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Review Group Week #294 - Aquaman #1

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Chris

Rain Partier

Postby Chris » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:28 pm

I am shocked.. SHOCKED to see such a glowing review, full of sarcastic bitterness at any negativity from the "#1 aquafan"

SHOCKED!
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Chris

Rain Partier

Postby Chris » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:29 pm

Kerny wrote:This was not very good. 90% of this comic is people telling Aquaman how much he sucks. I personally felt this was the chance to show how he didn't suck and let him kick some ass, instead of recognizing the fact that everyone else in their fictional world and ours, disagrees.


You hit the nail on the head with this issue right there.
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Mammon, Fool Breaker

Peanut

Postby Mammon, Fool Breaker » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:05 am

Holland Oats wrote:I am shocked.. SHOCKED to see such a glowing review, full of sarcastic bitterness at any negativity from the "#1 aquafan"

SHOCKED!


Oh lord, I have offended you?

Do forgive me for not taking somebody seriously when they contradict themself twice in one sentence. It is really hard to not laugh at their "poor review" when everything they asked for was given to them... Even if they are unable to recognize it.
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DeadFett

Outhouse Editor

Postby DeadFett » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:09 am

Story
After reading this twice I still have mixed emotions on it. On one hand, I liked the jokes and jabs about Aquaman being lame and speaking to fish. On the other hand, it felt like reading a thread here about the character where the same jokes are rehashed and recycled. I'm not sure this was the best tactic for a first issue attempting to pull in new readers. I think the character would have been better served if Johns had shown us readers just how bad ass Aquaman could be and why those jokes aren't deserved. Still, there were a few things I really enjoyed. I liked the scene of Aquaman tipping the waitress with enough gold to put her kids through college and his intervention with the criminals. I also thought the scenes with Mera were well done. There was enough here to get me back for issue two. I just hope we get to see Aquaman kicking ass.

Art
Not much to say here except Reis was awesome as usual. He's definitely one of my favorite artists out there right now.

Story - 7
Art - 10
Overall - 8.5
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Rockman

Rain Partier

Postby Rockman » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:18 am

Starlord wrote:

I like your avatar. Pretty funny! :lol:


:-D
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:37 am

Aquaman #1 - 'The Trench, Part One' - Johns, Reis and Prado

Story - It's often discussed how writers like Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and Matt Fraction are mind-bendingly brilliant because of their use of 'meta-commentary', that their work is just that little bit better because it's not only a story, but it's also about comics as a whole, or if not comics, then at least a particular character such as Superman. But it's often over-looked that good old Geoff Johns, the most mainstream of superhero writers, likes a bit of meta-commentary himself. The very concept of Superboy Prime is meta-commentary about internet whiners, and what would happen if they were in the DCU. Of course they'd fly around telling Jason Rusch he's not the real Firestorm. It's extra-juicy when you consider that the very whiners SBP is meant to be hate him with a fiery passion. Johns' brand of meta-commentary is a bit more direct than the one that Morrison et al uses, but it's still a lot of fun and it's interesting to see a writer who is normally so straight-forward show a certain amount of self-awareness and willingness to experiment.

But what does this have to do with Aquaman? Well, this issue is yet more meta-commentary, this time focused on Aquaman. The way Aquaman has been depicted in the comics has always been at odds with his public perception. In the old DCU he was the King Of Atlantis, a well-respected hero who kicked ass. But the real-world public saw him as a joke, he was a guy who talked to fish, he was fucking lame. Saturday Night Live and Family Guy and Spongebob Squarepants and every half-baked internet comedy site ripped the shit out of Aquaman. This was a barrier which stopped DC from being able to get people to read Aquaman, it didn't matter how cool he was inside the comics, people just thought of 'Sea-Man' from South Park and sniggered.

Rather than avoid this joke-status, Johns has decided to tackle it head on, and transpose the jokes made about Aquaman in the real world to the actual comics. So we have people calling Aquaman Tuna-Man to his face, or asking him whether he needs a glass of water, and being visibly embarrassed when he's the hero to save the day. Johns knows what people say about Aquaman, and believes the best way to dispel these jokes is to confront them head on.

