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Friday, March 21, 2008

Aquaman (Vol. 7) #16 - May 2004

sgI'm not sure if I want to keep going through this run of Aquaman (covers by Alan Davis, written by Will Pfiefer, drawn by Patrick Gleason) for every Comic Friday until its over, but until I decide for sure I thought we'd keep going.

Like he did for the previous issue, Alan Davis delivers an awesome cover, a classic "superhero in jeopardy" situation.

Picking up from last issue, Aquaman is dealing with the ramifications of part of San Diego falling into the ocean. It appears that no one has survived, except for the curious case of a young boy who was found on the beach. He died not from drowning, but from being out of the water!

This issue opens with Aquaman at a press conference explaining to the residents of San Diego what has happened regarding the boy, and that he and the local authorities will be on the lookout for others.

Just as he finishes, a young woman bursts out of the water in the throws of panic. Arthur quickly jumps into the water, grabs the girl, and Pfiefer gives us a super-cool, Batman-esuqe moment, where we see Aquaman had a plan in place
Aquaman and the girl are beamed to the Watchtower, where she is placed in a specialized tank of water. Arthur, reading her mind, calms her by saying her name--Lorena--and she falls asleep underwater.

Aquaman leaves Manhunter to monitor her and heads to his quarters, where he has a nightmare of visiting the disaster site and is overwhelmed by zombie-like survivors.

Manhunter wakes Arthur up, and Aquaman gets worked up over the idea that the JLA decided to build an HQ on the moon, instead of on Earth, where, under the water, they could've been just as separated from the rest of world's population. It's here that we see a bit of the old Aquaman, who can be a bit of a jerk, when Pfeifer cuts the tension
I like Manhunter's smile in panel one; this is another of the many rants you have to put up with being friends with Aquaman.

Manhunter taps into Lorena's mind to see first-hand what happened in San Diego, and we see the moments leading up to the disaster. Through Manhunter, Aquaman sees that there are, in fact, many survivors, still underwater! To be continued!

I like Pfiefer's Aquaman here--serious, of course, but not without a sense of perspective on himself, and the moment where we see Aquaman had a plan in place to me is priceless. I find moments like these a thousand times cooler in a hero than someone who can just punch the hardest.

Related to how I started this post, I'm thinking of changing things up a bit here at the Shrine. Instead of Comic Fridays, I'm considering devoting weekends to Aquaman comic posts, giving Fridays "back" to merchandise and the other goofy stuff I talk about.

I also thought this might make the comic reviews flow better, since there would be two parts of a continued storyline in a row, instead chapters being a week apart as they are now. What does everyone think?

Bonus! Classic Aquaman makes another return appearance on comic shelves this week in the first issue of DC's new DC Super Friends title, of course based on the Mattel toy line.

I am thrilled that Classic Aquaman got included in this toy line, that it seems to be a success, and that DC has now given young comics fans the same Aquaman in print they can find on the toy shelves.

This first issue's story is "Hungry For Power" by Sholly Fisch, and Dario Brizuela, where Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and the Sea King square off against the deadly robot, Amazo!

It's a perfect comic for wee kids, and all the heroes get to participate equally. Heck, it's even Aquaman who comes up with a plan to beat Amazo!
...there's also some puzzle pages and a nice letter column by Johnny DC!

From what I've seen of future issues solicited in Previews, DC Super Friends will have different art teams on both the insides and covers. May I suggest Ramona Fradon?

Extra! I got an email from a nice woman named Lynnette with an Aqua-Problem:

"My five-year old has the DC Super Friends Aquaman and I can't figure out how to get water into the base (the instructions were thrown out during the Christmas morning frenzy).

I understand that the water shoots from the trident when you push down on the base, but how do you get the water inside the base!

Sorry to bother you about this but I'm desperate. My son is quite anxious to defeat Lex Luthor with the water spray."

Having never played with mine(no, really) I wasn't able to give Lynnette a definite answer. Any of you AquaFans know?


chunky B said...

They came with instructions? Mine came in a three pack sans instructions, but my guess would be that you stick the end of the trident in water and pump the base till it sucks up water, then you start spraying Lex when it's full.

Also under water zombies, creeeeepy! I thought water was something that zombies avoided...

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of zombie stuff lately in Aquaman. In that horrible series before the Sub Diego thing starts Arthur fights some undead.

Rob, one of my favorite things you do is your comic Fridays. If you want to do that MORE often, I'm all for it.

As for this comic itself, I do like that they show Arthur's brainpower, something he doesn't get much credit for these days. We're so concerned with him being represented as STRONG, we forget that he also needs to be shown as SMART. I do like that they show Aquaman as a serious guy, but like I said earlier, there is no laugher here, just endless tension and tragedy. His visit to the watchtower could have been a good opportunity to lighten the mode a bit. Instead we get more of hothead Aquaman....seriously, picking a fight about where the Watchtower was built? Still, at least he shows some self restraint and a better understanding of himself that he has shown in earlier series.

One last thing, what the heck is with the height difference between Arthur and J'onn? All of a sudden Aquaman is a midget?

rob! said...

thanks for the kind words, benton. i'm leaning towards having "Comic Weekends" and doing two issues in a row...

and i dont think its that aquaman is a midget :) but that Manhunter is just REALLY tall. i think it makes sense to have J'Onn be like 6'7, 6'8", tho he isn't drawn like that that much.

Anonymous said...

That is a LOT more than 6'7", I think. I mean, Arthur looks like a CHILD next to him. That's just a bad choice in the art department if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused why Wonder Woman appears here when she is not part of the toy line.