Thursday, September 29, 2011

Aquaman #1

Geoff Johns does a nice job picking up Aquaman after Brightest Day, but really making this an accessible issue for folks who may not have read the series. It seems like Mera and the sea king are happily together, which makes me happy. As I've said before, we rarely get well-settled couples in comics, and with so many marriages being erased by the DC reboot, I'm glad to see one sticking around. (Of course, maybe they aren't married? Who knows.)

The other interesting thing Johns does here is face the mockery of Aquaman head-on. Multiple characters (human bystanders, mostly) make jokes and poke fun at Aquaman, making reference to SNL and YouTube sketches about how silly he is as a hero. Johns attempts to counteract this by giving Aquaman a fairly substantial power upgrade. In this issue Aquaman can leap around on land like the Hulk, he picks up an armored car and tosses it around, and he bullets from a point-blank AK-47 bounce off his skin. That's almost Luke Cage territory! So yeah, it's going to be harder to make fun of Aquaman if he's gotten a lot more powerful.

The villains look fun, some sort of carnivorous humanoids from the deep that are excited to find soft, delicious humans on the surface of the ocean. I really like these guys, they seem like good opening bad guys for what seems to be a self-contained title. (And without looking, I don't remember this premiere to be quite as violent as some of the other relaunches.)

Ivan Reis's pencils are clean and dynamic, picking right up from Brightest Day. I think Mera's eyes look a tad bigger, she looked almost anime in a couple of those panels. The fish-folks design is neat too, with almost translucent skin and those scary fangs.


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