Friday, May 27, 2016

DC Rebirth #1

The DC Rebirth is here, and (most of) the old gang is here! Most importantly, we find Aquaman and Mera at a special location for a very special reason:

Great Neptune, it's great seeing our heroes drawn by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, again, if only for two (and a bit) pages. And we get to see a moment that DC told us was not in the history of the New 52 versions: Arthur and Mera getting married!

The end of the book features a series of one-page ads for new titles, and Aquaman #1 is there--as he should be!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bombshells #43

"Ghost Stories Part 1 of 3" by Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, and J. Nanjan.

Off the coast of Ireland in 1941, Mera and Arthur are spending some downtime. They stroll into town, where a festival is about to take place.

It doesn't take long, though, before Mera is accosted by a man in a hood who says she should be ashamed for shirking her responsibilities, and says her enemies will follow her to this small town. Arthur threatens to deal with the guy, but Mera calls him off. Later that day, Mera shows off the dress she's going to wear to the dance, and she is of course stunning. They head outside to practice dancing, and Arthur offers to sing for her:

This romantic moment is interrupted by, as is par for the course for the King and Queen of the Seven Seas, a giant horse made of water:

Even in platform shoes, Mera makes quick work of the "Kelpie" by using her necklace as a bridle. They both climb aboard and take the horse into town, just in time to stop the mysterious hooded man--named Hagen--from attacking the townspeople.

Hagen is the Cardinal of Atlantis and accuses Mera of abandoning her people in Atlantis. He grabs the kelpie and takes off, but not before threatening to take away anyone Mera loves until she does what he demands. Amid the flaming wreckage of the town, Mera realizes what needs to be done:

...To be continued!

I admit I do not read the Bombshells book regularly, so I really didn't understand much of what was going on here. I've tried a couple of times to get into the Mera storylines, but it seems like every time I do there are several issues in a row where Mera doesn't show up and the book follows other characters (like what happens in issue #44). I get frustrated and forget about the whole thing until I see that Mera is back in the book, and the whole process starts all over again.

That said, I liked what I saw here, this alt history of Aquaman and Mera set in the 1940s, with the latter taking the lead. The art by Laura Braga is quite beautiful, as are the colors by J. Nanjan. From what I have seen, Bombshells seems like what the DC romance comics line might have become over time if they hadn't all folded in the 1970s. The cover of course looks just like a Harlequin romance novel, but the story gives us more than Mera fretting over affairs of the heart.

I'll try and do a better job at keeping up with Bombshells because I like these weekly digital books and that Mera gets so much focus. She more than deserves it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Aquaman Band-Aids

Did you know you can slap Aquaman (and other DC heroes) across your boo-boo thanks to these character-centric Band-Aids? It's true! The company even went so far as to run full-page ads of each character to promote the line:


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AquaSpotting: Aquarium Maintenance Cindy Healy spotted this on her way home a few days ago. Not only is the name appropriate, but he also used the logo right from the comic. Clever, if probably not completely legal! Thanks Cindy!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.8) #52

"Out of Darkness" by Dan Abnett, Vicente Cifuentes, Juan Castro, and Guy Major.

When last we left Aquaman, he was being crushed underfoot by the villainous Scavenger. He's tricked out in a giant mech-suit, but of course it takes more than that to defeat the Sea King:

While Aquaman tries to find out about the Scavenger's connection to John Payne (aka Dead Water), back at Spindrift Station, Mera is trying to contain the aforementioned Dead Water, who has burst from the containment tube Aquaman left him in:

Using one of the seawater ducts, Dead Water escapes. Aquaman continues the fight with Scavenger, demanding to know what he knows about Payne. Naturally, Scavenger isn't interested in helping out, driving Aquaman to lose his patience and simply reach into the mechsuit and pull his foe out by the face:

Left with no other options, Scavenger fesses up to how he knows Payne. A while back, while doing some deepwater work for hire, Payne and his sub hit a patch of "strange water", a section of the sea connected with strange phenomena. Finding themselves stuck with no way out, Payne and his crew turned on each other for survival. Payne made it out, but disappeared without a trace after that.

Before Scavenger can continue, Dead Water arrives, leaving Aquaman to fight him again, ending with the Sea King ramming his trident through Payne's chest. This doesn't kill him, however, and soon Aquaman and Mera are visiting Payne in the hospital, where he is in critical condition. This leaves unanswered questions, like just where this "strange water" is. Aquaman insists that he be informed when--if--Payne wakes up.

Later, in Amnesty Bay:

The End...for now.

With this, this current Aquaman title is no more (once again we Aqua-Fans are denied seeing Arthur get a book past 75 issues!). Nothing to be too sad about, of course, since we will be getting an all-new Aquaman #1 just next month, with Dan Abnett returning as writer!

