Aquaman #1 Review!

Jondee here at Amnesty Bay,

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Aquaman swims out of Rebirth under the writing guidance by Dan Abnett with a cover by interior artist Brad Walker, it’s a jam cover with Mera and Garth swimming in Atlantis, Aquaman in the center with trident, flanked by Black Manta and Ocean Master (their weapons end with bloody blades at the bottom), with his lighthouse in a stormy sea. It opens, “The End of Fear”, part one of The Drowning, at the lighthouse in Amnesty Bay with Arthur talking to Mera. Walker’s art brings up some nice visuals, but his line work on his characters need less style, flowing hair, and more realism. Mera knows that if Arthur cannot unite the peoples of land and sea, then he can’t be a whole person. This is watched by the assassin with a scarred face, Black Manta, without his helmet. This shifts to Spindrift Station, a British woman is driving up to the station in Massachusetts. She is joined by Ray Delane, a frumpy reporter from the Daily Planet. The woman is Lt. Joanna Stubbs from the Royal Navy, she adds British Royal Navy. Joanna is welcomed by Sark, the captain of the king’s household guard, both turn out to be interesting characters, but he lacks the He-Man armor of the other guards. The stitched shadow on Joanna’s face is another example of the awkward character work. Aquaman and Mera greet the visitors.

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They have their visitors eat, Delane tries what he thinks is shrimp, Sark explains it’s really sea slugs. Mera sends him to check on Delane while she talks to Joanna. Sark sees explosive charges and he is attacked by Delane, his hologram ends with Black Manta skewering Sark with a harpoon. I get that Black Manta is supposed to be vicious and the sympathy is set up so we can feel the loss, but this seems over doing it. In a splash, Black Manta races from the explosions. Then, the water floods in, but held by Mera. This is an incredible feat considering the sudden pressure. Aquaman sees the dead Sark and Black Manta hits Mera with an electrified harpoon. This causes Mera to drop the water and Aquaman leaps up in a splash page (ha!) to take on Black Manta. He is on a path of revenge for Aquaman killing his father, revealed in Geoff Johns run with The Other League, while Joanna checks on Mera. He stabs Aquaman and it ends with the visor of Black Manta’s helmet. Bashing Sark and setting off explosives is villainous enough, but pinning a person through the throat, this keeps the comic into hard core violent, away from an all readers title, and just continues the New52 darkness. There is still promise with Aquaman. Three Tridents out of Five!

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