Comics Anonymous

AQUAMAN #6 by Linsay @softlyspokenlas
March 6, 2012, 5:01 pm
Filed under: DC Comics | Tags: , , , , , , ,


On the subject of everyone’s favourite heir to Atlantis, I feel mightily conflicted. After enjoying the first two or three issues, mainly due to the excellently timed self deprecating humour, I found myself feeling frustrated at the pace the book was moving along at and therefore dropped the title. I’m crazy for Bendis’ Ultimate Spidey so I’m comfortable with heavily decompressed story telling and I have enjoyed books by Johns before. This leads me to wonder, is the problem with Aquaman or with me?

Issue number 6 doesn’t deviate much from what we’ve seen in previous issues in this volume, the major change being that Mera takes centre stage. This is sure to please a lot of people as she is a very popular character. Shifting the focus on to Mera also serves to give Johns a new punch line for his jokes. Since Arthur isn’t around to be maligned and ridiculed by the populace lets do it to Mera instead. Putting Mera under the spotlight leaves me feeling somewhat indifferent. I’m confident the dialogue would only need minor alterations regardless of whether it was her or Arthur getting laughed at.

Now, this comic book is not without it’s charm. The cover is completely aces and the art throughout is of that slick gorgeous high definition whuzzamacallit stuff that almost makes you forget about what you’ve just read. Almost. The consistent quality of the art is mostly down to the phenomenally rich colouring of Rod Reis. I like the way this books looks. Trouble is, Teen Titans looks like this, only better. It reads better too.

Mera does get to do a couple of cool things in this issue, including breaking the arm of a pervy dude and the most inventive use of dehydration as a form of torture. Despite these eyebrow raising interludes the simple fact is that this book is not good enough. The jokes that were endearing and original and earned such high praise initially have now become tired. We are six issues in, after all.

In summary, I think the problem lies with Johns who would do better to explore a little more of Aquaman. I’d also recommend he take a look at the Harry Hill joke book if he continues to struggle.


Linsay @softlyspokenlas

5 Comments so far
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Reblogged this on Pwyller's Non-Sports Trading Card Blogobonanza.

Comment by pwyller

Linsay makes some good points regarding the pacing of Johns’ Aquaman book so far, but a 4/10 is far too harsh. This was an excellent book. Linsay makes a point of saying how it seems like Johns is taking a slower route in storytelling…And for me, that’s the point. Aquaman has always been cool, pop culture is the one that had the problem. Aquaman (And Mera) are fighting to prove themselves against 4 years of unjust treatment by popular culture. I’m fine with the pacing of this book (but maybe not it’s placement, considering the relatively action-lite previous issue), and I loved Mera’s no-nonsense stance towards unwanted advances and sexual harassment (In a relaunch plagued by issues of Sexism and Misogyny allegations… and truths). That alone should get this book an 8/10.

Comment by Andy Kapellusch (@Kapellusch)

‘Mera does get to do a couple of cool things in this issue, including breaking the arm of a pervy dude and the most inventive use of dehydration as a form of torture.’ Not only are these cool things for Mera to do, and you are correct, they do stand out amongst other more negative female portrayals in the relaunch but however cool they are, it is just not enough to save the issue. It feels like lazy characterisation and story telling on behalf of Johns. There was nothing distinct about her, or this issue. The series started out well but we’re on issue 6 now and still reading the same jokes.

Comment by Linsay @softlyspokenlas

hmm 8 seems a bit high for this one. I’m afraid I agree with Linsay more than I do Andy. In the grand scheme, this particular issue wasn’t the worst of the 5 other issues so far, but it wasn’t great. For me, issue #1 hit me with an unexpected wave of hope for this book – I’d never bothered with Aquaman before, but this one seemed to have a lot going for it – especially the humour (I think out of all 52, it was the only one I actually lol’d at!) but it was sadly followed up 4 utter stinkers – one of them had the least amount of dialogue I’d ever seen in a non-silent comic, just pages and pages of fish people getting stabbed with Tridents. This current issue felt like a bit of a filler – Johns obviously has a big story to tell about how Atlantis fell, but he’s taking an awful long time to get to it. I’d agree with Linsay that the high point was Mera’s Dehydration attack. I’m also not keen on how the pair of them want to try and blend in and not be mocked by society, but yet go to the shop for dog food in their royal underwater clothes!

Comment by Craig

I didn’t really enjoy the ’empowering’ scenes for Mera. It seemed like such a strange way to focus on her, especially with the creepy guy being called ‘Randy’. It seemed like a big joke from the moment it started, and was really off-putting to read.

Comment by Steve

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