As I look at one of the few true successes of DC’s New 52, it makes me ill that the art team of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado will soon be departing Aquaman. And rumors are that, with the dawning of a new Justice League of America, writer Geoff Jones will be following after them.
This team has done so much to build up this one-joke character since last September, I really have a feeling this will go down as one of THE classic runs alongside Roy Thomas on Avengers, Morrison on JLA and X-Men, and Adams/O’Neil on Batman. To have such build-up with this intriguing past and strong female companion and then to pass the character on – yes, I know it is a comic book, it is a business – but it just does not seem fair. And it is not.
Down from the stump speech, this issue of Aquaman delves into some of the seeds already planted by Johns and gives us – and Arthur – the first glimpse of Atlantis in the New 52 -- and worth the wait it was!
Each and every panel of this issue should be savored, so great has this team of Reis and Prado become. And while I will welcome them to Justice League as a regular follower of that mag, it is a true sin to break this streak of issues they have managed to put out along with Johns. Truly superb.
Ah, the review:
Arthur finds out about his history as ruler of Atlantis, and you will feel every moment in this issue that is full of great storytelling, verbally and visually. Some might say it is a cinematic approach taken by writer and artist, but I will not demean the visual medium of comics that much – although the usage is clever and creative. You really feel what Arthur feels as Vulko, the advisor of the Atlantean throne, brings the info dump in true Watcher fashion.
But there is no boredom, even if there isn’t much action. This is discovery and wonder in the true early Marvel/Sunday night World of Disney sense, if those refs are not too dated for ya. (Ask your dad.)
Here is one Zero Issue that did exactly what it promised: filled us in on the pre-New 52 life of the character (and his people and history) while setting up future adventures utilizing the information.
Again: truly superb!