This series spotlights the future member of Batman’s Outsiders in duos. In this issue, Batman has sent experienced Metamorpho with rookie Aquaman to stop a war over a water source hidden under the Sahara desert. Once there, the heroes find that the desert has already a champion protecting the scarce water and that in order to stop the war, the heroes will have to go through her.
This is the type of story that is inconsequential. In two years, everyone will have forgotten about this comic book. I don’t understand why publishers such as Marvel and DC Comics always feel so compelled to create such filler material when they are introducing a new series, they consider important. Just starting the comic book series, instead of going through all those vignettes would have been better investment.
Take the story’s villain for example. As usual it’s Simon Stagg, Metamorpho’s father-in-law. How about reviving an old villain or creating a new one, instead, of using the same old guy, who has been a thorn in Metamorpho’s side for decades? At the end of the story, hardly any changes were brought to their old relationship. Will future writers even remember this brief encounter?
As for Aquaman, I was under the impression that this new Aquaman, unlike the other one, could not breathe above water at all, let alone have a one hour limit. Why then was he sent to the most inhospitable place on Earth for a guy like him?
The story tries to establish a father-son relationship with Metamorpho and Aquaman, but the link is weak. If Wilson had gone further in that direction, it would have proven interesting. There’s also some dogy continuity handling here. Metamorpho says that real son is about Aquaman’s age. The last time I believe I saw him, would be in the Birds of Prey run by Gilbert Hernandez. That child was still a baby. I guess some of that soap opera magic is at work in this plot. Too bad there’s no magic to this comic book despite this.
I will admit that the real reason I picked up this comic book was because of the artwork. At first sight, Middleton’s work is splendid. However there are a few things I don’t like about his colouring. The contour lines of all shapes and characters are blurred by the heavy soft edge he uses in his colouring. It makes the characters appear ephemeral. There’s nothing wrong about using soft edges to round out the transition between a base colour and a shadow, but blurring the contour line makes the whole effort worthless.