I used to like Aquaman back in the 80s when he was the leader of the Detroit League. He seemed like a strong character back then. I miss the character who was a little bit of a jerk; the character that used his psychic powers on the young members of that League to influence them in ways he wanted them to go; the character that had the Martian Manhunter nearly punch him out when he was caught in the act. Given that, I went into this issue with some hope that I would see a return to a character that isn't viewed as a joke. Johns tries to do that, I'll give him that, but sadly, from my point of view, he also fails. I don't see an Aquaman that's done right as a lame character and I don't want to be reminded that some people see him that way. It takes away from my enjoyment instead of enhancing it.
This Aquaman shows signs of strength, but it seems more surface than anything else. This isn't helped by the fact that the two big scenes this issue (a fight against some bank robbers and a scene in which Aquaman goes to have some fish a chips) both gave me the sense that they should have been a whole lot shorter than they actually were.
I did enjoy the one on one scene with Mera and the parts dealing with the carnivorous fish men on the first two and last three pages. The fish men is a little bit irritating though as that comes across as the meat of the story that Aquaman is going to be dealing with. There should have been a much bigger space dedicated to the main character's upcoming confrontation with them. Had he actually encountered them at some point this issue there would have been some interesting conflict -- something to really grab my interest and make me want to get the next issue. Instead we have an issue in which he wonders from one place to another with not really much happening to him.
On top of the two bits that I liked, I did come away with the sense of the kind of person that Johns' Aquaman is going to be. I will give him credit for that and admit that the writing is fairly strong along those lines. In the end it's just not enough for me to want to continue past this first issue.
4 out of 10.
Last edited by Stephen Day
on Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thank you Troy for the sig