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Aquaman #1 - The Trench, Part One Review

5

The King of Atlantis must choose between his life in the ocean and his life on land. Can this book make Aquaman cool again?

It's no secret I'm a huge Aquaman fan. And to me nothing sounds better than an Aquaman book with Geoff Johns writing, Ivan Reis penciling, Joe Prado inking, and Rod Reis coloring.

The Good

Aquaman isn't just battling evil in the ocean. You quickly find out he has no problem taking the battle to the surface in order to save people. Anyone who thought this may have been a book featuring a guy swimming in the ocean with a school of fish following him is incredibly wrong. For years, I, and many other Aquaman fans, have been trying to explain what Aquaman's powers are, aside from "talking to fish." This issue does a great job not only explaining but showing readers what this amazing character is capable of. Let it be known, don't mess with Aquaman.

Aquaman has a bit of a chip off of his shoulder, and rightfully so. The character, personality-wise, had a redesign, and it's 100% for the better. He still cares for his people and his wife, but don't bring up the wrong topic around him because he gets pretty pissed off. He's nothing like the lame version of him on Super-Friends.

What got me most excited about this book was the new villains: They're creepy, malicious, and not a typical villain trying to take over the world. It's also nice to see a collective of villains, and in this case a race of beings, than a singular villain. "The more, the merrier."

Ivan Reis' art is phenomenal. He was one of my favorite artists when he popped in and out of Green Lantern, and I love seeing him work with Geoff Johns again. He's a solid, contemporary, talented guy, and the addition of Joe Prado's inking and Rod Reis' colors really make this book pop.

The Bad

While I loved every moment of this book, there is one element of this book I can see people not liking. This issue spends a lot of time telling the reader that people hate Aquaman. It gets to a point where you become just as aggravated as Aquaman looks. The whole issue really just tries to disprove the statement "Aquaman sucks." At the same time, this needs to be done, since this character has been crapped on for years, even though he's had some outstanding runs.

No water hand. I loved the water hand. Maybe it's under his glove?

The Verdict

I've read all 52 of the "New 52" and Aquaman is my favorite. Is it because I've always been an Aquaman fan and I've been waiting for a series to do the character justice? Yes. Aside from my incredibly biased opinion of the character, is this a good book? Hell yes. It's about time someone revamped this character, and there's no one else better at DC than Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. The character's personality has been redesigned, and his powers explained, so this is a great jumping on point. I love the new villains and the art, but the whole Aquaman disproving why he sucks bit got a tad redundant. I highly recommend this book. I <3 Aquaman.

57 Comments
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Posted by msavo

I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO BE GOOD!!! So glad I decided to purchase this and Flash today.

Posted by Jordanstine

Lemme guess he's now "darker, edgier, and a badass" just like half of all the new DCnU retconned characters who are darker, edgier, and all badasses.

He's still the guy in the orange suit and green tights that talks to fish during my childhood.

But eh, I'll still pick this book up.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

Why does everyone want Aquaman to be disfigured? Can't the guy have 2 hands (at least for a few years) before one gets chopped off?

Posted by inferiorego

@Jordanstine said:

Lemme guess he's now "darker, edgier, and a badass" just like half of all the new DCnU retconned characters who are darker, edgier, and all badasses.

He's still the guy in the orange suit and green tights that talks to fish during my childhood.

Yes, he's darke, edgier, and a bad ass (he's always been bad ass)

He doesn't "talk to fish." It's explained on pages 12 and 13

Staff
Posted by Loki9876

I'm gonna buy this but like everything in tpb i still have to wait so long :(

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I am so glad this is good

Posted by inferiorego

@Fantasgasmic said:

Why does everyone want Aquaman to be disfigured? Can't the guy have 2 hands (at least for a few years) before one gets chopped off?

The water hand, during Veitch's run, along with the Lady of the Lake story, was really cool. I just like the water hand power a lot

Staff
Posted by longbowhunter

I've never understood why people bash Aquaman. If I could pick one power set to have it would be his. Over the years I've read some of Peter David's run and Keith Giffen's awesome mini from the 80's. Trust me, good Aquaman stories are not that hard to come by.
Posted by gothicshieldagent

He's back and he's MAD!

Posted by ComicMan24

I always liked him but I admit I hadn't read much with him. I liked him in Brightest Day and it is good to see that the new book is good. I will definitely pick this one.

Posted by ImperiousRix

Five stars out of five?!

But in all seriousness, the response Aquaman is getting might just sway me away from Justice League Dark at this point. I've always loved the character and would like an opportunity to read an actual on-going of him. FOR ATLANTIS!

Edited by CBattles6

JL Dark is supposed to be ballin', too. Plus, it'll need more support than anything Johns writes. Get both. It's 3 bucks.

