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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aquaman (Vol.8) #2 - Dec. 2011

Comics Weekend "The Trench Part two" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rod Reis.

The eagerly (to say the least!) awaited second issue of Aquaman opens with The Trench as they mercilessly attack a boat full of fisherman who were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Trench are equal-opportunity killers; after one of them is seemingly killed by being set afire by a flare gun, the others gleefully chomp down on it with nary a thought. The Trench communicate via some combination of telepathy and some antennae that shoot out of their neck--after telling one of the fishermen they want food, he is consumed by The Trench, and his screams fill the night air. Off in the distance, they see the lights of the nearby city, where more victims await.
We cut to the new home of Arthur and Mera, where they are looking over one of Arthur's family albums. Mera asks about one picture which features young Arthur, his father, and another man, but before he can explain, there's a frantic knock at the door.
On the other side is a sheriff's deputy, who begs them for help, and tells them about the attack. After some confusion as to who Mera is exactly, ("Aquawoman?") they suit up and arrive at the scene, but the sheriff is none too happy to see them. Mera, in particular, is incensed that some of the locals talk to her husband they way they do, but Arthur demurs.
Aquaman telepathically probes the ocean, and is shocked to find...nothing. No fish, no sea life, no nothing. Some police scuba divers find a human-sized cocoon in the water and bring it up, but before anyone can investigate Aquaman "hears" the thoughts of The Trench, and suddenly:
Aquaman and Mera tear into the various members of The Trench, but there are so many that within moments they are separated. One of them grabs Aquaman's trident and communicates with him. Aquaman asks "What are you?", but the response he gets is:
...to be continued!

This book features a six-page preview of the upcoming Batman: Noel graphic novel, leaving only twenty pages for Aquaman, meaning the story reads even quicker than the first issue did. Other than that, I loved it--The Trench are established as a formidable set of foes, and of course I always enjoy watching Aquaman and Mera kick butt.

I like the idea of the two of them living among the people--their HQ is just a house on the coast, not some super-secret Aqua-Cave (though, as we've seen, they have one of those, too). It gives off a sense of warmth and community, which is a nice change of pace for the characters, given their history. On the art side, the team of Reis/Prado/Reis continue to bring it--this book looks just great.

Great Neptune, I can't wait another month for issue #3! Aquaman needs to start going weekly!


Ryan Daly said...

This second issue was terrific, and thus far AQUAMAN has been my favorite series of the new 52. Johns gives some wonderful characterization to Arthur and Mera, and the art team continues to do phenomenal work making the threats terrible and the heroes grand.

Of everything in the issue, though, one thing I thought leapt off the page and that was the mention of some mysterious man in a family photo with Arthur and his father. Arthur says the picture shouldn't be there very ominously, and then they're interrupted by a knock at the door. I'm calling it now: this mystery man will be a major villain coming up in the series, possibly the obscure Aquaman rogue that Johns has mentioned giving a Black Hand style revamp.

Only one other thing needs to be mentioned. We're now two issues into this AQUAMAN series, and we still haven't seen Aquaman actually IN THE WATER, nor have we seen him actually use his power to COMMAND SEA LIFE. He's talked about it in #1 and used his power to scan for life in #2, but that's it. I want to see him swimming and sicking some leopard seals on the Trench already!

John said...

I liked the first issue, but I wasn't impressed with it. I'm impressed with this one--and could have done without the Batman preview (was it really that necessary? Do they actually think no one is going to buy yet another Batman GN unless they advertise the heck out of it? Sheesh.). More pages for Arthur and Mera!

The telepathy scene was cool, but I don't think it needed sound effects--the art itself spoke for it. Show, don't tell.

TheFlash said...

Why do you say the Trench communicate via telepathy? It looks to me like they are just talking to each other.Also it looks like only the leader with the scars has the neck antennae.
Does anyone know how Aquaman's trident sticks to his back?

David J. Cutler said...

20 pages is the new standard at DC, guys. That's why the cover prices are down a buck for the most part. The Batman bit was an extra, it didn't actually take away from the story pages. If issue 1 was longer, it was a bonus, not the standard.

Great issue, though, even better than the first--I could look at some of those panels all day. I wish I had the patience to wait for trade though, it's brutal waiting 30 days between each (all too brief) installment.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I enjoyed this too; story's definitely picking up. I'm digging the art, there's great figure work there. It might not be to everybody's taste, but I like those dense panels; they reward close scrutiny.

Designer Daddy said...

I've been enjoying reading both the print and e-comic. In the digital version it's fun to read from panel to panel, but then I'm always pissed that the end comes to soon (as I don't have pages in my hand to count).

But overall loved the issue. As others have said, a month is TOO LONG!

Shellhead said...

I'm betting the guy in the pic is Ocean Master. Assuming they kept the filial relationship in the new 52. And my vote for the revamped villain is Fisherman.

ari said...

I really loved this issue. Mera + Arthur's relationship is ridiculously cute. I am so proud with how well this series is going.

The Trench terrified me when they turned on their own wounded and ripped him to shreds. I think that is the most creepiest enemy is one that is so animalistic, you can't reason with them. Buh