Sunday, March 22, 2009


Aquaman: The Waterbearer

So a little while ago I said I didn't know much about Aquaman, seeing this on the shelf of my library I decided to expand upon my lack of knowledge. I wish I hadn't.

I mean, I like Rick Veitch, he's done some good comics, but this isn't one of them. This book collects the first arc of the Aquaman relaunch from a few years ago, so, of course, it's a bold new direction. And part of it is a little interesting, though the fact that a hand made out of magic water seems more sensible than a harpoon might indicate that Aquaman comics have no idea what they're doing.

But yes, the bold new direction, after something that happened in some JLA comics Atlantis is on the bottom of the sea (what ever happened to Sub Diego?) and Aquaman isn't king anymore. So he is banished from the sea, and goes and lives in a lighthouse off the coast of Ireland with an oddly multicultural cast. And seriously, that's the plot of your Aquaman comic?

I can understand why they went that way, as the king of Atlantis idea seemed to be incredibly broken after a JLA arc where Atlantis was sent back in time and enslaved for years by magic stuff before coming back to the present. Because of Aquaman. So yeah, it's understandable the Atlanteans don't want to be ruled by him anymore, I certainly wouldn't (but of course, I'm against monarchies in general) , but replacing him with sociopathic magicians doesn't seem like much of an improvement.

Oh, one thing I am curious about, what is (are) the religion(s) of Atlantis? I presume at some point they worshiped Greek gods or something, though to be honest, I'm not super hot on my DC universe Atlantean history, but I guess a couple thousand years of isolation must of put a stop to that right? Otherwise the gods over in Wonder Woman might actually care about what was going on there. I mean, it'd probably be the largest group of worshipers they still had left.

But that's not dealt with here, instead we have vague magic magic stuff. And killer barnacles. Yes, the first conflict Aquaman deals with in this collection is when he's somehow restrained to some rocks by a breed of barnacles that is never supposed to let go. So, uhm, how did you attach him there guard guys? Later Aquaman spends most of an issue telepathically inhabiting a fish. Also, barnacles! This is stupid! Why am I reading this comic?

Okay, it's not all bad. The art is pretty good. I like the way Yvel Guichet draws the armour of the Atlantean soldiers (though not as much as the armour in another comic I read recently). I like the colouring on the Secret Files story at the end. I like Aquaman's new pants.

But mostly, I wonder why I read this instead of one of that book by Jason I haven't read yet, or basically anything else.

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