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Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby ****** » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:45 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:
You could be like the old guy they pass by on the street and feel sorry for then forget about.


:-(

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:47 pm

John Snow wrote:
:-(


That hurt me as much as it did you. :-(

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Punchy » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:48 pm

John Snow wrote:
If Brian Wood wants to make New York Six, he has permission to write me in.


More likely he'll have you killed by a bomb in DMZ.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby ****** » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:52 pm

Punchy wrote:
More likely he'll have you killed by a bomb in DMZ.


If it's anything like Collective Punishment, at least it'll take 5 issues to kill me. :-D

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby SilverPhoenix » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:00 pm

GLX wrote:
http://previewsworld.com/public/default ... 09678&ssd=

Some of the Flashpoint minis might be good. :smt102


Image

You could be right, but I couldn't resist. It's just too fitting.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Eli Katz » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:32 pm

My LCS did not have this book.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Mammon, Fool Breaker » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:33 pm

Lets do Invicible #80 for next week... it isnt Marvel or DC and is sure to be at least, sort of, maybe, kind of, perhaps even enjoyable in the slightest.
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'

Long live Hal Jordan, the greatest Green Lantern of them all.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:35 pm

Mammon, Fool Breaker wrote:Lets do Invicible #80 for next week... it isnt Marvel or DC and is sure to be at least, sort of, maybe, kind of, perhaps even enjoyable in the slightest.


Next week is Northlanders.

I guarantee the people who read Invincible in trade would bitch too.

Haven't been near any better-stocked shops to check for Aquaman, will try to pick up Monday when I'm in town.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby ****** » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:58 pm

I read Invincible in hardcover so I wouldn't participate. :P

Northlanders on the other hand is a stand alone issue with Marian Churchland art. I am excited for it. :smt026

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Zero » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:00 pm

I wish I read Invincible monthly but after 13 trades I think I'll stick to those. It'd be a fine choice if I didn't have the entire Viltrumite War still to read and my favourite comic wasn't also out.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:03 pm

At this rate I'm going to pick whatever I think will get me Amber Atoms'd out of here.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby Zero » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:04 pm

Royal Nonesuch might trade you for Outsiders week.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby SilverPhoenix » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:39 pm

Emperor Aquaman #1

On my journey as an aspiring writer, the one thing I’ve learned is to never write to your audience as if they’re stupid. It doesn’t matter what you as writer may think of the public at large, but the minute you’re committing words to paper, the question of “If I was paying to read this, would I want to be talked down to?” takes priority above everything else. Failure to do so, can not only cause your audience to feel insulted, but can cause such a severe logic gap which results in your story no longer working. Something that Emperor Aquaman #1 ends up suffering from, despite the writer’s best efforts to prevent this from happening. How so do you ask? All will be revealed shortly.


Writing and Story:

From everything I’ve observed from Tony Bedard’s work, the justifiably worst thing anyone could say about his work is that it’s merely serviceable enough to make the story readable. Wasted words, directionless exposition, and atrocious dialogue sequences are aspects that rarely occupy any scripts of his, with this issue being no exception. From the monologue sequences, to the dialogue, the writing keeps the reader engaged enough to understand the characterizations and motives of the characters on a base level. In fact, the only real base structural issue ends up being how one can misconstrue the time jumps if their attention is not solely focused on the book (something that the Super 8 Advert Comic adds to). However, it is that same issue that got me to ask questions, which allowed me to uncover the biggest issue as to why the story presented doesn’t work as a whole.

Why does the story not work, you ask? Well, for me to truly expound on why, everyone needs to get up to speed with the important plot points this story presents. These points include (presented in Chronological Order):

[Reveal] Spoiler: Click to Expand
- A marriage between Aquaman and Wonder Woman was arranged with the purpose to prevent war, only to have Aquaman murder Hippolayta on the wedding day.

- In response, Wonder Woman conquers the British Isles.


- Motivated by preservation, King Brion (Geo-Force) desires an Alliance with Atlantis, complete with comparing Wonder Woman to Hitler and Aquaman with Stalin.

- To establish his sincerity, Brion is set meet with Mera In Rome, only to be attacked by Atlatean dissidents, but is saved from impending doom by Mera, who sets the record straight.

- What Byron didn’t know though, was that the alliance (and everything that went with it) was subterfuge for Doctor Vulko to gain the data he needed to build a “Geo-Pulse” Emitter with himself being the weapon’s warhead. However, it is during this deception that Mera was murdered by Wonder Woman, to which is response was to sink Western Europe and Northern Africa.

- We also learn that while Aquaman was successful in sinking those landmasses, New Themyscira avoided such a fate, thanks to Tara Makov (Tera) and her own Geological Powers, hence why Aquaman calls for a concentrated attack on the Amazons at the end of this story.


