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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aquaman (Vol.7) #5 - June 2003

Comics Weekend "The Thirst" by Rick Veitch, Yvel Guichet, Mark Propst, and Rob Leigh.

Meanwhile, in Prague:
As the group of historians share a toast, someone unexpected joins in: the dessicated corpse sitting on the throne!

Inside the corpse's chalice is a small pool of water. We peer into it, and catch up with Aquaman and Tempest, who just returned to their corporeal bodies (last issue). Aquaman realizes he now must deal with the wreckage wrought on Atlantis, and the first step is returning to the Secret Sea.

Arthur uses his waterbearer appendage to head there, with Tempest right behind. He is startled by what he sees:
Aquaman starts to feel the Secret Sea contract, and he and Tempest are pulled in one direction. He is startled to have a vision of someone drinking the sea--and its our corpse friend from the beginning of the issue, now revitalized:
Aquaman and Tempest manage to escape being swallowed up, and run into the watermaidens, who tell our heroes the Lady of the Lake has taken ill.

They all emerge from the lake surface, and Aquaman talks to her. She reveals that Aquaman's water hand is part of her, and his using it as weapon has made her weak. Not only that, but it opened a portal, into which our mysterious corpse--known as The Thirst--has entered. The Lady in the Lake warns The Thirst, now in our world, will stalk her and her sisters "and drink each of us dry."

We cut back to The Thirst, who is well into putting his plan of revenge into action. Using a crew made up of reanimated corpses (the historians from earlier), he takes control of a rowing ship and sets sail:
...to be continued!

Up until this point, I had really enjoyed this new Aquaman series as it was coming out: I liked Arthur's new look, I liked the new supporting characters, I liked the new waterbearer hand, and I thought the art was solid. But after a while all the fantastical gobbledy-gook started to wear on me, and reading this issue over again reminds me it about here that my eyes started to roll over a bit.

There were so many dad-blamed rules for this whole water-hand thing I remember metaphorically throwing my two flesh-and-bone hands up and just not worrying about it anymore, and concentrating on just the stuff with Aquaman and the rest. I've never been a fantasy fan, and I've always been less-than-enthusiastic when those elements were worked into the Aquaman mythos too heavily.

That said, I'm always supportive of trying to add more good, repeatable villains to Aquaman's Rogues Gallery, and the Mummy-esque Thirst seemed like as good an idea as any. Check back in a few hours to see what happens next!


Wings1295 said...

Agreed. Instead of just making the hand a simple tool/weapon in Aquaman's arsenal, it almost became another hindrance to the character. If it just worked in a way like Mera's hard water powers, it would be a welcome addition. If it comes with all these strings attached, then no thank you.

Wings1295 said...

The Thirst could be a good recurring character, however.

David J. Cutler said...

I did like the Thirst, but yes, fantasy works best in superhero comics when it's juxtaposed against a modern setting--that flying ship would have been such a cool moment if it was coming through a city or something. At this point in the series, I honestly found the comic very very hard to read--exhausting, even.

And I know Tempest has his fans here, but I will never ever like that costume or hilarious face tattoo--seeing Garth criticizing his charming older self while wearing an outfit so 90s stock and underdesigned is more than a little irksome. Seeing the then-modern versions of these characters juxtaposed with the old ones just makes me with I was reading an older comic. Still blows my mind there was such an extended period where having an iconic look for your superhero was a bad thing.

Jason Garner said...

Not my favorite era in Aquaman's life. The Thirst storyline felt extremely decompressed and tedious. His lisssssp was also very grating.