Don Newton's career was tragically cut short, and his run on Aquaman was similarly too brief. But he did tremendous work and, outside the comics, I haven't seen much Aquaman by him. So you can imagine my delight when I saw this sketch posted the Shrine's FB page by newest F.O.A.M. member Scott Rowland, from a Don Newton fan page also on FB. Such beautiful work.
"Scavenger Hunt" by Dan Abnett, Vicente Cifuentes, Juan Castro, and more. Aquaman has brought the man inside Dead Water back to Spindrift Station for examination. He's been kept inside a containment tube, with just enough water to keep him alive but unable to transform into the rampaging monster:
This borders on torture, but there's not much anyone can do under a way is found to keep Dead Water from resurfacing. The two members of the FBI working the case arrive, with info about the man--his life to this point, and the news is troubling:
The man, John Payne, has killed twelve people so far, but he has no memory of any of it. It seems as Dead Water he has been exacting revenge on all those people in his life who have crossed his path in a negative way, including ex-wife. The last thing he dos remember is working salvage for a man named Peter Mortimer. Aquaman knows that name, for it is the alter ego of the arch criminal named...The Scavenger! Aquaman swims to a spot that the Scavenger might be using as an HQ, and after an attack by some henchmen, the Sea King's target arrives, bigger and badder than ever:
Back at Spindrift, Payne is so distraught of not being able to see his son that he begins to cry, despite being severely dehydrated. Unfortunately for everyone, that is enough for the transformation to occur, and Dead Water resurfaces, smashing out of the containment tube. Mera tries to stop it but is slapped down. Many miles away, Aquaman isn't having an easy time of it either:
...to be continued!
I thought this issue was a slight step back from the last two, mostly because it didn't feel like a story, just a series of random scenes. There's some good stuff in those scenes, the book just didn't hold together for me as much. Also, I know this is a superhero comic and all, but I wish the artists would tone it down a bit when it comes to Mera's anatomy, it feels like every month her waist gets smaller and her chest gets larger. I hope when regular artist Brad Walker takes over we can get away from the "lad mag" look into something a little less cartoony.
Spindrift Station, after just one issue, has turned into Aquaman's base of operations, akin to the Daily Planet or the roof of the GCPD, and that's a good thing. I have always thought to make Aquaman work as an ongoing headliner, he needed some of the more traditional trappings that some of his other, more regularly successful JLA pals had. SS is a good place to bring in the supporting characters, set up that issue's plot, etc. I hope it sticks around.
Despite any justifiable reasons, I have always liked The Scavenger as a villain and am happy to see him return, even if his plan doesn't seem to be anything more than "I built a bigger tech suit." Nevertheless, I will enjoy watching Aquaman paste him into the dirt next issue, like he always does:
Check out this nifty Aquaman and Mera plate, featuring even niftier artwork by our own uber-talented Luke Daab! According to Luke, only two of these beauties were made, one of which went to F.O.A.M.er Emeritus Russell Burbage, with the second one for me! What a bunch of pals, I love it!
Insight Editions is publishing this DC coloring book, and check out that boss cover (from JLA #217, of course)! You can see some inside pages over on Previews, but no word on how much Aquaman content there might be. Someone out there pick this baby up and let the Shrine know!
Check it out, Aquaman (aka new F.O.A.M.er Charlie Humphries) was spotted at last weekend's East Coast Comic Con! I hope Bats let him drive around in one of those Batmobiles, getting around North Jersey is a real PITA.
A bunch of really nifty retro superhero movie posters by artist Joe Phillips made the rounds a little while ago and I somehow never posted this! Bad Rob!
Both Boster Crabbe and Rita Hayworth are inspired casting choices, although I could picture Esther Williams getting the nod ahead of ol' Gilda, with her vast experience at underwater sequences (of course, we have to forget that Mera didn't appear until the 60s, long after both actress' had mostly disappeared from the silver screen). Still, this would have been a hell of a fun movie!
