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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Aquaman (Vol. 4) #8 - July 1992

sgComics Weekend A nice, moody cover, this by regular artist Ken Hooper...and who's that up there on the roof?

After opening on an assassin pledging himself to kill Aquaman, we find Arthur squabbling with his former sidekick, Aqualad, who has since been healed by his fellow Idylists.

Soon, though, Arthur and he reconcile, and Aquaman heads back to the U.N. to address the Surface World. He tells them Poseidonis has been wracked by war, and he and the city only want to make peace.

As the assassin (who has also made his way to the U.N.) gets himself in place to pull off the hit, Aquaman finishes his speech and then addresses the press
...ah, good to see the Press is as silly in the DCU as it is in our world.

Anyway, while outside, a shot rings out, but misses. Aquaman helps his U.N. envoy get to safety and then finds his would-be assassin.

Aquaman smashes his way in to where this guys is, and takes a bullet to the chest, but between his dense molecular structure and a bullet-proof vest, he is only startled.

The bad guy is about to get off a head shot, when someone else shows up...Batman!

Batman gets a few shots in, and the assassin takes his cue and splits, while Batman sees how Aquaman is doing:
Batman tells Arthur this guy's name is Nicodemus, and after another shot, Aquaman gets close again, close enough to break Nicodemus' rifle in two, leading to a more hand-to-hand fight.

Aquaman wonders why, if this guy is just a normal human, why he can't simply knock him out.

Nicodemus jumps off the roof they're fighting on, but Arthur drops a fire escape on him, caging him long enough to shed himself of his human clothes:
After a few more punches, Aquaman finally slams him in the head with a manhole cover (ouch), knocking him out.

The Police arrive, and Aquaman is tended to by our guest-star, in a classic Batman move:
...I like the highlighting of the differences between these two sourpusses. Aquaman can, at times, enjoy himself.

While Aquaman looks into the hows and whys of the assassination attempt, Nicodemus is given the Lee Harvey Oswald treatment in jail, his letter of apology for failing left to burn to ashes.

I've said before I wasn't a fan of penciler Ken Hooper's artwork--I found too much dead space in the early issues, too many chances for a dramatic impact lost.

But with this issue, he made marked improvement--figures fill the space when they need to, and the storytelling is clearer and more exciting. I think nearly every superhero comic needs one of those "Taa-da!" moments; Aquaman gets a few here.

Also, usually when you've got Batman guest-starring in your book, you plaster his name and picture all over. They show restraint here (in fact, I missed that Batman was even on the cover the first two or three times I looked at it), and I was glad to see that they let Aquaman be the hero of his own book, and not have Batman come in and save his skin.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

As I recall, this issue was also trying to illustrate that Aquaman didn't always have to submerge in water to maintain his strength and continue to breathe on land. A good rain storm would also do the trick.

The Irredeemable Shag

Anonymous said...

Ugh...I don't know, that art just looks REALLY weak to me. Gone are the days of Aparo.