I wouldn’t deny that I was initially reluctant to pick up the Aquaman series. Given the jokes and hysterics that surrounds this significant member of the Justice League, my hesitance was clearly not unfounded. However, as I was browsing through the books in the Comic Book Store, I decided to hell with the ridicule and to give this a shot. To my surprise, Aquaman delivers his story in a way that is undoubtedly unique to him with one of the best artwork among the New 52 series.
The story taps on the Atlantean origins of Aquaman to reintroduce this new version of Aquaman. Within the first few scenes, Arthur’s active powers were clearly showcased to allow readers who do not know much him to catch up and subsequently, the arc focuses on laying out the backstory of the titular character.
It is particularly impressive that the arc explicitly states that Aquaman is “nobody’s” favorite hero and admits that he is the butt of most hero jokes. Most of us have heard of it and seen it (specifically in the popular comedy sitcom: The Big Bang Theory) but for it to explicitly translate into the DCU brings an unprecedented level of humanity and realism to the character. Furthermore, it shows readers, in its own way, how public perception can affect the comic world and that the DCU is indeed progressive.
The main story centers around creatures that reside deep in the ocean, the Trench. Much like the other series, the villain manages to be compelling but not distract from the focus of the story which is to introduce Arthur and Mera. In addition, their involvement was merely a glimpse of their potential for future arcs. With the introduction of Stephan Shin, the series introduces a unique character that I believe could be involved in many arcs that follows due to the history and knowledge that this character brings, thereby adding yet another branch to the Aquaman series.
If all this was insufficient to convince you that the New 52 Aquaman series is one to look out for, the final scene’s hint at the history of Atlantis and the reason it sunk should definitely spark your interest.