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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 Eli Katz » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:00 pm

thefourthman wrote: :smt011
I take back my previous :-D




:lol:

You've broken my heart.

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:07 am

Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1(of 3) - 'Emperor Aquaman Part One' - Bedard, Syaf, Cifuentes

Story - One of the things that separates DC Comics characters from those of other companies, is that they exist as much in the reader's heads as they do in the page. There are so many different iterations of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern etc as a fan the version you come up with in your tiny fanboy mind may not necessarily be what DC wants. The version of Superman I see when I close my eyes is not Christopher Reeve, or Earth-2 Superman, or Post-Crisis John Byrne Superman, or Max Fleischer's Superman. It is all of those and more, all twisted together to form Punchy's version of Superman. It's the same with Aquaman, I haven't read much Aquaman, but I have an Aquaman in my head, he's got some 'Outrageous!' in him, he's got some Super-Friends lameness in him, he's got some Hook-Hand beardy in him. And now he's got some Emperor Aquaman in him. Because even though this mini is set in an alternative reality, it still managed to shed some light on Aquaman and make me view him differently. That's a big bonus for me, this isn't just some meaningless tie-in, it's got something to do with something that matters at least.

One of the chief problems Aquaman has is that he's perceived as being lame. He talks to fish, he's a joke. And there is humour to be found in Aquaman, but come on, there are some pretty deadly fish in the sea, and those aren't his only powers. I often wonder why people say Aquaman is lame, when the similarly powered Sub-Mariner is viewed as being a total bad-ass. A lot of it comes down to attitude, Aquaman is a fundamentally decent guy, whereas Namor is a massive twat, and therefore cool (that or it's the ankle-wings). Flashpoint rectifies this by making Aquaman a bad-ass, not in super-ficial ways like giving him a hook-hand or a water-hand, but by making literally wage war on the surface world (something Namor often promises to do bet never actually will do), by making him sink Europe. Pretty much all of Europe. Woah.

Now yes, this is an alternative reality, this is Flashpoint, but it's a handy reminder of how dangerous Aquaman could be. There but for the grace of Reverse Flash goes our Universe. I'm sure that in the upcoming Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis Aquaman solo series we'll see Arthur Curry being much more heroic, but this series will inform our view of the character, we know he could do this, we know he has an edge.

This issue itself is not without it's problems however, Tony Bedard utilises three separate time-sequences. The present, 8 months ago and 11 months ago. I found this quite confusing, and it was hard to parse where each individual scene took place, especially since he doesn't work through them in a linear direction. Jonathan Hickman's Ultimate Thor mini-series did the same thing, but managed to come together in the end. I hope this series will do so too. The timeline of this story seems muddled at the moment, there is a wedding between Aquaman and Wonder Woman mentioned, but it seemed as if Aquaman was already married to Mera at this point, do Atlanteans practice polygamy, or was it a mistake? Bedard needs to clear this stuff up.

Overall, this was an enjoyable issue. It featured everything you could want in an alternative reality story, where half the fun is spotting traditional characters in new roles. It's a base pleasure, but it's there. Evil Aquaman is a fun kick, and if you're a fan of the character I think you'll enjoy seeing Arthur and his supporting cast in a darker mode. And if you hate Aquaman, if you think he's lame and a Family Guy cut-away gag, then this issue might just change your mind. Yes it's an imaginary world, but as Alan Moore (sort of) said, they all are, and they are all equal in creating the Aquaman in your head.

Art - Ardian Syaf is a great choice for this book, pretty much because his work looks almost exactly like Andy Kubert, who is drawing the main Flashpoint mini-series, and this provides a nice sense of continuity. It's not quite as polished as Kubert, but it is very similar. Has he been given a book in the DC Revamp yet? He needs a good one.

Best Line - 'You are a metahuman King. So is my husband. It must be the most exclusive of fraternities'

7/10

Yes, a Punchy 7, it's back!

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

Postby thefourthman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:42 am

Eli Katz wrote:You've broken my heart.

