Never underestimate the power of a good guest-star. My feelings on the new 52 are old news at this point, but I still found myself excited at the prospect of a Martian Manhunter vs. Aquaman throw down when this cover was solicited. After some positive reviews from my local comic store, I decided to drop a few bucks and see how Aquaman is doing these days.
Color me surprised! Jeff Parker is one of my favorite writers, so I had high hopes for his take on the character. He doesn’t disappoint, with a proactive, intelligent Aquaman with lots of allies and a lot of help working on Atlantis’ current problems. The last I saw Martian Manhunter, he was on the outs with the league, but things certainly seem like they are totally fine here. J’onn is trying to help Aquaman figure out what happened to his mother on the night of her death. Unsurprisingly, things are not as Aquaman believed. Seeing an eventual battle between the two heroes was probably inevitable.
What makes me the happiest here is that I don’t need to worry about the new 52 continuity at all. Tula is here as an Atlantean guard. Mera is still the supportive partner/equal that she’s been the whole time. I don’t have to pretend that Martian Manhunter isn’t meeting Aquaman for the first time. Believe it or not, that goes a LONG way for me to be able to enjoy these comics. I simply cannot re-read origins and “first meetings” over and over again as DC editorial tries to figure out what happened and what didn’t.
Man, seeing Paul Pelletier’s fantastic art really drives home how much I’m missing in the DCU. A lot of the creators are folks whose work I really like! The dang continuity and ever-present dour tone are keeping me away from comics I normally would have bought!
Pelletier’s Martian Manhunter is pretty awesome, but I sort of wish I could see the “real” take on the character; you know he’d look even better. I haven’t seen Mera’s powers used to make a giant, hard-water proxy before, but man, that is one incredible looking page. Very nice stuff.
So. Amazingly enough, I think this GOOD comic is going to have me buying Aquaman. At least until I have to pretend that I don’t know who someone is in the new 52.