Published: September 11th, 2012
Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench (Aquaman Vol. VII #1)
By: Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis (Illustrator), & Joe Prado (Illustrator)
The King of the Seven Seas Aquaman returns to his very own ongoing series for the first time in years at the hands of DC Entertainment Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns, who reteams with Green Lantern collaborator artist Ivan Reis! Between proving himself to a world that sees him as a joke, Aquaman and his bride Mera face off against a long buried terror from the depths of the ocean!
So, before this I had never read an Aquaman comic book. My only real big or small screen interaction with him was when A.C. Curry showed up in a couple episodes of "Smallville." He seemed fairly likeable, if a little too obsessed with being kind to the environment (i.e. the ocean). I did know that to most people Aquaman is a gigantic joke. People like to dismiss him, because most of his powers are only usable in the Ocean/water. They think he's useless when on land. This comic book, a part of the New 52 relaunch of DC from a couple years ago, doesn't so much reboot the legend of Aquaman as it does revamp him a little bit. We get to see the struggle of being a superhero and wanting to use your powers to help people, when they don't want you around. The people Aquaman helps ridicule him, even after he saves their lives. They don't appreciate his honor or his impressive powers. Nothing he does is good enough to get rid of the stigma he faces with overwhelming public scorn geared towards him.
The story, with the unknown sea monsters (they looked kind of like piranhas and were found to be some kind of ancient, weird offshoot of them) attacking Arthur's town, opened his situation to the reader and allowed me to jump in with ease. We're also introduced to Mera, an Atlantean mermaid who was sent to kill Aquaman by Atlanteans who distrusted him, and fell in love with him instead. Mera is a serious bad-ass, with the power to control ALL water (fire hydrants, water under the ground, in people's bodies, etc.). Not to mention, she doesn't have quite the fondness for humans that Arthur does, at least not yet. There is a great episode with her going out to buy a can of dog food and ending up arrested and causing havoc. This volume leaves off on a cliffhanger of a greater mystery: why did Atlantis retreat underwater? I liked the artwork, the story was really fun, and I'm interested in reading the next volume to see what's going to happen with the whole Atlantis thing. I count this one as a win, especially since I'm sure a lot of these New 52 titles are going to be a hit or miss proposition.
VERDICT: 4/5 Stars
**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**