Well you should be careful when you disparage books you know very little about.

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:44 am

Yeah, Eli, American Vampire is a great book, and any use of cliches is deliberate. Snyder is filtering American History through Vampires, so we've had Vampire Western, Vampire Hollywood, Vampire Noir and now Vampire World War II. He has to use these cliches to subvert them with the inclusion of pesky bloodsuckers.

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

Postby thefourthman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:47 am

Punchy wrote:Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1(of 3) - 'Emperor Aquaman Part One' - Bedard, Syaf, Cifuentes

Story - One of the things that separates DC Comics characters from those of other companies, is that they exist as much in the reader's heads as they do in the page. There are so many different iterations of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern etc as a fan the version you come up with in your tiny fanboy mind may not necessarily be what DC wants. The version of Superman I see when I close my eyes is not Christopher Reeve, or Earth-2 Superman, or Post-Crisis John Byrne Superman, or Max Fleischer's Superman. It is all of those and more, all twisted together to form Punchy's version of Superman. It's the same with Aquaman, I haven't read much Aquaman, but I have an Aquaman in my head, he's got some 'Outrageous!' in him, he's got some Super-Friends lameness in him, he's got some Hook-Hand beardy in him. And now he's got some Emperor Aquaman in him. Because even though this mini is set in an alternative reality, it still managed to shed some light on Aquaman and make me view him differently. That's a big bonus for me, this isn't just some meaningless tie-in, it's got something to do with something that matters at least.

One of the chief problems Aquaman has is that he's perceived as being lame. He talks to fish, he's a joke. And there is humour to be found in Aquaman, but come on, there are some pretty deadly fish in the sea, and those aren't his only powers. I often wonder why people say Aquaman is lame, when the similarly powered Sub-Mariner is viewed as being a total bad-ass. A lot of it comes down to attitude, Aquaman is a fundamentally decent guy, whereas Namor is a massive twat, and therefore cool (that or it's the ankle-wings). Flashpoint rectifies this by making Aquaman a bad-ass, not in super-ficial ways like giving him a hook-hand or a water-hand, but by making literally wage war on the surface world (something Namor often promises to do bet never actually will do), by making him sink Europe. Pretty much all of Europe. Woah.

Now yes, this is an alternative reality, this is Flashpoint, but it's a handy reminder of how dangerous Aquaman could be. There but for the grace of Reverse Flash goes our Universe. I'm sure that in the upcoming Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis Aquaman solo series we'll see Arthur Curry being much more heroic, but this series will inform our view of the character, we know he could do this, we know he has an edge.

This issue itself is not without it's problems however, Tony Bedard utilises three separate time-sequences. The present, 8 months ago and 11 months ago. I found this quite confusing, and it was hard to parse where each individual scene took place, especially since he doesn't work through them in a linear direction. Jonathan Hickman's Ultimate Thor mini-series did the same thing, but managed to come together in the end. I hope this series will do so too. The timeline of this story seems muddled at the moment, there is a wedding between Aquaman and Wonder Woman mentioned, but it seemed as if Aquaman was already married to Mera at this point, do Atlanteans practice polygamy, or was it a mistake? Bedard needs to clear this stuff up.

Overall, this was an enjoyable issue. It featured everything you could want in an alternative reality story, where half the fun is spotting traditional characters in new roles. It's a base pleasure, but it's there. Evil Aquaman is a fun kick, and if you're a fan of the character I think you'll enjoy seeing Arthur and his supporting cast in a darker mode. And if you hate Aquaman, if you think he's lame and a Family Guy cut-away gag, then this issue might just change your mind. Yes it's an imaginary world, but as Alan Moore (sort of) said, they all are, and they are all equal in creating the Aquaman in your head.

Art - Ardian Syaf is a great choice for this book, pretty much because his work looks almost exactly like Andy Kubert, who is drawing the main Flashpoint mini-series, and this provides a nice sense of continuity. It's not quite as polished as Kubert, but it is very similar. Has he been given a book in the DC Revamp yet? He needs a good one.

