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Friday, August 31, 2007

Metamorpho and Aquaman #1 - Oct. 2007

sgLast week was a real rarity--two comics out at the same time featuring Aquaman! I guess DC wanted to lay the groundwork for this new Aquaman's eventual inclusion in the new Outsiders title, so here he gets to share a book-length adventure with good old Rex Mason.

Part four of a five issue storyline called "Five of a Kind", this issue's tale is called "Rogue Elements", by G.Willow Wilson and Josh Middleton. It opens with Metamorpho and Aquaman stranded in the middle of a desert, a good old-fashioned how-are-we-gonna-get-outta-this scenario that would've made Bob Haney proud.

They run into a mysterious woman carrying The Orb of Ra, the mystical doodad that had a hand in changing Mason into Metamorpho, all those years ago.

Turns out there's a war brewing over the Orb, and Batman--as always--has a plan to deal with it, and its he who dispatches Metamorpho and Aquaman to deal with it. The whole Aquaman-needs-water thing is handled ingeniously, by having Metamorpho convert some of himself to water, and then use some of the sand to "refill." Cooool.

Turns out the big bad guy behind this power grab for the Orb is none other than Simon Stagg, Rex's ex-father-in-law(I'm behind the times...what happened to Rex's wife?). Metamorpho manages to get between the two sides, get the Orb, and destroy it once and for all, even though it could help him turn back to normal.

The epilogue features our two heroes meeting up with Bats and his new Outsiders, where Bats tears Aquaman a new one:

While I appreciate Bats' kind words about the original Aquaman, I have to wonder about the approach DC is taking in bringing this new Aquaman into the DCU: he's constantly being told he's not as good, he doesn't measure up, etc. How does having other heroes keep kicking Aquaman to the curb make readers want to follow his adventures? (I know this was the approach DC went when Wally West became the Flash twenty years ago, but by then Wally had been around almost as long as the character he was replacing)

All told, this is much more of a Metamorpho story, but he and Aquaman have a nice rapport courtesy of writer Wilson, and the artwork and coloring is quite nice--there's a sort of soft-focus haze over the whole book, making you feel like you're in the desert, too.

Maybe having this new Aquaman meet lots of other heroes is a good way to get readers used to him; I'll certainly pick up Outsiders as long as he's in it, and who knows? Maybe he can get a shot in Brave and the Bold...


Anonymous said...


Last week was a real rarity--two comics out at the same time featuring Aquaman!

What was the other one?

rob! said...

Sword of Atlantis #55, which i talked about last friday. cant remember--if ever--there were two Aquaman comics out the same week!

Anonymous said...

There was a time a long, LONG time ago when SUPER FRIENDS would come out at the same time as ADVENTURE featuring Aquaman and then MAYBE Arthur was featured in JLA. Only happened at high tide during blue moons immediately after a solar eclipse, though. As for this issue....it wasn't very good. "Aquaman" didn't really do anything. It was so much more a Metamorpho story that featured A-man along for the ride. I totally agreed with Batman. So it looks like Arthur WON'T be a part of the Outsiders. (And lastly, I, too, have no idea what is going on with Metamorpho. Is this guy the "real" one, or the "new" one?)

Anonymous said...

...and I kept thinking, Ramona Fradon should have done the cover.

rob! said...

>>Ramona Fradon should have done the cover<<

aww, great idea. that woulda been sweeeet!

Anonymous said...

DC is in a very tricky situation here. They can go either the “your predecessor was a paragon and you’ll never be as good” route. As you mention, this is the tack they took with Wally West all those years ago. Or they can go the “you are destined to surpass your predecessor who, by the way, wasn’t even all that great” route that they used with Kyle Raynor. Now, Barry and Hal “checked out” in different ways which, obviously, had something to do with the attitude that the characters around them felt toward the “newcomer”. But, seeing as how ...
1) it would be completely unrealistic for no one to comment on how AJ is living up to his name and ...
2) Arthur's passing was not preceded by a horrible betrayal of the character by the creative team involved,
I prefer the former.