F.O.A.M.er Jim Bal sent in pics of this super-cool foam book sleeve, featuring George Perez's superb cover to Justice League of America #217 as its front! Jim says his daughters have been using it every year since they bought it. This issue was during the brief period after Batman left the team to form the Outsiders, but before JLA Detroit. If you haven't read these issues of the series, I suggest you pick them up, they're all quite good.
I remember when this book sleeve came out, and I thought I had posted about it on the Shrine at the time, but it somehow fell through the cracks. Thanks Jim!
This Aqua-Party is the work of newest F.O.A.M.er Mark Burkett, who explains what we're seeing: "In the first attached photo you will see our themed food: A delicious hummus and pepper Topo, candy fish sushi, our friend Porm in blue Atlantean Jello, goldfish in a custom made Aquaman bowl, and lastly a delicious Aquaman cake moist enough to turn the most ardent Batman or Superman fan into a devoted disciple of Aquaman. We then watched the hit 1967 Aquaman TV series and discussed the finer points of Aquaman lore."
Sounds great, why wasn't I invited? Thanks Mark, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!
This Hot Wheels Aquaman Roadster is one of those items I've been aware of for a while now, but for some reason just kept slipping my mind when it came time to track it down and post it. Luckily, newest F.O.A.M. member Jerry Cogliano did the job for me, sending me a pic of this super-rad ride that the Sea King completely does not need!
Still, a fun item nonetheless, with some nice Classic Aquaman art on the card. Thanks Jerry, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!
I got a very nice email the other day from Aqua-Fan Jesus Guerra, who hails from Mexico and just had a birthday full of Aquaman-related goodery. Case in point: an Aquaman cake made by his girlfriend! Jesus also wears a homemade Aquaman t-shirt and necklace he got for his last birthday, and also sent a pic of his beloved Aquaman Funko doll!
That's enough for a F.O.A.M. membership, don't you think so? I do! Jesus, welcome to F.O.A.M.!
Thankfully Aquaman is a regular fixture over on the Super Team Family blog, which features beautiful custom covers of team-ups that never happened. And while I have to admit I can't quite picture the Sea King and Frank Castle ever teaming up, for any reason, you can't deny this is one powerful image. I would have dropped 60c on this book without hesitation!
"Dead Water" by Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhous. Some police and FBI agents are investigating a shark attack. The FBI getting involved in that is odd enough, but even more when you consider the attack took place...on the roof of a skyscraper!
The FBI calls in Aquaman, who is currently talking with Mera at Spindrift Station, the newly-built embassy for Atlantis and the surface world. After meeting with the FBI agents, the Sea King determines he has to use himself as bait to lure this "Dead Water" being (who we saw last issue)out into the open. This works, and soon the two are locked in a massive battle in the middle of Albany, NY. This battle is picked up on the news, and Garth wonders if Atlantis should deploy some troops. Mera says to hold off...for now.
Aquaman plays some mind games with the creature, which sucks him down into a weird inter-dimensional portal that seems to be nothing but infinite blackness. Arthur senses that there is a normal man inside this creature, and has been transformed into this realm he calls The Otherness.
Aquaman manages to free the man, and brings him back to "our" reality. He insists on bringing the man back to Atlantis to save his life. Meanwhile, Mera delivers her first address to both constituencies, and it goes over like gangbusters. She's comfortable and funny, everyone loves her. Aquaman, a few miles away on his way back to the city, is proud of his partner...even blushing a little when the FBI agents tease him about it. Next: Scavenger! Writer Dan Abnett delivers on the promise of his first issue on the series, giving us a solid adventure story that is fun. Aquaman and Mera are back together, with the latter having a new purpose and not just as an adjunct to Arthur. After so many months of forced separation, it was great seeing them back as a team for this extra-long 50th issue. It bodes well for us Aqua-Fans, now that DC has announced Dan will be the regular writer on the book after it starts over with the "Rebirth" event. I hope we see Mera in her regular garb going forward, and not just in her Aquawoman uniform, but I'm pretty sure we will. In over fifty years of Atlantean shenanigans, I don't think we've ever had quite this set up before--Aquaman free to be a superhero, with Mera handling the royal duties stuff--and I'm very curious to see where this all goes!
