Monday, October 24, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #9

"A League of His Own" by Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Gabe Eltaeb.

The Shaggy Man has landed ashore and begins his smashy-smashy bit in Amnesty Bay. The Atlantean army wants to pursue, but the Sea King orders them to stand down, explaining that if Atlantean warships start landing on U.S. soil, it will trigger another international incident, right at a time when Aquaman is trying to calm things down.

Aquaman takes on the Shaggy Man one-on-one, resulting in a lot of bruises to his face, but not much progress. Murk gets involved, demanding to know why Aquaman won't just call in the Justice League for help. It gets heated enough to the point where Murk alleges that its pride that is causing his king to act the way he is, which Aquaman denies. He then tries to his final gambit--he gets up close to the beast, jamming his JLA ID badge in its thick fur. He then issues a command to the Watchtower, and in an instant the Shaggy Man is transported into outer space, where he floats away, helplessly.

The conflict now resolved, Aquaman collapses into unconsciousness. To be continued!

Back in my review of issues #, I was worried that Aquaman was being dragged back into Atlantis, which I was dreading. I am happy to report that was a only a brief stay, and we got a full issue of our hero in his new home, fighting a giant monster. What's not to like?

I absolutely loved the trick Aquaman pull at the end. And even though the Shaggy Man is a robot and not truly alive, it still felt really badass for the Sea King to just beam him into outer space. Hopefully he won't get picked up by a Zeta Beam, because that will cause all kinds of problems on Rann.

With this issue writer Abnett ties Aquaman strongly to his new home, and we have multiple scenes of him interacting with the locals, only some of which are happy to see him. I was very happy about this, as anyone knows who has been reading the Shrine for a while, I loved giving Aquaman a base of operations on land and I hope over time Amnesty Bay becomes something similar to Gotham or Metropolis, the default setting for any story featuring his particular hero.

On the art front, Eaton and Faucher continue to do solid work, they know how to do action (good thing!) and there are a number of great shots of Aquaman as he races from one place to the next. I hope we see stuff like this replicated in the movie!

Aquaman #9 is on sale now!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Big Book of Girl Power

The fine folks at Downtown Bookworks were kind enough to send the Shrine a preview copy of one of their newest books, The Big Book of Girl Power! Like the other Pre-School books in this series, it features mini-bios of DC characters, heroes and villains alike, complete with bright colorful art that most of recognize as the work of Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN)! This book features Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Black Canaary, Hawkgirl, Katana and, yes, Mera!

The book goes on sale next Tuesday, October 25, but of course you can pre-order it now! Get it for the li'l superhero fan in your life, and big thanks to Downtown Bookworks for the early glimpse and for making such great little books featuring everyone's favorite heroes.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Nick Cardy!

Today is the late, great Nick Cardy's birthday! Over on, I have selection of 13 Great Nick Cardy Aqua-Covers, so head on over there and check it out!

You can also hear the 2011 interview I did with the legendary artist over on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Entertainment Weekly - 10/21/16

The newest issue of Entertainment Weekly (Oct. 21) has a Doctor Strange cover plus an article on the 30 Most Power Superheroes. Usually, lists like this where Aquaman and mainstream pop culture meet are a source of frustration. Aquaman would normally A)be left out entirely, or B)mentioned, but mocked.

Luckily times have changed, so we get the Sea King placing at #30 on the list, complete with decent(ish) bio and cool pic. I'm not going to quibble about just where he places on the list, since it's meaningless; I'm just glad he's here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Aquaman To The Rescue!

F.O.A.M. member Nathan Archer sent in this pic of the band-aid his doctor gave him after receiving his flu shot. Nice job, Doc!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Adventure Comics #451 Original Art by Jim Aparo

I never tire of looking at original Jim Aparo art (currently for sale), especially when it's Aquaman original art! 

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Sea King" Halloween Costume

I guess Aquaman really has made it, because apparently he's now so popular that there's money in ripping the concept off! This is totally not an Aquaman costume, it's a "Sea King" Halloween outfit, complete with pointy gold thing (not a trident).

(h/t: Brent Almond)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Aquaman Shrine at 10

As of today, The Aquaman Shrine is ten years old. I know, I can't believe it either!

Never, in my wildest dreams, that when I absent-mindedly started taking cruddy pictures of the various orange-and-green bric-a-brac I had been accumulating I would still be doing it a decade later, and that it would grow to be one of the major decision of my life.

I'm not going to go into a long ramble about everything, and obviously I don't devote the same amount of energy to the Shrine like I used to. That's partly because A)I've been doing it for a decade, and B)Aquaman just isn't the put-upon joke he was when I started. For Neptune's Sake, he's a movie star now! That turn of events would have seemed even more unlikely that same ten years ago.

For those of you who still stop by, my sincerest thanks. I've made a lot of friends thanks to the Shrine, and my life is the better for it. Semper Aqua!

