Aquaman: Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Rod Reis, Nick J. Napolitano
This cover is awesome for many different reasons — a lot of them related to character design — but at the same time it’s completely misleading. Only after reading this issue can you possibly see a symbolism in it of Arthur trying to break away from his past with The Others…but even that’s a stretch, because he doesn’t seem too anxious to get away from Ya’Wara and helping the remaining Others from Black Manta. He doesn’t argue or anything. The Others were “never formally” a team that Arthur led six years prior to the events of this book. Each of the team members held a relic of Atlantis to keep them from enemy hands. So far, I can gather that, all together, the relics become something super-powerful, or imbue some kind of mystic power on a user. In fact, if you look closely at the first panel on page 7, you can see post-its of all the relics, and who within The Others holds them, clear as day. So if Johns plans on keeping this info a secret from us and hope we don’t look closely at the art, I feel kind of cheated. But we’ll see what he does. On this same page, I have to point out, is a hilarious moment between Arthur and Mera. Definitely worth everything right there. Ya’Wara thinks Shin is helping Manta hunt The Others, and takes Arthur to see where the Seer died. We’re then treated to a flashback of The Others in action…doing nothing really, other than saving a village from an avalanche. Perhaps this moment could’ve been better spent showing us what The Others did…why they were together…or why they sought Black Manta fiercely enough for a younger Arthur to condemn a village to death just to catch him. Instead, we’re shown the POW’s relic ability, the Seer’s ability — which we already know — and how Arthur actually has a heart and saves a small child from death, giving up his chase. Again…this we already know. I would’ve rather seen Arthur more ruthless, instead of seeing that he’s the same as he is now. C’mon! These were his wilder, shirtless days! Let’s see some unhinged Aquaman!
Aquaman #8, the verdict: I’m excited to see the showdown against Black Manta. These guys are arch-rivals…and I’m curious as to what Manta did to warrant Arthur’s scorn. Did he kill his child? This was actually one of the things I didn’t like about the relaunch, how it took away all this history between Aquaman and Manta. Perhaps some of it’s still there, but we’ll have to wait and see. With the art, I’m curious as to why Reis didn’t make Arthur look younger in that flashback…he looks exactly the same for a five years difference. Also…does Vostok resemble Ocean Master to anyone else?
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)