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Monday, August 22, 2011

Aquaman vs. The Justice League!

Comics Monday "States of Matter" by F.O.A.M. members Rick Duncan and Russell Burbage!

Aquaman, King of Atlantis, recounts a tale that involved him in mortal combat against his fellow Justice Leaguers:
Aquaman's ruling inner circle, consisting of Mupo, Vulko, Cal Durham, Tempest, Rodunn, Noble, Igula, and Queen Mera meet to discuss a change in how Atlantis is run: realizing a threat to the world is a threat to Atlantis, as well, Aquaman resolves to rejoin the Justice League.

But before he can say any more, Aquaman receives an urgent telepathic message from the Martian Manhunter, telling his old friend the JLA has turned evil!

Trapped in The Phantom Zone, Manhunter can only communicate with the help of Tempest's powers. Manhuter tells a tale of how the JLAers in recent weeks have undergone a strange change of behavior: arrogant, impatient, and coarse, the core members have become virtually unrecognizable:
Warned that the JLA will soon be attacking Atlantis for it vast riches, Aquaman and his team go into action: Aquaman assigns each of them a JLA member to stop, with Mera kind of looking forward to knocking the Amazon Princess down a notch or two!

Waiting for the JLA to arrive, Aquaman wonders if these people who look and sound like his friends might not actually be The Crime Syndicate, the Earth-3 evil duplicates of the the JLA!

Right on cue, the "JLA" arrives:

Tempest takes on The Flash (aka Johnny Quick), and Mera goes after Wonder Woman (aka Superwoman):
Aquaman escapes from Green Lantern (aka Power Ring) down a small tunnel in the ocean floor, and Green Lantern follows, right into a mass of luminescent bacteria, whose bright yellow light blinds GL long enough for Aquaman and Tempest to strip him of his ring, leaving him helpless!

There's only one Crime Syndicate member left: Owlman, who soon arrives in the guise of Batman, who reveals he bet that Aquaman could defeat his teammates. Now he tells Aquaman what he wants the Sea King to do: kill the rest of the Crime Syndicate!

Aquaman of course refuses, but Owlman says that if he doesn't, the various bombs he has planted around Atlantis (hidden inside WayneTech equipment) will go off!

But Aquaman is one step ahead of Owlman, having had all of the WayneTech material removed. Aquaman then has some finny friends snatch the rest of the detonators out of Owlman's hands! Owlman uses the JLA Transporter beam to escape, but Aquaman has thought of that, too:
...the end!

Okay, so what the heck is this, many of you must be wondering. Well, this is an over-sized (in both dimensions and length) all-original JLA comic book, done for me by F.O.A.M.ers Rick and Russell (writing and drawing, respectively) as my birthday present!

The book arrived in the mail the day before, and I was floored at what I was looking at: aside from the Herculean labor involved in writing, drawing, and coloring an entire comic book, it's actually a really good story, too. The bit about how Aquaman takes on Superman is so ingenious I kinda can't believe it hasn't been done before (and the little science factoid on page 18 is a delightful old school bonus).

Sure, this story leans hard on Aquaman being so much more awesome than everyone else, but of course that's the point when you've got a comic made by two Aquaman fans to be given to a third!

Its a really amazing gift, and I'm humbled to receive it. I was glad I got to tell Russell and Rick how much I liked it in person, when we all met (along with Aquaman Chronicles' John Schwirian and my longtime pal Dan Eaker) for dinner after Day 1 of the Baltimore Comic Con, which Rick, Russell, and John were attending.

If you want to read the whole book, head over to Russell's keen Friends of Justice blog, where he's posted the entire thing!

Thanks again guys! Can't wait for issue #2 next August!


jim said...

Wow!! That was great. It truly would
have made an excellent "real" Justice League comic book story (with extra emphasis on Aquaman & Co., of course).

And Happy Birthday!!!!

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Simply wonderful. And I love all the little touches and attention to small details, like the sea life and things encapsulating the page numbers. Made my day reading this; what a great gift.

Wings1295 said...

Amazing project and a super birthday gift! Kudos to them on their hard work and to you for being the lucky recipient!

Anonymous said...

Wow indeed! What a great story! This really would have made a fantastic issue of Aquaman or JLA. I love that the entire Aqua family gets to shine, and I love that we see, not only how tough Aquaman is, but just how smart he is. This is a great classic style story. I agree with some of the others' comments about the attention to detail, and I also have to say, the out-thinking of Ultraman with all the kryptonite particles...that was awesome!

KJ Sampson said...

This is honestly one of the best Aquaman or JLA stories ever written.

Orin's dad said...

It's a really great story, cool art, and a touching gift. You are one lucky man, rob!, to have gotten such an awesome gift.

Russell said...

Wow, thanks, everybody! I'm embarassed by the praise! I am happy I got over my initial reluctance to participate (draw a book for a professional artist...? Uh...NO!) because it seems like lots of people liked it. :-)

r duncan said...

Thanks everyone. I feel the same as Russell. After the project was done we decided we made a pretty good team. I'm still catching more touches Russell made in the artwork that I didn't notice before. Like the fact that Kyle is wearing an Under Armour shirt on page 24! That and other clever additions like the sound effect on page 14, just added to the fun!