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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Aquaman (Vol.4) #7 - June 1992

sgComics Weekend Another excellently rendered Aquaman cover by Kevin Maguire (his last, sadly) fronts an issue featuring two blasts from Aquaman's past!

Picking up from last issue, we find Aquaman in battle with some sort of giant, mutated version of himself, dressed in his blue, "camouflage" no less!

Aquaman has no idea who this deformed doppleganger is, and he finds that in this weird place, what he knows as Reality doesn't apply: when he punches his adversary, he simply splits into pieces and continues to taunt him.

He closes his eyes for a moment and then finds himself fighting the Justice League itself--Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and...a past version of himself!

He finally realizes none of this is real
...I dunno, I'd still prefer this all-singing, all-dancing JLA to the one in Identity Crisis.

Anyway, Aquaman wakes up--partly--and we see he's in the care of an Atlantean physician. They go to fetch Lord Vulko, and we follow Aquaman back into his subconscious.

Here he meets a giant version of his dead son Arthur Jr., and then he squabbles with Mera over all that has happened to them.

All this is being watched by an old, old foe:
...yes, its the creepy, hulking Thanatos, first introduced way back in Aquaman (Vol.1) #54! Great Neptune!

In this world, though, Thanatos is married to his own version of Mera, and she doesn't understand who this "other" Aquaman is that she "dreamt" of.

Thanatos tries to mess with Aquaman's mind more, but it doesn't work, and when Aquaman lays down his arms, refusing to fight his wife and son, admitting his mistakes as a father and a husband, but ultimately, finally, forgiving himself, it helps him escape from this subconscious world, and he wakes up.

As Aquaman rests soundly, Thanatos realizes his plan has not worked. Worse yet, his wife Mera "no longer looks at me in the same way."

I'm glad an attempt was made to get Aquaman past all the psychological hand-wringing I think he got bogged down in after a while, considering all the tragedy that had befallen him.

In the end, I don't think it totally stuck, but writer Shaun McLaughlin gives it the old college try here. And bringing back Thanatos was a neat idea.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

I'm really glad you are doing these posts. I've always been a fan of this short-lived series. Thanks for helping me relive these great issues without having to dig them out myself. :)

The Irredeemable Shag

Adama said...

Wow, this issue of Aquaman is sitting on my kitchen table right now. It is, in fact, the only issue of Aquaman I actually own. While this does make me sad, it is kinda cool to see it on the Shrine!

Anonymous said...

Thanatos, a very interesting character with tons of potential. It is a shame that he never amounted to more in the Aquaman mythos. I always thought that he might be reimagined as the manifestation of Aquaman's dark side, willing to kill and do all of the things that Arthur is to noble to do. Perhaps he might even be made manifest by Aquaman's incredible mental powers...

Anyway, while it is good for Aquaman to get away from, as Rob terms it, 'hand wringing' that often accompanies him because of the terrible writing in his past, I very much wish that DC would give him to someone that would simply have the guts to wipe out some of that tragedy. At the very least they need to bring he and Mera back together.

How incredible would it be for the birth of DC's new universe to include a fresh start for Arthur....once again the son of a lighthouse keeper and king of the seven seas, free to be heroic and powerful instead of myopic and angry.....ahh, one can dream...

rob! said...

yeah, i'd be all for that, benton.

i think aquaman is peculiar, in that he suffered from endless new creative teams, each of which inherited whatever situations aquaman found himself in.

they each tried to do their best, but just as one set started to solve particular issues and move on, aquaman got cancelled, or the creative team got bumped, and it started all over again.

so we have aquaman, fifteen years after losing his son, still dealing with it. and like i said, i liked what shaun mclaughin was doing, but at some point i do wish DC would just shake the etch-a-sketch all over again, and Aquaman could be with Mera, and go on from there.

maybe we'll get that with Johns and Van Sciver.

Luis said...

Aquaman is often been accused of being the lamest and gayest character in comics, an oppinion I DO NOT SHARE. However this issue does nothing in Aquaman's favor. JUST LOOK AT AQUAMAN'S POSE ON THE COVER FOR CRISSAKES!! And the singing and high-kicking JLA??? This is truly disturbing.