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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Aquaman (Vol.7) #12 - Jan. 2004

Comics Weekend "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Rick Veitch, Yvel Guichet, and Mark Propst.

Rick Veitch's final issue on Aquaman starts with the the Sea King's old JLA pals meeting up to discuss the trouble that's been brewing all over the world's coast lines:
...thanks Apache Chief!

Before we catch up with Aquaman, we take a stop at Mizen head, where McCaffrey and Sweeney's boat is being overrun by a horde of nasty-looking sea creatures. As Sweeney fights them off, McCaffrey collapses and dies, still holding onto his ship's wheel (that's how they should have killed Capt. Kirk, but I digress).

Back at the Fountainhead, Aquaman's healing powers have worn off Black Manta, and now he's reduced to crawling on the ground, bleeding profusely. He finds himself face-to-face with the Aquaman/Thirst hybrid being...which is in a tug-of-war over which one of them is at the controls!

The Thirst side wins out long enough to jump into the wall of water, which ony increases his hold over Aquaman. Meanwhile, back in New Atlantis, the evil Hagen boasts of the evil he has helped unleash: a horde of creatures determined to scrub the Earth of every surface-dwelling being!

Back inside the Heavenspan:
The Thirst/Aquaman hybrid creature is under Aquaman's control long enough for it to not drink from The Lady of the Lake, but to place gentle kiss upon her lips. Thsi awakens her, while simultaneously weakening The Thirst.

Back on the surface, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman prepare for battle when, suddenly, all the mutated creatures they've been watching begin to wither and die. The crisis ends, just like that--but how? And who?

We know who:
The end...for now!

Overall, I thought Rick Veitch did a decent job on Aquaman, and I would have liked to see where he went if he had stayed on the book (I have no idea whether it was his or DC's idea he stop at twelve issues).

Sure, I think The Thirst storyline went on a bit too long and the whole water-hand thing got a bit too convoluted, but I don't think there was anything that couldn't have been streamlined over time. Veitch helped reset Aquaman back into a more recognizably classic form, and so I'll always be grateful for that!

My only tiny complaint is the last page with Sweeney. She's clearly pretty upset--McCaffrey is dead, and she has feelings for Arthur and doesn't want him to go. But he dismisses her with a kind of flippant response, which...I dunno, seemed kinda cruel to me. And while, yeah, Aquaman is of a different species, at least partially, that's a taboo that simply has to have been shattered long ago in the DCU. Didn't Aquaman read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing?

After this first year, there were two fill-ins by John Ostrander (which I really loved, #s 13 and 14), followed by a very well-regarded run by Will Pfeifer (with those awesome Alan Davis covers!). So, as Aquaman series, go, this seventh volume started off fairly well, and then got even better...


r duncan said...


Thaankssss for remmminding meee how much I hated the Thirsssst....


Although there were many things to like in these 12 issues, it dragged on way too long.

Finally, the author obviously doesn't know his biology very well. After a whole year of Aquaman showing off his mammary glands, how could he say "I'm not a mammal, you know.?" I'm pretty sure Atlanteans breastfeed their children. (His brush off of Sweeney was harsh. She was a good character.)

But I agree with you about Ostrander's issues. The only Ostrander Aquaman I didn't like was his JLApe Aquaman Annual. I hope we see another Aquaman annual soon.

Russell said...

I gotta agree with Rick. There certainly were some good things going on here (I especially liked the return of Manta and the interplay between Arthur and Garth) but overall I didn't like the art (too "dark" and "scratchy") and I'm not a big fan of sorcery/fantasy stories.

Not Aquaman at his worst, but I definitely have more favorite runs.

JD said...

I disliked the brush off Sweeney got too, she was being built up like a new temporary love interest then abruptly got tossed away and ignored. And Russell also mentioned what I disliked about Guichet's art on this run too. While I always enjoy fantasy elements woven into comics, Veitch just didn't go in the right direction as the water hand should not have had so many limitations and the Lady Of The Lake should have been more encouraging and less nagging.

Also I must applaud rob!'s Swamp Thing shout out as Swamp Thing & Abigail Arcane are my favorite DC couple next to Arthur & Mera!

Joseph Brian Scott said...

That broken bridge span illustration was neat-o. That should be a part of Atlantis or some other underwater kingdom; wouldn't it be cool to see that on the bottom of the ocean, rising out of the murk?

David J. Cutler said...

The idea that Aquaman isn't a mammal actually brings up an interesting point--if the Altantis Chronicles are cannon (and correct me if I'm wrong), Atlanteans aren't humans who evolved to survive underwater after the continent sunk, but a seperate race who evolved long before humans and developed an advanced society alongside primitive man. I typically ignore this in favor of the more commonly assumed explanation (that isn't QUITE so absurd), but if this is the case, Arthur's right--he'd at the very least be totally incapable of reproducing with a human. He's almost as far removed from humans genetically as Superman or Martian Manhunter. Of course, this is the Aquaman who actually is pure Atlantian, and not a human hybrid...

Actually, I just read the DC Atlantis wiki page and it implies Atlantis was settled 65 million years ago by humanoid aliens... what? Or... they interbred with homo erectus to create modern Atlanteans? Sooo they ARE capable of interbreeding?

They need to simplify this hahaha... I really hope Johns' series cleans up where continuity stands on all this now.