Raj Koothrappali: “I don't want to be Aquaman. He sucks. He sucks underwater. He sucks fish pee.”
And that sums up my knowledge of Aquaman. I remember watching him on Super Friends years ago, riding across the waves while standing atop two small manta rays. It seemed cruel and pointless, like the Flash strapping toddlers to his feet and telling them to run really fast. Not to mention the very act rendered two of Aquaman’s three superpowers (the ability to super-swim, and the ability to breathe underwater) useless. And his third superpower…? Well, considering he was using his underwater friends as slave labour, he seemed to be on pretty thin ice…
I purchased Aquaman #1 as a joke more than anything else, and upon finishing the last page, three words came to mind: Oh. My. God.
This is a seriously good book, and probably one of the best comics I’ve read for a long while. Geoff Johns does everything right. He understands that Aquaman is the butt of everyone’s joke, and he channels this into the comic. We see robbers laugh when they realize Aquaman has come to ‘save the day’. We see a cop, after everything is said and done, ask Aquaman if he needs a glass of water. And we see people look at Aquaman like he’s a cannibal when he walks into a seafood restaurant. It’s humorous and painful and entertaining all at once.
Something else Geoff Johns does amazingly well is set a good pace. There’s action, but not so much that the reader can’t catch their breath. There’s character development, but it’s all done within the context of the story. And the ending just makes me want to keep reading. But perhaps the BEST thing about Geoff Johns writing is his ability to SHOW rather than TELL. He relies on his ability as a writer, and the intelligence of the reader, to pick up on the emotion and subtext within scenes, without employing internal monologues to explain everything that’s going on.
In short, I’m in awe at how good this comic is, and will be adding it to my pull list without hesitation.