the whole thing too long.

Then Johns does what he does best: shows us the core of the hero. The scenes at the lighthouse, the memories of Aquaman’s father, and the tender moments with Mera. Those were what I knew I would get when I picked up this issue.

The villains introduced in this issue reminded me a little too much of the Black Lanterns, but I think that was purely the physical resemblance. I’m betting Johns has some interesting surprises and twists up his sleeve.

So even if you’ve never been an Aquaman fan, or if you’ve endured one of the “dry” spells that came along, this first issue is the steppingstone to what may be a defining moment for DC Comics’ favorite Atlantean.

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9 Responses to “AQUAMAN #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado”

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