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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Aquaman (Vol.4) #3 - Feb. 1992

sgComics Weekend Picking up from yesterday's post, we continue examining the short-lived Aquaman solo series from 1992.

Before we go into the issue, I want to take a moment to compliment the awesome cover by Kevin Maguire--this is one of my favorite Aquaman covers of all time, the gaping maw of the shark practically filling the frame. You really don't need any type or description when you've got such a compelling image.

Anyway, last issue ended with Aquaman having to play catch up, following an attack on the city of Poseidonis by some surface dwellers. He was able to end the fight, but now the citizens of the city are in danger from a throng of sharks headed towards them. For some reason, these sharks don't obey Aquaman's commands.

Aquaman puts himself between some kids and a shark, and leads them to a spot he's familiar with
...I thought that was a nice touch, linking this Aquaman with the one from the 1960s. Post-Crisis, I was never sure what stories were part of a character's history anymore. And I like the two kids having varying opinions on the coolness of something called "The Aqua Cave."

Aquaman gets closer to one of the sharks, to see if direct contact will help him understand what's going on. Unfortunately, all he can read is the word "Feed" over and over and over, leading one of the sharks to chomp down on the Sea King's leg!

Aquaman is forced to kill the shark or lose his leg, something it pains him to do. He then figures out a way to get rid of the sharks--by commanding a school of fish called Moses Sole, who secrete a fluid that is a natural shark repellent. They surround the city, and it does the trick.

As if this wasn't enough trouble, a legion of Poseidonis citizens, led by the tough-as-nails Lord Iquala are heading there to "save Poseidonis from itself", by force if necessary. To be continued!

I mentioned yesterday I was never a big fan of Atlantis-centric stories for Aquaman--I think it makes the character too distant, too removed from the reader identification Aquaman has always had trouble with.

But one of the ideas I think does work well that is explored here by writer Shaun McLaughlin is the idea of a power vacuum. Aquaman may be King of the Seven Seas, leader of Atlantis, but if he's going to be gone a lot cavorting with the Justice League and other surface dwellers, his fellow citizens might start finding that unpalatable.

Also like I've said before, I'm not that big a fan of penciler Ken Hooper's work--it's just too spare for my tastes, but he got better issue to issue, and I can only imagine how tiring it must have been having to draw page after page of fantastical cities, destroyed buildings (since Atlantis was always being destroyed). Sometimes he would drop the realism angle and go for a more design-y look, like this:
...which I think looks quite nice. I'm going to move on to the fourth and fifth issues of this series, and I hope I see more of this!

1 comment:

Diabolu Frank said...

1) Kevin Maguire FTW.

2) Fun Fact: Sharks don't like human meat. They've been known to test nibble, and will chow down in a frenzy, but find us generally unpalatable.

3) I feel the problem is with Aquaman as a ruler, not with Poseidonis itself. If writers could stop referencing Aquaman as the once/current/future king and just treat him as a hero, he could stop acting like Namor and just be heroic. The officiousness relating to the presumptions of his status harsh Aquaman's mellow. He should be Captain Atlantis, not the Monarch of Muddle! That's Garth's job...