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Review by: Matt Larose
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones
DC Universe has now reached an end of an era with the New 52 wrapping up and entering the new phase of comics titled Rebirth. Everyone is beginning their relaunches starting at issue #0 and moving quite quickly into trade paperback format, today I get the privilege of reviewing one of the first with Aquaman. A lot of people give Aquaman grief mainly because they see him as the typical under water guy who talks to fish, sorry folks but if you actually took the time to read his books before passing judgements you’d realize that you’d be pretty wrong, I would know because I used to be one of those people. I started my journey with Aquaman while working at a local comic shop and got dared to try and read volume 1 from the New 52 storyline, my coworker at the time was and will always be an Aquaman fan so I took the dare. Man was I ever glad to be wrong because it was an amazing read and an incredible run for Aquaman. But now that that run is over with we get to start over, not going to lie, I’m quite excited to see where this title goes.
We begin this new tale exactly where the last volume of New 52 leaves off, Aquaman and Mera are pretty much trying to create peace between our society and Atlantis, who knew this task would be tricky, right? Not only do they find trouble with the surface world but there are a lot of citizens of Atlantis, even terrorist groups, that totally disagree with Aquaman when it comes to peace. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities between both cultures over this touchy subject. Differences were obviously how the world was treating the oceans as well as how society in general should be, but similarities in how both societies hated each other but also in how they both wanted change. To say that a lot of opinions were being thrown around would be a total understatement, but that’s what made this story interesting.
One thing I enjoy about relaunches in comics is the fact that characters get brought back in big ways, for this storyline one of my favourite villains was brought back and I couldn’t have been happier, that’s right folks one of our big baddies is back and goes by the name Black Manta! Now for those reading this and not knowing anything about this title or this particular character in general do not fear because in this story you get a brief history on both Aquaman and Black Manta and as to why they are hated foes, and I got to tell you it’s a pretty interesting tale to read. I loved seeing this character returning to the title, I find that Black Manta is a key player whenever telling any tale from Aquaman, he may have a ridiculous costume (depending on the artist) but he is a great villain and deserves some respect for that.
Story wise, it felt like I was watching an episode of a TV series, seeing as how i had just previously finished the last volume of the New 52 run. This volume pretty much picks up the pieces of the previous story line and just starts a new one. The ending of the book didn’t feel like much of an ending but that’s what I found intriguing. The way this volume ended made me want to read the next volume immediately because it didn’t have that finishing touch to it.
Now here’s my favourite part of this review, the art. In this volume we had artists Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones. I enjoyed the art in this book very much it’s just for me I get pretty picky, I like when a story stays with one artist in general. I found the work of Scot Eaton to be what was needed in this book, detailed enough with facial expressions and not over detailing on say hair or Aquaman’s armour or clothing. Not to mention the covers for this book were very well done by Brad Walker, my favourite one being the issue with the cover of just Aquaman’s hands in handcuffs.
All in all I would have to say that this was a great story from beginning to end and that Aquaman does deserve a lot more respect than what he gets from the typical comic fan. He’s not just the guy who talks to fish, trust me if you read this book you get to see him go toe to toe with a big gun and he says a lot to them that makes you respect the man just a little bit more. So I say unto you good reader, find volume 1 of Aquaman and have a look see and maybe, just maybe you’ll break that chain of Aquaman hate like I did.