Evil Geek Book Report – Aquaman
Here at the Brotherhood of Evil Geeks we’ve been covering the MARVEL ONE launch pretty damn well, so damn well that someone referred to us as Marvel Zombies and although many of my brothers-in-arms would take that as a compliment of the highest regard, I for one am more of a DC Fanboy myself. Don’t get me wrong, I like me some Marvel, a whole ton in fact, but I have a soft spot in my heart for DC Books too. I got started with Batman when I was a kid and it grew from there to some other books and this little thing called Zero Hour happened and I just immersed myself in DC. At the time, my Comics store was a total Marvel hangout, so I found a DC store too! So when I wanted to buy Marvel books and talk to fellow nerds about X-Men I would go to shop #1 and when I wanted the same from a DC perspective I went to shop #2. I’m laying out all this backstory to prove to you that I really love comics in general, but I can geek out on the DC side of the fence just a teensy bit more. So with that all said, the characters that I loved and followed for about 20 years went through a radical reboot about 16 months ago and the DCU as we knew it became “The New 52!” At first I was really mad, like hate-mail mad…. but I’ve come to accept that if I wanted to read the characters that I loved I had two choices; 1) To re-read all of my old books (which I pretty much did 🙂 ) or 2) To suck it up and start to read The New 52 (Which I also did!) I can say that after a year and a half that I’ve read most of what the new DCU has to offer and like anything, there are some good and some bad, some awful and then some that are Absolutely Amazing!!! and thats what I’d like to share with you today! So without further introduction I bring you the first in a regular series of DC New 52 Reviews… Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis!
What the Fuck! Did he just say Aquaman? Yes. Yes he did!
So The New 52 was in many ways a total reboot which really contrasts what Marvel is doing right now. I wont lie though, its kinda weird. Rather than starting at day one for most books, a lot of them begin with the central character being around for about 5 years and the same can be said about Aquaman. At first I thought that this was stupid, but it eventually grew on me because I didn’t need to see the origin story all over again for many of their roster. The cool thing is that by doing this, they’ve been able to keep certain aspects about the characters past from the old DCU in check, but can completely ignore the oddball stuff. Case in point; Green Lantern literally picked up where the old one left off, Blackest Night happened, and the rich history that has been built for the last 7 years or so is the same. With that said, some characters had convoluted backgrounds just like the guy I’m talking about here; in the old DCU Aquaman had his hand chopped off, had a big beard and a bionic harpoon arm thingie, he died and came back with a water hand, then he died or some such again and became like a squid-man while there was another blonde guy in green and orange, then he became a black lantern and was really cool and then came back to life normal looking again… and that was the past decade. So anyways, this go got a total re-do and in his case he needed it. So what do you need to know going in to Aquaman? Not much, but to sum it up: He wears Orange and Green, talks to fish, he’s a Justice League Member, and he was the King of Atlantis.
The New 52 brought the ridiculously talented Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis to the title and they are doing for our boy Arthur exactly what they did for Green Lantern; that is building a sound mythology around our main character with an intricate back-story and supporting characters that make the book move forward organically. The most current issue is #14 and you can jump on at that point without question but I’d read the first 12 if I were you (you can easily buy them in a digital format or pick up the trades.) In case you don’t feel like it I’ll give the major beats to the first 13 for you; Issues 1-6 really detailed on who Aquaman was essentially and saw Arthur decide to come back to live on land. We also got an introduction to a new hungry species from The Trench. The second run of the series really established Aquaman’s big bad, Black Manta as a threat and provided some backstory for readers. It also explained Aquaman’s past in depth including his Trident and other relics of Atlantis. Issue #14 is the lead up for the next big storyline that really centers around Atlantis and explains how the once powerful and dominating nation sank to the bottom of the ocean! And this is what Geoff Johns does… he build these amazing arcs that actually mean something, and just like the GL mythos, I believe that this arc will really solidify Aquaman in this new DCU! One more thing, this storyline will actually cross-over with Justice League, so it has the potential to really be something big and not only will we see Ivan Reis’s beautiful panels in Aquaman, but we’ll get some awesome Jim Lee art out of this deal too!
OK, so do yourself a favor and laugh out loud about Aquaman for a minute or so and then pick the book up and you’ll realize that you’ve been missing out on the next big thing in The New 52!
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