Warner Bros. released the trailer to The Lego Batman Movie last week, and boy does it look like fun! On top of that, it features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by the rest of the JLA including a certain Sea King! That means Aquaman will be in two big screen movies in 2017--one live-action, one animated. Outrageous!
A couple of weeks ago the Shrine did a post on the Aquaman figure from the Dawn of Justice line, and now thanks to newest F.O.A.M. member Joel Kurowski here are some photos of the variant edition. As you can see, this time around Aquaman's armor is painted grey, as opposed to gold. His tats are removed, and his pants are two-toned, making it a spitting image of Peter David era-version of the character!
Not too long ago, a suggestion that there ever might be an "Aquaman Through The Ages" line of action figures would have been completely ridiculous. Now while it's still a long shot, given that there is an entire Aquaman movie just two years away...who knows? Papa needs a Jim Aparo-style Aquaman figure!
Shrine Social MediaChief Joe Slab conducted this interview with artist Brett Booth about his work on Aquaman. Enjoy! -- rob!
The Aquaman Shrine: First off Brett, welcome to The Aquaman Shrine! It's a pleasure to chat with you in light of Aquaman's action-packed 50th issue release today by Dan Abnett with art by yourself, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse. Fan reaction to the news you’d be on art duties for the anniversary issue has been overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled you made time to visit!
Brent Booth:Thanks! I was surprised by that. I've heard the rumors Aquaman fans can be hard on a creator so I was prepared, but most of what I heard when it was announced was encouraging! [Sidebar: Where would Brett get a crazy idea like that???]
TAS:So tell us, how’d you get Aquaman? Did you have to competitive pitch or were you wooed, recruited or just assigned the gig?
BB:I was actually just about finished with my Flash run and was talking to Jim Lee about possible upcoming projects and he and Dan Didio really latched onto Aquaman when I mentioned it. The next Monday Brian [Cunningham, Justice League Group Editor] emailed me offering me five issues with Dan Abnett.
TAS:From your initial reactions to Aquaman shared on Twitter, you had some apprehension about drawing the character, specifically his scale mail uniform?
BB:I did a few tests with the scales, finally using Ivan's basic technique for them. I'd only drawn Aquaman a few time before this--with other outfits so the scales were pretty new to me. Even with figuring out the best way to do them they still take a good deal of time. You have to focus when you do them and it can get a bit tedious if you aren't into that kind of thing.
TAS:How did you approached the massive undertaking of a 40-page book with a character you hadn't worked on much before?
BB:Badly! My initial idea was to simply break it into two parts, like two separate issues. Problem is most of the action happens from page fifteen on and I get bored drawing people talking for more than three pages so I broke that rule and started just drawing what I wanted to, slowly whittling down the pages. Took me an extra month to get it done. With no break between parts one and two it was taxing. Not as bad as Teen Titans Annual #1 but a close second!
TAS:During the process of #50 what characters did you find most enjoyable?
BB:Mera and Garth. They've been favorites of mine since I was a kid. It was great to finally get to draw them!
TAS:Ah yes, we know you're a fan of Garth/Tempest and your version of Mera in her Aquawoman mode is simply stunning from the preview art. What about drawing in an underwater environment?
BB:Most of the underwater stuff take place at this new Atlantean base. So a few fish here and there but nothing that big. I did use the water as a way to make the hair flow a bit more, I have them sort of floating in the base and they move through the water so they can use all the space. We land-lubbers just use the surface of a space. Plus It allowed me to move people around a bit, Dan likes to have the characters conversing a lot so there is a back and forth with multiple characters that's tricky to do. The water makes it a bit easier.
TAS:Dead Water is a new, original villain for Dan’s first arc--what went into creating his visual design?
BB:I did a bunch of scribbles, a few basic designs and the final Dead Water's design was done. I liked the idea of not going completely humanoid. Everyone else agreed so we went with the one you'll see.
