Review: Aquaman #1

Aquman #1Black Manta returns, and as Aquaman attempts to broker lasting peace between Atlantis and the surface world, his greatest foe engineers a plan to destroy everything and everyone the undersea hero loves.

I really liked the direction writer Dan Abnett set forth in Aquaman: Rebirth emphasizing that Atlantis is a nation just like any other and Aquaman was a sovereign ruler. Aquaman #1 dives right into that as the new Atlantis embassy is opened welcoming individuals from across the world and beginning to do its outreach. The story introduces us to two characters, a reporter covering the event, and a British officer sent as a liaison.

Of course things go wrong when a terrorist attack shakes things up, but that focus and twist emphasizes this is a nation under attack and also bring the comic into the current political debate where terrorism attacks are something being discussed for good and bad.

Abnett does a solid job of setting up the calm before the storm and the twist is something I didn’t see coming. I don’t want to spoil things beyond saying there’s an attack, but it sets up the action in both dealing with the attacker and also dealing with protecting civilians. The comic does a solid job of laying out the ground work of what’s to come in Abnett’s run.

The art by Andrew Henessy and Bradley Walker was very mixed for me and what knocks the comic down to just a read. I’m not a fan of the look of Arthur and Mera and generally feel like there’s an inconsistency in the characters, especially when angles are presented. Front on the character may look fine, but slightly turned, there’s an odd depth issue that seems to not recognize the depth of a head and stretch it out at the same time. The art literally reminded me of an image where the height was increased and width was not, slightly stretched out. Here’s hoping this isn’t an issue going forward, but the art is a weak spot, which is a shame because I liked the art on Rebirth, though it wasn’t as solid as some of the art of the previous volume run.

Art issues aside, the first issue is a solid read that sets the ground for what looks like not just an interesting take on Aquaman, but one that really considers all of the facets to the character. I’m looking forward to seeing what Abnett does, I’m just hoping I won’t have to overlook the art to do so.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Andrew Henessy and Bradley Walker
Story: 8.2 Art: 6.4 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review