While you wait for The Others....
Geoff Johns has never hesitated to expand or clarify the history and mythology of certain characters. His ideas tend to be big and this run on Aquaman is no exception as he pulls back the curtains on his past and shows that Arthur Curry may not always have been the boy scout we believed he was.
Taking place 6 years in the past, humanity is knocking on Aquaman’s door demanding answers as it always does when something strange or alien upsets the status quo. Apparently the city of Atlantis is very real and Aquaman is its last forebear. Feeling alone, overwhelmed and violated he flees seemingly giving up on humanity in the process.
The issue follows the pattern of weaving flashbacks with the present day to tell the story of “The Others”, a league of supers brought together to locate and protect relics of Atlantis. With the death of one of their members at the hands of their greatest foe, Black Manta, it seems The Others may call on each other’s services once again.
There’s a lot going on in this issue but it manages to be clear and easy to break down. Johns is constructing quite an intriguing story which is all hinged on the sinking of Atlantis and while we’re given a tidal wave of new characters and information, we are no closer to finding out the mystery. Aquaman’s characterisation reflects this very well as he seems just as lost as the reader and just as eager to unravel the story and find his identity in this world.
Of course this story owes so much to the beautiful artwork of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. The series continues to be a visually striking and majestic spectacle. Reis seems to have an expertise for drawing detailed landscapes and seasons whether it be a breath taking sea cliff, a flush green jungle or a charging avalanche, the duo manage to bring these spectacles to life.
Aquaman has been one of the real success stories of DC’s relaunch and while the first few issues were a bit hit and miss I get the feeling Johns has been harvesting new readers up to this point. This is the story he has been waiting to tell to take Aquaman to the upper echelons of superhero folklore once again. It's only simmering at the moment but with a promising, iconic villain in the Black Manta, you won’t want to miss the explosion.
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