Aquaman: The Trench, vol. 1
By: Geoff Johns (writer), Ivan Reis (illustrator), Joe Prado (illustrator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my brother’s copy
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 re-teams 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.
Collecting AQUAMAN #1-6!
I was curious about this title because my brother (I’m a Marvel girl) told me that the story was interesting and Aquaman is awesome in this. You’re probably familiar with the Family Guy skit ridiculing Aquaman and his supposed inability to be an effective superhero outside of water so I was curious to read the comic and see for myself what sort of superhero Aquaman is. This is not my first foray into the New 52 series and while many people have been complaining about the retcon, for newbies like me who have no idea where to begin, it’s a useful jump point for me to start.
The New 52 re-introduction of Aquaman takes you into the action immediately: who Aquaman is, the preconceptions people have of him (often resulting in some really lame and sad jokes on his account), the situation he finds himself in. You don’t have to know his backstory from previous arcs and issues to enjoy this series since it’s sort of like a reset issue.
What really struck me about this issue was how fierce Aquaman is. People would say things like “What are you doing so far inland?” and “OMG, he wants fish and chips” and he’d stare them down and show that he’s not taking any of their crap. The only time we see his face crack into a smile is when a little boy appreciates him for what he did. It’s cute but it also off-sets the attitude of the law enforcement and everyone else towards him and what he’s capable of. I also love that while he’s good at what he does, he’s also not wholly invincible; he can get hurt, he can bleed and it will suck when it does but he keeps going. Like a boss.
Speaking of fierceness, Mera is awesome. Do not mess with her because she will mess you up. Her powers are very interesting and I like how they are manifested/represented through the artwork. But I do admit, I did find her chapter a little confusing at first; it took a while for me to realise that unlike Arthur, she has more difficulty understanding humans because she is readjusting with living above ground. It also touches on her backstory a bit, which was interesting and makes her a more rounded character in her own right as opposed to just being known as Arthur’s love interest (I couldn’t tell for sure, are they already married in this edition? Will need to re-read it a bit again).
Story-wise, I enjoyed the introduction of those creatures from the deep and the mystery surrounding Atlantis. The art was gorgeous; I enjoyed the full panels of Aquaman and Mera investigating the Trench. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and what Arthur and Mera will discover in the next volume.
I think this is the fifth New 52 title I’ve read so far and I would have to say that it is my favourite (or ties with Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads but that’s a standalone). I will definitely be on the lookout for the second volume when it hits paperback later this year.