Post Script: By the way, it sure was nice of Warner Bros. to release the first official glimpse of Amber Heard as Mera. What a great anniversary present!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Justice League Spectacular Header Card

Check out this nifty promotional "header card" DC produced in 1992 for Justice League Spectacular, a double-sized one-shot which featured (from what I remember, clue me in if I'm wrong) some major changes made to the JL franchise. That included the addition of new/old members, like Aquaman, seen at bottom right!

This kind of POP stuff tends not to survive, so seeing it for sale on ebay is a bit of a surprise. Big thanks to Ilke Hincer for pointing it out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Justice League Sizzle Reel

The Shrine is a bit late on this (apologies), but here's the "sizzle reel" released by Warner Bros. last week promoting 2017's Justice League movie. Despite my feelings on BvS, it's still fun seeing live action versions of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and the rest all in the same shot. It's certainly not anything I ever would have dreamed of seeing, not in a million nerd lifetimes.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #8

"Unstoppable" by Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Gabe Eltaeb.

We open with Mera at the Tower of Widowhood, an ancient temple run an order of less-than-humorous Atlantean women who plan on conducting test to see if Mera is "good enough" to marry their king. Meanwhile, Aquaman is alerted to the seismic booms taking place outside the city, and he, Murk, and some of the others go to investigate. It doesn't take long before they spot the massive creature lumbering its way forward.

Aquaman tries to communicate with it, which is met with a left cross, sending the Sea King flying. Not only is the creature incredibly strong, but it seems to be able to heal itself instantly. After falling back, Aquaman and Tula discuss strategy, and they bring out the big guns--literally. Atlantean craft fire "plasmit cells", which only stop the monster long enough for its real identity to be discovered--it's the old JLA foe, The Shaggy Man!

As Aquaman tries to stop it, he is told that the monster's target isn't, in fact, Atlantis, but--Amnesty Bay! To be continued!

After an issue of Aquaman whining about running Atlantis, I'm of course happy to have him back out getting involved in super heroics, and bringing in an old(?) JLA foe is a good way to do it! Like the Sea King, I'm not thrilled that he will potentially be separated from Mera for months, as she undergoes her tests, but luckily comic books can compress time so it (hopefully) won't take that long. (By the way, I assume Diana Rigg will be playing the head widow in the upcoming Aquaman movie?). I liked the moment where Aquaman realized that Tula is pretty good at what she does, and she doesn't need to be micromanaged like her assumed. Does this mean we'll eventually get our power couple back to Amnesty Bay and have Tula run Atlantis? I'd be up for that (and I think she would too).

As usual, the book's cover by Brad Walker is outstanding. The inside art by Eaton and Faucher is solid if indistinct, although the action sequences are pretty good. I have mentioned before, both here and on The Fire and Water Podcast, that I wouldn't mind the book going back to a typical monthly schedule if it meant we could get Brad Walker doing every single issue. In the meantime, I do enjoy seeing so much Aquaman, I have to admit. At this rate, we'll get to issue #76 in no time!

Aquaman #8 is on sale now!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

JLAvengers by Rich Buckler

Comics legend Rich Buckler posted this commission on his FB page a few days ago, a fun mashup of comicdom's two premiere super teams as they contemplate who else should join. Looks like Batman has the right idea to me!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Aquaman Squeely

Check out this adorable Aquaman bath toy now available through Hallmark. Not sure why the Sea King needs a ride, but who cares when the toy is so cute!

(h/t: Russell Burbage)

Monday, October 03, 2016

13 Aquaman Splash Pages by Ramona Fradon asked me to compile a gallery of Ramona Fradon's Aquaman art, on the occasion of her 90th birthday yesterday. It was so much fun going over all the superb work the legendary Ms. Fradon did on the Aquaman strip in Adventure Comics, so go check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

JLA: A Midsummer's Nightmare Original Art by Kevin Maguire

This is master comics artist Kevin Maguire's original cover to JLA: A Midsummer's Nightmare #1 from 1996, soon up for auction on Comic Link. So if you've got some deep pockets, here's your chance to own an original Maguire, featuring Aquaman!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

All-Time Favorite Aquaman Moments - Part 2

I can't remember, but I think my first introduction to Aquaman was on Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends, which launched in 1973. Every episode started with this stirring theme song and, combined with the Alex Toth character designs, it put Aquaman on par with icons like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in my mind. That initial impression has never faded.

I still get charge, every time I watch this!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Aquaman Art Gallery: Andias Rahkman

This wonderful illustration of the DC Films Aquaman (plus fellow movie star Dory) is by artist Andias Rahkman

Friday, September 23, 2016

Aquaman (Vol.9) #7

"Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown" by Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Gabe Eltaeb.

Aquaman and Mera are back in Atlantis, dealing with the various, sundry details of running a kingdom. He is, of course, most concerned with just who is trying to sabotage relations between Atlantis and the Surface World, but a lot of other stuff is getting in the way. One of the elders, Koah, suggests that if Aquaman is to marry Mera, she undergo a series of "tests" to prove her worthiness. Aquaman is, of course, aghast at this, and tells a stuttering Koah to get out.