Posted by KainScion

thank god no water hand. THAT WAS DUMB!!

Posted by fodigg

So Aquaman is darker and edgier. Well, hmm. That's all well and good, but is that really different? He was like that for a long time with the hook hand. He was like that in the JL cartoon. He was like that to the MAX in Flashpoint. I kind of wish they'd have gone ahead and made him boisterously happy go lucky like the Batman: The Brave and the Bold version. He'd have been far more unique compared to the other League members and when he does get dark, it would be that much more of a contrast. And you don't have to draw him all goofy, you could make him look like the Aquaman from DC: The New Frontier. Anyway, he should be a combination of King Arthur-style sword and sorcery and James Bond-style secret agent. The sun never sets on the Atlantean Empire.

Edited by Iron_Turtle

Sounds like they're trying to turn him into Namor...

Disclaimer: This is just a superficial first impression. I know next to nothing about either character and am happy to be educated.

Posted by ImperiousRix

@fodigg:

I completely agree, actually. I'll probably end up picking this up this week and will (more than likely) enjoy it, but I think the new DC is missing that mix of light-hearted characters. Now, I don't know if you could write an entire series with Aquaman acting the way he does in Brave and the Bold, but it would really help the team dynamic of the Justice League (once he joins) if you had one guy who was yucking it up in the background.

Then again, it's only the first month of all these books, so there's time to flesh these things out.

Posted by inferiorego

@Iron_Turtle said:

Sounds like they're trying to turn him into Namor...

Disclaimer: This is just a superficial first impression. I know next to nothing about either character and am happy to be educated.

Staff
Posted by batman_begins

next to Batman #1 and Nightwing #1, this was my most anticipated title among all the 52. Establishing his power set is important, as well as his dilemma. Looking to be a great series. Ivan Reis' art is truly outstanding.

Posted by darknight150

I was originally on the fence about picking this up. Just finished reading it and I'm 100% sure I made the right choice. Definitely one of my favorite #1's from the New 52.

Posted by The Stegman

for some reason, i've been excited for this every since i heard about it..now i know why, without a doubt on my pull list

Posted by MetropolisKid41
@darknight150 said:

I was originally on the fence about picking this up. Just finished reading it and I'm 100% sure I made the right choice. Definitely one of my favorite #1's from the New 52.


I agree, I picked it up and loved it. Definitely right up there this week with All-Star Western & Flash for the best of the week. I can't wait to read JL Dark as well.
Posted by artymcdougal

agree agree agree. beautiful issue.

Posted by kennybaese

It's Johns and Reis, so I was interested from the get go. They're the ones that did all of the Aquaman pages in Brightest Day and those and the Tomasi / Gleason Martian Manhunter stuff was easily the best of that series. Excited to read this. I think I'm going to read it in trade, but I'm still super excited.

Posted by Abriel

Actually I found the Aquaman-bashing touched on in this issue to be refreshing. So many times the comics tend to avoid the fact that people in pop-culture tend to poke fun at him because they remember the Super Friends cartoon where he was the lame guy in the orange shirt who rode seahorses. So this issue just kind of acknowledged it...a "look, we get that everyone makes fun of him and ha ha, the jokes have never gotten old or anything (yawn) but look...the guy is really a badass. He's not SuperFriends orange shirt guy." A way to rub it in the faces of all the doubters. I actually found the issue to be hilarious and good. And poor Arthur...can't a guy enjoy his fish & chips in peace?

Posted by spiderman20991992

Out of all the new 52, this one was my favorite, it was fantastic beginning to end. if you are an Aquaman doubter, read this issue. 5 stars!!

Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@inferiorego: Only you could write a review that would make me want to read freaking Aquaman ;)

Posted by inferiorego

@.Mistress Redhead. said:

@inferiorego: Only you could write a review that would make me want to read freaking Aquaman ;)

::bows::

Staff
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@inferiorego said:

@.Mistress Redhead. said:

@inferiorego: Only you could write a review that would make me want to read freaking Aquaman ;)

::bows::

Posted by Or35ti

Sweet! If I magically find myself with some extra money this weekend i'll definitely be buying this along with Wonder Woman

Posted by Bestostero

Great issue, and as much as I hate to say this...I kinda wished they broke up Aquaman and Mera too...