Abnett had just a few issues to reestablish some of the footing lost during the previous creative team's run. Rather than re-inventing the book, as a lot of writers tend to want to do, he brought back many of the bedrock elements Aqua-Fans liked about this New 52 iteration while adding some new stuff of his own devising. I've mentioned before how much I like Spindrift Station, and Mera's new role as ambassador. I would still like to see her return to her classic outfit, and not just be dressed as a distaff Aquaman--but we have time for that!

Pre-New 52, I never thought in a million years that Aquaman would end up such a major star, but he hit the ground running (thanks to the gangbuster team of Johns, Reis, Prado, and Reis of course) and for the most part never looked back. Now with a major motion picture on the way, the Sea King is here to stay, which is best of all possible news. Looking very forward to Aquaman: Rebirth followed by the new Aquaman series, in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Super Poderes Store Display

Check out this nifty Spanish "Super Poderes Collecion" in-store display sign, festooned with that classic JLGL (PBHN) stock art! Absolutely gorgeous--what kid could possibly not want to pick up a few of these figures when you've got this kind of thing staring them in the face?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Barratt Super Heroes Activity Album

Some classic (is there any other kind?) Jose Luis Garcia Lopez stock art adorns the cover to this UK activity book from Barratt. I don't like Aquaman being so small, but it's okay when the group shot of heroes is this gorgeous.

Check out all the oodles of great stuff inside the Wonder Woman Collectors site!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #43 Original Art by Butch Guice

Here's the original art to Butch Guice's striking cover to Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #43, currently for sale over on ComicLink! Here's the finished version:

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lego Dimensions - Aquaman

Lego has embraced Aquaman like few companies, here's another fine example of a Sea King-centric Lego toy. These Lego Dimension Fun Packs retail for around ten bucks or so, not a bad price for what you get!

Friday, May 06, 2016

International Editions: Adventure Comics

As anyone who reads the Shrine knows, I love international editions of DC Comics! This version of Adventure Comics #466 hails from Australia (which is where Murray Comics was located). As we know from previous posts, the Sea King was a pretty big draw down under, so even though Superman's name is at the top, it's still Aquaman who is front and center!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Aquaman by Nick Cardy - 2004

Check out this masterful portrait of the Sea King by Nick Cardy from 2004. hAs you can see from this piece, even though it was many decades into the man's career, he had lost none of his skill.

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4

Aquaman makes a surprise appearance in Frank Miller's Dark Knight III: The Master Race series--specifically, the Batgirl #1 tie-in comic. As Batgirl is being chased by a bunch of armed and violent goons, she finds herself at the end of a pier, and waiting for her is the Sea King: be continued!

To my memory, this is the only time Aquaman has ever been drawn by Frank Miller. He didn't appear in The Dark Knight Returns (boo) or in The Dark Knight Strikes Again (yay), nor in any other Miller-penned project during the man's long career. So when I saw Aquaman pop up here, I was quite surprised. I'm guessing this means he'll be back for Batgirl #2!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Super Heroes Vitamins Original Art

Here's Neal Adams' original art that was used for the Super Heroes Chewable Vitamins campaign (currently for sale over on Romitaman). If you look closely, you can see an erased figure right next to Batman, who looks a lot like Aquaman. Based on the final layout of the ad, maybe the Sea King was moved so he wouldn't be so obscured by the harried Mom (who is on her fifth cup of "coffee").

I have never been able to find a bottle of these--open or sealed--on eBay, so I have always been curious as to whether there are little "A" shaped vitamins included. I seem to remember taking these as a kid, but that was so long ago...

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Justice League Mighty Meeples

I have no idea what "Meeples" are but they sure as cute! You can get all seven original JLAers plus the Hall of Justice, a building J'onn J'onzz is completely unfamiliar with!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Aquaman and Wonder Woman Socks

The perfect gift for the cool couple in your life, Wonder Woman and Aquaman socks! (Just don't tell Mera)

(h/t: Jim McHugh)

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Hmm, this cosplay of Spindrift Station isn't really all that faithful to the comic book version.

(h/t: John Wroblewski)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Aquaman by Don Newton

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.

Thanks Scott, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.8) #51

"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: 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:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Aquaman and Mera Plate by Luke Daab

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 Emeritus Russell Burbage, with the second one for me! What a bunch of pals, I love it!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DC Comics Coloring Book

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!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Aquaman by Ramona Fradon

Any day is a good day for a Ramona Fradon original! This is currently available via online auction, thanks to Ilke Hincer for pointing* it out!

*Yes, I am making a swordfish joke. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Aquaman @ 2016 East Coast Comic Con

Check it out, Aquaman (aka new 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.

Nice costume Charlie, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!

(h/t: John Trumbull)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Aquaman and Mera by Tim Burgard

This dynamic pin-up of Aquaman and Mera is by Tim Burgard, done for the 2016 San Diego Comic Con souvenir book. Nice work, it feels like something you'd see off the coast, if you're lucky.

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Green Team

Spotted in a Maryland school by, author, and world traveler Marc Tyler Nobleman. Smart, stylish--The Green Team!

(Other possible members: Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, the entire Green Team)

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