The GeeksverseAquaman #1

Aquaman #1
Published on Monday, October 3, 2011 by

Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Ivan Reis
Inked by: Joe Prado
Colored by: Rod Reis
Lettered by: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover Art: Ivan Reis w/ Joe Prado & Rod Reis
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Editor: Patrick McCallum

I’m not quite sure what Johns hoped to accomplish with this issue. Most of it he spends having various people Aquaman comes across pull out the old Aquaman jokes. People in a seafood restaurant find it hard to believe that he’d order fish and chips because he “talks to fish”. Bank robbers in a getaway van see Aquaman and laugh. The police in pursuit are upset that Aquaman showed up as there are no fish nearby or water. And the police know they’re going to get made fun of at the station because they got upstaged by Aquaman.

If Johns wanted to show how Aquaman gets no respect, then he accomplishs that. Beyond that we don’t get much. This issue really doesn’t amount to much. The new threat, The Trench, have 2 pages at the beginning and 1 at the end and we don’t get to see why they will be such a threat. It’s an underwhelming introduction to this new threat.

With so much of the issue spent with Johns acknowledging the many Aquaman jokes and why the character gets no respect, there isn’t much room left for anything else. Aquaman is a character that only works in an ongoing series if there is a hook or the writer is doing something with the character that hasn’t been done before. In recent years only Peter David was able to pull it off for an extended period of time. Johns should have used the first issue to establish that hook, establish why Aquaman deserves to have his own book and be considered a “cool” character.

But instead we get a book filled with reasons why Aquaman has never been able to sustain a series and considered a laughingstock of a character. There isn’t anything in this issue that would make a non-Aquaman fan change their minds. There isn’t even anything concerning the Trench or Atlantis that might make a non-fan want to pick up the book to see what happens. Basically unless you already were a fan of Aquaman, there isn’t any reason given in this issue to pick up the next.

Unless you’re a fan of great art, then you’ll be all over the series because Reis does some great art in this issue.

If Jim Lee hadn’t decided to do Justice League, then the book should have gone to Reis.

I have to acknowledge the work the colorist does in the flashback panels. Giving it a lighter tone makes them look like pages from a book. It’s a nice job and very well done.

Aquaman #1 receives
3.5 out of 5

Aside from the Reis art, there isn’t a reason to buy the next issue. For a book that was supposed to make non-fans realize that Aquaman really is a cool character, all it does is reinforce why he’s not.

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