With those points established, here are the questions that I think are important to this plot’s integrity. (These questions are asked in reverse Chronological Order, with the last question being the most important)

[Reveal] Spoiler: Click to Expand
- Why should Aquaman sink Western Europe and Northen Africa if the British Isles were his main target?

- Why would Aquaman even begin to agree building such an extreme weapon in the first place and in turn place Mera in such a predicament, where she could get decapitated?

- Why would Wonder Woman attack the British Isles?

- Who would destroy Themyscria, and is that event connected to the one posted above?

-Why would Aquaman even murder Hippolayta (during his Wedding Day, mind you) in the first place?


In this reviewer’s opinion, it is these exact questions (with questions 1, 2 and 5, being far more important than 3 and 4) that not only cause Aquaman’s motivations to become flimsy, but cause the plot to weaken to the point where it no longer really works. Even the questions that do have answers are quite weak, and add very little in terms of character motivation, which affects story credibility. To put it succinctly, this book suffers from “Blackest Night Syndrome”, where the story falls apart against even the shallowest of analysis. With that being said, this doesn’t mean that I feel that every story should straight forward and not have the reader ask questions. However, a good story should not fall apart under those questions and a great story could use those questions to enhance the experience. Emperor Aquaman fails to do either, and by doing so, it fails the effort that Bedard put into this book.


Art:

Between the writing and the art, if I had to pick any one aspect of this comic that made me ask “What could’ve been, it would most certainly be the art. Make no mistake, Syaf and Cifuentes work very well together in building the world where this story takes place. With the great use of color and the amazingly depicted backdrops, Emperor Aquaman has visuals that this reviewer considers to be very good, with some that even touch greatness. The first thing that holds it back from reaching that next level has to do with how rough the human drawings seem in some spots, with flaws that range from missing eyes, haphazardly drawn people in various spots and an air of Lifelessness in the action scenes. The second thing that didn’t please my eye is that the earth splash page wasn’t on the same level as the ones under the sea. In fact, the last splash page felt a bit rushed from where I sat, making me feel that this comic was under a very strict deadline that comes with event-mandated mini-series. At the end of the day, my disappointment with the art was far less stated than my disappointment with the drawing, simply due to the fact that the art showed those glimpses of excellence.


Final Thoughts:

When I get right down to it, even though this reviewer feels disappointed by this work, he feels very little in terms of venom or disgust. Unlike Weird Worlds #1, Brightest Day #23 and Iron Man 2.0 #5, this book actually felt like someone tried their hardest to put out a decent product. However, when you have story that only works if you’re not willing to think about what’s happening on any level, then it doesn’t matter who is working on bringing this vision to life, it’s just not going to work. Bottom line, despite the promise that Emperor Aquaman #1 shows in some places, the lack of thought as to how this story would work, ends up making the whole entire thing fall flat.

The Verdict:

Story/Writing: 3.5
Art: 7
Accessibly: 6

Final Judgment: 4.25
Last edited by SilverPhoenix on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:07 pm

Nice review. I guess I just figured that one issue into a three issue mini, answers would be forthcoming in the next couple of months. It wasn't enough to kill the book for me anyway. And while not mentioned in the above review, apparently another reviewer had trouble with the flashback/flash forwards. I had no trouble with that at all. Serviceable art work and a story I want to follow into the next issue, I'd give it a 6 out of 10 ( if only to give it a passing grade). Going into it with the bar set low, I was surprised to find that it wan't the complete waste I'd been led to believe.

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Re: Review Group Week #278: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Postby SilverPhoenix » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:21 pm

alaska1125 wrote:Nice review. I guess I just figured that one issue into a three issue mini, answers would be forthcoming in the next couple of months. It wasn't enough to kill the book for me anyway. And while not mentioned in the above review, apparently another reviewer had trouble with the flashback/flash forwards. I had no trouble with that at all. Serviceable art work and a story I want to follow into the next issue, I'd give it a 6 out of 10 ( if only to give it a passing grade). Going into it with the bar set low, I was surprised to find that it wan't the complete waste I'd been led to believe.


Thanks for the compliment, Alaska. Like I said in my review, it's not so much the questions existing (Fables is my favorite series, and that sucker always has burning questions), it's the fact that the questions made the whole premise seem flimsy in comparison. For example, how are we supposed to view Aquaman? What caused him to be such a complete asshole to sink 1/10th (est) of the World's Landmass? If we even got that last question I posted answered in a much better fashion, this story automatically gains at least 1.75 points.

That being said, you're absolutely correct about the questions being answered in the issues to come. However, with only 1 issue to work, I just couldn't give it a higher score, despite the effort.

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