And mostly, it works. By showing Aquaman calmly (and in a bad-ass way) defeat the bank-robbers without talking to fish, and by having him clearly explain how he doesn't actually talk to fish, Johns is exposing the media perception of Aquaman as a myth, and making the character legitimately cool again. It seems some readers have found this to be a little on the nose, but I think it had to be done if this new series is to stand a chance. Perhaps Johns does go a bit too far, but I am interested in seeing what this new Aquaman is like going forward, and what he'll do when faced by more than just snotty bloggers.

There are some problems with this issue. As with many of the other DC #1s not much actually happens. Aquaman stops a bank-robbery, goes to a restaurant, meets with Mera, decides he no longer wants to be king of Atlantis and Johns introduces the new villains. It's a slow-mover, but it kind of has to be, it needs to establish why the readers should like Aquaman and not laugh at him before he swims head-on into action.

I did also cringe a little when I saw that Johns was once again focusing on a superhero's daddy issues, just like with Hal Jordan and Superman, Aquaman's father and his death is a big presence in this issue, and it's getting a little silly that Johns does this with every single character. To be fair he switched it up with Barry Allen, who had mommy issues, but still, it's a crutch he keeps leaning on.

I also hate Mera, she's a terrible character and I'm annoyed that this is the one marriage in the DCU that wasn't erased in the relaunch. But thankfully she doesn't do much in this issue (although the 'stronger than Wonder Woman' thing was annoying) but I'm sure when Johns' crush on her takes on a more prominent role, my enjoyment of this series will plummet. Seriously, they get rid of Flash's marriage and keep this? Idiotic, at leas Iris was interesting.

Overall, this was a strong first issue, and one that made Aquaman interesting without making him into a joke. I may love his Batman: The Brave & The Bold incarnation (OUTRAGEOUS!) but that version of the character is still a joke, albeit a funny one. In this issue, Geoff Johns turns the jokes onto the reader, and shows that your online sniping and memes don't matter, Aquaman is cool now. It may be a little forced, but then so are the jokes about the character online. This as a direct challenge to the online fanboy, and to lazy comedians everywhere, I hope they take note.

Art - Ivan Reis has worked with Geoff Johns for so long now that it's hard to separate their work at times, they just work so well together. Reis has a clean, bright style that fits with Johns perfectly. I'm sure some readers find his work a bit bland, but for this type of story it's perfect, and Johns' attempts to make Aquaman into more than a joke wouldn't work half as well without Reis' art making him look as cool as he does. The colours by Rod Reis were also fantastic, and I can't wait to see how this art team depicts the underwater world.

Best Line - 'I don't talk to fish'

7/10
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Amoebas

Son of Stein

Postby Amoebas » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:41 am

Punchy wrote: Rather than avoid this joke-status, Johns has decided to tackle it head on, and transpose the jokes made about Aquaman in the real world to the actual comics. So we have people calling Aquaman Tuna-Man to his face, or asking him whether he needs a glass of water, and being visibly embarrassed when he's the hero to save the day. Johns knows what people say about Aquaman, and believes the best way to dispel these jokes is to confront them head on.

Exactly! To have ignored this (as others have been wishing had happened) doesn't erase the exsisting perception. Tackling it does.

Punchy wrote:I did also cringe a little when I saw that Johns was once again focusing on a superhero's daddy issues, just like with Hal Jordan and Superman, Aquaman's father and his death is a big presence in this issue

I disagree in part. While his father was brought up it wasn't focused on his death - it was focused on the life Arthur had with him leading to his decision to stay on land.

Punchy wrote: people just thought of 'Sea-Man' from South Park and sniggered.

Que Rich Johnston in 1...2...
:-D
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:29 am

It's still ridiculous, every character that Johns writes has some issue with their parents. I know that it's a universal thing that we can all relate to in some way, but it's a crutch, and it's boring.
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chap22

Rain Partier

Postby chap22 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:03 am

Punchy, you're nuts.

