We really need to stop the Aquaman jokes guys. The internet has basically labeled a prominent member of the Justice League as a useless idiot. The guy is the King of Atlantis with super strength, sonar, a decent level of invulnerability, enhanced senses, and the ability to command sea creatures. I guess I left out the part about being able to breathe underwater and swim at great speeds, but that is kind of self-explanatory. The thing is, if Batman respects a hero, then so should we. I honestly don’t know where all of the jokes started, but it is kind of sad to see that happen to a hero like Aquaman. It’s not like he is Booster Gold. Well, when I was deciding on a new series to pick up in the New 52, I had to pick up Aquaman. Probably the biggest reason for that decision is the fact that Aquaman is my mom’s favorite DC hero. She grew up in a time when the guy actually got some respect, but I never really expected the comic itself to address the criticism of King Arthur.
You are a man who has been born from two different worlds. One that you have known all of your life. This world is something that you hold dear, but as you grew up, you noticed that there was something different about you. It is around this time that you realize your connection to another world. However, this other side is not very accepting of you. Why wouldn’t they be? You have origins that link you to them as well, but it is the fact that you are also different from the people of this other world. So you try your hardest to gain the acceptance of this second world. It is a tough road, but you finally succeed in becoming a part of this world that you never knew you could be a part of. The only problem is the fact that you have lost touch with your first world. Even worse, those differences that arose before have become more prominent due to your time spent in your second world. You will always be different. No matter how hard you try, it seems that being a part of two worlds means that you will never truly belong in either one. That story either refers to Aquaman or a mixed race youth that is trying to find their place in our world. In the New 52 Aquaman, this is the foundation of our story. Even though Arthur grew up on land, his father would look out at the during every sunrise. This was his father fulfilling a promise to Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis. When Arthur grew up, Atlanteans came to kill him. Classic Royalty thing, but this did not stop Arthur from saving Atlantis in its time of need. Thus, the rightful her to the throne had come to Atlantis. Things went well enough. The guy found a wife and his questions regarding his origins have been answered. The thing is, this is the DC Universe and a hero was needed on the surface as well. Unfortunately, people can believe that Superman is an alien, but Atlantis is a myth.
The first volume of Aquaman spent a lot of time focusing on two characters, but we did meet a few other than I think we will be seeing again. Arthur is Aquaman. It appears that he has super strength, sonar, enchanted senses, a decent level of invulnerability, the ability to command sea creatures, and move freely about the water. Aquaman uses scale armor that can deflect bullets and a powerful trident with unknown strength to supplement his abilities, but he is weak to dehydration. Even though he has been stuck between two different worlds, Aquaman continues to protect both and his serious demeanor hides the obvious pain that he feels. Queen Mera is Arthur’s wife. She has the ability to control water through Atlantean sorcery that is powerful enough to pull the water out of organisms. Although she shares Aquaman’s ability to move freely about the water, Mera has not shown off all of her abilities yet. Although I doubt that she can do everything that Aquaman does, Mera is pretty damn strong. Mera is a very strong woman who finds it very difficult to watch her husband being looked down upon by commoners. This super serious attitude doesn’t always show. Both Arthur and Mera are very loving towards one another and are definitely kind individuals. We also meet Dr. Stephen Shin. Stephen is a shamed biologist that has spent a good portion of his career working on what is basically cryptozoology. His obsession with Atlantis lead him to a falling out with Arthur and the scientific community. However, this deranged man has knowledge that Arthur needs to help solve the crisis at hand. We have also seen a few other people like Mera’s father who is against Aquaman and a squad of Atlantans that seem to share those sentiments, but they need more exposure before I can properly assess them.
I have some mixed feelings regarding the story that we have been given in the first volume. Once again we see the internet having too much influence on the world because Aquaman is made out to be a joke for most of this first volume.I have never seen this before and I doubt that it was simply implemented in order to show just how much adversity Aquaman faces. Aside from the jokes, I did like the story. I am happy to see Mera getting as much expose as she is because it is nice seeing more than just the main hero being featured. Showing a superhero’s interaction with their loved ones is a big part of their struggle in a crazy world. The art is fantastic. Honestly, I think this may be some of the best art that I have seen in the New 52. Ivan Reis really shows of his abilities with a great distinction between people and monsters that hasn’t always been shown in recent comics. I am especially fond of the sea creature designs that we have already seen. Though I think that Geoff Johns could have avoided the whole Aquaman is a joke and Atlantis is fake thing, the overall story does work well with everything that we have been given. I am really excited to see who the real enemy is and the fact that we are diving into the story of how Atlantis sank is fascinating. I have always wanted to hear how the DC Atlantis fell. Basically, I can’t wait to continue this series.
I think that this a pretty good introduction to the series. Am I completely happy with what I saw? Not really. Like I said, the jokes do fit the story, but I am just not a fan of doing this to Aquaman. I really think that it is all a result of the internet. Given, this series seems to be trying to prove the nay sayers wrong which is a good thing. Aquaman is pretty solid as far as the New 52 pool is considered and I would definitely reccomend that you pick it up. The story has history, love, and the overthrowing of a king which are all nice pieces. You can pick up the single issues and the first volume at your local comic book store for pretty cheap. One of the nice things about the first volume of Aquaman is the fact that it comes in hardcover. I am a big fan of hardcover volumes and I hope that the Aquaman story continues to evolve into what I think it can become which is something great. Just don’t tell Aquaman that he can’t eat fish.