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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aquaman (Vol.6) #24 - Sept. 1996

"United We Fall" by Peter David, J. Calafiore, and Peter Palmiotti.

On the front lawn of the White House, something's a little amiss:
In a flash of light, the leader of the explorers arrives, a man named Ahk-Orrd. He says that he brings the world a hope for peace. Uh-huh.

Back in the golden city of Arion, Aquaman has his team assembled:
Aquaman does a brief recap of what's happened so far (appreciated, since I'm still a little confused as to all that's gone on). We then see Ahk-Ord tell the same story to the U.S. Government officials, but in substantially more positive terms.

The explorers' ship arrives just outside Arion, and Aquaman's team goes into action. Power Girl and Arion are first, followed by the Guardian and Nuada. But where's Aquaman?

Oh, here:
Aquaman breaches the hull of the ship, demanding the exact plans of the invasion. He is of course refused, but Aquaman makes the head explorer an offer he can't refuse.

Via a spell by Atlan, Aquaman is able to appear and communicate to all of the citizens of Atlantis to explain all that's going on, and warning them of the impending mass attack. The ships do indeed arrive, and each of the cities of Atlantis put up a defense, with the help of Aquaman's hand-picked team.

Meanwhile, in Poseidonis:
Aquaman wonders where the other heroes of Earth are, now that one of the explorers' ships is in Washington D.C. He uses a portal created by Atlan to head there, where he demands an audience with the President:
Normally I would end this with "to be continued" because of course it is, but I'm going to stop here, for now at least.

The Shrine's coverage of the PAD-era of Aquaman has always been a little lacking, and that's undoubtedly due to my general apathy for this version of the Sea King. And while I definitely have a greater appreciation for this material than I did when I started the Shrine, most of it still leaves me cold--the fantasy elements, the level of violence, the whole look and tone of the stories. In particular, these last couple of issues feature so many characters Aquaman feels like a guest star in his own book.

Reading these stories over again was certainly interesting, but they're just not anything I'd reread for pleasure, unlike lots of other Aquaman comics. As I've said before, under Peter David's tenure Aquaman was the most successful (in terms of sales) he's ever been, so obviously he tapped into something that made lots of new people read Aquaman, and that's always a good thing. If/when Aquaman gets a new series, whoever the writer is would be wise to retain some of the elements David brought to the character.

Rest assured, the Shrine, in its desire to cover every sing Aquaman comic book, ever, will come back to this series at some point down the road. But for now, we're putting a period on this sentence and moving on to another point in Aquaman's comic book career...


David J. Cutler said...

Coincidentally, this is the point in the series where I lose steam, too. Looking at the team Aquaman's assembled, apart from Power Girl and the Devils, I just think who could possibly care about any of these people? Ahk-Orrd? Arion? Nuada? Say what you will about names like the Fisherman or Aqualad or the Un-Thing, but at least they're memorable.

Tempest127 said...

I was never a fan of the David run on "Aquaman," mainly because I don't believe in the maiming of characters just to elicit a reaction from fans. The only good thing which came out of this run was Tempest and that was down to Phil Jimenez. (Well, sending him back to his homeland to claim his heritage was actually my idea and editor Kevin Dooley thought it was a ridiculous notion at the time). What made this title successful in the beginning was that David brought his large fan base with him and those folks suddenly discovered characters many of us had followed for decades. Unforunately, the characters of Atlantis remain foreign to many readers of the DCU and those new readers didn't stick around long enough for the series to turn around during the Dan Jurgens' era, easily the best characterizations since the McLaughlin run. Still, I found the first two years of this series were worth a reread.

Wings1295 said...

I think I appreciate the idea of Aquaman having such a great force behind him, but it is all a bit much and, like you said, almost makes him the guest star or at least not the shining star he should be in his own book.

David J. Cutler said...

@Tempest--you worked at DC around this time?

Bribaby said...

The whole losing of his hand bit, making him more "piratey", turned me off too, so I didn't follow this Aquaman era much, aside from dipping my toe in now and then. But I have to admit, I've been caught up in reading these recaps. I look forward to you resuming them.