With the long-awaited Aquaman movie finally coming out this week and scoring rave reviews, doubtlessly many new Aqua-fans will come to the comic shops hoping to read more about this awesome hero who, it turns out, does a lot more than just talk to fish and breathe underwater. The good news is that a new creative team just took over the monthly Aquaman comic book and their first issue is a perfect place to dive in (see what we did there?) to the world of Aquaman. The bad news is those hoping to see more of Mera and Atlantis will be sorely disappointed.
Last month saw the end of The Drowned Earth – a crossover event between the Justice League and Aquaman titles. To make a long story short, three rival ocean gods once imprisoned by a jealous Poseidon flooded the Earth, transformed most of the world’s population into fish people and set about summoning an abyssal kraken that would eventually devour all life in the universe. Thankfully, Aquaman was able to stop them and restore everything to normal, though he seemingly sacrificed himself to do it. The final pages of the crossover revealed, however, that Aquaman had survived, though he was washed ashore on a strange beach in another dimension.
This is where Aquaman #43 picks up, with an amnesiac Arthur Curry having integrated himself into the hamlet known as The Village of Unspoken Water as an odd-job man. He’s taken the name Andy but has no memory of his past or the powers at his command. The woman who found him, a priestess of sorts named Caille, believes “Andy” to be a champion created by the ocean itself. It is a belief none of the other villagers share, though there is another secret to The Village of Unspoken Water that Andy has yet to learn.
While this is radically different from what regular readers of this book have experienced in past months and what movie-goers will expect, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s script is phenomenal and grips the reader immediately. Those who are familiar with DeConnick’s previous work on Captain Marvel (which, it might be noted, inspired much of the upcoming movie) will find themselves on familiar ground here. Despite knowing nothing of his own past, Arthur Curry’s personality as an agreeable man who wishes to help those around him still comes through in the narrative. Though the tone and nature of this story is different, it matches the previous quality of writing by Dan Abnett perfectly.
The artwork is similarly engaging. Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques most recently worked together on Green Lanterns and Supergirl and the symbiosis between inker and artist is apparent throughout the book. Rocha sports an intricate, heavily-lined style that Henriques outlines with a light touch. Teamed with the colors of Sunny Gho, the final effect only hints at the darkness of the ocean surrounding the town and the mysteries of The Village of Unspoken Water while offering a crystal clarity to everything else.
If you’re curious about Aquaman, this comic is a fine place to get your feet wet. Just bear in mind that you won’t get to see Arthur Curry fighting the likes of Ocean Master and Black Manta this month. Those seeking a more traditional Aquaman story would do well to check out the new Mera: Queen of Atlantis collection or the recent Aquaman: Rebirth volumes The Drowning and Underworld.
Aquaman #43 releases on December 19, 2018!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.