Monday, August 29, 2016

Justice League #1

"The Extinction Machines Part 1" by Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, and Tomeu Morey.

The Shrine has been a bit behind keeping up with Aquaman's other appearances in the DCU, post-Rebirth. So this week we'll be catching up with the Sea King as he fights along his fellow heroes in the new Justice League!

The globe is hit by a series of extinction-level events, with each of the Leaguers trying to deal with the catastrophes. Of course, one of the places hit is Atlantis. As Aquaman is trying to run the rescue effort, he is surrounded by a strange group of beings who mutter about "stolen words." They swarm Aquaman and take him down.

Aquaman only appears in two pages of out the book; what you see above is his entire role in the story. But thanks to Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea he looks great, so it's on to issue #2!

Friday, August 26, 2016

DC Super Heroes and Pets Papercraft

DC Super Heroes and Pets Papercraft drawn by Art Baltazar, coming in November, oh yeah!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aquaman Kawaii Cube

This weird little thing is a Kawaii Cube, part of a whole line of DC characters in MODOK-like form. Check out those eyebrows!

And here's a shot of Aquaman and Batman Kawaii cubes for sale, courtesy Chris Bern:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #5

"The Drowning Part Five: Executive Sanction" by Dan Abnett, Philipe Briones, and Gabe Eltaeb.

Having been "freed" by Mera from a government detention center, Aquaman and Mera find themselves face to face with a small army (literally), all ready to fire upon our heroes. When fired upon, Mera is ready to respond with lethal force, but Aquaman still tries to keep things from getting too out of hand. Despite being outnumbered, the soldiers don't pose much of a threat, leaving Aquaman and Mera enough room to have an ongoing discussion about their relationship throughout the melee!

Meanwhile, tensions get ratcheted up in both the White House Situation room, and Atlantis, as they respond to the events. Finally, the fight is halted when a another party arrives: Superman!

I have to assume that writer Dan Abnett is having a bit of a laugh with this issue, since I couldn't help but chuckle at our heroes having a "talk" about their relationship, while at the same time flipping tanks and stopping choppers in mid-air. It's not intended as criticism; in fact I liked the comedic aspect of it, mixed in with the big action moments. Aquaman and Mera are complete butt-kickers here, so watching them squabble in a manner a lot of us can relate to I thought was charming.

And while I want to see the whole Aquaman vs. America think wrapped up soon, I did enjoy seeing the White House consider the Sea King the "most dangerous" member of the JLA. I wonder what Batman would think about that?

As I mentioned last issue, I think Philipe Briones is getting better with each issue (where have you gone, Brad Walker, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you), with his rendition of Mera still his most effective. Another thing he's good at is scene setting--both the sub-plots in Atlantis and Antarctica (where Black Manta meets the head of N.E.M.O.) have lots of interesting visual design going on and are interesting to look at.

Speaking of the art, I have been loving Brad Walker's covers for this series--they have a real fluidity of movement combined that reminds me a touch of the great Michael Golden. They have consistently been winners.

Aquaman #5 is on sale now!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lego Aquaman at the Olympics

I know the 2016 Olympics are over, but A)I really love the Olympics, and B)if I didn't run this fun little graphic Lego sent out for today's psot, I'd have to wait until 2020. No way, so enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Underwater Heroes

I love this cartoon by Peruvian artist Andres Edery, sent in by Jorge Perez-Reyes. Jorge explains it ran in a magazine last weekend to (obviously) commemorate Michael Phelps' astounding performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As usual, Namor didn't show up--what a jerk.

Thanks Jorge!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Justice League Road Game

You can stave off road ennui while fighting Darkseid with this new Justice League Road Game! Great to see Aquaman in there, of course--I'm assuming we'll see similar items like this related to the movie next year, so let's just enjoy Arthur rocking his classic look!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

All-Time Favorite Aquaman Moments - Part 1

Since this is Aquaman's 75th year, every so often I am going to post what I call All-Time Favorite Aquaman Moments. It can be a cover, a panel, a series of panels, or, like in this case, a series of pages. This sequence from Paul Dini and Alex Ross' Justice League: Liberty and Justice remains a classic to me, and this full-page shot of the Sea King is still my single favorite Aquaman image of all time.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #4

"The Drowning Part Four: Semper Fidelis" by Dan Abnett, Philipe Briones, and Gabe Eltaeb.