Aquaman then meets with Murk, who was there at the wreckage of the Navy vessel. Murk shows him an Atlantean helmet found there, "proving" it was the work of one of them, Except--the helmet has been retrofitted with an air-breathing apparatus, meaning the person using it could not breathe water. Meanwhile, in Venice, at the HQ of N.E.M.O., Black Manta makes quick work of those who oppose his forced ascension to leader, after killing the previous Fisher King. 

Aquaman goes to see Corum Rath, the head of the resistance group known as The Deluge. Corum sees Aquaman as an illegitimate ruler, a half-breed (a crack which earns him a left cross from Tula). He refuses to help Aquaman get to the bottom of who is behind all this. Later, Aquaman has a discreet line of communication (an "Aqua-Phone") set up with Agent Irving of the FBI. He thinks that the FBI's investigation of the Scavenger--and who he sold his stolen Atleantean treasures to--might provide some clues. 

Not too far away, N.E.M.O. launches its first plan--unleashing some sort of giant beast the emerges from the Atlantean sea bed, and lumbers its way toward Atlantis. To be continued!

I have joked many times that I am really tired of seeing Aquaman get bogged down in Atlantis, and I have referred to it as the "'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown' bit." And here is Dan Abnett literally calling a story that, which didn't fill me with confidence, I have to admit. I just don't understand why Aquaman writers--virtually every single one of them--are so obsessed with getting Arthur back in Atlantis and dealing with all this palace intrigue stuff. Even Geoff Johns, who did more than any single Aqua-writer to transform the view of Aquaman into a full-fledged superhero, couldn't help bringing the story back to Atlantis during his final issues of the previous series.

That said, I still enjoyed Aquaman #7, watching the Sea King get pulled in several different directions. It would be easy to just blame the Deluge, especially since Corum is so unrepentant. But Arthur knows something else is going on, so he has to do a little detective work and see the bigger picture. Traditionally, Aquaman was written as a hothead and Mera was the calmer, more deliberate one, but Abnett has flipped that here. Heck, Aquaman would probably still be in a jail cell if Mera hadn't had enough and broke him out.

Abnett's political commentary is even more explicit this issue, right down to Corum trying to insult his king by calling him "progressive." To some, that is an insult, but to others, it just underscores how sadly stuck The Deluge is in its view of the way world is now vs. the way it was. The Deluge is going to Make Atlantis Great again, come hell or high water. 

On the art front, I do miss Brad Walker, but the Eaton/Faucher team do nice work here, especially with some of the close-ups. That shot of Corum saying "False King" I thought was quite good, as is a later shot of Aquaman talking to Agent Irving. And colorist Gabe Eltaeb continues to do an exceptional job with the colors.

Aquaman #7 is on sale now!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aquawoman and WonderMan @ The 2016 Long Beach Comic Con

Two killer cosplayers at the 2016 Long Beach Comic Con! Photo sent in by Scott Wood!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Aqualad by Ramona Fradon

This majestic shot of Aqualad by the legendary Ramona Fradon is currently up for auction over on Comic Link. If you've never had the good fortune to meet Ms. Fradon in person, then here's your chance to get an original from her!

(h/t: Ilke Hincer)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Super-Team Family #1612 - Stingray and Aquaman

The team-up no one demanded--Stingray and Aquaman!

Another beautiful custom cover from the nerd-riffic Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues blog. One criticism, though--why does Stingray get top billing?!?

(h/t: Clinton Robison)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Aquaman’s Spanish Vacation

My pal Dan Greenfield (editor of, for which I write a movie review column) recently took a trip to Spain, and the King of the Seven Seas went along for the ride! Check out this superhero team-up over at!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years Solicit


Though often overshadowed or overlooked, Aquaman is among the greatest and most enduring characters in the DC Universe. The King of Atlantis is one of the few Golden Age characters to survive into the present day. He’s also a founding member of the Justice League, the first DC hero to start a family and soon will star in his own big-screen franchise.

From the lighthearted swashbuckling adventures of Aquaman's early decades, through the loss of his son (not to mention his hand), to his modern reinvention as a formidable master of the sea, this collection provides a crash course in more than seven decades of DC history!

AQUAMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS collects 400 pages of the iconic hero's finest moments--from his first appearance by Mort Weisinger and creator Paul Norris to his modern-day adventures--and features the work of such comics superstars as Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Jim Aparo, Steve Skeates, Peter David, Ramona Fradon, Paul Levitz, Nick Cardy and more.
  • More Fun Comics #73
  • Adventure Comics #s 120, 174, 220, 260, 269, 444, 452, 475
  • Aquaman (1962) #s 1, 18, 40
  • Justice League of America Annual #2 
  • Aquaman (1986) #3
  • Aquaman (1991) #2 
  • Aquaman (1994) #s 4, 17
  • Aquaman (2011) #s 1, 43

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