Best Line - 'You are a metahuman King. So is my husband. It must be the most exclusive of fraternities'

7/10

Yes, a Punchy 7, it's back!

ITT: Punchy admits he is a fanboy and that he has a tiny mind.

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

Postby thefourthman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:51 am

Punchy wrote:Yeah, Eli, American Vampire is a great book, and any use of cliches is deliberate. Snyder is filtering American History through Vampires, so we've had Vampire Western, Vampire Hollywood, Vampire Noir and now Vampire World War II. He has to use these cliches to subvert them with the inclusion of pesky bloodsuckers.

this.

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:12 am

thefourthman wrote:ITT: Punchy admits he is a fanboy and that he has a tiny mind.


In YOUR tiny fanboy mind I said.

I have a huge fanboy brain.

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

Postby Eli Katz » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:17 am

Punchy wrote:Yeah, Eli, American Vampire is a great book, and any use of cliches is deliberate. Snyder is filtering American History through Vampires, so we've had Vampire Western, Vampire Hollywood, Vampire Noir and now Vampire World War II. He has to use these cliches to subvert them with the inclusion of pesky bloodsuckers.

Yeah, I know that. I've read the first to arcs. But this one, with the crusty boss and the tortured protagonist and so on, has too many stock characters for me.

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:19 am

Eli Katz wrote:Yeah, I know that. I've read the first to arcs. But this one, with the crusty boss and the tortured protagonist and so on, has too many stock characters for me.


All those characters (Felicia Book, Cashel McCogan and Jack Straw) appeared in the book previously. How are they cliche now but not before?

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

Postby Eli Katz » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:32 am

Punchy wrote:
All those characters (Felicia Book, Cashel McCogan and Jack Straw) appeared in the book previously. How are they cliche now but not before?

For me, the book is really strong on atmosphere and weak on character. It always had been, as far as I'm concerned. I guess I was hoping for something more interesting by this point. Also, I liked the cowboys stuff so much in Devil in the Sand that I didn't really notice the things that normally bother me in comics.

I started reading American Vampire for RG. And, to be honest, it was so much better than the crap we were reading at the time that I think I overlooked the thin characterization.

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:48 am

Eli Katz wrote:For me, the book is really strong on atmosphere and weak on character. It always had been, as far as I'm concerned. I guess I was hoping for something more interesting by this point. Also, I liked the cowboys stuff so much in Devil in the Sand that I didn't really notice the things that normally bother me in comics.

I started reading American Vampire for RG. And, to be honest, it was so much better than the crap we were reading at the time that I think I overlooked the thin characterization.


I don't see AV's characters being especially thin, Skinner Sweet and Pearl are pretty strong I think.

You just can't admit to liking a non-crime comic can you? :P

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

Postby Eli Katz » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:58 am

Punchy wrote:

You just can't admit to liking a non-crime comic can you? :P


I like it. I'd even recommend it. I just wish some of the characters were stronger, more complex. It's a personal taste thing.

The stories are fun and the historical settings are rich. And the art has been excellent, no matter which artist has worked on the book.

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

Postby IvCNuB4 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:11 pm

Punchy wrote:Presumably Professor Zoom did something in the past to make Aquaman an asshole.


Seems more like it was Wonder Woman's beheading of Merathat tipped him over the edge :lol:

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

Postby Punchy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:15 pm

IvCNuB4 wrote:
Seems more like it was Wonder Woman's beheading of Merathat tipped him over the edge :lol:

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Yes, but it was Professor Zoom who did something which made Wonder Woman an asshole.

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

Postby thefourthman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:31 pm

Punchy wrote:
In YOUR tiny fanboy mind I said.

I have a huge fanboy brain.

no, you pretty much said your brain, I don't spend much time picturing Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc in my head, unless I am you know reading a comic or watching a movie...

and I am lazy and there is a picture already there at that point, why imagine some other picture?

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