Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Aquaman 17, originally released February 27th, 2013.
Patrick: When I originally got my friend Taylor into comic books, I suggested Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing series. Taylor was intrigued, saying that the idea of a Captain Planet made of Plants seemed like a really fun book to read. Of course, Snyder’s Swamp Thing has more to do with elaborate mythologies and alternate futures and cool stuff like that, but that idea stuck with me. We read so few comic books about superheroes that stand for anything. Our heroes are driven by revenge or obligation or circumstance to fight crime, but none of them end up championing any causes – they just keep fighting whatever supervillains pop up to challenge them. After the events of Throne of Atlantis, Aquaman finds himself wedged uncomfortably between the roles of superhero and supervillain. What other choice does he have than to enact his own values and forge his own path?
Today, Drew and guest writer Zach Kastner are discussing Justice League 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013, This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover event. Click here for complete ToA coverage.
Drew: “What if there was a problem so big, Superman couldn’t solve it?” is the question the Justice League was designed to answer. This was something Johns managed quite well in this series’ first arc, justifying the League’s formation with a truly global threat. This issue effectively voids that answer by asking “yeah, but what if there was a problem so big even the Justice League couldn’t solve it?” Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Aquaman 13, originally released October 31st, 2012.
Drew: Confession time: I dropped this title after issue 4. My only sense of what is going on in this title is the zero issue, and reading the reviews on this site. For the most part, “The Others” storyline has been hard to follow from just summaries, as it focuses heavily on characters I know in name only. The only thing I’ve really gathered from those reviews is that 1) the art is fantastic, and 2) there’s room for disagreement about whether or not Aquaman is actually the villain of this title. Picking up the action in issue 13, I can say for sure that both of those statements are definitely true.
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 12, originally released August 29th, 2012.
Peter: The multi-issue story arc is an ungainly creature. What should the first issue look like? How about the last? What shape does it take in the middle? I tend to read my comics the way I think DC wants me to: one at a time, the week they come out. But sometimes that episodic reading does a disservice to the story. That’s why someone decided to collect them into graphic novels. “The Others” is definitely one of those stories that I am going to have to go back and read as a whole from start to finish to get the full effect. Geoff Johns has crafted something that definitely will flow together better as a whole, because frankly, this is a roller coaster of emotion and story.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.
Shelby: Despite what you are currently reading, I don’t really think of myself as a writer. Art was always my schtick, the only writing I did in school was academic papers and the occasional bullshit artist’s statement. I’ve been a reader, however, since I was 4, so I’m pretty good at figuring out what I like in a story. I know that sometimes exposition is necessary to advance the plot or give character insight, and I think there are natural ways to present that information within the story. Comics, though, have such opportunity to show me what I need to know instead of just telling me, I sometimes don’t quite know why writers chose to have their characters just standing around gabbing when they could be doing something so much cooler to give me the info I need.
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Aquaman 10, originally released June 27th, 2012.
Peter: Since its return last year, Aquaman has been selling extremely well just about every month. That is really surprising to me. For a while I’m wasn’t sure what was driving these sales. Was it Aquaman nostalgia? Was his impressive run in Brightest Day? Out of all the books I have been reading, it’s been pretty hit and miss. It has some really great issues (issue 5) that have been amazing, and some really terrible issues (issue 6) that just don’t work. With the introduction of the Others storyline, Aquaman has quickly become one of my favorite books again. This issue is no exception, giving incredible historic elements, as well as dynamic characters.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Aquaman 9, originally released May 23rd, 2012.
Shelby: I have grown to appreciate Aquaman. I used to think he was pretty lame, but I think his character has been fleshed out in recent years. There’s some depth to him now; he’s a man torn between two worlds, and all that. Geoff Johns obviously has some grand ideas for where he wants to take Aquaman; he just keeps doling out his ideas at such a slow pace, I’m afraid there will be a point when my questions so outnumber the answers, I’m just going to get fed-up.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 8, originally released April 25th, 2012.
Shelby: Geoff Johns first impressed me with Rebirth, the retold origin arc of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. His narratives combine epic, sweeping action with a much closer, personal look at the characters. He has a knack for writing emotion that doesn’t diminish the super-humanness of these characters. Lately, I haven’t been quite as impressed; both Justice League and Aquaman have felt a little….pedantic. It’s true, I have fallen away from Johns somewhat with the relaunch, but I feel like this Aquaman arc is beginning to get back to what it is I first liked so very much about his writing. Continue reading →