TAS:To catch readers up, unfortunately you're only doing interiors for Aquaman as "guest artist" on #50 (out today as we may have mentioned!) as well as covers #48 through Aquaman's final issue #52 before moving on to Titans Rebirth--any regrets that your visit to The Seven Seas was so short?
BB:Well, I'd say I'm happy to not have to do scales now, but Garth has them on his new suit! I do miss not being able to draw a bunch of undersea monsters, but never say never!
TAS:Finally, doing a high-profile book that features the original Teen Titans (minus Kid Flash) is a dream job and we’re glad you’re staying in the Aquaman Family at least by extension. Do you feel like dropping any Titans teasers for the folks at home? By the way Brett, love Garth's new uniform, its sharp!
BB:Thanks! Yeah one of the cool things with these Titans is the links to the JL and the Big Seven. Since I'm not that old, I always identified with the sidekicks more. So these characters are actually more favorites of mine than say Batman.
TAS:Very Cool! Well thanks again Brett for stopping by our little corner of the DC Universe and we'll be looking forward to seeing what you and Dan have in store for Titans fans in a few months. Just a reminder--Aquaman #50 is out today and Rob will have his regular recap/review up later this week!
Does Aquaman need a car? Of course not! But who cares when the ride is this sweet? This is the Aquaman Hot Wheels car currently available at McDonald's, as part of their Happy Meal campaign. This was a real team effort--the photo was sent to me by F.O.A.M.er Barry Fackler, and the car itself was designed (along with all the others in the DC Comics set) by F.O.A.M.er Luke Daab, Senior Art Director of Digital, Creata. Vroom, vroom!
DC made a bunch of big announcements this weekend regarding their "Rebirth" initiative. The big news for Aqua-Fans of course was the new creative team on Aquaman, which will be Dan Abnett (continuing on from his current position on the current Aquaman title), Brad Walker, and Jesus Marino. Two examples of the new old look can be seen above!
Okay Aqua-Fans, I just got back from seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's too late/too early for me to try and write something coherent and fully thought out just yet, but here are some quick takes: • This movie, and by extension Warner Bros., just really doesn't like Superman • There is a scene with Superman so ineptly put together I can't believe it appeared in a major motion picture • In a film 2 1/2 hours long, we get not one, but two flashbacks to Batman's origin • Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman is not given a lot to do, but she is woven into the film's fabric quite well, as are the other heroes • This film makes me want to see a solo Wonder Woman, ASAP • Batman does something so profoundly stupid not equaled in DC comic-dom since Challenge of the Super Friends • If Zack Snyder had sped up all the slo-mo scenes to normal speed, the film would have been 2 hrs, 10 minutes • It was completely thrilling to see my hero, Aquaman, on a movie screen • No, really, it was amazing--as was seeing the credit "Aquaman: Jason Momoa" I should add that I will be covering the movie in depth on an all-star edition of Aquaman and Firestorm: The Fire and Water Podcast, which will be available soon!
I should have posted this a little while ago, but this came over the Aqua-Hotline when the blog was taking a break so I missed it at the time. Jason Momoa is spearheading the "We Are Mauna Kea" movement, which involves protecting a historic part of Hawaii from construction. Take a look at the article and check out all the people (including a certain Man of Steel) Momoa has gotten involved to raise awareness of the situation. Protecting a sacred piece of land from environmental damage? Sounds pretty Aquaman to me! I did some additional reading on this issue, and there's a lot to consider. Here's an article on The Huffington Post (yeah, I know) that covers both sides, pretty fairly to as far as I could tell. It's worth a read. Thanks to our newest F.O.A.M. member Adam Ackerman for the tip!
F.O.A.M.er Chris Bern sent shots of this nifty Aquaman greeting card his super-cool wife picked up for him. You get a whole slice o'Aqua-history right here, what with stock art poses by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN), Dick Giordano, Jerry Ordway, even Curt Swan! Plus some nifty pins!