Posted by KainScion

THIS HAS BE BETTER THAN AWESOME!!!! there have been many aquaman jokes BUT NO MORE WITH ONE ISSUE HE HAS BEEN MADE WHAT HE TRULY IS A GREAT HERO!! cant WAIT for #2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Booster_Bronze

I think that Johns approached Aquaman the right way in this one. I didn't see him so much as a brooding badass at all. In fact, he seemed to me like he was tired of being treated like the dark horse on the team that no one expects will do anything great and wanted to prove he was capable. No, he's not invincible as the opening action sequence demonstrates, but that's fine. He's got powers in his own right. Plus, I didn't find the "Aquaman is a stupid hero" thing to be tiring at all. I found it to be not only funny, but necessary, as if Johns is telling us "Look, I know you're doubtful that I can make Aquaman cool again, but just trust me. I know what I'm doing." And boy does he ever! I knew just from the cover when I first saw it that I'd like it, and I really did.

Posted by JonesDeini

@inferiorego said:

@Jordanstine said:

Lemme guess he's now "darker, edgier, and a badass" just like half of all the new DCnU retconned characters who are darker, edgier, and all badasses.

He's still the guy in the orange suit and green tights that talks to fish during my childhood.

Yes, he's darke, edgier, and a bad ass (he's always been bad ass)

He doesn't "talk to fish." It's explained on pages 12 and 13

Dude get's a bad rap, but honestly, I think it's a big stretch to say "always" :P

Posted by Roldan

@xhavoc86 said:

Great issue, and as much as I hate to say this...I kinda wished they broke up Aquaman and Mera too...

Well i don't know. I mean the real reason why Johns wanted to write about Aquaman was so he could write Mera again (same reason why she's in JL) and she is a great character as well.

Great first issue btw, first time buying a comic book that starred Aquaman (if you don't count Brightest Day).

Posted by SlightConfuse

im glad aquaman is good can't wait to read it

Posted by Greenlantern206

aquaman was great man cant wait for the next issue

Posted by RiddlingGambit

This issue was OUTRAGEOUS! lol. I really enjoyed this #1, probably one of the best of the new 52. Aquaman is awesome, and the way this issue addresses Aquaman-bashing is brilliant, and those hungry sea monsters look pretty scary, I'm digging the horror element.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

@inferiorego said:

@Fantasgasmic said:

Why does everyone want Aquaman to be disfigured? Can't the guy have 2 hands (at least for a few years) before one gets chopped off?

The water hand, during Veitch's run, along with the Lady of the Lake story, was really cool. I just like the water hand power a lot

Can't he have the power and keep his hand? I feel so bad for the guy. Losing a hand is practically a trope for him at this point.

Posted by longbowhunter

This was everything a superhero book should be. Fun story, great art, scarey threat. I hope the Aquaman bashing ceases next issue. It was kinda fun at first but really became a bore by the end. If this becomes the title's M.O. it could keep me away. 
Posted by slick23

This was too beast! time to get into Aquaman!

Posted by hitechlolife

Loved it. Always wanted to get into Aquaman and this is a great start. I think Johnns oversold the underwater art though, didn't quite match what I had in my head when he lavished praise on it. That said, it wouldn't have been a problem had I not read interviews prior to the book. 5/5

How does Aquaman get around on land though? His entrance/exit confused me. He can leap?

Posted by blackkitty

My main problem with Aquaman has always been that I hate Mera and somehow he always ends up with her.

Posted by _OMEGA_

OMEGA LIKE FISHY-MAN.

Posted by buzz86us

loved this Aquaman actually seems to have a personality in this book and he seems less like a freakin blowhard. I am not sure about where this is going though it almost looks like Aquaman is going to live on land and have a "normal life". This reminds me of that old Mr. Miracle series where him and Barda move to the burbs.

Posted by Aiden Cross

@hitechlolife said:

How does Aquaman get around on land though? His entrance/exit confused me. He can leap?

Yup, he leaps. Think Hulk like jumps ;)

I loved this issue though!

Posted by ravisher

was great

can he have his beard back?

Posted by Knight Train

Never read Aquaman but this was way better than i thought it was gonna be, Aquaman definitely has alot more depth to his character than i expected. Great review, Great book

Posted by WobblySnake

In all honesty I had no idea what to expect when I got this book, seeing as I have basically no experience other than the Aquaman from the Brave and the Bold show. But I was pleasantly surprised with how Geoff Johns handled this book. I thought that the way he emphasizes how Aquaman was a bit of a joke was good, it was interesting to see a superhero that not everyone seems to respect. The scene when the guy tells him hes no ones favourite hero was quite good.

I also liked how hes not invulnerable and a super tough guy. He just seems to be a normal guy who just happens to be superpowered.

Overall I agree with the 5 star rating, and reccommend that everyone give this a try.

Posted by KainScion

@ravisher: GOD NO!! he looks like a dirty hippie!!

Posted by Daveyo520

I guess Geoff Johns will make me like another hero I didn't care for before.He is the reason I like the Green Lantern.

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