Aquaman allows himself to be arrested and imprisoned, thinking it will tamp down the escalating tensions between Atlantis and the U.S. Government. Mera consults with Tula, who is investigating the situation from their home base. The mysterious group known as N.E.M.O. (headed by a woman named Black Jack) transports Black Manta to meet their leader. Mera, tired of waiting for the Surface World to see the truth, breaks Aquaman out of prison. They escape long enough to find themselves surrounded by armed forces, all of whom are pointing their weapons at our heroes.

Writer Dan Abnett is clearly channeling real-world events in both Britian and the United States, with Aquaman's discussion about how a small subset of Atlanteans "fear change" and have turned angry and violent. He (Aquaman) even seems a bit sympathetic, but all that has to be set aside when Mera comes charging in.

I enjoyed Mera's exasperation with her beau, who reminded me a bit of Superman in Kingdom Come, so determined is he to Do The Right Thing. It's an interesting idea, to have the book's main character not be the one who drives the action, but then Arthur has always been a bit stubborn, sometimes to his own detriment.

I didn't mention this last issue, but I'm tickled that writer Abnett has chosen "Black Jack" as the moniker for this new villain. For those Golden Age Aquaman fans, Blackjack was of course the moniker of pretty much the only recurring bad guy the Sea King ever faced. As a bad guy, he was a miserable failure, and this new version has already outperformed her namesake by managing to break Black Manta out. I can only assume this was on purpose--if so, I enjoy the little nod to Aqua-History.

After being lukewarm on Philipe Briones' work last issue, I was much more enthusiastic about it here. All the scenes in Atlantis with Tula are filled with visual invention, and Mera gets a good amount of distinctive facial reactions that reminds one a bit of the work of Kevin Maguire. I don't think he's quite got a handle on Aquaman yet, but the rest looked pretty nifty, and he can stage action sequences well.

My apologies for the late review of this issue, Aquaman's increased publication combined with Olympics Fever (where I'm following a real life Aquaman) has really thrown a monkey wrench into my Shrine posting schedule.

Aquaman #4 is on sale now!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Black Manta, Movie Star

As all Aqua-Fans have heard by now, it's been reported that Black Manta will indeed be the villain in the 2018 Aquaman movie. I don't think this comes as a big surprise to anyone, since he is by far the Sea King's most famous foe, comes with a cool handle (let's face it, "Ocean Master" elicits a snicker), and it gives the filmmakers the chance to come up with a really cool voice modulator! Seriously, after Challenge of the Super Friends, James Wan and co. have their work cut out them.

Who does everyone want to see play Manta? My first instinct would be the intense and charismatic Chiwetel Ejiofor, but Marvel has him wrapped up across the street as Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange. Although, if JK Simmons can go from The Daily Bugle to the GCPD, then who knows?

Monday, August 08, 2016

AquaFlashback - August 15, 2008

Congrats to Michael Phelps for winning gold once again!

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Super Powers Pennants

Show your solidarity for the classic Super Powers line with these new felt pennants, featuring artwork by the one and only Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN)! On sale February 2017!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Aquaman Art Gallery: Chris Giarusso

This adorable shot of 90s-era Aquaman is by noted comics artist Chris Giarusso, commissioned by newest F.O.A.M. member Noah Abbe!

Noah then went ahead and did a color version himself, which I thought came off quite well:

Great stuff Noah, thanks and welcome to F.O.A.M.!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Monday, August 01, 2016

My First Book of Superpowers

We've covered this spiffy little board books from Downtown Bookworks before, and they have all been beautifully-produced, filled to the brim with gorgeous DC stock art and eye-popping colors.

My First Book of Superpowers is the newest volume, and as you can see Aquaman is included! Huzzah! While most of the book uses art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (PBHN), the Aquaman section features a pose by Dick Giordano and I think that shot of the Sea King and his whales is by the great Ramona Fradon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Itty Bitty Aquaman

F.O.A.M. member emeritus Russell Burbage sent me a package the other day, and included was this Aquaman, which is truly Itty Bitty! It's part of a whole line of DC and Marvel characters (multiple licenses across one product? Holy Mego!) in this form. As the kids say, totes adorbs! Thanks pal!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Aquaman Speaks!

Justice League Movie Cast

At the SDCC today, Warner Bros. released this, the first official photo of the Justice League cast in costume! Click to embiggen, and also check out the first full trailer to Wonder Woman, also released today!

Remember the tagline, "Unite the Seven"? So who is the seventh? Green Lantern? Mera? Vulko? We'll find out in November 2017!

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