Aquaman #1 (DC Comics)
Poor Arthur Curry. After being the butt of many jokes for decades, he finally got the chance to show how badass he was with Geoff Johns’ New 52 series. But much like Green Lantern, Aquaman quickly took a turn for the worst after Johns departed the title. Thankfully though, DC Rebirth has hit, and with it comes a new start for the King of Atlantis. With fan-favorite writer Dan Abnett and artist Brad Walker taking over the book, it’s time for Aquaman to show how awesome he really is.
Much of Abnett’s opening issue follows Arthur’s attempts to show off his new Atlantean embassy to the public. As a being of two worlds, Arthur is desperate to mend relations between Atlantis and the surface, and everything seems to be going smoothly until Black Manta attacks. Searching for revenge for the death of his father, Manta makes quick work of Mera and some of the press at the embassy, which causes Aquaman to attack, and…..
Well, that’s it. If there’s one negative thing with DC’s new twice a month schedule, it’s that the pacing of these new Rebirth books is really weird. Once Aquaman gets going, it suddenly hits the brakes and says, “see you next issue”! It’s almost like many of these books are so focused on creating a good jumping on point that they forget to set up some actual cliffhangers to get you to come back for issue two. Aquaman #1, for as well as it sets up this series, just kind of ends.
Despite this, artist Brad Walker’s pages are really well done. Walker presents Aquaman and Mera as imposing but kind figures that you wouldn’t be surprised seeing as leaders of a kingdom. The few action scenes in this debut issue are also handled extremely well by Walker, with the splash page of Aquaman attacking Manta being the highlight.
Aquaman #1 may end a little too soon, but it’s also setting up a strong foundation for what Abnett has planned for the book. With time, hopefully the weird pacing problems will be worked out, or perhaps it’ll read better as a trade. In any case, it seems like Aquaman is back on the right track, and hopefully this time it’s for good.