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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Aquaman (Vol. 7) #17 - June 2004

sgComics Weekend I have decided to move my weekly Aquaman comic review to the weekends, so now I'll be doing two Aquaman comics per week, on Saturdays and Sundays, which I think will help with following continued stories, for those of you who don't own the comics themselves.

So for now we're going to keep talking about the brief run of the last Aquaman series, where writer Will Pfiefer and artists Patrick Gleason and Christian Alamy were joined by master illustrator Alan Davis on the covers. As you can see, Davis continued his streak of dynamic, exciting Aquaman images.

At the end of the previous issue, Aquaman--with the help of Martian Manhunter--had tapped into Lorena's mind, and discovered that many of the victims of the San Diego disaster had not, in fact, died, but were still alive and living underwater!

This issue opens with the people getting a series of telepathic messages from Aquaman telling them that he is here to help them, and to stay right where they are as he attempts to free them from the rubble they're trapped under. And boy, does he
Some of the kids don't listen of course and find themselves in the middle of a school of sharks. Luckily for them, Aquaman commands the sharks not to attack, and the kids return home.

Aquaman explains to them what has happened, and how something has changed them to allow them to live underwater, and that they can not return home.

Meanwhile, Lorena wakes up in the JLA Watchtower and she is met by Manhunter, who assumes a more usual form(that of a young human man) to talk to her. After being told by J'onn what has happened, she decides to head back down to help Aquaman, who is single-handedly rescuing people from the wreckage.

Aquaman then gets a message from a dolphin about a machine it found, and he and Lorena check it out. The machine didn't fall in the water, like the rest of the city, but put there...and then turned on.

They look inside the center of the machine, and find some sort of living, amorphous creature! To be continued!

Again, another solid issue, although I found Aquaman a bit cold here--instead of gentle and warm, he sort of stands in front of these trapped people, rigid and cold, and just sort of declares what's happened to them.

But with the addition of Lorena to the book, I can see that writer Pfefier is drawing a greater contrast between the imperious Aquaman and the more earthy Lorena, which will help loosen Aquaman up a bit. (Sure, you could make the argument that Aquaman, having lived with Surface World people for decades, shouldn't be so aloof, but I have no idea anymore what stories in the character's past are canon and which ones aren't)

Gleason and Alamy's art is effective, if a tad dark and gloomy, but that's the story they've been given to tell. And there are moments like this:
...where the super-realism is set aside for a more graphic approach, which I think is quite nice. I love Aquaman's head poking out of the water in the second panel there.

Bonus! This week's issue of JLA: Classified saw the final installment of a nifty Classic JLA storyline by Roger Stern and John Byrne.

Aquaman doesn't have much to do in this particular issue, but its still fun seeing Arthur, as we all know him, alongside his fellow JLAers.

Sadly, this is the final issue of JLA:C, which frustrates me to no end. From the issues I read of the book, all I could think was, "Why isn't this the regular JLA book?"

(By the way--writer Roger Stern has one of the most fun official/fan sites devoted to him and his work that I've seen for any comics pro, and you can check it out


Anonymous said...

Hey Rob, I have no idea if you'll ever see this, but I had meant to comment on your last couple of comic reviews and hadn't been able to find the time. I've gotten crazy busy lately, but seeing as I was one of the readers who suggested you go two days a week, I feel like I should probably say a little something, huh?

Anyway, I think this issue was okay, but there was nothing particularly amazing in it. The art is still solid, and I agree with you reading of Aquaman. I know they are trying to build Lorena up as the new Aquagirl, but I have to say that, throughout the run, I found her less than interesting. Give me good 'ol Tula any day, but I suppose that isn't an option. She serves a useful purpose in the series, providing the readers with an 'in' with the population of Sub Diego. It gives them sort of a De facto spokeswoman. I do like how they portray Aquaman as utterly confident, completely in command of his kingdom, even if these silly people don't realize it. It is one of the rare moments when continuity works in his favor, because he has had years to reach this point....despite all of the terrible choices that go with that.

Ohh, and I've got to say, that cover is one of the most beautiful of the entire run, and also one of the most accurate.

rob! said...


i appreciate each and every comment people leave, whenever they do! so thanks for going through all these comics.

a lot of aquaman comics, i have found, read much better the second (or third) time around then they did initially--a good reason, i think, for bloggers to Think Before Posting.

while this storyline--heck, superhero comics in general--is too dark for my tastes, i think Pfeifer did a good job with it, and Aquaman is NOT a jerk, something a lot of writers think he is.