Aquaman – Vol 1- Review

7 Dec

Will Aquaman make a splash into the refreshing deep pool of creativity and originality, or be a drip in the shallow puddle of dank, swampy predictability and cliches?
To be honest the only reason I picked this book up was because my comic shop made a mistake when ordering and he had way too many copies in stock. So being the creative chap he is, he marked them up as a “Creative Ordering Sale!” so basically I got a bargain. This is also the first hardcover I’ve bought which is a lovely thing indeed. Very tactile and certainly is the way to go in the future if the book warrants it…. lets wait and see if old Arthur Curry (worst hero name ever) makes the grade!

Overall I found the story was simple to grasp, extremely linear with not many simultaneously storylines running, and entertaining. I’m currently reading Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and this is obviously a very different book with a very different agenda. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m reading Mr Miller’s magnum opus that I enjoyed this to the level I did. It’s a nice bit of mind candy that lets you relax the brain and take in the bright shiny colours, without stretching the old grey matter to any extent. Which is a nice change up from The Dark Knight Returns at times.

I can already hear the comic aficionado’s groaning at me putting Aquaman and The Dark Knight Returns in the same sentence, well… Boom I just did it again bitches!

This starts out with an different take on the “super” hero, Aquaman is setup as a joke from the get go. The public don’t value him and he is cast as a laughing stock, even the police and security forces are embarrassed at having Aquaman help them out. This negative perception infuriates Mera, aka Aquawoman (as she hates to be called), who is much less understanding of human behaviours than Arthur, sorry Aquaman.

The art is fantastic in places, but unlike the writing which is very clear and communicative I found some of the pages, especially the ones with full length vertical panels to be a little hard to follow. I think it was the combination of rocks, bubbles and waves that made it a little too cluttered for me at times. Still the drawing was excellent and like I said the story was simple and enjoyable. I never once found myself lost and having to work out where the story was going or had been. This was a plus and a negative as the simplicity turned the book into a straight forward read with no real intrigue. That being said the last page of the volume did do a good job in leaving me wanting more, and hinting at a potentially epic story arc.

In summary a good job all round and I think the reason for the blandness was so that new readers could be introduced at a sensible pace, which I do really appreciate. I do however really want to see Johns ramp it up in the next story arc about the sinking of Atlantis.  Another run at this pace would be very disappointing after the work he put in laying some solid ground work. I not going to follow monthly just yet but I WILL pickup the next volume when it hits the store.

Rating: B+

Aquaman cover Vol 1


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