First off, Mera is awesome; damn sure cooler than her gimp husband.

Second off, damn near every comic hero has some kind of parental issues, and most have had them for decades. Peter Parker, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, all the Robins, all the Batgirls, Wonder Woman, all the Wonder Girls, Hercules, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, damn near every mutant known to man (if for no other reason than their powers are genetic), Reed Richards, Sue & Johnny, Thor, Cap (his mom), Cyborg, Changeling, Raven, Wally, Zatanna, Namor, Black Bolt, Vision, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, and on and on.

why criticize Johns for doing it when every comic writer ever has done basically the same thing, particularly when there's precedent for Hal and Barry and Aquaman having close ties/histories with their respective parents?
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BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:05 am

I like that Mammon's new favorite comic still only rates an 8. :D
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Starlord

Outhouse Editor

Postby Starlord » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:00 am

chap22 wrote:Punchy, you're nuts.

First off, Mera is awesome; damn sure cooler than her gimp husband.

Second off, damn near every comic hero has some kind of parental issues, and most have had them for decades. Peter Parker, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, all the Robins, all the Batgirls, Wonder Woman, all the Wonder Girls, Hercules, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, damn near every mutant known to man (if for no other reason than their powers are genetic), Reed Richards, Sue & Johnny, Thor, Cap (his mom), Cyborg, Changeling, Raven, Wally, Zatanna, Namor, Black Bolt, Vision, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, and on and on.

why criticize Johns for doing it when every comic writer ever has done basically the same thing, particularly when there's precedent for Hal and Barry and Aquaman having close ties/histories with their respective parents?


Word
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:40 am

chap22 wrote:Punchy, you're nuts.

First off, Mera is awesome; damn sure cooler than her gimp husband.

Second off, damn near every comic hero has some kind of parental issues, and most have had them for decades. Peter Parker, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, all the Robins, all the Batgirls, Wonder Woman, all the Wonder Girls, Hercules, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, damn near every mutant known to man (if for no other reason than their powers are genetic), Reed Richards, Sue & Johnny, Thor, Cap (his mom), Cyborg, Changeling, Raven, Wally, Zatanna, Namor, Black Bolt, Vision, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, and on and on.

why criticize Johns for doing it when every comic writer ever has done basically the same thing, particularly when there's precedent for Hal and Barry and Aquaman having close ties/histories with their respective parents?


Both of Barry Allen's parents were alive before Johns relaunched the character, killing his mother and having his dad put in jail for the crime.

One of the first things Johns does when he starts writing Superman is to kill his Pa Kent again.

And while Hal Jordan and Aquaman's dad's have always been dead, it wasn't such a focus, Hal spends ever second issue remembering when hid dad blew up in that plane-crash.

I just find it cliched.

And Mera is lame.
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Chris

Rain Partier

Postby Chris » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:46 am

Mammon, Fool Breaker wrote:
Oh lord, I have offended you?

Do forgive me for not taking somebody seriously when they contradict themself twice in one sentence. It is really hard to not laugh at their "poor review" when everything they asked for was given to them... Even if they are unable to recognize it.


Not at all. I don't even know who you are, much less care.. I just find it hilarious that any negative review is immediately dismissed by obviously biased people.

Although that's been par for the course for the entire DCnU reboot, not just Aquaman.
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Starlord

Outhouse Editor

Postby Starlord » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:49 am

Punchy wrote:
Both of Barry Allen's parents were alive before Johns relaunched the character, killing his mother and having his dad put in jail for the crime.

One of the first things Johns does when he starts writing Superman is to kill his Pa Kent again.

And while Hal Jordan and Aquaman's dad's have always been dead, it wasn't such a focus, Hal spends ever second issue remembering when hid dad blew up in that plane-crash.

I just find it cliched.

And Mera is lame if written by Bendis or Morisson.


fixed to help you out there. :P

3MJ

Postby 3MJ » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:51 am

What does Bendis or Morrison have to do with anything?

It's when I see posts like that that I realise a lot of posters here have a massive agenda when it comes to comics. Can't get my head around it at all.

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