Critical Review: DC’s New 52 Aquaman
Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis re-invent "no one's favorite hero"
DC Comics has truly re-invented their flagship titles, from America’s beloved Superman to what’s that guy’s name? The green guy? No, not the one with the really sub-par summer movie, the one that’s like Hawkeye? Oh, right, Green Arrow! And then there’s Aquaman. Yes, Aquaman. You might remember him from the JLA, the guy that never really did anything. Well, he is back! I cannot even begin to tell you how off-guard this title hit me. Erik and I were discussing the New 52 and he said that I should definitely check out Aquaman, and I retorted that surely he must be joking. He insisted and I actually gave it a shot. I’m glad I did.
Any book that opens with Deep One like creatures plotting to go to the surface and mess stuff up immediately has my attention. Then we are thrust directly into the action as police chase some armored car robbers. Then Aquaman shows up. Geoff Johns has done a fantastic job of playing up the whole idea that truly, no one gives two shits about Aquaman. I’m pretty sure Johns’ entire idea is to completely and truly prove every one of those people dead wrong. After stopping the armored car thieves the cops make comments about how they can’t believe Aquaman just showed them up and that no one is going to believe them. Fighting crime can work up an appetite and Arthur decides to stop at the restaurant his father used to take him to when he was a boy. The patrons there are not exactly understanding when he orders the fish and chips, citing that he can’t eat fish because he talks to fish. We then get a little primer on how Aquaman’s fish communication works, and that “dolphins are another story”. Once home with Mera he makes the decision that he wants to live on land, away from Atlantis, that they can find a new king.The first issue wraps up where it started, with the Trench creatures boarding a small fishing boat.
Exchanges like this are pretty common in the first 2 issues.
The second issue continues the themes of Arthur starting a new life with Mera, as well as introducing the pure savagery of the Trench things as they decimate a small fishing village and Aquaman is called in to take a look. The creatures then resurface and we get to see Aquaman and Mera in action as they battle a horde of the monsters to only be overpowered and the Trench creatures decide to drag him back to the Trench with them.
I really can’t wait for issue 3, sadly it doesn’t come out until the end of the month. This book completely floored me and if you’ve been doing what I did originally and just wrote it off(because, Aquaman, that’s why) you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.