Often while I am ringing someone up at Cosmic Comics in Las Vegas I am frequently asked “Hey, what are you currently reading?” considering I often ask the same thing of customers I generally have one or two titles in mind to suggest: Batman & Robin is always my first pick seeing how I love Damien as Robin, my second pick seems to shock people, which isn’t surprising since it’s a bit shocking to me as well. I can honestly sum it up as this: They FINALLY got him right!
Growing up the “cool” heroes were very black & white. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, etc.. If anyone were to ever say Aquaman aka Arthur Curry was “cool”, well then you probably didn’t have many friends. His powers were lame and useless on dry land. The character in general was often ridiculed relentlessly and fairly often fish jokes were directed towards him. Plus the whole riding a seahorse thing in the animated series… It wasn’t long before he earned the title of ‘Nobody’s Favorite Superhero.’ I mean don’t get me wrong the idea of someone who’s powers were to control water (which Earth is pretty much 70-80% made of) who also has super strength and speed were great, but the delivery was extremely lacking in the pin’ache you’d expect of a superhero… or in the prince of Atlantis no less. Until now…
With the relaunch of DC’s world, dubbed the New 52 one of the many comics re-vamped was Aquaman, I myself pretty much ignore everything that involves his character, preferring ironically enough Namor: The Sub-Mariner (the always very bad-ass Marvel equivalent). Until recently I viewed anything Aquaman related as not worth a passing glance, then Burke from Nerd Farm during conversation mentioned that it was one of his current reads, I was obviously shocked, thinking maybe he’d hit his head or the Las Vegas sun fried his brain…then during down time I decided to check it out myself, I was instantly hooked! In the 1st issue it shows him in a cafe ordering fish, when commented upon by an overzealous blogger he not only insults fish calling them stupid but is a complete smart-ass about his explanation, reminding me a bit of Deadpool (one of the few Marvel charactersI fully adore)
The way the characters themselves are written by Geoff Johns amazes me, it provides an equal amount of dramatic insight into his past with his “father”, horror with the villains introduced, and humor with the witty banter between characters. We also get to know a bit more about Arthur’s would-be-assassin turned wife Mera, almost right off the bat we see how she regards humans as a whole, considering them beneath her and confused with Arthur’s intentions of trying to fit into the human world. She is very much so a ‘fish out of water’ when she goes to the market (see Issue #6) to get their pet dog some food and ends up bewildered by all the different types available and then proceeding in an altercation with the store manager, which also shows us HER badass abilities and proves that she is a strong stand-alone character and not just “Aquawoman.”
The art done by Ivan Reis is much darker and grittier introducing new villains that are extremely gruesome and evil unlike anything Aquaman has ever faced, as well as re-introducing old-school villains like Black Manta in a completely new way. Aquaman’s new scale armor not only looks badass but also makes him pretty hot especially when you throw in a wicked looking new trident. In addition the always lovely Mera looks absolutely ravishing in all her aquatic curvaceousness, I mean honestly what’s not to love about a woman walking around in a skin tight scale armor suit that provides the audience with an ample amount of cleavage.