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Friday, January 11, 2008

Aquaman (Vol.7) #13 - Feb. 2004

sgI thought since we went way back last week with More Fun Comics #73, I'd talk about a very recent Aquaman adventure for this week's Comic Friday!

This is the thirteenth issue of the most recent Aquaman series, featuring the stand-alone story "The Storm", written by John Ostrander, drawn by James Bosch and Ray Snyder.

This and the following issue were sandwiched between two longer runs on the book by other creative teams, so I assume these were purposely as fill-in stories, ones not connected to any major story arc. Fill-ins usually have a negative connotation for being, well, filler, but after I first read this issue I hoped that Ostrander would end up writing the book permanently.

It opens on a sailboat carrying a family of three, and focuses on a young girl named Jennifer, who is torn up at seeing her parents' endless fights. She wonders why her parents ever stayed together, and grimly guesses it was because they were stuck with a baby.

Miles and miles away from shore, suddenly the family finds themselves in the middle of a hurricane. Jennifer is tossed overboard, only to be plucked from the water by...Aquaman!

Aquaman straps the anchor cable to himself and starts pulling the ship through the hurricane to an area where the Coast Guard could potentially find them. He uses his new water hand to try and control the water and clear a path, which works for a while. Unfortunately, it turns out the storm has gotten worse and the Coast Guard can't get close enough to rescue them.

Aquaman decides the best way out is to swim out of the storm, while he passes oxygen to each of them under the water. He can only take two of them at a time, and asks whose going first.

Jen's parents decide she will go with Aquaman, alone, to have the greatest odds of her surviving. She argues but they tell her that despite their problems they love her and they want to give her every chance of making it.

Aquaman does indeed get Jen out, and then heads back for the parents. Sadly, when the finds them, their sailboat is smashed, floating in bits, and both of Jen's parents are dead. Nevertheless, Aquaman brings both of them back.

Aquaman and Jen have a talk on the beach, where he reveals that he lost a son. He also explains that not every parent would sacrifice themselves the way they did for Jen. She then asks him if he would spread their ashes in the sea, out by the boat they loved so much:
A very sweet story, and I love that it's a complete tale. Aquaman is heroic but not perfect, and it's interesting "seeing" him through the eyes of Jennifer. When he first shows up, he seems like a god, but by the end of the story they're almost friends.

The art isn't bad--I can't quite accept Aquaman's ridiculously beefy build, but the other characters are rendered well and full of emotion. The scenes during the hurricane are big and expansive, and the quieter moments are handled well, too.

I wish John Ostrander had been given more chances to write Aquaman; judging from this issue, he did it very well.

AquaTip: Newest F.O.A.M. member Erik Brunbauer sent me
this link to an interview on Comic Book Resources with Geoff Johns, and near the end there is this interesting little tidbit:

X-Boxing aside, DC's roster of heroes continue to inspire Johns. "There are still tons of characters to write. Aquaman is a big one. I have very specific ideas for him. Very specific. Justice League of America, Batman, and more Flash. And Firestorm."



Damian said...

Interesting stand alone there. I'm totally with you on aquaman's look. The beef is ridiculous and just doesn't work. I don't know when people are going to learn that.

Good to read that he's got specific things planned for Aquaman.
Batman inspires him? Wow, no one uses Batman anymore. Surprised the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

Recent Aqua Sighting: Does anybody read Green Arrow/Black Canary? I usually don't (hate Judd Winick) but picked up the newest issue with Conner wounded on the cover. There is a throw away line in it by The Flash or somebody, "Arthur is patrolling the seas for us," that almost made me jump up off the couch. Arthur?!!?

Anonymous said...

Interesting.....I don't know if I'd like a Geoff Johns version. I don't really like the art for this issue, but I DO think that the big looks works for Aquaman. He needs to look powerful, and in certain stories they get it VERY right....not many though. This story, I liked, but I sort of hate that Aquaman failed....well....I sort of love and hate it...it's one of those stories I'm conflicted on.

Damian said...

I disagree, I can't stand the steroid aquaman. I'd much prefer majestic and sleek looking over anything else.
Every hero looks like a tank, and it's unnecessary. That's my problem with Alex Ross. Everyone he draws looks like the angriest, unapproachable, juiced up lunks.
Aquaman's powers of strength don't come from him working out or his exercise routine. They come from what he is, so the power will be there. Bulging muscles aren't necessary.

Besides, someone that swims as much as he does (which is quite a bit I'd imagine) just would never be huge. They'd have the ultimate "swimmers build."