Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Review: Aquaman #6


Aquaman#6 is exactly the type of book as a young fan I desired Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner to do with Clea when they were setting my ”˜70s summers on fire with Dr. Strange. I even had a letter in the letter col (remember those?), but no soap.

Last ish, we saw Aquaman as a stranger in a strange land while both picking up clues from his shadowy past and also seeing him embarrassed (again?) on the WWW. So this “in-betweener” with an almost solo Mera tale really won my heart -- something this book manages to do every month since its relaunch among the New 52.

Just seeing Mera buying a can of dog food (“I didn’t know there would be so many varieties!”) or dealing with the everyday moves of a sleazebag store owner brings down the house. It reminds me of Steve Gerber’s great Howard the Duck stories where seeing everyday life through the eyes of an alien – especially an absurd alien, and Mera to humankind is a mermaid, an “Aquawoman” – can be unbelievably tragic or unbelievably funny.

In Mera’s case, along the way this issue, it was both!

Scribe Geoff Johns has been reinventing the wheel in DC series for years, and this rendition of Aquaman and Mera is no different. Even while the humans of the surface world keep the “talking to fish” jokes alive, the mer-man and –maid are represented as powerful take-no-prisoners characters to deal with, both here and (for his sake) in Justice League.

It was a pleasure to watch Mera go from just a curiosity in the store to her fiery (watery?) self as her water-manipulation power gave quite a wallop. Again, I am reminded of X-Men and Jean Grey’s first Phoenixouting against Firelord. Some of Claremontand Cockrum’s best, and that feel of power and glory reside in Arthur’s bride as well.

Johns steers the ship, but the rudder is artist Ivan Reis and his creative ink and color crew. Every panel leaps from the page and vividly to life, and certainly (with a guest artist on Green Lantern #6) Aquaman may just be the most beautiful book on the racks in February.

But beauty is not just skin deep here. There are hints at coming story, reflections of a past we really didn’t share and glory to be seen as the faraway oceans beckon perhaps again?

In short, this is one flarkin’ good book!